Herstory

Our Chapter Beginning

Barbara Odom-Wesley moved to Arlington, TX from San Antonio, TX in August 1980. In San Antonio, she was active in the Alpha Tau Omega Chapter and had enjoyed being a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha since 1967 when she was initiated in Delta Rho Chapter.

She planned to affiliate with a graduate chapter upon her arrival in Arlington; however, there was not a graduate chapter in Arlington. There were, however, graduate chapters in Dallas (Alpha Xi Omega) and Fort Worth (Beta Mu Omega) that she visited. She kept meeting inactive sorority sisters in Arlington which provoked her to ask, “Why isn’t there a chapter in Arlington?

Barbara Odom-Wesley began compiling a list of sorority sisters as she met them. She then decided to lead the effort to charter a chapter for Arlington. She talked to sorority sisters and gained support for the idea. The first official meeting for Xi Theta Omega was held at the home of Barbara Odom-Wesley in June 1981. There were six sorority sisters in attendance: Barbara Odom-Wesley (formerly James), Gail Sutton-Davis, Ruth Wallace, Janice Spear, Mathia Clay, and Lareatha Clay.

The next step was to contact the Corporate Office for guidance in forming a chapter. These ladies received materials and planned regular meetings to accomplish the tasks set forth. They were ready to meet with the Regional Director, Dorothy Jones of Shreveport, Louisiana, in October, 1981.

The coming months were busy with educational activities. Since everyone was inactive, the next plan was to bring their AKA knowledge up to date. They developed short and long range plans to implement the National Programs and meet community needs.

The first fund-raiser for Xi Theta Omega was selling World Famous Chocolate Candy Bars. The first service project was Arlington’s first Black History observance. They held a program at the Arlington Community Center in February 1982. They played Black History Bingo, which was developed by the sorority sisters. They also checked out movies from the library and showed them and engaged the audience in discussion questions.

On May 14, 1982, Xi Theta Omega was chartered with twenty active sorority sisters. Sorority sisters from Beta Mu Omega and Alpha Xi Omega were in attendance. What a glorious day! A dream became reality and Xi Theta Omega was born.

The officers that were installed by the Regional Director following the chartering were:

President Barbara Odom-Wesley
Vice President Gail Sutton-Davis
Secretary Laura Maddox
Financial Secretary LaFrances Wright
Treasurer Ruth Wallace
Reporter / Historian Janice Spear
Corresponding Secretary Alverta Dixon