How a Black fraternity and sorority rally support for Canada’s Lifeline

February 16, 2022

These ‘Partners for Life’ reach out to diverse Black communities to recruit blood donors and grow the stem cell registry  

As we celebrate Black history and excellence at Canada’s Lifeline during Black History Month, we’re bringing you stories about Black contributions and connections to Canadian Blood Services. Here, leaders of two Toronto-based organizations — Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (GTA Alumnae Chapter) and the Lambda Mu Mu Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. — reflect on why they’re constantly advocating for Black people to become blood and stem cell donors.

Black people make up fewer than two percent of prospective donors on Canadian Blood Services Stem Cell Registry, and two predominantly Black organizations in Toronto, Ont., are striving to change that.

For four years, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (GTA Alumnae Chapter) — known informally as the “Toronto Deltas” — and the Lambda Mu Mu Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., have rallied Black people in the Toronto area to donate blood and join the stem cell registry. The two groups share a connection to Howard University, the historically Black university in Washington, D.C. where their parent organizations began. The fraternity was founded on the Howard campus in 1911, and the sorority followed in 1913.

What is the process to donate blood?

Stem cell donation eligibility and registration

“We’ve organized and participated in multiple blood drives since our own chapter was established in 2018,” says Laura Wilson-Lewis, president of the Toronto Deltas. “I’m proud to say many of our chapter members are registered blood donors.”

The two Toronto-based organizations have worked closely together to drive several awareness initiatives in diverse Black communities in Canada.

“We want to help our communities help themselves. That’s why we’re helping to spread awareness of the lack of representation of Black people in the stem cell registry,” says Christopher Adam Infantry, Lambda Mu Mu Chapter president.