Barbara Jordan Building with an inset black-and-white headshot of Barbara Jordan in the lower left corner of the image.
Barbara Jordan Building Credit: Photo courtesy Texas Facilities Commission.

The State of Texas, led by members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., will soon be celebrating the opening of the Barbara Jordan Building, a new 12-story building on the Capitol Complex in Austin.

On April 17, attendees will celebrate the first building in the state’s real estate portfolio named after an African American woman — Fifth Ward-born Barbara Jordan — a Wheatley High School and Texas Southern University alumna, and member of Delta Sigma Theta.

“As chair of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus, the significance of the Barbara Jordan Building cannot be understated: this will be the first Texas state building named after an African American woman,” State Rep. Ron Reynolds said. “We are witnessing history and well-deserved flowers being given to a trailblazer.”

The event committee, made up predominantly of Delta members and members of State Rep. Sheryl Cole’s staff, put together a program that will feature remarks from Reynolds and a host of others, including State Rep. Toni Rose, Delta Sigma Theta Regional Director Crystal T. Barker, State Senator Royce West, State Senator Borris L. Miles, Delta Sigma Theta State Social Action Lead Sharon Watkins Jones, Delta Sigma Theta National President Elsie Cook-Holmes and more.

The naming ceremony will take place on Red and White Day at the State Capitol in honor of the advocacy efforts of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

“I am truly honored to attend the ribbon-cutting and naming of the Barbara Jordan building,” said Demethra Orion, a Delta member who served on the event’s organizing committee. “The honorable Barbara Jordan touched Texans and Americans of all ages, races, social economics classes, etc. But in particular, she touched me — a young, proud, aggressive Black woman. I saw her and I saw myself.”

Orion credits Jordan’s example for playing a major role in the work she does to impact the community.

“I proudly advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves today and actively participate in our local election process because of her.”

Jordan family members Rosemary McGowan, sister of Barbara Jordan, and Eden Johné White, Jordan’s cousin, will also share remarks during the event that’s sponsored and underwritten by Stacey and Demetra Elston.

Reynolds views the event as part of an ongoing celebration of game-changing Black women in Texas by the state’s Black Caucus.

“This session, we’re grateful to have such legends be highlighted for their great, incomparable contributions to Texas. From Barbara Jordan to Opal Lee to Dean Senfronia Thompson, Black women in Texas have always led in a righteous call for justice and equity.

“With this honor though, we must also remember the wise words of Barbara Jordan. ‘What people want is simple: they want an America as good as its promise.’ Our work this session is steadfast in her legacy, to create a Texas as good as its potential.”

For Deltas, their Red and White Day badges will serve as their entry into the event. All others must have a confirmed RSVP. Click here to register.

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Aswad WalkerAssociate Editor

I'm originally from Cincinnati. I'm a husband and father to six children. I'm an associate pastor for the Shrine of Black Madonna (Houston). I am a lecturer (adjunct professor) in the University of Houston...