Zeta Phi Beta
|Zeta Phi Beta|
|Founded||January 16, 1920|
Washington, D.C., USA
|Mission statement||To foster the ideas of service, charity, scholarship, civil and cultural endeavors, sisterhood and finer womanhood. These ideals are reflected in the sorority's national program for which its members and auxiliary groups provide voluntary service to staff, community outreach programs, fund scholarships, support organized charities, and promote legislation for social and civic change.|
|Motto||A community-conscious, action-oriented organization|
|Colors||Royal Blue and White|
|Nicknames||Zetas, ZPhiB, KittieZ, Finer Women|
|Founding Principles||Scholarship, Service, Sisterhood, and Finer Womanhood|
|Headquarters||1734 New Hampshire Avenue NW|
Washington, DC 20009
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. (ΖΦΒ) is an international, historically African American Greek-lettered sorority. In 1920, five women from Howard University envisioned a sorority that would raise the consciousness of their people, encourage the highest standards of scholastic achievement, and foster a greater sense of unity among its members. These women believed that sorority elitism and socializing overshadowed the real mission for progressive organizations. Since its founding Zeta Phi Beta has historically focused on addressing social causes.
Zeta Phi Beta is a non-profit 501(c)(7) organization that is divided into eight intercontinental regions and 800+ Chapters located in the US, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. In 1948, Zeta Phi Beta became the first Greek-letter organization to charter a chapter in Africa (in Monrovia, Liberia). Zeta Phi Beta is the third largest predominately African-American sorority.
- Arizona Cleaver (Stemons): Arizona Cleaver was the first president of Alpha chapter and the first national president of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. She completed her graduate and post-graduate studies in the field of social work and was responsible for chartering numerous undergraduate and graduate chapters throughout the United States.
- Myrtle Tyler (Faithful): Myrtle Tyler was the second national president of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and blood sister to Viola Tyler. A high school mathematics and English teacher, Founder Tyler was an active member of Alpha Zeta chapter in Baltimore, Maryland.
- Viola Tyler (Goings): Viola Tyler graduated from Howard University with a teaching degree and a major in math. She taught school in Ohio for many years and was always very active in community affairs.
- Fannie Pettie (Watts): Fannie Pettie graduated from Howard with a Bachelor of Arts degree in education and taught junior and senior high schools in Savannah, Georgia. She was credited with organizing two additional Zeta chapters and had active membership in Delta Alpha Zeta chapter.
- Pearl Anna Neal: After graduating from Howard University's Conservatory of Music, Founder Neal continued her studies at the Juilliard School of Music. In 1938, she was the first black woman in New York to earn a master's degree in music from Columbia University. An extremely accomplished musician, Founder Neal taught music in North Carolina public schools and served as a director of seniors majoring in music at Teachers College in Winston-Salem, NC.
In the spring of 1919, during a stroll on the campus of Howard University, Charles Robert Samuel Taylor, member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, shared with Arizona Cleaver his idea for a new sisterhood; a sister organization to his fraternity. Arizona presented this idea to Pearl Neal, Myrtle Tyler, Viola Tyler, and Fannie Pettie, and a new sisterhood was formed.
Arizona Cleaver sought permission from the Howard University administration to establish a new campus sorority. That permission was granted, and on January 16, 1920, the first official meeting was held. The five coeds chose the name Zeta Phi Beta. Phi Beta was taken from Phi Beta Sigma to "seal and signify the relationship between the two organizations".
The newly established Zeta Phi Beta Sorority was given a formal introduction at Whitelaw Hotel by Phi Beta Sigma members Charles Robert Samuel Taylor and A. Langston Taylor. The two Sigma brothers had been a source of advice and encouragement during the establishment of the sorority and throughout its early days.
Later that year, in December 1920, the sorority held the first boule (convention) with members of Phi Beta Sigma at Howard University. The Archon, the sorority's official magazine was established shortly afterwards. Later Boules were held in many locations across the United States.
Zeta Phi Beta was first incorporated on March 30, 1923 in Washington, D.C. by sorority members Myrtle Tyler, Gladys Warrington, Joanna Houston, Josephine Johnson and O. Goldia Smith. The sorority was incorporated by the state of Illinois in 1939.
In 1923, the first chapter of any black sorority to organize a collegiate chapter in Texas, Theta chapter, was established at Wiley College.
In 1959, Zeta Phi Beta purchased its current headquarters, located at 1734 New Hampshire Avenue NW on Dupont Circle in Washington, DC.
Zeta Phi Beta was the first to charter a chapter in Africa (Monrovia, Liberia). Today, there are also chapters in U.S. Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Bahamas, Japan, Korea, Barbados, Haiti, Germany, Belgium, United Arab Emirates, Trinidad/Tobago and most recently Accra, Ghana.  Zeta Phi Beta was the first organization under the National Pan-Hellenic Council to have a national headquarters for all operations. Zeta Phi Beta is the first and only NPHC organization to be constitutionally bound to a fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated. Zeta Phi Beta is the first sorority in the National Pan-Hellenic Council to organize an auxiliary group.
Held annually, Zeta Day on the Hill provides an opportunity for Zetas to exercise another level of civic responsibility by learning the protocols for interacting with and the knowledge needed to maximize engagement with congressional representatives. As members of a "Community Conscious-Action Oriented" organization, Zetas schedule meetings with their representative or their representative's designee to discuss, during brief sessions, issues of interest to the local, state and national Zeta membership.
In 2005, Zeta Phi Beta completed its $2 million renovation project of the international headquarters. The historic building has served as Zeta's home since its purchase in 1959. 
In December 2010 the sorority officially partnered with Stevie Wonder to collect toys for his annual House Full of Benefit Concert. All of the sorority's 850 chapters signed on to collect toys for the program.
Following a February 5, 2006 news report by WJLA, an ABC affiliated TV station, the U.S.'s Internal Revenue Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation and United States Attorney opened an investigation into alleged financial irregularities occurring in the sorority. The purpose of the investigation was to determine if National President Barbara C. Moore had obtained funds from the tax-exempt organization for personal gain. During the investigation, sorority member and former National Executive Board member, Natasha Stark was expelled for "violating her duty of loyalty to the sorority, engaging in conduct injurious to the sorority or its purposes, and unsisterly conduct." on March 20, 2007, Starks filed a lawsuit with the District of Columbia District Court requesting $1 million in damages. Stark's claims for breach of contract and negligence were dismissed at a September 11, 2008 status conference.
Entertainer Sheryl Underwood was elected as the 23rd International Grand Basileus (President), during the sorority's biennial business meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2008. Her election as Grand Basileus was disputed by some members, but District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Gerald I. Fisher dismissed a lawsuit against the sorority and Underwood, that asked the court to unseat Underwood.
On July 3, 2008, Lorrie Sinclair filed a Diversity-Breach of Contract suit in the District of Columbia District Court against Zeta Phi Beta demanding $76,000.
In August 2009, the sorority chapter at Colorado State University was expelled from the campus after disturbing police reports of hazing surfaced.
On August 12, 2010, Coastal Carolina University, located near Myrtle Beach, SC, suspended its chapter of Zeta Phi Beta sorority for five years after being found in violation of the university's hazing policy, according to a release from CCU. According to information gathered through an investigation by the CCU's Office of Student Conduct, the sorority violated the policy regarding new member processes, the release said. The terms of the suspension encompass all activities, including new member processes, meetings, community service and social events. After the suspension has expired, Zeta Phi Beta may petition CCU to recognize the sorority for the fall 2015 semester.
In 2012, a student at University of California at Berkeley sued the sorority after experiencing hazing so disturbing and humiliating that she dropped out of school. She was initially reassured by members of the sorority that prospective members are not hazed, however she eventually learned that was a lie. In her lawsuit, she stated she had her head slammed into a wall, her pockets ripped from her jeans, she was beat over the head while being forced to recite the sorority's history, forced to clean up juice with only her back, and was subject to other illegal hazing activities.
In 2014, the sorority at the University of Memphis was given a three-year suspension for physically abusing and harassing pledges. One known pledge's nose was broken after being repeatedly hit in the face by several Zetas. Two Zetas identified in a police report as being extremely abusive towards pledges dropped out the university soon after the suspension was announced.
In spring of 2016, the sorority at the University of Florida was given a two-year suspension. Shortly after the release of new line members, the university officials received an eight-page letter from one of the pledgie reporting all the hazing incidents that she endured. This chapter suspension ended in March 2018.
Official auxiliary organizations
The Amicae group is composed of women who have not obtained a college degree, but wish to assist Zeta Phi Beta members in local activities. Currently there are over 175 Amicae groups in the U.S. The first Amicae group was organized in Omaha, Nebraska in 1947 by the Beta Psi Zeta chapter.
The Archonettes are composed of young high school-aged ladies (age 14 to 18) who demonstrate an interest in the goals and the ideals of scholarship, sisterly love, and community service. Each Archonette group is affiliated with a local graduate chapter of Zeta Phi Beta.
The Amicettes are composed of girls age 9 to 13 who are willing to strive toward the high ideals of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and who demonstrate potential for leadership in service to the community. . Each Amicettes group is affiliated with a local chapter of Zeta Phi Beta.
Zeta Male Network
The Zeta Male Network is the title given to the support organization that includes males in the lives of members of Zeta Phi Beta.
National Educational Foundation
- to award scholarship grants to worthy students for the pursuit of higher education;
- to conduct community education programs which will aid individual and community living standards;
- to engage in other educational activities which will aid in the development of all women; and
- to engage in any appropriate research related to the purposes of the Foundation.
The National Educational Foundation of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. is a 501(c)3 trust organization created in 1975 and operated by Zeta Phi Beta to oversee the sorority's charitable and educational activities. The trust awards scholarship grants, conducts community educational programs and activities, and engages in Foundation scholarship related research.
The Foundation partnered with Xavier University of New Orleans, The Consumer Health Foundation, the MidAtlantic Cancer Genetics Network, the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, and The Family Life Center of Shiloh Baptist Church and presented conferences on human genome research in Washington, D. C., Atlanta Georgia, New Orleans, Louisiana, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Chicago, Illinois.
Since 1971, Zeta Phi Beta has enjoyed a partnership with the March of Dimes in an effort to encourage women to seek prenatal care within the first trimester of pregnancy, thereby increasing the prevention of birth defects and infant mortality. Known as the Stork's Nest Program, this collaboration encourages participation and healthy behaviors during the pregnancy through two components - incentives and education. Nationwide, Zeta Phi Beta sponsors over 175 Stork's Nests. In 1997, during the celebration of the 25th anniversary of collaboration with the March of Dimes, the program was updated to include a new national logo, new educational materials, and new incentive items for those mothers participating in the program. As of 2005, the Stork's Nest Program has served over 28,000 women.
The goal of Z-H.O.P.E. (Zetas Helping Other People Excel) is to positively impact the lives of people at all stages of the human life cycle. This is through doing hard work and community service.
—former Zeta International Grand Basileus Barbara C. Moore
Z-HOPE (Zetas Helping Other People Excel) is an international service initiative, introduced by the sorority's 22nd International Grand Basileus Barbara C. Moore.
Z-HOPE has six objectives. They are:
- To provide culturally appropriate informational activities according to the Z-HOPE program format
- To foster collaborative partnerships between community organizations with shared goals
- To promote the opportunities for expansion in Stork's Nest programs
- To facilitate community service and mentorship opportunities for members of the organization
- To provide an equitable chapter recognition program for community services rendered, and
- To provide a standard reporting format to concentrate efforts and demonstrate the organization's impact
To date, more than 750,000 individuals have participated in Z-HOPE related activities and programs.
Zeta Organizational Leadership Program (ZOL)
The Zeta Organizational Leadership Program is a leadership training certification program developed by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. The overarching goal of the ZOL program is to provide members of Zeta Phi Beta with the essential leadership knowledge and skills.
The target audiences for ZOL includes, but are not limited to:
- Members aspiring to be national elected officers
- Members interested in being appointed regional and/or state directors
- Local chapter officers—undergraduate and graduate
- Elected regional and state officers
- Advisors to undergraduate chapters
- Sponsors and coordinators of Zeta Amicae Auxiliaries
- Advisors to Youth Affiliates
- Members aspiring to be leaders.
- Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Refuge System)
- American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
- March of Dimes
- American Cancer Society
- St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
- Women Veterans Rock
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys The Estate and Long Term Care Planning, Inc.
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