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Zeta Phi Beta
Founded January 16, 1920 (1920-01-16) (90 years ago)
Howard University
Washington, D.C., USA
Type Social
Scope International
Motto Scholarship, Sisterly Love, Service, Finer Womanhood
Colors Royal Blue and White
Symbol White Dove
Flower White Rose
Publication The Archon
Nickname Zetas, Sisters of the Dove
Headquarters 1734 New Hampshire Avenue NW
Washington, D.C., USA

Zeta Phi Beta (ΖΦΒ) is an international, historically black Greek-lettered sorority and a member of the National Pan-Hellenic Council.[1]

Zeta Phi Beta is organized into 800+ chapters, in eight intercontinental regions including the USA, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean.[2] In 1948, Zeta Phi Beta became the first Greek-letter organization to charter a chapter in Africa (in Monrovia, Liberia).[3][4] It was also the first organization to establish adult and youth auxiliary groups and centralize its operations in a national headquarters.[2][3] Today, there are also chapters in U.S. Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Bahamas, Japan, Korea, Barbados, and Haiti.

Zeta Phi Beta is the only NPHC sorority that is constitutionally bound to a fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma.[3] The sorority maintains affiliations with several organizations including American Diabetes Association, American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, National Council of Negro Women, and the United Negro College Fund.[5]




Early history

The Five Pearls of Zeta Phi Beta".
The Founders of Zeta Phi Beta were five collegiate students of Howard University. They are known to the members of the sorority as "The Five Pearls".[3]
  • Arizona Cleaver (Stemons)
  • Pearl Anna Neal
  • Myrtle Tyler (Faithful)
  • Viola Tyler (Goings)
  • Fannie Pettie (Watts)

Zeta Phi Beta was founded January 16, 1920, on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C.[1] It 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.[6]

The sorority held the first boule (convention) in 1920 with members of Phi Beta Sigma at Howard University.[7] The Archon, the sorority's official magazine was established shortly afterwards.[7] Later Boules were held in many locations across the United States.

Two Phi Beta Sigma members, A. Langston Taylor and Robert Samuel Taylor, were instrumental in helping Zeta Phi Beta become established.[3]

The sorority was incorporated by the state of Illinois in 1939.[6]

In 1923, the first chapter of any black sorority to organize a collegiate chapter in Texas, Theta chapter, was established at Wiley College.[4]


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.[8] 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.[8] 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."[8] on March 20, 2007, Starks filed a lawsuit with the District of Columbia District Court requesting $1 million in damages.[9] Stark's claims for breach of contract and negligence were dismissed at a September 11, 2008 status conference.[10]

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, 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.[11][12][13]

On July 3, 2008, Lorrie Sinclair filed a Diversity-Breach of Contract contract suit in the District of Columbia District Court against Zeta Phi Beta demanding $76,000.[14]

Official auxiliary organizations


Zeta Phi Beta was founded on the principles of Scholarship, Service, Sisterly Love, and Finer Womanhood and the precepts that "elitism and socializing had overshadowed the real mission of sororities-to address and correct the problems of society, particularly, those plaguing the African-American community."

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.[2]


The Archonettes is composed of young high school-aged ladies (age 14 to 18).[2] Each Archonette group is affiliated with a local graduate chapter of Zeta Phi Beta.[15]


Members of Zeta Phi Beta and Phi Beta Sigma stepping

The Amicettes are composed of girls age 9 to 13.[2] Each Amicettes group is affiliated with a local chapter of Zeta Phi Beta.[15]


The Pearlettes are composed of young girls age 4 to 8.[2] Pearlettes are mentored by members of Zeta Phi Beta.[15]

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.[2]

Signature programs

National Educational Foundation

National Educational Foundation objectives

The objectives of the Foundation, as set forth in the Trust Agreement and in By-Laws adopted by the Board of Managers, are:[16]

  • 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© 3 trust organization created in 1975 and operated by Zeta Phi Beta to oversee the sorority's charitable and educational activities.[16][17] The trust awards scholarship grants, conducts community educational programs and activities, and engages in Foundation scholarship related research.[17]

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.[18]

Stork's Nest

The Stork's Nest prenatal education sessions provide information, educational materials, and a variety of other resources and referrals that help clients take good care of themselves and their babies.

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.[19] Known as the Stork's Nest Program, this collaboration encourages participation and healthy behaviors during the pregnancy through two components - incentives and education. Targeted to low-income pregnant women, the Stork's Nest clients "earn" points toward incentives, such as maternity or baby care items, through a variety activities such as attending prenatal care appointments, participating in prenatal education classes, or keeping appointments for well-baby visits.[19] 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.[20]
Since 1920, our national service programs have evolved to meet the critical societal needs of the time. This administration has identified some key areas of concern as part of our programmatic thrust, and all of our efforts will be consolidated under the banner of Z-HOPE.

—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. To date, more than 750,000 individuals have participated in Z-HOPE related activities and programs.[20]

ZOL (Zeta Organizational Leadership Program)

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.

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.

See also

This article is a part of a series on
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority
See also:
Fraternities and Sororities Wikiproject

External links


  1. ^ a b "About the National Pan-Hellenic Council". Retrieved 2008-01-16.  
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Membership". Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.. Retrieved 2008-10-02.  
  3. ^ a b c d e "Heritage". Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.. Retrieved 2008-10-02.  
  4. ^ a b "Expansion Patterns". Retrieved 2008-01-02.  
  5. ^ "Partnerships & Affiliations". Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.. Retrieved 2008-10-02.  
  6. ^ a b "Incorporators". Retrieved 2008-10-02.  
  7. ^ a b Parks, Gregory S.; Julianne Malveaux, Marc Morial (2008). Black Greek-letter Organizations in the Twenty-first Century. University Press of Kentucky. pp. 107–113. ISBN 0813124913.  
  8. ^ a b c "Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Expels Whistleblower, Refuses to Cooperate with Federal Investigation". 2007-02-17. Retrieved 2008-10-02.  
  9. ^ "STARK v. ZETA PHI BETA SORORITY, INC.". Federal District Court Filings & Dockets. Retrieved 2008-10-02.  
  10. ^ STARK v. ZETA PHI BETA SORORITY, INC., 2007cv00553 .
  11. ^ "Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated Elects Entertainer Sheryl Underwood 23rd International President". Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.. 2008-07-07.  
  12. ^ Alexander, Keith L. (2008-08-16). "Comedian Fights to Retain Presidency of Sorority". The Washington Post Company. Retrieved 2008-08-19.  
  13. ^ "Judge rules in favor of comedian in sorority". San Jose Mercury News. The Associated Press. 2008-11-25. Retrieved 2009-02-03.  
  14. ^ "SINCLAIR v. ZETA PHI BETA SORORITY, INC.". Federal District Court Filings & Dockets. Retrieved 2008-11-25.  
  15. ^ a b c "Youth Affiliates". Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.. Retrieved 2008-10-02.  
  16. ^ a b "30th Foundation Anniversary Journal" (PDF). The National Educational Foundation of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.. Retrieved 2008-10-02.  
  17. ^ a b "National Educational Foundation". Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.. Retrieved 2008-10-02.  
  18. ^ "Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated National Educational Foundation African-American Genetics Education Project" (pdf). The National Educational Foundation of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.. Retrieved 2008-10-02.  
  19. ^ a b "Zeta Phi Beta and March of Dimes team up for babies" (doc). Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.. 2004-10-15. Retrieved 2008-10-02.  
  20. ^ a b "Moore to Continue Leading Zeta Phi Beta" (pdf). Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.. 2006-08-07. Retrieved 2008-10-02.  


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