Zeta Phi Beta Sorority chapter committed to four principles

Published 8:21 am Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tuesday, Jan. 16, was a special day for Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. members everywhere. That marked the 98th Founders’ Day, which is the anniversary when five women —  Mary Tyler Faithful, Viola Tyler Goings, Pearl Anna Neal, Arizona Cleaver Stemons and Fannie Pettie Watts — established the organization in Miner Hall at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

The occasion was also the opportunity for the six members of the Zetas’ fledgling Gamma Alpha Delta Zeta Chapter of Franklin and Southampton to commemorate why they chose to organize and commit themselves to the national organization’s four principles: Finer Womanhood, Scholarship, Service and Sisterhood.

The idea for setting up the local chapter began in 2016, say the members collectively.

They point to Suzette Thomas for bringing up the idea and reaching out to the others, most of whom work together and already belong to the national organization.

After months of preparation, the group was chartered on Nov. 17, 2017.

Members and their offices are: Suzette Thomas, president; Marchelle Williams, first vice president and treasurer; Carla Morrow, second vice president; Yamika Bennett, secretary; Tennielle Brown, third vice president and financial secretary; Mindy Purvis and Orga M. Boone.

A couple of members said why they joined. Morrow, who has been friends with Brown for years, said she decided to join, figuring it was “now or never.” Purvis said she is a legacy member; one of her relatives already belonged to the Zetas. She added that her older brother belongs to the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity.

Already the chapter has been involved in community-related activities, such as distributing Christmas cards and socks at local nursing homes, which is part of the national Elder Care initiative.

Come February, residents can expect Valentine’s Day cards.

That and the following activities are part of Z-HOPE: Zetas Helping Other People Excel.

The group will also become involved in Stork’s Nest, which is another national project the sorority does with the March of Dimes Foundation. The effort is to get women prenatal care to help ensure healthy babies.

Speaking of young ones, the students at S.P. Morton Elementary School will get a new partner through the chapter’s interest in education.

Teaching children about nature, such as through the Great Dismal Swamp in Suffolk or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will be another project.

The chapter will become involved with efforts related to diabetes and Relay For Life, which is dedicated to fighting cancer and supporting people affected by the latter disease.

In addition to persuading sorors to return to the fold, the chapter will reach out to other sororities and even fraternities.

According to chapter members, Zeta Phi Beta claims the distinction of being the only sorority constitutionally bonded with Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity.

For more information about becoming a local member, contact Brown at tenniellebrown@yahoo.com. To learn more about the sorority, visit www.zphib1920.org.