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National History


"...let's establish a new sisterhood, then to see it grow from five girls to the present status, indeed gives me quite a thrill. Yet I am humble and grateful that so many have been and still are willing to go the Zeta way." -Pearl Arizona Cleaver Stemmons


Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. was founded on January 16, 1920, on the campus of Howard University in Washington, DC. Five women chose not to embrace the tenets of established black sororities, and chartered Zeta Phi Beta Sorority to encourage the highest standards of scholarship through scientific, literary, cultural, and educational programs; promote service projects on college campuses and in the community; foster sisterly love; and exemplify the ideal of Finer Womanhood. A private non profit organization, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority is incorporated in Washington, Dc and in the state of Illinois.


Since its inception, the sorority has chronicled a number of "firsts" among the established black sororities. In addition to being the only organization constitutionally bound to a fraternity (Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc), the sorority was the first to charter international chapters in West Africa and Germany, to form adult and youth auxiliary groups (the Amicae, Archonettes, Amicettes, and Pearlettes), and to organize its internal affairs within a central national office, administered by a paid staff.



Zeta Phi Beta's purpose is to foster the ideals of service, charity, scholarship, civic and cultural endeavors, sisterly love, and Finer Womanhood. These ideals are reflected in the sorority's national programs for which its members and auxiliary groups provide untotaled hours of voluntary service to staff community outreach programs, fund scholarships, support organized charities, and promote legislation for social and civic change. The sorority is committed to impacting the viability, stability, and productivity for our children and our communities through "WORLD CLASS SERVICE" endeavors.








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