Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. was founded January 16, 1920, at Howard University, Washington, D.C by five extraordinary women. The Klan was very active during this period and the Harlem Renaissance was acknowledged as the first important movement of Black artists and writers in the U.S. This same year the Volstead Act became effective heralding the start of Prohibition and Tennessee delivered the crucial 36th ratification for the final adoption of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote. The worst and longest economic recession to hit the U.S. would define the end of the decade-The Great Depression.
It was within this environment that five coeds envisioned a sorority which would directly affect positive change, chart a course of action for the 1920s and beyond, raise 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 and failed to address fully the societal mores, ills, prejudices, and poverty affecting humanity in general and the black community in particular.
Since its inception, Zeta has continued its steady climb into the national spotlight with programs designed to demonstrate concern for the human condition both nationally and internationally. The organization has been innovative in that it has chronicled a number of firsts. The Sorority was the first Greek-letter organization to charter a chapter in Africa (1948); to form adult and youth auxiliary groups, the Amicae, Archonettes, Amicettes, and Pearlettes; and to be constitutionally bound to a brother group, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated. Zeta’s national and local programs include endowment of its National Educational Foundation; community outreach services; and support of multiple affiliate organizations. Zeta chapters and auxiliary groups have given untotaled hours of voluntary service to educate the public, assist youth, provide scholarships, support organized charities and promote legislation for social and civic change. A nonprofit organization, Zeta Phi Beta is incorporated in Washington, D.C. and in the state of Illinois. The Sorority is supported by the dues and gifts of its members.
Zeta’s national and local programs include endowment of its National Educational Foundation, community outreach services and support of multiple affiliate organizations. Zeta chapters and auxiliary groups have given untotaled hours of voluntary service to educate the public, assist youth, provide scholarships, support organized charities and promote legislation for social and civic change.
She served as our 12th International Grand Basileus from 1940 to 1948. A period known to this date as the "Rapid Growth"