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National History

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated was founded on January 16, 1920, on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. as the sister organization to Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. 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 sisterhood; and exemplify the ideal of Finer Womanhood. A private nonprofit organization, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority was incorporated in Washington, D.C. and in the state of Illinois. Zeta women are committed to the eradication of obstacles that impede progress for all mankind. 

 

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 the sorority was the first to charter international chapters, those 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.

 

These ideals are reflected in the sorority's national programs for which its members and auxiliary groups provide Zeta Phi Beta's purpose is to foster the ideals of service, charity, scholarship, civic and cultural endeavors, sisterhood, and Finer Womanhood untotaled hours of voluntary service to staff community outreach programs, fund scholarships, support organized charities and promote legislation for social and civic change.

South Central Region History

History of the South Central Region, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated

 

The Central and South Central Regions merged in the mid-1930s to become the South Central Region.  The South Central Region now has over 145 chapters, twenty-five Amicae Auxiliaries, and 80 Zeta Youth Affiliate Auxiliaries.  Membership exceeds 250 Life, Golden Life, and Diamond Life Members, 200 friends in Amicae auxiliaries, and 800 Youth auxiliary members.

The oldest graduate chapters in the South Central Region are Pi Zeta (Lambda) in Nashville, Tennessee and Nu Zeta Chapter, Knoxville, Tennessee. Alpha Sigma Zeta Chapter, located in Birmingham, is the oldest graduate chapter in Alabama.  Alpha Mu Zeta, Little Rock, is the oldest graduate chapter in Arkansas.  The oldest graduate chapter in Mississippi is Alpha Delta Zeta Chapter, Jackson.

The South Central Region has hosted two boules:  Lambda Chapter, now Pi Zeta Chapter in Nashville, Tennessee in 1929 and Alpha Eta Zeta Chapter, Memphis, Tennessee, in 1980.  Nu Zeta Chapter of Knoxville, Tennessee is scheduled to host the 2019 Zeta Organizational Leadership Conference.

Members of the South Central Region continue to impact our organization on the local, state, regional, and national levels.

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The first regional director of the South Central Region was Fannie Clay of Knoxville, Tennessee.  Other Regional Directors were:

  • Almeda Ford Drewery – Knoxville, Tennessee

  • Carlotta Stewart Watson – Memphis, Tennessee

  • Betty Steele Turner – Tuskegee, Alabama

  • Pauline S. Allen – Columbus, Mississippi

  • Julia S. Polk – Jackson, Mississippi

  • Melba T. Lanier – Nashville, Tennessee

  • M’Elena Matthews – Itta Bena, Mississippi

  • Ruth S. Mosley - Jackson, Mississippi

  • Henri Etta Lowe – Itta Bena, Mississippi

  • Bonita Gillespie – Knoxville, Tennessee

  • Dr. Johnnye Witcher – Montgomery, Alabama

  • Dr. Rosalind P. Hale – Mobile, Alabama

  • Dr. Rosie Pridgen Johnson – Jackson, Mississippi

  • Audrey Fullilove McCarty – Jackson, Mississippi

  • Sharon Fletcher – Pine Bluff, Arkansas

  • Vicki Hammock – Morristown, Tennessee

  • Dr. Constance Smith Hendricks – Auburn, Alabama

  • Ernestine Wilson – Nashville, Tennessee