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Fraternity / Sorority

Centennial Celebration

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Members of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated assembled at 125th Street and Lexington Ave subway station in New York to celebrate the activation of their digital billboards. A first for the women’s organization. Shown in photo are (left to right): Sorors Kendra Hatcher King, Regina McClaurin, Gina Epps-Merritt, Esq., International Centennial President Valerie Hollingsworth Baker, Shernette Morrison, Joann Yarde and Sandra Florent.

Washington, DC — Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, reached its 100th year of service on Thursday, January 16, 2020. Seven years of planning came to fruition for one of the country’s largest African American women’s organizations.

Valerie Hollingsworth Baker, Zeta’s International Centennial President, kicked off the week with a design collaboration with St. John’s exclusive line of Zeta-inspired apparel. Other activities throughout the week featured Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, attorney and Zeta member Anita Hill, former Congresswoman and Zeta member Donna Edwards, award-winning journalist April Ryan, singer Chaka Khan, actress Vivica A. Fox, actor Lamman Rucker; R&B artist and native Washingtonian, Raheem DeVaughn, R&B artist and Zeta member Syleena Johnson, The Chuck Brown Band, and the Zeta International Choir.

International Centennial President Hollingsworth Baker and four other past Zeta’s International Presidents, Dr Jylla Moore Tearte, Barbara Carpenter, Sheryl Underwood and Mary Breaux Wright, spent each day of the week setting a new standard of greatness and impact for the organization. The events celebrating and honoring the blossoming what Zeta’s five brave women founders started one-hundred years ago were remarkable. Hollingsworth Baker and a group of Zetas traveled from Washington D.C. to New York twice, once to witness the launch of digital billboards at the 125th Street and Lexington Avenue subway station and secondly to be on the Today Show. A Midnight Celebration at Howard University to capture the energy of the exact time and place where the organization was founded drew thousands of sorority and fraternity members. As Zetas turned Washington D.C. “blue” they moved through Northwest at two Hilton hotels to Southeast for a visit to Martha’s Table, during which they gave away 13,000 plus blankets to underserved individuals.

The Rhapsody of Blue fashion show, one of the highlights of the Centennial Celebrations, featured designers who took the audience through 10 decades of fashion, including local menswear designer Miguel Wilson, who kicked off his runway show with his 91 year-old grandfather followed by an all-male model team. Also, R&B singer and pop culture icon Chaka Khan debuted her line of clothing at the standing room only event. Later that day, Local DJ’s DJ Heat and DJ Poison Ivy performed at a Denim and Pearls themed event.

On the final day, The Finer Womanhood Empowerment Summit took place at the Washington Hilton Hotel, and featured three panels moderated by awarding winning journalist April Ryan, singer & TV Host Syleena Johnson and advertising and marketing executive Kendra Hatcher King, who led thought and community leaders, addressing topics such as leadership, education, health and wellness, social advocacy and economic development. The Centennial Founders’ Black-Tie Gala was the finale of the week, during which Zeta Phi Beta Sorority presented four phenomenal women, Julieanna Richardson, Dr. Vilcia Cade, Aurelia Skipwith and Deborah Harmon Pugh, community service awards. At the gala, International Centennial President Hollingsworth Baker was presented with blue roses from Zetas brother organization, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.

The week was truly one to remember.

About Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated was founded in 1920 on the campus of Howard University, and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. Zeta has initiated a diverse membership of more than 125,000 college-educated women with more than 850 chapters in North America, Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East. For more information about Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. visit www.zphib1920.org.

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Education

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.® Continue Giving HBCUs A Financial Boost

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Despite progress and national focus, historically Black colleges and universities across the country still need public support

 For the fourth consecutive year, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® will earmark on a progressive goal to raise $1 million in 24 hours for their national HBCU Impact Day initiative.  Set for Monday, September 20, 2021, the annual fundraiser is a part of the sorority’s four-year, $10 million commitment to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) led by AKA International President and CEO Dr. Glenda Glover. The organization’s more than 300,000 college-educated members, corporate partners, and donors are challenged to make contributions to assist with the ongoing fiscal sustainability and operations of the more than 100 HBCUs around the country.

Dr. Glover, who is also president of Tennessee State University and an HBCU graduate, says while HBCUs are currently experiencing a renaissance that has brought about a new level of awareness, more must be done for their survival and long-term sustainability.

“The contributions of HBCUs can no longer be overlooked. Just look to the White House or the United States Congress.”Tweet this

“Despite the recent national attention given to HBCUs in 2021 and incremental state and federal funding, HBCUs still lag far behind other institutions of higher education when it comes to ongoing and sustainable support,” adds Dr. Glover. 

In 2021, the sorority gifted $1.6 million to 35 eligible four-year HBCUs.  The endowments on these campuses will grow in perpetuity and help schools reduce student debt through scholarships, fund industry-specific research, and provide much-needed infrastructure maintenance. Those funds are proving to be extremely crucial during the current climate in higher education.

HBCUs continue to be under-funded and now have an added burdened of operational challenges with the impact of the ever evolving COVID-19 pandemic.  

“Now more than ever is the time for Alpha Kappa Alpha to step up, as we have done for more than 113 years, along with our partners and continue our call to action for our historic institutions of higher education,” Glover contends. “The contributions of HBCUs can no longer be overlooked or minimized. Just look to the White House or the United States Congress. HBCUs account for nearly 25% of bachelor’s degrees granted to African Americans. I cannot imagine a world without HBCUs, but I can imagine how much stronger the world would be if we all supported the HBCU community.”

Members and supporters have surpassed the $1 million goal for the past three years. Last year’s Impact Day raised $1.3 million in 2020.

HBCU Impact Day is part of the sorority’s recognition of HBCU Week.  On September 20, chapters around the globe will host fundraising events in support of the $1 million fundraising goal. Interested donors can make contributions by giving by mail or online at http://donate.akaeaf.org during the 24-hour campaign.  For more information on the sorority’s commitment to HBCUs, visit www.AKA1908.com

About Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA) is an international service organization that was founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1908. It is the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African-American, college-educated women. Alpha Kappa Alpha is comprised of over 300,000 members in more than 1,000 graduate and undergraduate chapters in the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Liberia, Bahamas, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Canada, Japan, Germany, South Korea, South Africa, and in the Middle East. Led by International President and Chief Executive Officer, Glenda Glover Ph.D., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated is often hailed as “America’s premier Greek-letter organization for African-American women.” Visit www.aka1908.com for more information.

About the AKA Educational Advancement Foundation
Over 40 years ago, the Educational Advancement Foundation was established by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. to promote lifelong learning.  It is now the largest minority-owned women’s foundation in the country with assets totaling over $22.7 million.  The foundation has donated over $6.5 million for scholarships, fellowships, and community assistance grants and is an organization with a rich and distinguished history of service that spans nearly a century.  Creating the Educational Advancement Foundation was the method by which Alpha Kappa Alpha. Inc. sought to ensure that there would always be support for education, its oldest program of service.  Today, the Foundation, a financially strong and viable organization, is a powerful tool for good, pooling the resources of others who share this vision of providing a perpetual source of support for education. 

Alpha Kappa Alpha implements an AKA HBCU Endowment Initiative in partnership with EAF, in which an endowed scholarship will be established at each accredited four-year HBCU.  The goal is to stamp the Alpha Kappa Alpha brand of financial support on each HBCU campus to help students remain in school, complete their course of study, and receive their college degrees. For more information about the Educational Advancement Foundation, please visit www.akaeaf.org.

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Fraternity / Sorority

Rasheeda S. Liberty Named 25th International President of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.

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Cary, NC — Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., a leading historically African American Greek-lettered Sorority, has announced that Rasheeda S. Liberty was elected the 25th International Grand Basileus of the organization during the 58th Biennial Boule. In her new role, Mrs. Liberty, a 26-year member of the renowned sorority, will lead the organization as it celebrates its 100th year.

Mrs. Liberty, a regional finance director for Amazon, is a recognized corporate leader with over 28-years of experience in delivering results for Fortune 100 companies. A proven and dedicated mentor, she has spearheaded the growth of Sigma Gamma Rho in the Southeastern Region since 2016, serving in several leadership roles including international first vice-president, Southeastern Region director, and as international editor in chief. Mrs. Liberty is lauded by her sorority for her stewardship of the organization’s mission of enhancing the quality of life for women and their families in the U.S and globally. She is a member of numerous organizations including Top Ladies of Distinction, NAACP, Finance Executive Networking Group (FENG), and Jack & Jill of America. Mts. Liberty joined the Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority in 1994 at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

“To be elected as the International Grand Basileus of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. is an exciting opportunity to unleash our collective potential, bring an unmatched vision to the forefront, move in excellence towards our Centennial, and execute with a spirit of servant leadership,” said Mrs. Liberty. “The challenge ahead is great, but our vision, impact, and purpose is greater. I look forward to working collaboratively with members, affiliates, partners, vendors, and staff on the road ahead.”

As International President, Mrs. Liberty will provide leadership to over 100,000 sorority members and serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors, comprised of 38 national and regional officers who manage the sorority’s 500 chapters in the United States and in several countries.

During the Biennial Boule, members of Sigma Gamma Rho also elected the following individuals to the International Board of Directors:

* Marica Harris – International First Grand Vice-President
* Te’Lor Allen – International Second Grand Vice-President
* Rhonda Davis – International Recording Financial Secretary
* Dr. Khalilah Shabazz – International Recording Secretary
* Vanessa Tyson – International Treasurer
* Richelle N. Jones – Editor-in-Chief of The Aurora, the sorority’s official magazine
* Tamika Williams Clark – Historian

About Sigma Gamma Rho
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. was founded by seven educators founded on November 12, 1922, at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. The sorority has more than 500 chapters in the United States, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Germany, Korea, and the U. S. Virgin Islands. Members aim to enhance the quality of life within the community through public service, leadership development, and education of youth. Sigma Gamma Rho addresses concerns that impact society educationally, civically, and economically. Learn more at www.sgrho1922.org

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