Delta Beta Zeta Chapter History
In the mid-1950s Rhoda Nixon, a junior high school social worker, and Alberta Alston, a guidance counselor at Edgar Dubs Shimer Junior High School frequently conversed about the chapters of Zeta to which each belonged. Rhoda Nixon belonged to Delta Mu Zeta while Alberta Alston was very active in Gamma Xi Zeta. They both agreed that there was a need for a chapter of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated in Queens. They talked to women in their respective chapters then reached out to sorors in the Alpha Zeta chapter who resided in Queens. Within a matter of months, an application for chartering was made and on May 25, 1957 eight women who represented the best in Zeta, became the charter members of Delta Beta Zeta, a chapter officially chartered to Long Island, New York.
During its almost sixty year history, the women of Delta Beta Zetas have done great things. Chapter members have provided thousands of dollars in scholarship money to literally hundreds of young women in Queens. At one point, the chapter adopted a young man in South Africa and assisted in paying part of his college tuition.
Through the years, Delta Beta Zeta has made generous contributions to the American Red Cross, Sickle Cell Foundation, March of Dimes, NAACCP, United Negro College Fund, Langston Hughes Library, Schomburg Center for Research, as well as the National Education Foundation of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. The chapter has frequently held voter registration drives in schools (reaching out to parents as well as high school students) as well as in the community.
The women of Delta Beta Zeta are no strangers to providing service to the community. Throughout its history, chapter members have donated gifts to children at local shelters as well as children who were hospitalized. Chapter members have tutored elementary school students as they prepared for state mandated examination.
Black History Month Read Alouds are a regular part of the chapter’s activities with local elementary and middle schools. A library has been created in honor of one of the members of the chapter’s Archonettes. Christmas and Thanksgiving often find sorors serving food to those who are less fortunate.
Under the umbrella of Z-HOPE (Zetas Helping Others Excel), the chapter has presented a variety of workshops. In honor of a past national president, the chapter celebrates Violet Anderson, the first woman of color to try a case before the Supreme Court, by hosting an annual series of legal workshops.
Recently, the chapter has adopted a local shelter. Members of the chapter have provided workshops for the residents, donated books and clothing, had a Read Aloud, and, most recently provided the residents with a spa day. The chapter has established a relationship with the Alberta Alston Senior Residence, which was named after one of the chapter’s charter members. With almost sixty years of service behind them, the members of Delta Beta Zeta continue to move forward. When Zeta calls, we answer one and all.
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