Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Leads Advocacy Efforts Around the Country on National Voter Registration Day
Washington, D.C. – Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated convened in Washington D.C., and across the nation, on Tuesday, September 23, 2014, for Zeta Day on the Hill and in Your Community – a day of issue advocacy training, leadership development, and congressional updates on National Voter Registration Day, and the week of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s (CBCF) Annual Legislative Conference.
Members of Zeta and their auxiliaries educated local leadership and their communities about not only registering to vote, but how voters can take action on supporting children’s health insurance coverage and protecting caregivers.
On Capitol Hill, speakers included Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MD); Barbara R. Arnwine, President and Executive Director of Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law; Hilary Shelton, Washington Bureau, NAACP; Ifeoma Ike, Esq., Co-Creator of Blackandbrownpeoplevote.org; Mariah Johnson, former Hill staffer; and representatives from AARP and the March of Dimes. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority’s International President, Mary Breaux Wright, led the day of advocacy.
After the training sessions, attendees visited Senate offices to discuss the importance of children’s health insurance coverage and providing support for caregivers.
Zeta members also advocated for change and encouraged civic engagement around the country. Activities included a day at the City Council in Houston, TX; participating in a Women’s Commission meeting in Tampa, FL; discussing maternal and child health issues with the office of Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) in Albuquerque, NM; and leading a forum on women’s equality in Flint, MI.
Zeta’s International President Wright noted, “Zeta Phi Beta has a long history of serving our communities. The leaders that fund and design policies around children’s health insurance, caregiving and voting must reflect the true composition of the United States; yet women hold only 17% of the seats in Congress and state legislatures are only 24% women. Of the 89 women serving in the 112th US Congress, only 24 are women of color. The recent incidents in Ferguson, MO taught us many things, including the need for more diversity around the political table. Zeta women are uniquely poised to use our experience in program development and building community relationships to lead our communities and diversify the make-up of leaders around the table, improving policy on these critical issues for us all.”