Zeta’s “Storm the Hill” During the Congressional Black Caucus Week in Washington, DC
On Tuesday, September 13th, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated convened over 350 members and community leaders for Zeta Day on the Hill (ZDOTH) 2016. The theme of this year’s Zeta Day on the Hill was “Unleash Your Superpower: Vote. Advocate. Run.” Preceding the 46th Annual Legislative Conference that is hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBC), this year’s event shared ways that African Americans can unleash their collective power to drive change in their communities, and ultimately run for political office.
“In 2012, when President Barack Obama was re-elected, African American women were 33% more likely than any other race or sub-group to vote,” said Dr. Mary Breaux Wright, International Grand Basileus. “The power we have goes far beyond just our vote. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated used this time to highlight how community leaders can take their rightful seat at the political table and direct the kind of change we want to see in our communities.”
Zeta Phi Beta’s Past International Grand Basileus Dr. Barbara West Carpenter, a member of the Louisiana State House of Representatives, joined leadership representatives from the NAACP, the White House Council of Women and Girls, the American Association of University Women, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to host workshops to help Zeta leaders explore ways to help the organization tackle the key issues that plague our communities. Zeta’s GET ENGAGED™ team also discussed ways to implement social action activities in their local communities throughout the year.
Zeta leadership also met with US House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to discuss women’s issues, and members from 15 states met with their US Senators to discuss elder care, police-community relations, educational disparities, breast cancer, and anti-bullying in their communities.
The day culminated with a public community forum, Our Seat at the Table: Black Women as Voters, Advocates, and Elected Officials. During the panel, five women who have succeeded at mobilizing citizens and community organizations, including Soror Donna Edwards, a member of the US House of Representatives, served as featured speakers.
“The Power of the Millennial Vote”
On Wednesday, September 14, National Third Anti Basileus Leigh-Ann Williams participated in a panel discussion with undergraduate representatives from the NPHC organizations to discuss millennial civic engagement. Of the more than 70 millennials interviewed by The Washington Post in 2016, only a small fraction sounded genuinely enthusiastic about a candidate. Soror Williams spoke eloquently about her experiences with voting restrictions and the importance of African Americans in political leadership positions.
“Closing the Organ Donation Gap”
Zeta cohosted a CBC braintrust, “Closing the Organ Donation Gap”, with Congresswoman Donna Edwards. Soror Kimberly Whittaker shared her story as a kidney donor on the panel. African Americans are the largest group of minorities in need of an organ transplant. The panelists discussed dispelling the myths in the Black community about organ donation.
“Sorority Women Unite to Support the Black Women’s Agenda”
Several Zeta members also joined our Divine Nine sisters at the Black Women’s Agenda luncheon and symposium which honored Black female leaders in different fields and featured a speech by presidential candidate Secretary Hillary Clinton.
We look forward to seeing you at Zeta Day on the Hill in 2017!