Member Highlight (Honorary Members)

The Honorable Regina Ashford Barrow

Senator, Louisiana State Senate

In 2005, Soror Regina Ashford Barrow was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives as the Louisiana State Representative for District 29, and then re-elected to serve her third consecutive term as the State Representative for District 29 in 2011. In 2015, she was elected to the Louisiana State Senate. As a Representative, Senator Barrow passed several timely pieces of legislation, including ACT 264, which provides National Guard members who re-enlist the opportunity to receive free college tuition up to a doctoral degree. She also ushered through ACT 98, which creates a new economic development district for the North Baton Rouge area. Senator Barrow is a graduate and Fellow of the Flemming Fellow Leadership Institute and the Council of State Government-Center for Advancement of Leadership. She is also the state director for Women in Government and Women in Legislature Lobby and the regional chair for the National Black Caucus of State Legislators.

Soror Rhona Bennett is an acclaimed member of En Vogue and known by some as “Miss R&B”. A Chicago, IL native, she is a singer, songwriter, actress, dancer, author, and life coach. Soror Bennett embraces a 21st-century approach when it comes to the fusion of her two passions: entertainment and “Personal Power” life coaching. She is the creator of the original web-based broadcast Perspective’s Corner with Rhona ‘Rho’ Bennett and co-hosts the podcast Music Wise with Bindu DeKnock. Soror Bennett also owns the product and service companies Butterfly In Flight, Incorproated, and Operation 11, LLC, as well as the online coaching school Personal Power University.

Rhona Bennett

Singer/Songwriter, Actress, Author & Life Coach

Dr. Laurie Jean Carter

Educator, Author, Army Veteran & Activist

Soror Laurie Jean Carter was born and raised in Portsmouth, VA. She enlisted in the U.S. Army soon after high school and settled in Fort Campbell, KY after receiving an honorable discharge. She earned a B.A. and M.A. in Languages and Literature at Austin Peay State University and a Doctorate of Philosophy at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She also completed an MFA in Creative Writing CNF at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is currently the Mellon Foundation Endowed Chair of English and Foreign Languages at Hampton University.

Dr. Carter has published several personal essays and articles in anthologies and journals. Her memoir Crave: Sojourn of a Hungry Soul was published with Etruscan Press in November of 2015. Her latest book, Other Than Honorable: A Soldier’s Confession, is due in May of 2022. Dr. Carter is also a motivational speaker and has given keynote addresses on women’s issues, women in the military, domestic violence, and turning personal pain into narrative. Most recently, she presented at West Point to address sexual harassment and assault in the military.

Soror Elaine Gloria Clarke Doar, an ardent social activist and benefactor, became an Honorary Member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, in 1984 at the 64th Anniversary Boule’. She is a native of Brooklyn, NY, where she received her educational foundation. She is well-known for her community activism and humanitarianism through various civic organizations, her church, and her profession. She became closely aligned with Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, through supporting her late husband, (Mr. Sigma) Brother William E. Doar, Jr., as he served as an outstanding member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorproated, and the Executive Secretary of the National Pan Hellenic Council. Concurrent with his service, she was the office manager at the fraternity’s national headquarters. Her dedicated and conscientious work there on behalf of the Blue and White Family was recognized with the President’s Outstanding Service Award. She continues to provide support to Zeta on the national and local/state (New York) levels.

Elaine Clarke Doar

Community Activist

Linda Spradley Dunn

CEO/Founder of Media Company

Soror Linda Spradley Dunn is the CEO and Founder of Odyssey Media, a minority, female-owned marketing, and communications company focused on connecting and empowering influential and affluent multicultural women around the world. She spent 14 years at IBM, where she received numerous awards and moved quickly through the ranks, but always knew she would one day become her own boss. Armed with world-class training and a disciplined sales technique that placed customers at the center, Soror Dunn stepped out on her own. Twenty years later, after numerous companies, she commands the ear and marketing dollars of Fortune 500 companies seeking her advice on multicultural marketing strategies and connecting with a powerful network of multicultural, affluent, and influential women.

Soror Donna F. Edwards served five terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the first African American woman to represent a Maryland Congressional District. She earned her J.D. from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and her B.A. from Wake Forest University. Congresswoman Edwards completed her final year of study at the University of Salamanca, Spain. In Congress, she served on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in subcommittees on Highways and Transit, Water Resources, and Economic Development); the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, where she was the lead Democrat on the Subcommittee on Space; the Committee on Standards and Official Conduct; and the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. Congresswoman Edwards was co-chair of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee and co-chair of the bi-partisan Women’s Caucus.

Currently, Congresswoman Edwards provides political commentary in print, electronic and cable media and serves as the Senior Advisor to the Bauman Foundation. She is a contributing columnist for The Washington Post and an NBC/MSNBC political contributor.

The Honorable Donna F. Edwards

Former U.S. Congresswoman & Political Contributor

RADM Evelyn J. Fields, ret.

Retired Rear Admiral, NOAA

Soror Evelyn J. Fields is a rear admiral (retired) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps (NOAA Corps), who served as the director of the Commissioned Officer Corps and director of NOAA Corps Office of Marine and Aviation Operations until her retirement in 2003. She began her career with NOAA Corps in 1972 as a cartographer at NOAA Corps Atlantic Marine Center in Norfolk, VA, where she worked on nautical charting surveys. When the NOAA Corps began recruiting women as commissioned officers, Soror Fields became the first African American female to join. By 1989, she was the first woman to command a NOAA Corps ship. In 1999, she reached the rank of rear admiral and took the helm as NOAA Corps Director. Soror Fields was the first woman, and first African American to head the NOAA Corps.

Soror Vivica A. Fox is an award-winning Hollywood actress with an extensive body of work that encompasses unforgettable television, stage and film credits. She is an inspiration as a generous philanthropist and accomplished businesswoman. Soror Fox has dedicated her life to building an international brand that serves to inspire and uplift others, especially women. Aside from being an on-camera personality and after successful corporate collaborations with such major brands as Cadillac and Google, she expanded her brand into the beauty industry and launched her own hair company – The Vivica Fox Hair Collection. Always trying to give back to the community, Soror Fox uses her company to make generous donations of free hair to women worldwide who have lost their own hair due to cancer-related illnesses. Among her many philanthropic endeavors, she is also proud to be one of the sponsors for the LA Sparks WNBA team since 2015.

Vivica A. Fox

Award-winning Actress, Producer, Author & Entrepreneur

Anita F. Hill, Esq.

Attorney, Academician, Champion of Women’s Rights & Author

Soror Anita F. Hill, Esq., is a women’s rights icon, professor, historic figure, author, attorney, and powerful advocate for equality. She serves as a professor of social policy, law and women’s studies at Brandeis University and a faculty member of the university’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management. She writes and lectures widely on issues of race and gender equality, and is the recipient of numerous awards, grants, and honorary degrees. Speaking out about her personal experiences with issues of equality, sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace, Soror Hill is the author of Speaking Truth to Power, Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race, and Finding Home, and most recently, Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence.

Soror Lucy Anne Hurston is the niece of literary luminary and Harlem Renaissance writer Soror Zora Neale Hurston. She is the author of three publications: Dad and Lunch, You Don’t Live But Once, and Speak, So You Can Speak Again: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston. As a biographer and ethnographer from Connecticut, Soror Hurston is also an acclaimed academic sociologist, with field research in Jamaica and St. Kitts. She has taught at Manchester Community College for more than 20 years, covering issues from sociology to social inequality and contemporary social issues. She is a director, producer and host of two documentaries. Soror Hurston continues to promote and educate others on her aunt’s contributions. She provides unique understanding through numerous speaking engagements, panels, and presentations, where she has rare family insight into unexplored areas of Zora’s legend.

Lucy Anne Hurston

Acclaimed Sociologist, Author, Academician & Ethnographer

Cynthia James

Award-winning Author, Coach & Motivational Speaker

Soror Cynthia James is a transformational specialist and one of today’s brightest and best-loved inspirational leaders and teachers. She was inducted into Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, as an Honorary Member in 2017. Through her organization, The Extraordinary Living Foundation, Soror James’ work in the Denver, CO area to inspire leaders, teachers, and African American women closely aligns with her participation with Zeta’s National Mental Health Initiative.

Soror James has appeared in several movies and TV sitcoms and has facilitated hundreds of workshops and seminars in the U.S. and abroad. She is a renowned keynote speaker and has co-hosted a radio talk show and television talk show and is a highly sought-after radio guest. She has also uniquely combined the creative arts with innovative therapeutic techniques with a message woven through her award-winning books, What Will Set You Free, Revealing Your Extraordinary Essence and #1 Amazon best-seller, I Choose Me: The Art of Being A Phenomenally Successful Woman at Home and at Work.

Soror Mary Floyd Palmer is the first African American and first female non-denominational Archbishop in the United States. She is the founder and CEO of The Community Healing Project 4 All, Incorproated, a non-profit organization in Philadelphia. In addition to serving as an award-winning radio show host, motivational speaker and gifted vocalist and musician, Archbishop Palmer is passionate about using her resources to help others in the community, especially women, youth, senior citizens, domestic violence victims and people in need of another chance at getting life right. She is also the director of the MET Philadelphia Community Choir and a board member of Neighborhood Crusades, Incorproated, an anti-violence, anti-drug non-profit focused on the youth.

Archbishop Palmer is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, and has participated in some of Zeta Phi Beta’s notable events over the past few years, including our January Centennial Celebration and the street renaming ceremony in Philadelphia in honor of Founder Stemons.

Archbishop Dr. Mary Floyd Palmer

Founder/CEO, Motivational Speaker, Gifted Vocalist/Musician & Award-winning Radio Show Host

Chaka Khan

GRAMMY® Award-winning Music Icon, Author, Entrepreneur & Activist

Soror Chaka Khan is one of the world’s most gifted and celebrated music icons. A singer, songwriter, actor, author, philanthropist, entrepreneur and activist, she has influenced generations of music creators during her four decades as an artist. Despite her busy schedule, she has always made time to support and uplift her community and has received a steady stream of accolades for both her artistry and philanthropy. In 1999, inspired by her autistic nephew, Soror Khan established the Chaka Khan Foundation to raise awareness, provide resources, and explore treatment for children with autism in underserved communities. She later expanded the mission of the foundation to focus on women and children at risk.,

As an entrepreneur, Soror Khan has created several branded products ranging from gourmet chocolates to candles, fragrances and room/linen sprays. In addition, she has partnered with Indique to market her Chaka by Indique collection of wigs, extensions and hair care products. Most recently, Soror Khan launched her iKhan clothing line at Zeta Phi Beta’s Centennial Celebration in Washington, D.C.

In 2019, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated was honored to induct Wynona Kidd as an Honorary Member during the sorority’s International Executive Board Meeting in Nassau, Bahamas. Soror Kidd is the daughter of Founder Viola Tyler Goings and the niece of Founder Myrtle Tyler Faithful. A native of Clairsville, Ohio, she is the oldest living descendant of the Founders at 97 years old. Soror Kidd aspired to follow in her mother and aunt’s footsteps while a student at Wilberforce University but was forced to drop out of college to help support her family when WWII began. For more than 25 years, she volunteered at her brother’s mortuary business and with the YWCA. These days, she enjoys planting flowers in her yard and doing puzzles. Soror Kidd has one daughter who is a Zeta, Soror Kyra Hardiman.

Wynona Kidd

Daughter of Founder Viola Tyler Goings & Community Volunteer

Nicki Micheaux

Actress, Director/Producer, Community Advocate & Filmmaker

Soror Nicki Micheaux was born in Detroit, MI, making her debut in the entertainment industry with guest spots on television programs such as ER and NYPD Blue during the late 1990s. In the early 2000s, she took on recurring roles on the popular dramas Six Feet Under, Soul Food, and The Shield, on which she played the memorable role of Detective Trish George. In 2005, Soror Micheaux played the supporting role of Phoebe Watson in the made-for-television adaptation of triumphant Soror Zora Neale Hurston’s, Their Eyes Were Watching God, produced by Oprah Winfrey. The following year, she was cast in one of the lead roles on the memorable series drama Lincoln Heights, playing Jenn Sutton, the matriarch of a middle-class African American family.

Most recently, Soror Micheaux became an ambassador and chapter leader (California) for Moms of Black Boys United, Incorproated (MOBB United), an organization dedicated to positively influencing how Black boys and men are perceived and treated by law enforcement and society. Additionally, she is excited to share her latest endeavor of serving as the founder and content creator for Micheaux Pictures, a media company whose mission is to create provocative content by and featuring women and people of color.

Soror Elizabeth Omilami, actress and philanthropist, is the president and CEO of Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless (HFTH) – one of Atlanta’s historic Human Services Organizations founded in 1971 by her father, Civil Rights Activist and Phi Beta Sigma Bro. Hosea Williams. HFTH operates the largest food bank in the region and supports families directly with free food, barber and beauty services, clothing, and toiletry products. A native of Atlanta, Soror Omilami has been known as one of the most respected and accomplished stage, film, and television actresses. She has been seen most recently in movies such as The Blind Side with Sandra Bullock and the Lifetime television special Marry Me.

Elisabeth Omilami

Activist, Entrepreneur, Actress & Philanthropist

Dr. Linda L. Singh,
Major General (Retired)

CEO/Founder, Author, Motivational Speaker, Trainer & Executive Coach

Dr. Linda L. Singh, Major General (Ret.), is the first African American and first woman to lead Maryland’s National Guard as Adjutant General as part of their all-female command leadership team. She is the recipient of numerous military, corporate, and community awards. She is also highly regarded in both the military and corporate world, in the United States and abroad, for her strategic blueprint for leadership and in mentoring, coaching, and empowering others to succeed in their various fields of endeavor. In 2019, Dr. Singh participated in the wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery during Zeta’s National Military Appreciation Week and served as the guest speaker at the kickoff event. She is also a regular podcast series speaker for Women Veterans ROCK, one of Zeta’s strategic partners.

Soror Marlena Smalls is the founder and director of the internationally known group The Hallelujah Singers. Dr. Smalls, a vocalist and historian, founded the group in 1990 to preserve the Gullah culture of the South Carolina Sea Islands. A sacred music vocalist, she also ventures into gospel, contemporary, jazz and blues. Her programs for schools, reunions and meeting groups incorporate lecture, music and Gullah storytelling. Dr. Smalls has performed for Queen Elizabeth II of England, the G-8 Summit, and for many other U.S. and international dignitaries. She has worked with film producer Joel Silver and Academy Award winners Tom Hanks, Demi Moore, and Glenn Close. In addition to many productions for PBS, SCETV, and GPTC, she is known to international audiences as Bubba Blue’s mother in the Academy Award winning motion picture Forrest Gump. Dr. Smalls is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award, South Carolina Governor’s Award for the Arts, the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award, and is an inductee of the South Carolina Black Hall of Fame.

Dr. Smalls has a daughter who is a Zeta, Soror Marianne Rice. Soror Rice is the first Lory Doolittle Endowed Director of Music Education for the Jacksonville Symphony in Jacksonville, FL.

Dr. Marlena Smalls

Actress, Acclaimed Vocalist,
Motivational Speaker,
Historian & Educator

Dionne Warwick

GRAMMY® Award-winningMusic Icon

Soror Dionne Warwick, internationally-known recording artist, became an Honorary Member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated in 1978 as she soared in her wide-ranging musical entertainment career. Her “easy listening” sound is instantly recognized, as it blends the best elements of Pop, Gospel, and R&B into a sound that moves well-past traditional musical boundaries of race and culture. Soror Warwick began singing in her home church in East Orange, NJ at the age of six. She was surrounded by a musical family, and gradually branched out into gospel groups before becoming a solo artist and winning her first Grammy in 1968. With several additional Grammy Awards, this music legend was known at one time as the second most-charted female recording artist in US history. Her work continues as a solo artist and as a collaborator with others, including production of the world-wide mega-hit, “That’s What Friends Are For”, a benefit recording for the AIDS cause. Soror Warwick continues to serve and support myriad philanthropic efforts and is the proud mother of two sons, both prominent in the music industry.

Triumphant Honorary Members

NameYear Inducted City (Region)Life Work
Aggrey, Rose D.1961Salisbury, NC (Eastern)Community leader, teacher
Anderson, Pearl C.1957Dallas, TX (Southern)Philanthropist
Benge, Willa1978Spring, TX (Southern)National director, community affairs, Miller Brewing Co.
Blount, Mildred1948Los Angeles, CA (Pacific)Hollywood hat designer
Cary, Alice Dugged1926Atlanta, GA (Southeastern)Second president of Morris Brown College, 1886-87
Carson, Julia, Honorable1976Indianapolis, IN (Great Lakes)Fourteen years in Indiana Senate; ten years in US Congress
Davis, Ellabelle1948New Rochelle, NY (Atlantic)International concert singer
Delaney, Sadie P.1955Tuskegee, AL (South Central)Chief librarian of Veterans Hospital in Tuskegee
DuBois, Ja’Net1993Los Angeles, CA (Pacific)Actress, singer
Dwyer, Florence P., Honorable1957Union County, NJ (Atlantic)US Congresswoman, New Jersey
Edwards, Frances1950Oklahoma City, OK (Midwestern)Civic and community worker
Elkins, Deborah, PhD1956Flushing, NY (Atlantic)Professor of education, Queens College of City University, NY
Evanti, Madame Lillian1926Washington, DC (Eastern)First African American lyric soprano grand opera singer
Fountain, Julia A.1939Atlanta, GA (Southeastern)Platform speaker, social worker
Gilmer, Dixie Brooks1934Chicago, IL (Great Lakes)Lecturer, social worker
Greenwood, Mary O.1978Houston, TX (Southern)March of Dimes National Board
Hamilton, Julia West1938Washington, DC (Eastern)Speaker, community volunteer
Hayford, Adelaide Casey1934Sierra Leone, Africa (Atlantic)Founder, Girls’ School of Vocation in Sierra Leone
Jackson, Abbie Clement1952Louisville, KY (Great Lakes)Laywoman in the AME Church
Johnson, Margaret R.1926Richmond, VA (Eastern)Educational leader
Keyserling, Mary1970Washington, DC (Eastern)Head of Women’s Bureau, US Department of Labor
King, Mme. Cecelia1949Liberia, Africa (Atlantic)Wife of Liberian Ambassador to the US
Koontz, Elizabeth Duncan, PhD1965Raleigh, NC (Eastern)First black president of the NEA
Malone, Annie Turnbo Pope1926Chicago, IL (Great Lakes)Founded Poro College of Beauty Culture in St. Louis, MO
McLean, Mary Cannon1960Springfield, MA (Atlantic)First black teacher of special education in Springfield schools
Napier, Nettie L.1928Washington, DC (Eastern)Community worker; wife of J. C. Napier, registrar, US Treasury
Richards, Beah2000Los Angeles, CA (Pacific)Actress
Riperton, Minnie1974Altadena, CA (Pacific)R&B/Soul singer-songwriter
Rolle, Esther1978Los Angeles, CA (Pacific)Movie and television celebrity
Rumph, Myrtle Faye2000Inglewood, CA (Pacific)Founder, Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center; actress
Ruthenburg, Dorcas1954Louisville, KY (Great Lakes)Poet; first white Honorary Zeta
Sampson, Edith1952Chicago, IL (Great Lakes)First black female judge in Chicago’s Municipal Court
Sellars, Louise E. Roy1974White Plains, NY (Atlantic)March of Dimes youth activities director
Simango, Kathleen Easmon1920Sierra Leone, Africa (Atlantic)Artist; educational pioneer in Africa
Simpson, Barbara W.(unknown)
Spriggs, Barbara Ann Webb1952Houston, TX (Southern)Concert singer; role in Porgy and Bess
Stewart, Sallie Wyatt1934Evansville, IN (Great Lakes)Teacher, community organizer, black women’s club leader
Taba, Hilda1959San Francisco, CA (Pacific)Professor, San Francisco State University
Taylor, Dorothy Mae1976New Orleans, LA (Southern)First black female Louisiana legislator
Torrance, Jackie1984Salisbury, NC (Eastern)African American storyteller
Townsend, Mamie Harrington1986Indianapolis, IN (Great Lakes)Founded Auntie Mame’s Child Development Centers
Tubman, Mme. Antoinette1952Monrovia, Liberia, Africa (Atlantic)Liberian representative to UN; wife of the president of Liberia
Vaughan, Sarah1976Los Angeles, CA (Pacific)Legendary jazz singer, pianist
Walker, Maggie Lena1926Richmond, VA (Eastern)First black, female founder and president of a bank
Whickam, Katie Ethel1950Washington, DC (Eastern)Owner, Katie’s School of Beauty Culture and Barbering
Whitelaw, Elaine1976New York, NY (Atlantic)March of Dimes vice president, director of community services
Wilen, Charlotte1976Atlanta, GA (Southeastern)March of Dimes BIB (Better Infant Births) program director
Williams, Freddye H.1986Oklahoma City, OK (Midwestern)Equal rights advocate; served five terms in the state legislature
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