Dr. LaShunda Anderson Hodges
GREETINGS FROM THE NATIONAL DIRECTOR OF PEARLZ IN THE WILD
Since 1920, Zeta women are committed to the highest ideals of academic scholarship and community service. In partnership with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), our sisterhood furthers these ideals by increasing underrepresented community engagement in environmental stewardship and professional careers on the federal level. Less than 10% of underrepresented community members are working in STEM careers. Thus, increasing engagement in ecological stewardship increases the potential of entrance into STEM careers.
In 2015, “PearlZ in the Wild” Launched under the leadership of Past 24th International President Mary Breaux Wright and coordination of Soror Noemi Perez, USFWS Deputy Chief of Communications & Director of Nontraditional Stakeholders. “PearlZ in the Wild” mobilizes Zeta women and Zeta affiliates to engage in healthy outdoor activities at USFWS National Refuges under the “Zetas Have Heart- Zeta Days at The Refuge” Program. Enacting this programming made Zeta Phi Beta the first NPHC sorority in the nation to engage in an MOU partnership with the USFWS. In 2019, over 3,000 Zeta members and Zeta Affiliates participated in educational visits to their local USFWS refuges after the development of “PearlZ in the Wild” into a stand-alone ZHOPE program. Due to the success of PearlZ in the Wild, in 2020, Zeta and USFWS renewed their partnership for five more years!
We are looking forward to “PearlZ in the Wild” igniting and inspiring your curiosity for environmental stewardship. Make Sure to visit our site regularly for program updates. We hope you use all of our available resources to keep our Zeta members, Zeta Affiliates, and the communities our chapters serve ready to engage in the “Wild.”