Valerie Hollingsworth-Baker

Welcome to our Centennial Year!!

Our 100th year has finally arrived, but unfortunately it has come at a very tough time for our world, but you still have reason to be proud. Through it all, we have made it to 100 years of Scholarship, Service, Sisterhood, and Finer Womanhood. I’m sure our beautiful Five Pearls would be proud of how far Zeta has come. 100 years later…From an idea birthed by five visionary undergraduates on the campus of Howard University has come a sisterhood of more than 125,000 community conscious, action-oriented women in more than 925 chapters across the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.100 years later…Zeta has set the blueprint for community service through Zetas Helping Other People Excel, impacting the lives of well over 1.2 million men, women and children in more than 39 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and abroad. 100 years later…Zeta Sorors are engaged in social action, leading the way in protesting police brutality and criminal injustice in our country and effecting legislative change during Zeta Days on the Hill, with Zetas serving their communities in local, state, and national offices. 100 years later…Zeta has impacted lives through strategic partnerships with the March of Dimes, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, the American Cancer Society, Women Veterans Rock, and Autism Speaks.

Sorors, the coronavirus has placed the world into uncertain times, but Zetas all over the world have stepped up in unprecedented form through community service to first responders and other essential workers. THANK YOU for your commitment to our wonderful sisterhood and to our country as a whole. I couldn’t be prouder of all you have accomplished and continue to do. I often quote my mentor Triumphant Founder Fannie Pettie Watts, who said, “Do the best that you can, be the best that you can, and the best will follow you.” As we honor our Founders and the trailblazing women who have come before us, I issue Founder Watts’ same challenge to you: Continue doing your best, because Sorors, you ARE the best!

The issues we face as women in 2020 were unimaginable to the five coeds who dared to found Zeta Phi Beta Sorority in 1920. Right after our historic Centennial celebration in Washington, DC, our world changed forever due to the threat of COVID-19, affecting sorors and family members as a result. Yet, as the world struggled with the horrors of this pandemic, Zeta rose to the challenge, finding new and creative ways to conduct ZHOPE programming, sisterhood activities, virtual meetings and induction ceremonies, and fundraising. You ensured that your communities were counted in the 2020

Census, and you understand the stakes if we don’t vote in the upcoming 2020 presidential election. The Zeta voice will be crucial as we face these challenges, take up the mantle from Arizona Cleaver Stemons, Myrtle Tyler Faithful, Pearl Anna Neal, Viola Tyler Goings and Fannie Pettie Watts as you work in your communities and effect change that will carry on to the next generation.

You are leaders, trailblazers, entrepreneurs, and women of faith. Your voice and action are needed. Continue to be more proactive, be more compassionate to you fellow human beings, most importantly, be that soror who continues to make our Five Pearls proud! Seek bold, innovative ways to use your voices to empower your communities and impact real change so the problems of today will not have to be the problems of tomorrow. Remain in the forefront, shaping powerful initiatives that will inspire more women to use their voices in the areas of education, health and wellness, family connectedness, social advocacy, and economic development.

Above all, Sorors, as you raise your Zeta voice, remember to continue being Finer. Keep that twinkle in your eye and a soft, melodic tone in your speech. Keep an encouraging word on your heart and hold your heads up boldly as you share your gifts to uplift, inspire, strengthen, serve and honor your cities. Let your light shine in all you do, because you, Soror, are a Zeta lady! The world is watching us, Sorors. Let’s show them whowe are:

OneZeta…Unified…MobiliZed…ZetariZed! Shine on my Sorors, and welcome to the next 100 years!

Yours in Sisterhood,


Valerie Hollingsworth-Baker
International Centennial President