WASHINGTON, D.C. — Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., one of the country’s largest women’s service organizations, is announces the induction of 12 distinguished women as honorary members into its Alpha Omega Chapter.
These accomplished women have demonstrated outstanding commitment to civic engagement and the advancement of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.’s principles, Scholarship, Service, Sisterhood, and Finer Womanhood, the organization stated.
“Our 2023 Honorary Member Class reflects the diversity and brilliance of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. As the number one service organization, we are proud to extend membership to those who work aligned with Zeta’s principles,” said Stacie NC Grant, International President and CEO of Zeta Phi Beta.
The induction ceremony took place on Sept. 19 on the campus of Howard University, where the individuals were officially welcomed into Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. as Honorary Members.
“Today’s historic induction is evidence of our commitment to the vision of our Five Founders, who were very intentional when choosing new members,” said Gina Merritt-Epps, Esq., the sorority’s International First Vice President for Membership.
The new Honorary Members are:
Edna Cummings, a retired U.S. Army Colonel and Army Reserve Ambassador, which is equivalent to a Two Star General. Ms. Cummings led the charge for the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, an all African-American female battalion, to receive the Six Triple Eight Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2021 and other recognitions. Ms. Cummings has garnered numerous awards for her business and marketing acumen. She will work closely with Zeta Phi Beta’s Military Appreciation Program, International Women of Color Initiative, and programs focused on women entrepreneurs.
Jericka Duncan, an award-winning national news correspondent. She currently works for CBS and on various specialty programs on Black Entertainment Network (BET). Ms. Duncan is a Zeta Phi Beta legacy, she comes from a longline of Zeta Phi Beta legacy members, specifically her grandmother, great aunts, and aunts. Ms. Duncan will use her talents to advance initiatives with the American Cancer Society, Mental Health Awareness, and Zetas Have Heart.
Dionne James, creator of multiple million dollar businesses such as SOULtions Hair Care System. Ms. James is one of the first African American women to own a trucking company in the United States. Ms. James is eager to teach women about entrepreneurship and philanthropy. She will align her talents with St. Jude, Domestic Violence Program Initiative, Get Engaged/Social Action, and Zeta Organizational Leadership.
Jennifer “Jennie” Joseph, a Time magazine Woman of the Year 2022 for her dedication to bringing awareness to the alarming rate of black maternal mortality. Ms. Jennie’s organization, Commonsense Childbirth, Equitable Perinatal Care, is the first black-owned licensed midwifery school in the country. Ms. Joseph will champion causes and initiatives focused on maternal health and morbidity in underserved communities and Zeta Phi Beta’s social action arm GET ENGAGED.
Chrisette Michele, a Grammy Award winning R&B, soul and gospel singer and songwriter, best known for her very successful albums, “Epiphany” and her musical collaborations with a wide variety of artists, including Jay Z, TD Jakes, and John Legend. Ms. Michele is eager to serve with causes and programs aligned with mental health and Domestic Violence Program Initiatives.
Ann Nesby, best known as the VOICE of Sounds of Blackness, this two-time Grammy award winning singer, songwriter, actress, and community advocate, her talents can be found in front of and behind the camera. She appeared in the movie, Fighting Temptation, and on stage plays such as Tyler Perry’s, “I Know I’ve Been Changed.” Most recently, the legendary singer is playing the role of Gran Georgeanna in the hit musical “Tina-The Tina Turner Musical.” Ms. Nesby is eager to serve on initiatives that promote Zeta Phi Beta’s partnerships with the American Heart Association, Autism Acceptance, and Domestic Violence Awareness & Prevention initiatives.
Tina Rodriguez, Senior Director of Programming and Acquisition for aspireTV as well as sources content for UP Entertainments sister networks and platforms. With over 20+ years, with networks such as Nick at Nite, TV Land, Gospel Music Channel, GMC, UPTV and aspireTV, Ms Rodriguez is an accomplished industry leader, in the entertainment industry covering television, film, music, media and streaming. Under Ms. Rodriguez leadership, aspireTV has employed, contracted, collaborated, produced, co-produced, sponsored, mentored and highlighted hundreds of diverse Black and Brown professionals and creatives in entertainment. Some of the initiatives she will champion with Zeta Phi Beta are Entrepreneurship, Financial Literacy and mentoring Zeta Phi Beta youth auxiliary groups, as well as supporting Zeta Phi Beta’s long standing partnerships with March of Dimes and St. Jude.
Melinda Santiago, CEO of The Santiago Firm LLC, an entertainment services firm, and the CEO of Santi Media Group, LLC a multi-media company with three divisions, Santi-Books -the book publishing division, Santi Music – the record label division, and Santi Films -the film and television production division, she is a serial entrepreneur in the entertainment industry. For over 30 years, she has consulted, managed, and branded several celebrity clients and helped them achieve new successes. Ms. Santiago is excited about participating in Zeta Phi Beta’s Social Action arm: Get Engaged and their International Women of Color Initiative, as well as supporting partnerships with American Cancer Society and St. Jude.
Rashida Tlaib one of two Muslims elected to the United States Congress and the first Muslim woman to serve in the Michigan Legislature. Ms. Tlaib is an advocate for social justice and equality in the areas of employment, and environmental justice. She champions initiatives to eradicate poverty and improve the lives of all Americans. She will align her passion to the Get Engaged/Social Action initiative.
Debra Vines, the 2022 Top 10 CNN Hero for her unwavering efforts to educate and provide services to individuals with and families caring for loved ones who have been diagnosed with autism. Through her organization, THE ANSWER, INC., she champions this cause. Ms. Vines will continue to educate communities by partnering with the sorority’s Autism Acceptance initiatives.
Anita Wilson, three-time Grammy Award nominee, gospel recording artist, and record label owner and executive. Ms. Wilson will let her ‘Zeta light’ shine with the American Cancer Society, Domestic Violence Initiative Program, Mental Health Awareness, St. Jude, Zetas Have Heart, and Zeta Phi Beta youth auxiliary groups.
Roslyn Young-Daniels, president and founder of BLACK HEALTH MATTERS, an organization that seeks to educate and elevate communities about various health topics through community summits, educational sessions and online resources. Ms. Young-Daniels will direct her zeal for Zeta Phi Beta in the area of American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Mental Health Awareness, and Zetas Have Heart.
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. was founded on Jan. 16, 1920, on the campus of Howard University and has since grown to become one of the most prestigious and impactful organizations worldwide. With a mission to foster its ideals and principles, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. is committed to making a difference in the lives of individuals and communities.
As Honorary Members, the women will have the opportunity to work closely with Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. in advancing its philanthropic initiatives and promoting social welfare.