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GLRC Pictorial 2016


Zeta Phi Beta (ΖΌΒ) Sorority, Inc. is an international, historically black Greek-lettered sorority. In 1920, five coeds from Howard University, Arizona Cleaver Stemons, Pearl Anna Neal, Myrtle Tyler Faithful, Viola Tyler Goings and Fannie Pettie Watts, envisioned a sorority that would raise the consciousness of their people, encourage the highest standards of scholastic achievement, and foster a greater sense of unity among its members. These women believed that sorority elitism and socializing overshadowed the real mission for progressive organizations. Since its founding Zeta Phi Beta has historically focused on addressing social causes.

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(7) organization that is divided into eight intercontinental regions and 800+ Chapters located in the USA, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. Zeta chapters and auxiliaries have given numerous hours of voluntary service to educate the public, assist youth, provide scholarships, support organized charities, and promote legislation for social and civic change.


Dr. Mary Breaux Wright was elected as the 24th International President of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated in July 2012. Prior to her election, she served as the National First Vice-President, overseeing new members and the new member process. A Diamond Life Member of the Sorority, Dr. Wright has served in many national, regional, state and local roles, including National Director of Protocol and National Observances, Southern Regional Director, Chair of the Regional Directors, and Louisiana State Director. Working closely with her mentor, 12th National President Lullelia Walker Harrison, she also served as the primary researcher for Torchbearer of a Legacy: A History Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated 1920 – 1997, the Sorority’s official historical perspective. Dr. Wright travels across the globe delivering passionate messages concerning scholarship, service and commitment to one’s community. She is most fond of her trip to Ghana, West Africa where she represented the organization during the dedication of water wells donated by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. Personally, Dr. Wright is an active member of the Lambda Zeta Chapter in Houston, Texas where she resides with her family. Professionally, She is a retired business teacher and development officer.


In the autumn of 1973, several Zeta sisters in Joliet, IL were talking at a gathering and decided that there were enough Zetas in Joliet to form a grad chapter. Research on chartering a chapter was conducted with the national body and criteria was given to the interested members. The members immediately filled out paperwork to start the chartering process and with the national body’s approval, Eta Chi Zeta was born. Most of the chapter members were educators within the Joliet community, which led to Eta Chi Zeta assisting with literacy programs within the Joliet school system. Sadly, the Eta Chi Zeta went into limbo during the late 1990’s. But all was not lost, during the early months of 2005, fourteen (14) highly motivated Zeta sisters gathered to reestablish the Eta Chi Zeta legacy and on April 7th, 2005, we were officially rewarded.

Since April of 2005, Eta Chi Zeta has made a difference in the Joliet community by giving scholarships to high school graduates, working with the Joliet Boys & Girls Club, presenting various Financial Aid and Prematurity Awareness Workshops, and adopting the Isaac Singleton & Carl Sandburg Elementary Schools. We have volunteered with Joliet’s Catholic Charities, the MorningStar Mission, and the Daybreak Community Center. We’ve walked and worked with the March of Dimes WalkAmerica/March for Babies, walked and donated to the Take Back the Night program, participated with the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Awareness initiative and the End Lupus programs. We have also visited retirement homes and held Veteran’s Day celebrations. Our members have pledged to sustain the Zeta Phi Beta legacy of Scholarship, Service, Sisterhood and Finer Womanhood by being the first (1st) Zeta Centennial Diamond Donor Chapter. Having members elected or appointed to National, Regional and State Officer positions, producing coast-to-coast fundraisers, winning numerous awards for our service efforts and in 2008, named 1st Place in the National Chapter Scrapbook Competition.


Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Eta Chi Zeta Chapter awards scholarships through its foundation to assist graduating high school seniors who have been accepted into a four year college or university. Established March of 2007 in the State of Illinois as the charitable arm of the Eta Chi Zeta Chapter, the Pearl Essence Foundation, Incorporated was formed to develop, administer and implement benevolent programs and projects that will provide educational scholarships, civic & social services and cultural opportunities to all persons located within the Will County (especially the Joliet community) area, regardless of age, race or creed. In 2008, the Pearl Essence Foundation, Inc. was granted 501 (c) (3) status by the Federal Government.

Dejohnna Wright – Lockport High School – GPA 3.092/4.0—Awarded: Need-based Scholarship. Dejohnna plans on attending Howard University in the fall where she plans on majoring in Computer Engineering. She has been very active within the community and also participates in several school-based clubs and organizations.


Vanessa Roofe – Joliet West High School—GPA 3.30/4.0—Awarded – Merit Scholarship. Vanessa will attend Grambling State University where she will major in Criminal Justice. In addition to being a scholar, Vanessa has served in her local community in various capacities. She has participated in many clubs as well as being a multisport student athlete.

Taylor Cook – Archonette – Lockport Township High School – Will receive a $500 book award.

Taylor’s club participation and volunteer work includes: Freshman and Sophomore class club, freshman and sophomore class president, student government, choir, orchesis, GSA, Joliet Archonettes (President), Fresh Start student aide, along with community service with the Archonettes at the Boy and Girls club & Sunny Hill Nursing Home.


Akinele Reese – Bloom Trail High School – GPA 3.85/4.00—Tearte Family Foundation endowment recipient. Akinele will attend Northwestern University where she plans on majoring in Neuropsychology. In addition to being a scholar, Akinele has actively volunteered and worked in her community. Here are some of the organizations and clubs in which she has volunteered: Operation Snowball International Organization (2016- Present); Alcohol and Drug-free Leadership Development and Empowerment Program at Louis Sherman Community Center; 2015 Summer Youth Camp Assistant at Bloom Trail High School; NJROTC (2015); Northwestern University Football Game Usher; Steger South Chicago Heights Public Library Assistant in 2015; Victory Centre of Park Forest Nursing Home Dining Hall Assistance in 2013.


A community activist in the Joliet and Will County Area and Pastor of New Canaan Land Christian Church in Joliet, IL.

Pastor Lonnie Posley

A member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Pastor Posley helped reactivate the dormant Men of Valor organization that originated back in 2001. This movement has been vital in the African American Community and it provides an avenue for youth to deter them from crime and encourage school, jobs and church. It is also aimed at helping men continue their education, secure work, provide counseling and most importantly: change patterns of behavior.

The Men of Valor Movement continues to be a driving force in the Joliet area by providing information (and hosting) Job Readiness Workshops, Expungement workshops, Empowerment Summits and also provides AfterSchool Mentoring Programs. The Men of Valor sponsor an Annual Big Brother and Big Sister Recruiting Event as well as a Back to School “Crash”, where they donate school supplies and have a Crash course in English, Math and Reading and Voter Registration Drives. Pastor Posley was instrumental in organizing a total of 5 “Stop the Gun Violence” Prayer walks in the Joliet area. He is dedicated to the betterment of the African American community and the people of the Joliet and Will County Area. He is currently an Advisor to Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk.


A 1993 Graduate of SIU in Elementary Education -BA, A 1998 Graduate of Roosevelt University Elementary Education - MA, A 2003 Graduate of Aurora University- MA Educational Leadership AND A 2018 Graduate of University St. Francis EdD - Educational Leadership/ Superintendent’s Endorsement. Married to Mr. Mashaun Smith and a mother of 3. Dr. Russell-Smith is the Dr. Saundra Russell-Smith Former Assistant Principal of Isaac Singleton Elementary School (Joliet, IL) and currently the Principal at Carl Sandburg Elementary School (Joliet, IL). Over the years, Dr. Russell-Smith has exemplified outstanding leadership and her tireless efforts are to be commended. She has inspired and educated countless teachers and students, alike. Her ability to motivate students will have a lasting effect. The passion she possess is immeasurable. She is a committed educator, whose most important goal to make sure every child learns. Dr. Russell-Smith was also key in implementing The IMPACT program. This program was designed to help the 5-7% of students (male) with behavioral challenges. Joliet Police Department meets with the students once a month to mentor them in leadership, making good choices, responsibility and character. Dr. Russell-Smith is also a member of the Greater YMCA Leadership Team. She worked with the committee to procure a $10,000 grant for the Y from Midland States Bank Foundation.


Chandra Allgood-Foster

Felicia Hinton

Brianna Mooney

Ebony Baker

Candyce Holland

Barbara Patterson

Tonya Battle Janette Bishop

Yolanda Johnson Chauntine J. KendricksDorame Lawander Bradley-Bey Porsche King Lashonda Cameron

Sabrina Rhymes LaToya Sanders Shenekia Stimage Shanita Thompson

Julie Castillo

Shontrese King

Tangerine Tingle

Chelsea Cook

Pariss Knight Lisa Lee

Shelia Traylor

LaShaunda Dickinson Danielle Gooden

Pamela Mack Rainey

Ursula Walls Laura Washington

Janielle Gooden

Brittany Madden

Zandra Washington


Celebrating you! 2018  

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. - Eta Chi Zeta Chapter and The Pearl Essence Foundation Inc. presents Celebrating You 2018: A Our Centennial S...

Celebrating you! 2018  

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. - Eta Chi Zeta Chapter and The Pearl Essence Foundation Inc. presents Celebrating You 2018: A Our Centennial S...

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