Founded in the 1920s, Zeta Phi Beta and Sigma Gamma Rho are two prominent African-American sororities with rich histories of community service and philanthropy work. As educated black women, sorority members took on the responsibility of engaging in community racial uplift-that is, to uplift the African-American race as a whole by working to better its purported "lowest" members-in order to acquire rights and to be uplifted in the eyes of whites. Therefore, Zeta Phi Beta and Sigma Gamma Rho dedicated themselves to helping others from their inception until today; both sororities have a vast alumni network of prominent African-American women who hold high positions of power and importance. This essay therefore goes into ornate detail, bringing to light the vast expanse of philanthropy, community service, and even Civil Rights and social justice activism that these two sororities have engaged in from the beginning. It highlights the ebb and flow of their priorities throughout history, and poses the question "what now?" in the face of the Black Lives Matter movement and the ongoings of the 21st Century.
Gregory S. Parks and Caryn Neumann,
Lifting as They Climb: Race, Sorority, and African American Uplift in the 20th Century,
27 Hastings Women's L.J. 109
Available at: https://repository.uchastings.edu/hwlj/vol27/iss1/5