Leading African American sorority Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) have signed a historic memorandum of understanding in Washington, D.C., to work cooperatively to engage urban youth in outdoor recreation, biological sciences and healthful activity in nature.
The five-year agreement follows last year’s signing of a similar MOU between the Service and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., the brother organization of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.
Steve Guertin, deputy director of the Service, and Mary Breaux Wright, international president of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, attended the signing ceremony during Zeta Leadership Training, which brought more than 900 sorority leaders to Washington.
“Our country’s future depends on the knowledge and well-being of youth in our nation’s cities,” Guertin said. “We are thrilled to join with Zeta Phi Beta Sorority to boost opportunities for young people to explore the natural world, learn about science and science careers, and reap the benefits of outdoor recreation. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, with its long commitment to health and community well-being, is a wonderful partner, and we look forward to forging many new connections.”
Wright shared Guertin’s enthusiasm. “Since our inception in 1920, Zeta has maintained a rich legacy of bettering the lives of women, children and the communities in which we live,” she said. “Partnering with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service helps Zeta expose our youth to more possibilities for leading healthful lives and promising futures.”
The partnership unites Zeta members and the Service in engaging youth in recreation on national wildlife refuges and helping them understand how such activity promotes healthful living, which aligns with the “Zetas Have Heart” health initiative. The partnership also aims to boost opportunities for young people to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers, and give Zetas a greater voice on conservation issues. In addition, the pact is meant to encourage African American students and professionals to consider Service careers.
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. was founded in 1920 by five co-ed students at Howard University who envisioned a sorority that would promote the highest standard of scholastic achievement and Finer Womanhood. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. has a diverse membership of more than 120,000 college-educated women with more than 800 chapters in North America, Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, Africa, and Middle East. For more information, please visit www.zphib1920.org.