Iota Theta Zeta Chapter History
On Long Island New York, seven unaffiliated Zetas organized a chapter of the Sorority that was chartered as Iota Theta Zeta on January 26, 1979. The charter members were Sorors Elgivia Ball, Francis Edmonston, Annie France, Linette Mottt, Loree Jeanmarie, Joyce Robinson and Inez Spear. Soror Jan Thompson joined them shortly afterward. They were convinced that the Nassau and Suffolk communities needed a chapter because of the many universities and colleges in the area.
The chapter's growth attests to the acuity of the perceptions of need for an organization on Long Island that is devoted to the African American community. Iota Theta Zeta Chapter played an instrumental role in the organizing of four undergraduate chapters: Zeta Kappa Chapter at Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus (now known as LIU Post), Eta Kappa Chapter at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Old Westbury, and Theta Kappa Chapter at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stonybrook. Alpha Lambda Chapter was originally formed as a Nassau County Metropolitan Chapter covering Adelphi University, Hofstra University and the SUNY Agricultural and Technical University at Farmingdale. Iota Theta Zeta was and still is committed to the development of the undergraduate chapters. Currently, Iota Theta Zeta still covers the development of young women of the Zeta Kappa, Eta Kappa, and Alpha Lambda chapters.
Iota Theta Zeta, as part of its Finer Womanhood Celebrations, honors community leaders and out standing youth and provides scholarships to college bound students for the past thirty years. The chapter has formed relationships with Nassau County community family service organizations, senior citizen homes, and a youth community center. They have provided necessities to numerous community shelters for those in need, Toys for Tots and business attire for residents of shelters to wear as they seek employment. Iota Theta Zeta participates in Z-HOPE programs, sending various items to Africa, providing diabetes awareness workshops for seniors. participating in the March of Dimes campaigns, contributing to the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaigns, and hosting health fairs for the community. Iota Theta Zeta chapter has planned and participated in educational programs with the Girl Scout Troops of Long Island and The Cedarmore Corporation of Long Island. Iota Theta Zeta has recently adopted Roosevelt High School as a part of our Adopt-A-School Project. Two of lota Theta Zeta's most notable sorors are Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby and renowned author Rochelle Alers.
Soror Goosby, Town of Hempstead Councilwoman, made history when she was elected to the Town Board on November 2, 1999. She is one of the first Democrats elected since 1905 and is the first African American woman to serve on the Town Board. Councilwoman Goosby has the distinction of being the first Councilperson to be elected five consecutive campaigns. Her election in 1999 was for a one-year term. In 2000, she was elected in the newly created First Councilmatic District for a one year term. In 2001, 2005, and 2009, she was re-elected in landslide victories to four-year terms. Soror Goosby became a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated on the campus of Florida A & M University in 1957.
Soror Rochelle Alers, who became a member of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated through Iota Theta Zeta in March of 2007, has been hailed by readers and booksellers as one of today's most prolific and popular African American authors of romance and women's fiction. With more than fifty titles and nearly two million copies of her novels in print, Soror Alers is a regular on many bestseller lists. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Gold Pen Award, the Emma Award, Vivian Stephens Award for Excellence in Romance Writing, The Romantic Times Career Achievement Award and the Zora Neale Hurston Literary Award.
Iota Theta Zeta Chapter has received citations from the Mayor of the Incorporated Village of Hempstead and from the New York State Representative's Office. Iota Theta Zeta Chapter has received the "My Sisters' Keeper'' Award from the Phi Zeta Zeta Chapter of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated.