The Zeta Phi Beta Monument located in the lower quadrangle (“The Valley”) at Howard University. RaEdits/via Wikimedia Commons
A sorority’s new diversity statement explicitly bans transgender women from membership.
The International Executive Board of Zeta Phi Beta – a sorority with over 800 chapters and 125,000 members worldwide – adopted a new diversity statement in January.
The Washington Blade received a copy of the statement from an unnamed source, which says “an individual must be a cisgender woman” to join the sorority.
Zeta Phi Beta “values all people, regardless of race, age, gender, gender expression, ability, disability, creed, religion, or walk of life,” according to the statement.
The sorority was founded in 1920 at Howard University, a historically black university (HBCU) located in D.C. Today Zeta Phi Beta stresses the values of “Service, Scholarship, Sisterhood, and Finer Womanhood,” according to their website.
Currently, the Zeta Phi Beta website does not have a diversity statement.
In 2017, Alpha Chi Omega became the first to announce that transgender women would be accepted at each of their chapters in the U.S.
Most national organizations have no official policy on transgender membership, leaving students at local chapters in charge of deciding whether to accept transgender sisters instead of the professionals who head the national organizations.