#ZetaPhiBeta Sorority, Incorporated, is reportedly blocking transgender women from joining its organization.
In a “diversity statement” adopted by the organization’s international board and obtained by @washblade, it states that “an individual must be a cisgender woman” to join the organization.
The statement at the same time says the sorority “values all people, regardless of race, age, gender, gender expression, ability, disability, creed, religion, or walk of life.”
Zeta Phi Beta has not responded to the newspaper’s multiple requests for comment.
The organization was founded nearly 100 years ago on the campus of Howard University in Washington D.C.
Zeta Phi Beta has more than 100,000 members in 800 chapters spread across the United States, Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean, according to its website. Five students formed the organization at a time when the Ku Klux Klan was running rampant, but the Harlem Renaissance was also offering an outlet for Black people to demonstrate their talents, the website says.
The full diversity statement says:
“Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated was founded in 1920 by five women who were students at Howard University. The Founders sought to create a sorority that was more than a social club and established an organization that embraces Scholarship, provides true Service, sets a standard for Sisterly Love, and strives to exemplify Finer Womanhood. In furtherance of those goals set forth by the Founders, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated values all people, regardless of race, age, gender, gender expression, ability, disability, creed, religion, or walk of life. We demonstrate those values in the way we treat sisters inside our organization and people out of our Sorority. To Be eligible to receive an invitation for membership and to hold membership, an individual must be a cisgender woman and must be committed to living a lifestyle of active service and sisterhood and she must typify the values, standards, morals, customs and attribute of finer women in her community and beyond.”