Philadelphia City Council Approves Resolution To Name Street After Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Co-Founder

Zeta Phi Beta, Inc. was founded almost 100 years ago.

Zeta sorors at Zeta Day in Philly
Photo Credit: Twitter

| April 04 2019,

6:58 pm

The Philadelphia City Council approved the renaming of a street to honor one of the founders of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

Watch the Yard reports the 1900 block of Federal Street will be renamed Arizona C. Stemons Way. Councilwoman-at-Large Blondell Reynolds Brown and Councilman Kenyatta Johnson introduced Resolution 190192 on March 14, and it was passed a week later during Zeta Day at Philadelphia City Hall.

City Councilmember-At-Large candidate and Zeta sister Katherine Gilmore Richardson began working on the resolution while she served as Brown’s chief of staff.

“Working with the chapter on this initiative for the past year has been one of the greatest honors of my professional and Zeta life,” Richardson said.

Stemons co-founded Zeta Phi Beta with Fannie Pettie Watts, Viola Tyler Goings, Myrtle Tyler Faithful and Pearl Anna Neal in 1920 on the campus of Howard University, according to the sorority’s website. She served as the chapter’s first president and the organization’s first national president. Stemons is also responsible for the existence of Philly’s Beta Delta Zeta graduate chapter.  

“On October 14, 1944, Stemons organized the Philadelphia Graduate Chapter and made it her home. She lived at 1915 Federal Street with her husband James for 52 years until her death in 1980. The chapter currently owns and maintains the property,” read a press release.

Chapter President Valerie G.C. Villines expressed her gratitude during the Zeta Day event.

“I can’t tell you how humbled I am to be president of the chapter that the principal founder of Zeta chartered nearly 75 years ago, and then to be part of the effort to have a street renamed after her is a memory I will cherish forever,” she said.

The street will be formally dedicated in November.

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