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Soror Ayana Glaze Joins Zeta Phi Beta GA Social Media Team

Soror Ayana Glaze ProfileAs we move closer to the 100th anniversary of the founding of our beloved sisterhood, the great State of Georgia continues to work toward our vision of “One Zeta”—“Always and in All Ways!” With that goal in mind, the state announced the formation of our Centennial Year Graphics & Social Media Team. And Sigma Omega Zeta Chapter is pleased that our very own, Soror Ayana Glaze, has been named as a liaison on the team along with Sorors LaTricia Hughes, Nicole Wilson, and Lena Scott; and Soror Davina Dennis, who serves as the Social Media Coordinator. In addition to creating graphic designs for the state executive team and social media management, the team will also address any questions or issues regarding the visual identity of the state.

Sigma Omega Zeta chapter has already been privy to the talent that Soror Glaze will contribute. And in a recent interview, she explained the day-to-day duties of the newly formed team. “Essentially we check out other chapter’s social media profiles and reach out to them to learn what they are doing in their communities, their service projects, and any accomplishments in their chapters. We then take their correspondence and share it on the State of Georgia’s  Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts,” said Glaze. Additionally, the media team will also support Madame State Director, Vicki L. Pearson, by creating graphics for any initiatives she puts forth, manuals, and for graphics for state conferences. Each member of the media team will be assigned to cover a “particular geographical region” of the state to monitor them for news, events, and information—then share it with the state website.

We all know that when Zeta calls, we are compelled to answer. With so much activity happening as we approach the centennial year, state leadership recognized that there was a void that needed to be fulfilled and sought out Sorors with the skill level to handle the social media and graphic needs of the state. With the assistance of chapter presidents, the candidates were recommended and/or encouraged to apply. Having worked in the same capacity on the chapter level, Soror Glaze expressed her interest in working on the state level. When the call went out, Chapter President, Renea Johnson immediately thought of Glaze.

Along with the state media team, Soror Glaze will continue her work in the chapter on the public relations committee as the website manager, and unofficial co-chair to Soror Dr. Karen Woods, who Glaze says, “has done an amazing job of taking this committee to a whole other level.” For the chapter, Glaze reviews and edits items for the site, and is responsible for knowing the visual identity standards that come down from nationals and educating the chapter on these standards” when preparing to publish something on the site. “So there’s a lot of overlap with what I do with the state because our team is responsible for making sure that whatever we put out meets those standards.” She explained. “So the good thing about me being a part of this team,” she added, “is that it’s helping me to do my job with SOZ better.”

If you ask Soror Glaze what has prepared her for this position with the state, she’ll tell you, “I’ve been a Zeta since 1993—26 years— a long time! And I’ve been in different positions within Zeta on undergraduate chapter levels and on graduate levels.” She explained. And it is true, Glaze was treasurer for Epsilon Xi at Georgia Southern University, and the Graduate Advisor to Mu Mu Chapter (the chapter under which she pledged) for Omicron Alpha Zeta in Americus, Georgia. Upon joining Sigma Omega Zeta, Glaze served as Historian and Website Coordinator for the chapter. But Glaze admits, “For a long time, I didn’t want to hold any type of office, I just wanted to be a Zeta; do work on the website, help with social media, and just be a Zeta.” However, at a recent state conference, Glaze recalled, that the question was asked: “What can we do to make Zeta better? And who’s going to take the charge?” It was then that Glaze decided, “Although I’m okay with being in the background, it is now time for me to step up.” A mother of three, Glaze says she also wants to do this for her nine-year-old daughter, “I want to raise a Zeta—and create a legacy.”

Soror Glaze is excited about the coming events for Centennial. When pressed to give out any special celebrations for the state, she says there is something in the works, but she is not at liberty to talk about it just yet. But when asked for her expectations for the Graphics & Social Media Team and outlook for the state of Georgia, she said, “Our media team will be the team that other states and the region will look to and say, this is how a media team should operate. I look for us to set the bar. We will set the standard for others to follow. I am working with some amazing and hugely talented women, this is what we do in our day-to-day work, this is what we know, our areas of expertise—and we have been blessed to be able to bring this to Zeta.”  

Military Appreciation Week: Saluting Soror Ernestine Carlisle

Today, we salute our stellar Soror Ernestine Carlisle. Soror Carlisle served in the United States Army from 1977-1980. Her stations included Fort Gordon, GA and Fort Richardson, AK.

Soror Carlisle, whose son is also an Army veteran, served as a supply specialist.  She has fond memories of the security and structure military service provided as well as meeting people from all over America.

She also has not so fond memories of the early morning awakenings and the physical training.

“I  hated running and still do,” Soror Carlisle said.

Soror Carlisle, who pledged Mu Theta Zeta graduate chapter in Germany, says she believes the military and Zeta have important similarities – service and loyalty.

“Sometimes in the military, as well as in our blessed sorority, decisions are made that you may not agree with or understand,” said Carlisle. “But, because you took the oath, you stay faithful to the pledge you swore to.”

To young ladies considering military service she offers this advice:

“Research the different branches of the services. Look to those who have served short and long term. Have a plan of what/where you see yourself in the future. How will the military help you fulfill that path? What exactly is it that the you want to accomplish? How long do you want your commitment to the military to be! Do not be afraid. The military should be a stepping stone into the future if you are unsure what direction you want to go.”

Military service did not come without sacrifice and challenges for Soror Carlisle. She endured racism and gender discrimination.

“I got to my first duty station with questions like: ‘What are you? Are you black or white? Are you American? Where were you born? Where your parents from?’ I learned to bite my tongue a lot”, she said.

“At that time, women in the military were not looked at favorably. The climate was rapidly changing but some old heads (senior Non Commissioned Officers) still thought the army was not meant for women,” Carlisle recalled.

Still the rewards, outweighed the obstacles and she when on the have a long career with military as a veteran and civilian.

“I was able to get a job with the Department of Army where I was able to still serve the military,” she said. “I was able to travel overseas and state side. I was able to retire after 33 years. I was even able to deploy with soldiers to Iraq and support not out soldiers but military from other countries.”

On a final note, Soror Carlisle offers this comparison:

“Our sorority helps us to bridge our differences and respect those differences as well. We learn that as women from all different backgrounds, we can come together to serve a greater purpose. We learn that lifting others, teaching, sisterhood and serving our communities is giving back something that is far greater than ourselves. In the military, we learn we are different but we support and defend each other and not only this nation but others. We learn camaraderie, and although we come from different backgrounds, we learn and grow from our daily interactions with each other.”

Well-stated Soror Carlisle. We are blessed and honored to have you as a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated and the Sigma Omega Zeta chapter.  We appreciate your for your military service and your service to our sorority and the communities we serve.

 

Soror Amarius Reed Included in Who’s Who in Black Atlanta

Sigma Omega Zeta Amarius Reed Who's Who in Black Atlanta Sigma Omega Zeta chapter’s very own Soror Amarius Reed is included in the 19th edition of Who’s Who in Black Atlanta. Get to know our wonderful soror in this Q&A.
Congratulations Soror Reed on being included in the 19th edition of Who’s Who in Black Atlanta.  How were you chosen for this great distinction?
I was afforded the opportunity to apply for one of 25 spots via information sent by our Georgia State Director, Vicki Pearson.  A professional bio of professional and educational accomplishments was submitted, and a panel made the final selections.
What does being featured mean?
I will be included in a publication. that documents the significant accomplishments and outstanding achievements of African-American citizens in the various communities around Metro Atlanta.
Tell us a little more about yourself. What is your profession?
I am a 17-year educator and currently hold a position with Atlanta Public Schools as a K-5 Math Content Specialist. In this position, I support elementary schools in APS with best practices in the area of mathematics.
When did you join Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and the Sigma Omega Zeta chapter?
I fell in love with Zeta in 1999, and became a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc in Spring 2019.  Joining the “Stellar” Sigma Omega Zeta Chapter in Rex, Ga.
Do you serve  in any offices within your chapter?
Currently, I serve on the Z-HOPE, Scholarship, and Step/Stroll Committees within my chapter.  As a Z-HOPE committee member, I’m aspiring to be chair the next sorority year and continue pursuing my goal of increased community involvement.
That’s great Soror! I’m sure you’ll be a great asset to the community, our chapter and our sorority in your current roles and any future roles in which you aspire to serve.
Are you a member of any additional organizations?
Other organizations I’m a member of include: National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Toastmasters International, Inc., and the Florida State Alumni Association.
Again, congratulations! You make Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated and the Sigma Omega Zeta chapter proud.
Soror Reed is a Miami native,  currently residing in Jonesboro, GA.  She loves college football and is a proud graduate of Florida State University.

Military Appreciation Week: Saluting Soror Veronica Love

National Military Appreciation Week, Soror, Veronic Love of Sigma Omega Zeta chapter Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated In Spring 2019, we welcomed a host of beautiful, finer women into the Sigma Omega Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. One of these awesome women is Navy Veteran Soror Veronica Love. Women Veterans Rock, and we are honored to show our appreciation for Soror Love during Military Appreciation Week 2019.

Soror Love served in the United States Navy from 1989-1993.

“I joined the military in 1989 to do something meaningful and productive with my life”, she said.  “At that time, College was not what I wanted to do.”

Upon entry, she was trained to be an electrician. At her duty station, she was placed in Ships Company where she was responsible for battery and lighting.

Soror Love says she was one of the few ships electricians who worked on everything electrical.

“I worked on and wired power panels, generators, transformers, elevators, lights, and various ship equipment and small boats”, she said.

Her job was to also provide power to submarines that was assigned to her ship.

“When my ship was out to sea, my job then was to stand watch in the engine room and provide power to the ships turbine generators,” she added.

Soror Love says she enjoyed her time serving.

“The thing I enjoyed the most from my time serving is the life long bonds that I established,” she said. “And to know my small part made a difference.”

Her service came with much sacrifice. She missed her family, and for her, this was the least enjoyable part of military service.

The armed forces comes with many sacrifices, but it plays a vital role in regular civilian lives. The sacrifices that are made is what gives us the comforts and freedoms that are often taken for granted.

Soror Love says once she got out of the military, she had discipline that she didn’t have when she graduated high school. She went on to obtain four degrees with nothing less that a 3.68 GPA.

“The military is a great way to get an education, travel the world, and get exceptional job training,” said Soror Love.

“I have to honestly say that I grew up and saw myself in a different light,” she continued. “I was proud to be an American Sailor.”

Soror Love is a disabled veteran. She says she has hardships she fights daily to overcome.

“I’m winning!”

Soror Veronica Love, we salute you. Thank you for your service to our country, to your community, and to our chapter and sorority.

 

 

 

SOROR BENZIE BRINSON: FIGHTER. SURVIVOR. INSPIRATION.

Breast Cancer Survivor Soror Benzie Brinson

SOROR BENZIE BRINSON: FIGHTER. SURVIVOR. INSPIRATION.

Three of her mom’s seven sisters had breast cancer. Her cousin she was very close to her died of breast cancer in 2013. In 2014, Soror Benzie Brinson was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. But, instead of seeing it as a death sentence, as many would, Soror Brinson decided she didn’t have time for it. She buckled in and set her mind to winning the fight for her life. Winning is exactly what she did.

“I didn’t have time for that drama,” she says. “I could either get busy living or get busy dying. I had too much living to do.”

She’s a wife, mother, educator, friend, mentor, and most importantly a woman of God. He clearly had more work for her to do.

A SIGN BEYOND THE GRAVE; DIAGNOSIS

Soror Brinson began to get annual breast cancer screenings in her 40s. All of them came back negative for breast cancer.  But It was a breast cancer warning sign her late cousin shared with her before she died that prompted her to take her annual screening a step further.

“Before she died my cousin told me that an inverted nipple was a sign of cancer,” she shares. “One morning when I was looking in the mirror, I noticed that my nipple was pushed inward.”

Recalling her cousins word of caution, she made and appointment, and was subsequently diagnosed with breast cancer.

A DRAMA-FREE FIGHT FOR HER LIFE

She insisted that she was not about the drama of breast cancer. So, when she shared what she was going through with people, it was on a need to know basis. When those that needed to know responded with pity and tears, she shut them down.

She needed support. She needed prayers. She would eventually need a little help. But, she didn’t need pity and tears and grief. She was not dying and was not about to let anyone put her in an early grave. She was living. She had too much to live for. She was poised to fight and that she did.

Soror Brinson educated herself about breast cancer, learning that the annual screenings only went so far. After all, the screenings had missed the cancer that the doctors said had to have been growing in her body for at least three years. Frustrated and angry, she turned this part of her testimony into a message.

“If it looks like something is off with your breasts, get them checked,” she advises. “Push for doctors to go beyond the routine screenings. Demand they give you the best screening.”

With purpose and passion, she encourages all women to get their screenings, pay attention to their bodies, and do preventive care.

If you’ve never had a breast exam, she encourages, “It’s never too late to start. Definitely get it. Don’t make any assumptions about your body.”

GO BEYOND THE NORM

Soror Brinson says breast cancer awareness walks and funding research are is fine, but ultimately, there is a need to go beyond entry level prevention.

“The government doesn’t really require the appropriate level of prevention and care that should be provided,” she adds.

WISDOM FROM A BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR

“Your attitude determines your altitude,” she reminds us. “Work with your doctors. Surround yourself with people who offer support in words and in action.”

Most importantly, “Don’t focus on dying.”

As the year four survivor proclaims us, “I’m too busy living to focus on dying.”

Women Veterans Rock: We Salute Soror Arlene Grant!

“Friendship and Solidarity” by Soror Sibongile Lynch

In 2014 Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated became a leading advocate for the Women Veterans ROCK initiative. The program, through a ten-year commission by the Healthy Caregiver Community Foundation, supports women and girls in military families’ shift from serving in the military to serving in their communities. As a service-oriented organization, Zeta Phi Beta is committed to this enterprise as we advocate for positive community role models and a legacy of women leaders.

To commemorate the signing of the historic agreement with Women Veterans ROCK, Sigma Omega Zeta Chapter is honored to highlight our own members who have served proudly in the United States Armed Forces.

We proudly salute Soror Arlene Grant.

Soror Arlene Grant

Soror Arlene Grant, served as an E4 Specialist in the Georgia Army National Guard for seven years, from 1991-1998, where she worked as a carpenter and brick mason.

Soror Grant is part of a military family, but asserts that although her brothers were in the U.S. Airforce and Army, this did not influence her decision to become a soldier. Having obtained an Associate’s Degree in Civil Engineering and working as a drafter, drawing house plans, Soror Grant was motivated to join the military by a desire to learn how houses were built.

Though the hours were long, Soror Grant says the camaraderie with her fellow soldiers is what she enjoyed most while serving our country. That friendship and solidarity is what she found when she became a member of Sigma Omega Zeta Chapter in spring 2019. Grant says, “The camaraderie with fellow soldiers is the same as the sisterhood of a sorority. In the military you are serving your country, and in a sorority you are serving your community. They both give you a sense of accomplishment.”

Military training, Grant explained, helped her “to make sound decisions and great judgement calls” in her life, and helped her to avoid many of life’s pitfalls. Her message to young women considering a life as a soldier is that, “the military teaches you discipline and skills for many aspects of your life.” There is also “the opportunity to travel and meet new people all over the world…a free education, and a guaranteed home loan.”

As a result of consistent learning opportunities in the service, the desire to learn and grow has spilled over into civilian life for Soror Grant. She currently holds three degrees in Education: a Bachelor of Science in Education from Georgia State University; a Masters of Education and Educational Specialist degree from Brenau University. Grant is also working towards a Ph.D., but of her many accomplishments, she is proud that her carpentry skills have allowed her to remodel her home. “Over the years, I have saved tons of money on costly home repairs;” doing the painting, wood floor installations, plumbing, and electrical work herself!

Soror Grant is an inspiration, and we are so proud that she is a part of our sisterhood. Thank you, Soror Grant for your service! We know that your service to our community will continue through your dedication to Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated.