Because of the letters, we're in this together

Seeking Understanding that We Might Gain True Wisdom, one of ZTA’s Nine Key values derived from The Creed, means members of the Fraternity seek out opportunities to interact with and learn from people of different backgrounds. One initiative outlined in ZTA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan is to celebrate and highlight the background of fraternal organizations, including culturally based organizations, on their Founders’ Days on Instagram. As a women’s organization, the Fraternity will focus primarily on recognizing the significance of and contributions from women’s fraternal organizations.

Who they are

Some of the organizations to be recognized hold membership in one of the following umbrella organizations*:

  • National APIDA Panhellenic Association (NAPA) – Formed in 2005, NAPA is a collective group of 14 Asian Pacific Islander Desi American fraternities and sororities that work to advocate, collaborate and educate members for the greater good.
  • National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO) – Established in 1998, the 16 organizations unite to promote and foster positive interfraternal relations, communication, and development of all Latino fraternal organizations through mutual respect, leadership, honesty, professionalism and education.
  • National Multicultural Greek Council (NMGC) – Established in 1998, NMGC promotes multiculturalism by advocating for justice and equity, cultivating interfraternal relationships, and empowering its 10 member organizations.
  • National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) – Five historically African American organizations came together in 1930 for the purpose of community awareness and action through educational, economic and cultural service initiatives. An additional three organizations joined NPHC in 1937, along with another organization that joined in 1997.
  • National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) – Formed in 1902, the 26 women’s-only member organizations aim to advance the sorority experience. ZTA is a member organization of NPC.

How they operate

Fraternal organizations often pride themselves on individuality while also operating within common principles, operational procedures (think the logistics of recruitment and new member intake) and shared values that bind them as a council. They also typically collaborate on programs, like registering people to vote, or service initiatives, like hosting a community cleanup or a food drive for local shelters.

Similarly, you may find that women’s fraternal organizations on campus or in the community hold membership within one of the national groups listed above but on campus are associated with a United Greek Council or Multicultural Greek Council. Each campus community organizes fraternity/sorority life based on its unique demographic and culture.

Fraternal organizations with a cultural affinity are not exclusive to members who identify with that specific aspect of identity, but they are inclusive of that culture. For instance, while an organization may be historically African American, it also may have members of different racial identities. They’re inclusive of African American culture by celebrating, honoring and uplifting it through programs and service initiatives.

Why they’re important

Many culturally based fraternal organizations evolved during times of unrest, overt racism and discrimination, and the denial of essential rights for people of color. For this reason, these collegiate organizations were formed with a primary focus on social change and development of programs that inspire social action to improve communities.

While all organizations serve a unique purpose through their values, all fraternal organizations exist to empower, uplift and serve others. We hope this initiative serves as a first step in sparking deeper conversations and more authentic partnerships and strengthening understanding.

What next?

Share social media posts celebrating other organizations and learn more about the council and/or umbrella groups represented on campus or in in the local community. There are many opportunities for partnership and collaboration with similar philanthropic causes and staple programs. Explore innovative ways to highlight and partner with the chapters on your campus or in the local community.


*Please note these are not the only umbrella organizations in which women’s fraternities and sororities are recognized; they are the most common. There are also organizations not associated with a national umbrella organization that have a strong presence in a local community or campus. Collegians can contact campus fraternity and sorority life staff to learn more. Alumnae can use social media platforms or an internet search engine for active fraternal organizations in the local area.

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