Z-HOPE: Zetas Helping Other People Excel

Since 1920, the legacy of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. has been firmly secured in the Sorority’s service to community and all humanity. Building on that legacy, Zeta adopted a new national service program that is viable for the 21st century, and more importantly, meets the critical societal needs that impact Black America and International Women of Color.

Zetas Helping Other People Excel The program, Z-HOPE.: Zetas Helping Other People Excel (Through Mind, Body and Spirit), is a holistic, multidimensional outreach program. One of the primary goals of Z-HOPE is to enhance, cultivate and empower participants to develop health-promoting lifestyle choices in all stages of their lives. Z-HOPE targets five major populations (Women, Youth, Men, Seniors, International Women of Color) utilizing a life-span approach, reaching all people—from the young to the old, from prenatal to geriatric. Each targeted population will be serviced by its’ local Zeta chapter or affiliate group through a holistic framework that focuses on the three essential elements of life: mind, body and spirit.

Z-HOPE has been developed in a two volume training manual to provide 280 culturally relevant programs to be implemented in the over 800 communities where Zeta chapters and affiliate groups are located and in selected African villages. The programs were designed to address the prevalent health care issues of the African American community as well as the International Women of Color. Z-HOPE’s 280 community-based programs were purposively designed to also respond to the Healthy People 2010′s Ten Leading Health Indicators. The program contains three essential program structure components: provides for assessment of program effectiveness at the local, state, regional and national levels; promotes data collection at each site for collective impact evaluation at all levels; and allows for chapter recognition for reasonable and exceptional service efforts within local communities according to chapter/affiliate group size within states and the eight regions.

Z-HOPE focuses the collective Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.’s synergism on “upstream” efforts, empowering community capacities by increasing self-care awareness and promoting active prevention efforts. Another unique feature of Z-HOPE is its focus on community collaboration, partnership and outreach. Zetas and affiliate groups are encouraged to take the programs to the people and to utilize existing community resources to produce the maximum quality program effect. Programs promote partnership with many national organizations with similar interest.

Z-HOPE addresses topics/issues such as responsible sexual behavior, domestic violence, stress management, caregiving, estate planning, homeland security, disaster preparedness as well as the common physical illness that affect persons of color (stroke, diabetes, heart attack, cancer). Programs also promote responding to society health crises, such as bone marrow, blood drives, food or clothing drives, and book bags and supplies for school children. Training manuals provide programmatic guides for implementation that allows for cultural community tailoring.

Z-HOPE’s international component focuses on selected African communities health needs.Programs include installing water wells, rice, providing basic supplies for those caring for persons with AIDS, school supplies, books or magazines to foster literacy skills, and supplied for a domestic violence shelter. During the initial piloting of the program, over 200 chapters and affiliate groups participated in a variety of program implementation efforts reaching over 20,000 persons. Z-HOPE programmatic structure also lends itself to centralized programmatic implementation. On Sunday, November 16th, 2003 (Prematurity Awareness Sunday in partnership with the National March of Dimes) Zeta chapters used local churches to share the message about premature births. Reports indicate that over 200,000 persons received the message. This is just one of the many examples of the Zeta synergism and thoroughness of the program.

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