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Under the banner of the 1979 theme: "WOMEN: BUILDING FOR TOMORROW THROUGH PROFESSIONAL ENRICHMENT AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. MEETING CHALLENGES," IOTA PHI LAMBDA SORORITY, INC., will observe its 50th Anniversary at the site of its founding in 1929 - Chicago, Illinois - with the first Chapter, Alpha, serving as host. The Chicago City Centre (Holiday Inn) will serve as headquarters for the expected 2,000 participants.

IOTA PHI LAMBDA SORORITY, INC., a business and professional sorority, was founded in Chicago, Illinois, in 1929 during the beginning of the great depression which swept this country and left many Black persons without employment. Women who were working at comparatively new skills in white-collar jobs in the business field were especially hard-hit, for the were penalized by both race and sex, while working against formidable odds. Thus, seven women sought to bring into being an organization that would give encouragement and add prestige to women in the field of business.  The result of much diligent planning was IOTA PHI LAMBDA SORORITY, the brain-child of Mrs. Lola Mercedes Parker. Later the scope was enlarged to include women in a wide variety of professions. Today there are more than one hundred chapters with an approximate membership of three thousand stretching across the width and breadth of our country in eighty-five cities, representing thirty states, the District of Columbia, as well as Bangalore, South India.

The purpose of IOTA PHI SORORITY, INC., are: (1) to unite in a sisterhood the qualified business and professional women for the purpose of encouraging the elevation of their self-concept as it relates to the role of women in our highly complex, competitive, and often clandestine business and professional world, (2) to promote interest in the broad field of business education among high school and college young women by awarding scholarships and utilizing other channels of encouragement to those seeking to enter the business arena, (3) to encourage women, particularly minority women, in the pursuit of excellence in business endeavors, as well as to support Black businesses, (4) to encourage youth and adults in the pursuit of higher educational and professional attainment, (5) to foster such activities that will assist in meeting basic human needs - reconciling environment and growth - as today's woman copes with the new technologies and societal changes.

The Sorority's most recent national projects place emphasis on remediation and tutoring as well as career exploration and increased awareness for youth; thereby helping youth to strive for excellence.

Thus, members of the Sorority seek to build racial pride, improved human relationships, and the pursuit of excellence in all endeavors among youth and adults - on local, regional and national levels.

IOTA PHI LAMBDA SORORITH, INC., is affiliated with and financially supports the National Council of Negro Women, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, United Negro College Fund, National Urban League, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the Conference on Human Rights, and the United Nations.

In addition to scholarships being awarded on local, regional and national levels, the Sorority offers short and long-term grants to its members for intellectual development and self-improvement.

The highest award given annually is the Lola M. Parker Achievement Award, presented at the National Convention to a woman selected on the recommendation of national judges, as the "Outstanding Woman of the Year." The Sorority sponsors "FIGS" - Future Iota Girls, high school and college young women, ages 18-20; "GEMS" - girls between the ages of 10-15; "FILS" - teenage young men - Future Iota Lambds. Two significant affiliates assist the Sorority in executing its goals and objectives: The Iota Pelatis Auxiliary and the Iota Lambds.


Mrs. Lola M. Parker
Founder-President Emeritus
Chicago, Illinois

Dr. Fredda Witherspoon
National President
20 Lewis Place
St. Louis, Missouri

Mrs. Clarice E. Brown
First Vice President
Chicago, Illinois

Mrs. Evelyn Sears Peevy
Second Vice President
Norfolk, Virginia

Miss Martha L. Gamble
Recording Secretary
Augusta, Georgia

Dr. Evelyn Hallman
Financial Secretary
Knoxville, Tennessee

Mrs. Rosella I.R. Ashley
Berkeley, California

Mrs. M. Louise Stewart
Dean of Pledges
Buffalo, New York

Mrs. E. Grace Payne
Director of Education
Los Angeles, California

Mrs. Miriam Dansby Johnson
Jackson, Mississippi

Mrs. Mary L. Harris
Northern Regional Director
Toledo, Ohio

Mrs. Priscilla D. Thomas
Southern Regional Director
Savannah, Georgia

Mrs. Beatrice Crawford
Eastern Regional Director
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Mrs. Wilda Brown
Western Regional Director
Louisville, Kentucky

Mrs. Lynn Norris
Southwestern Regional Director
New Orleans, Louisiana

Mrs. Edna Woodward
Farwestern Regional Director
Los Angeles, California

[[caption]] MARTHA GAMBLE, Recording Secretary

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