In an effort to highlight the people who are leading graduate chapters across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to the sorors of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.’s Sigma Kappa Zeta Chapter in Brooklyn, New York and did an interview with Andrea Wright the Basileus of the chapter.
The position of Basileus/president of a Black sorority chapter is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes. Wright, who is a clinical research professional, has served as Basileus for one year.
We interviewed Wright, who is a Fall 1995 initiate of her sorority, and talked to her about her position, goals, future and what it means to hold this type of leadership position in the digital age.
Read the full interview below.
What does it mean to be a chapter president to you?
As president of Sigma Kappa Zeta, it is my duty to ensure that the goals and objectives of the chapter are executed as well as ensure that we are carrying out the initiatives of the greater sorority. As president, you are also the face of the chapter and must hold yourself to the highest standards of excellence. A president’s role is not easy as you are often faced with challenges; however, it is during these struggles that you learn a lot about yourself and what you are capable of.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the surrounding community?
Our chapter is focused on serving the women and children in our community. We love programs that promote education and this past month, we worked with Ms. Gloria Carter, mother of rap mogul Jay Z, and the Shawn Carter Foundation where we were able to gift school supplies to close to 200 kids participating in the Marcy Basketball Tournament in Marcy Houses in Brooklyn. We will also be continuing with our Stork’s Nest which is a partnership with the March of Dimes and King’s County Hospital. The Stork’s Nest is our sorority’s international program that promotes prenatal care and healthy behaviors during pregnancy. This is something I am very passionate about because too many of our women disproportionately experience adverse events during pregnancy, many of which can be prevented with proper healthcare and knowledge.
What made you want to pledge Zeta Phi Beta?
I waited until my junior year in college before I pursued Zeta. I was in other organizations on campus but wanted something more. I loved the bond shared among the Zeta women on my campus. I also loved how the Zetas on my campus carried themselves and how they interacted with other students. They were proud of their sorority but didn’t wear it as a badge. Zeta enhanced the great individuals they already were.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
Our chapter is known for our thriving youth programs. This past year we had almost 100 youth members combined for our three youth auxiliary groups: Pearlettes (ages 4-8), Amicettes (ages 9-13) and Archonettes (ages 14-18). Based on their age group, our youth participate in various community service projects, oral competitions, science fairs, and even voter registration drives. These programs help foster the development of our young women and I’m so inspired by these already amazing citizens of the world. Our future is female and it looks bright!
We now live in a digital world, what do you think alumni chapters across all orgs need to do to represent themselves online in 2019?
Branding is so important. I think technology and social media is a great tool when used correctly. We have to be mindful of what content is used to represent both you as an individual as well as your chapter. However, it can be a great way to connect you to other chapters as well as other organizations in the community that may have common goals and ideals as you.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership is encouraging and fostering efforts towards a common goal. It’s empowering others to be the best that they can be by highlighting their strengths while recognizing their weaknesses. It may sometimes mean telling someone something they may not want to hear but you do it with compassion. Leadership is not about the position it’s about teamwork. A good leader cannot be selfish and often puts the good of others before themselves. However, one thing I am striving for this year is learning how to keep the balance of unselfishness with self-care.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
I think Watch The Yard is important to our community because it continues the legacies of our respective organizations while reminding us that we are all part of the same DNA with similar ideals and end goals. I especially love the older pics of Black Greek life. It reminds us that there were many before. We stand on their shoulders and it’s important that we continue that legacy.
What does sisterhood mean to you?
Sisterhood is a such a powerful thing to experience. It’s unconditional love, knowing that someone always has your back and your best interest at heart. It’s receiving feedback that you may not like to hear but knowing that it’s coming from a place of love. It’s celebrating each other in your high moments of life but also providing a source of comfort during the lows. I have always been extremely close to my younger blood sister. In 2016 she also became my Soror so now we are sisters squared!
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Andrea Wright for her work as the Basileus of the Sigma Kappa Zeta Chapter which has a legacy that spans back to 2001.
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