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 Kappa Psi Zeta Chapter in Sacramento and did an interview with Tracy D. Jones Jackson 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. Jones Jackson, who is a HR Executive, Founder/CEO, has served in the position of Basileus for one year.
We interviewed Jones Jackson, who is a Fall 1992 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?
It is an honor to serve my chapter as president. I appreciate their trust as we approach our Centennial Celebration. I continue to grow my role as president and as a community leader through the inspiration of my chapter members. I am truly humbled to be in a chapter with ladies who I love and admire and who challenge me in great ways.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the surrounding community?
Our founding principles are Scholarship, Service, Sisterhood and Finer Womanhood. As a community conscious, action oriented organization, we strive to reaffirm and maintain a strong commitment to our principles through our initiatives.
For over 15 years, we have awarded the Finer Womanhood scholarship which provides support for deserving university-bound, female high-school seniors from the Greater Sacramento Area. We participate annually and are Blue Ribbon Fundraisers for the American Cancer Society’s annual walk, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. We are committed to our elders by participating in an annual local community center Senior Luncheon during the holidays. Yet, as we enter our Centennial Year, we look to make our community stronger through partnerships with local non-profits and service projects that uplift people of color, especially women and children. We would like to expand our efforts in grassroots issues that are affecting our community, such as homeless, voter registration, and domestic violence.
What made you want to pledge Zeta Phi Beta?
I fell in love with Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. because I felt like it was an extension of my family. I loved that they were about the business and that’s what made them Finer. I wanted to belong to a group of strong black women, especially after growing up in a predominantly white area. It was refreshing to see so many positive role models who looked like me. I also loved that we have a constitutionally bound brother fraternity with Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., which really makes us unique and provides a greater extension and support in our service efforts.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
The diversity within our chapter is amazing. We have women from New York, Virginia, Texas, Michigan, Louisiana, and other places, but you’d never know that we didn’t all come through the same chapter. We really love each other and the bonds we share are genuine. Additional, the educational and professional depth of our chapter is extraordinary. Each of our members is well accomplished and committed to excellence in their respective fields. We all inspire each other to do our best! In addition, we have members who serve in state, regional and national roles for our sorority.
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?
People now look to social media to get information quickly about issues they are interested in. It’s where I often go to when I need to confirm information that I’ve heard or believe. As technology evolves, we must do the same to continue to remain relevant in matters of social action and community matters. We must have a presence locally and digitally, that speaks to who we are and what we stand for.
What does leadership mean to you?
Real leaders inspire greatness from those around them, and provide opportunities for their teams to grow. Great leaders are wise enough to know that they don’t know everything and are able to recognize the talents of others. Leaders must remain humble and hungry for knowledge or they will lose their edge.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
Leaders in our communities are often birthed out of organizations within the NPHC. It is important for us to stay informed and unified if we want to have our voices heard, and to work together to encourage social action. Watch the Yard gives us a central location to stay informed with all the D9 organizations.
What does sisterhood mean to you?
Where ever you go, you are at home because there is a brother or sister that you can call.
How is your chapter providing for the undergraduate chapters you support?
We assist our UG chapters by paying for all or part of their registrations for our conferences and training sessions, support for their events, and mentors for them to help develop their careers beyond their college years.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Tracy D. Jones Jackson for her work as the Basileus of the Kappa Psi Zeta Chapter which has a legacy that spans back to 1981.