[Original Post Date: February 2007]
In this column, which celebrates BBW and/or women of Color who follow their own path, we'd like to introduce you to this month's Independent Woman, Ms. Janelle Myers, founder of Chi Zeta Theta Sorority, Inc .
BN: What was the motivating factor behind your wanting to start Chi Zeta Theta Sorority, Inc.?
JM:I was at a point in my life where I felt the negativity i was dealing with was just how my life was going to be. I listen to friends and co-workers down themselves for not being what society has labeled beautiful. I always feel the need to uplift someone who doesn't realize how beautiful of a person they really are. I also wanted to build a sorority where it would be open to all women even if they are not in college because all women needs sisterhood and should have the greek experience. I knew building this sisterhood would bring joy to many women who felt that they had to be subjected to feeling unattractive,alone or just plan different. It has brought so much joy into the lives of my sorors and I. To me, with joy comes success.
BN: Why a sorority vs. any other non-profit organization?
JM: I felt a sorority would bring a special place to women. To have bonds only we can understand makes sisterhood even stronger. I wanted to build a sense of commitment, uplifting our community and gaining self-love. I also wanted the women who is a part to build a sense of pride in representing this unique sorority and enjoy themselves as well.
BN: What is the sorority’s motto or mission statement?
JM:Our motto is "Celebrating Within, Uplifting Throughout"
BN:When did the plans for Chi Zeta Theta Sorority, Inc. first start to take shape?
JM: Shortly after Chi Zeta Theta Sorority was founded in August 11th 2005, I immediately began doing research on how to build such an organization and what it requires. The sorority colors, flower, mascot, jewel, crest etc. was all researched and has very special meanings behind them which is taught to the members. It took hard work and dedication. I had a few set backs and even slowed down the process because I thought it maybe too much for me to handle alone. Not to long after-wards, my personal profile on a website was featured as member of the week and thousands read the little information I had about the sorority that will one day blossom to what it is today. At that point I thought, I can't let these women down and it was the women who were interested in helping to build that kept me going and til this day I thank them all. It was my sign.
BN: What has been the most rewarding part of being a founder of an organization that has grown so quickly?
JM: My sorors giving me the strength to push this organization to being it's best and to be my best. Also the messages from women all over the U.S. sending there blessing and appreciation that a sisterhood such as Chi Zeta Theta Sorority, Inc. is now a reality.
BN: What is one quote/phrase that inspires you to do your best work?
JM: "Something which we think is impossible now is not impossible in another decade." — Constance Baker Motley
For More Information on Chi Zeta Theta Sorority, Inc. please visit their website at plussizesorority.ning.com.