Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter
Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter was chartered on April 27, 1940, in Miami, Florida, by eight civic-minded, professional African-American women. The chapter has the signal single honor of being the first graduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha chartered in the state of Florida and the first graduate chapter of a Black Greek- lettered organization chartered in Miami. For more than eight decades, our members have provided educational, health, social, and cultural services to the residents of Miami-Dade County without interruption. Presently, more than 400 members continue to fulfill Alpha Kappa Alpha's mission to render “service to all mankind” through volunteerism and by partnering with other community-based organizations and businesses in the north central and northern areas of Miami-Dade County.
A Message From
Dr. Martha Johnson-Rutledge
President, Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter
Greetings and thank you for visiting our website. I am honored to serve as the forty-sixth President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®, Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter. On April 27, 1940, Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter was chartered at the home of Dorothy Edwards in Brownsville (Miami), FL. Gamma Zeta Omega has the distinction of being the oldest graduate chapter in the state of Florida.
We have provided service to Miami-Dade County for the past eighty-two years via the volunteer efforts of our 400+ membership. In collaboration with many community partners and our non-profit arm, Women Involved in Service to Humanity (W.I.S.H.) Foundation, Inc., we are committed to providing “service to all mankind.” Our chapter supports graduating high school seniors by awarding scholarships in various amounts including our signature scholarship the Jeanetta A. Gill four-year scholarship.
We invite you to visit our website to discover how to attend our programs or to learn about opportunities to volunteer with is. Our deep bonds of sisterhood welcome any member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.® looking to affiliate with a graduate chapter in South Florida. We welcome you to share your talents with us.
Serving with Love and Gratitude,
Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter was chartered April 27, 1940, in Miami, Florida. Charter members were Dorothy Wright Edwards, Jeanetta A. Gill, Ethel A. Grice, Harriet Twine Hart, Madeleine Douglas Portier, Ida Taylor Ratcliffe, Dolores Bethel Reynolds and Sara Scott Stewart.
In 1935, Ida Taylor Ratcliffe had a burning desire to form a graduate chapter in Miami. She contacted national headquarters and learned that eight graduate sorors with credentials were needed to form a chapter. Ida, an efficient leader, began working to locate sorors.
Five years later, Gamma Zeta Omega became the sorority’s first graduate chapter in the state of Florida and the first graduate chapter of a Black Greek-letter sorority in Miami. The dynamic charter members pushed Gamma Zeta Omega forward despite stinging obstacles, such as segregation and discrimination.
Now, forward eight decades, presently entering its 82nd year and 45 chapter Presidents later, Gamma Zeta Omega is supported by an invigorated membership exceeding 400, which continues to provide outstanding service to the Miami-Dade County community and beyond.
The Chapter and several members have distinguished themselves locally, regionally and nationally:
Click to read more and learn about these membersMrs. Mayme E. Williams, sixth Chapter President, was elected South Atlantic Regional Director, appointed director of the South Atlantic Region in 1959, and elected to the office of International First Vice President The Honorable Frederica S. Wilson, was the 22nd Chapter President, a former elementary school principal, local school board member, Florida State Representative, State Senator and currently a sitting United States Congresswoman, was elected the 11th South Atlantic Regional Director in 1986. She is the founder of the 5,000 Role Models of Excellence Program, which boosts the self-image and social and academic skills and mentoring for in-school male students. Ms. Jessie C. Trice, president and CEO of the Economic Opportunity Family Health Center (EOFHC), was an outstanding health professional and advocate. Ms. Trice’s work was recognized by the U.S. Surgeon General and Governor Lawton Chiles. In her honor, the EOFHC was renamed the Jessie Trice Community Health Center, and a segment of Northwest 22nd Avenue, where the main center’s campus is erected, was named “Jessie Trice Boulevard”. Six former Chapter Presidents were selected as Cluster I Coordinators as follows: Ethel Grice, Alice Harrison, Jacquelyn Davis, Barbara Mason-Gardiner and Maria Jerkins. The list also included member Carolyn Young, who was a most astute, fiercely loyal and supportive Chapter member. Gamma Zeta Omega has propagated Alpha Kappa Alpha®’s legacy of scholarship, sisterhood and service by chartering two undergraduate chapters in Miami-Dade County: Iota Nu at the University of Miami and Sigma Pi at Florida International University. M. Athalie Range, a highly-accomplished businesswoman and civil rights activist, was inducted, February 8, 1975, as an Honorary Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®, becoming the first honorary member inducted in the state of Florida. Ebony magazine honored Regina Jollivette Frazier, as one of the100 most influential Black Americans, for the period 1987 - 1990. In addition, she served as the ninth national president of the Links, Incorporated. W.I.S.H. (Women Involved in Service to Humanity), incorporated June 2, 1988, is the Chapter’s 501c(3), (non-profit) foundation, that allows Gamma Zeta Omega to increase its charitable community endeavors. A Time Capsule was sealed December 2, 2000 and deposited at the Black Archives History and Research Foundation of South Florida, on April 28, 2001. It will be unsealed in 2025. For the period 2005 – 2007, Dr. Charlie Powell Albury served as the 40th Imperial Grand Commandress, the Imperial Court, Daughters Isis, Prince Hall Affiliated. In addition, on April 30, 2021, Dr. Powell-Albury was elected in Atlanta, GA, to a two year term as 4th International President (General Conference of Royal Grand Perfect Matron) of the Conference of Grand Courts of the Ladies of Perfection. This honor encompasses 15 states and 2 countries. Dr. Powell is the recipient of incalculable and very high honors for her affiliation with and dedication to this prestigious internationally based organization. Gamma Zeta Omega’s political forum – “Pumps, Pearls and Politics” – was renamed in 2019, “Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson’s Pumps, Pearls and Politics,” in honor of the Congresswomen. This forum allows Gamma Zeta Omega members to present a public platform which allows ‘community partners and voices’ to address, to salient local, state-wide and national issues and concerns. Adora Obi Nweze (Johnnie Raye McMillian) is a legendary local community, state and national Human-Rights activist, with a noteworthy and extensive history of significant service achievements to her credit. She served for eleven years as President of the Miami-Dade Branch of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) and two years as president of the Opa-Locka, (FL), NAACP Branch. Ms. Nweze subsequently was elected President of the Florida State Conference. Appointed, by former Florida Govenor Charlie Crist, she served as Special Advisor for Minority Affairs. In 2007 -2008 Ms. Nweze was appointed to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Advisory Committee, assisting in the development of a post (hurricane) Katrina Report. She was appointed NAACP Region V Coordinator, as well as Coordinator of the organization’s Disaster Relief Program. Nweze led the National 50th Anniversary Observance of Brown v Board of Education in 1905, as Chairwoman of that noteworthy event. Lawsuits, spearheaded by Nweze’s leadership, were filed by the state Conference to promote justice and equality in such areas as: One Florida Initiative, Voting Irregularities of 2000, and Voter Disenfranchisement, The Florida Department of Corrections, School Vouchers, Affirmative Action and many, many more.For more than four uninterrupted decades, the Ivy Rosettes mentoring program has served Miami-Dade County’s high school girls. The origin of the Ivy Rosettes, a special chapter program, arose out of the members’ interest in having a positive impact on the lives of young girls.A sought after speaker for forums, panels, workshops and more, she is an inspirer, a mentor and motivator. Her record of stellar achievements, of her impressive awards, commendations and recognitions are enormous and exceed current space allocations.