And so it was that eleven women met in 1942 and decided to begin an organization to serve the needs of African American business and professional women, to create a place and space where women of color could connect, express and share. They formed Eta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated – a sisterhood that would connect Black women to each other professionally, provide a space where they could express the highest standard of womanhood and share their gifts, talents and skills with each other and, ultimately, the world.
These women, all students of the renowned Lewis Business College in Detroit, Michigan were namely Ann Porter, Earlene Carter, Katherine R. Douglas, Atheline Shelton Graham, Mattie Rankin, Ethel Madison. Merry Green Hubbard, Mae Edwards Curry, Ivy Burt Banks, Dorothy Sylvers Brown, and Lena Reed. The were visionaries of the highest order.
Their vision was to promote high scholastic standards, personal growth and career awareness and provide opportunities for community service.
Eta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. was incorporated in 1943 and since then, the women of Eta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. have offered their best to their respective local communities and the world community at large.
Eta Phi Beta, Inc. developed as its purpose: To promote and develop closer fellowship among business and professional women and to work for their welfare. Their aim was and remains to obtain for women the opportunity for the highest standards in all business fields, support high school graduates by providing scholarships that further education in business and professional fields and assist in programs designed to improve the quality of life for people who are developmentally disabled.