November 1, 2011
“A United Sisterhood of Business and Professional Women Striving for Economic Empowerment”
I am Phyllis H. Shumate, the 21st National President of Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc., and
I am both honored and humbled to hold that title.
Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. is a dynamic sisterhood of business and professional women with a remarkable story. It all began back in 1929, when Lola Mercedes Parker and six other visionary women came together in Chicago, Illinois. Their goal was to empower African-American women aspiring to careers in business, on the cusp of the Great Depression that would throw our nation into economic turmoil. Mrs. Parker and her equally determined friends, were inspired to make a difference—to create a national organization that would encourage, inspire, nurture, and assist women in business vocations.
Today, 82 years later, our country once again faces tough economic times, recalling that devastating era in our nation’s collective history. Now, like then, as people of color, the hardships hit our communities the hardest. And it is clear that Iota Phi Lambda Sorority’s mission, purpose and goals are more vital now than ever. We support and encourage business and professional women who can help pave the way and open desperately needed opportunities for others — and we will do more. We promote interest in and awareness of business and entrepreneurship among girls and young women through programs and scholarships — and we will do more. We offer opportunities for leadership development for youth and avenues for building leadership expertise for our thousands of members across the country and in the U.S. Virgin Islands — and we will do more.
Under the theme of “A United Sisterhood of Business and Professional Women Striving for Economic Empowerment,” Iota women will continue to move upward and onward. The goals of this administration will focus on accountability, membership, communication, technology, positive change and global connections: a vision for Iota’s future that embraces the vision of our founder, ever seeking to realize and even reach beyond her greatest dreams for this great sorority.
I invite you, whether you are sorors, prospective members, or interested members of the public, to spend some time with the Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc., website. Soak in some of our notable history. Explore the information about our programs and projects. And join us in the spirit of excellence and committed service as we seek to make a difference — by making meaningful contributions to this increasingly global society in which we live.
Phyllis H. Shumate,
21st National President
Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc