The Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. was chartered on April 27, 1940 in Miami, Florida, at the home of Dorothy Edwards. The driving force for the chapter was Ida Taylor Ratcliffe, a public school teacher. Ida Ratcliffe had fulfilling memories of the sorority from her days at Clark College in Atlanta, where she was initiated into Alpha Pi Chapter in 1930. She longed for that sense of sisterhood in Miami, but there was no chapter.
In 1937, she met other Alpha Kappa Alpha women (Dorothy Edwards and Sara Scott), who were teachers in the Miami area. By 1939, she met five more sorority members, all educators. Ida Ratcliffe ignited their interest in starting a chapter in South Florida. On April 27, 1940, Margaret Davis Bowen, the national representative for International President Dorothy Boulding Ferebee, traveled to Miami, Florida to officially charter what would be the state’’s first chapter for graduate members.
A year later, Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter held its first initiation. The three women in that group were Grace B. Albert, Anna B. Ward and Ophelia F. Wilson. These women built a foundation upon which over 200 members of Gamma Zeta Omega continue to perform service to the Miami-Dade County community and throughout the State of Florida. We salute them for their courage and vision for building this sisterhood.
Gamma Zeta Omega Charter Members included Ida Taylor Ratcliffe*, Dorothy Edwards , Ethel Grice*, Delores Bethel*, Jeanetta A. Gill*, Harriett E. Hart*, Madeleine D. Portier* and Sara Scott Stewart*.
* Indicates Ivy Beyond the Wall (deceased)