Philadelphia City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson successfully introduced a resolution to co-name the 1900 block of Federal Street to Arizona C. Stemons Way. The resolution was co-sponsored by by Councilwoman-at-Large Blondell Reynolds Brown on March 14.
The resolution was passed March 21 during Zeta Day at City Hall. The room was packed with ladies wearing the sorority’s colors of royal blue and white. Leading the delegation was the sorority’s Philadelphia graduate chapter, Beta Delta Zeta.
Stemons, an organizing founder of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., also lived in Philadelphia at 1915 Federal St. with her husband James for 52 years until her death in 1980. The property is managed by the Beta Delta Zeta chapter’s Board of Trustees.
Stemons founded the sorority in 1920 at Howard University in Washington, D.C., with Viola Tyler Goings, Fannie Pettie Watts, Myrtle Tyler Faithful and Pearl Anna Neal. Today, the organization has more than 150,000 members.
She was also Zeta Phi Beta’s first president and president emerita and organized the chartering of dozens of chapters of Zeta across the country. Stemons worked for decades with the city’s Department of Public Welfare.
The street renaming ceremony will take place on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, following the chapter’s 75th Anniversary Gala and Silent Auction at SugarHouse Casino Event Center on Nov. 22, 2019.