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127th Wing celebrates sorority’s Selfridge connection, honors women

  • Published
  • By Bruce Huffman
  • 127th Wing

It was 1971, the song, “What’s Going On,” by Marvin Gaye topped the charts. We wore bell bottom pants, and platform shoes. The cool blue and hot pink Etch-A-Sketches were just hitting the store shelves and we gathered around the fondue pot for some sweet and savory treats. It was also a time when shocking images from the front lines in Vietnam aired nightly in America’s living rooms. The Soviet Union launched its first space station into low Earth orbit, and the chaos of war protests, women’s marches and political unrest dominated the headlines. As we reflect on the cherished, and not-so-cherished moments of 1971, we also pause to celebrate women’s history and pay tribute to some extraordinary ladies with a Selfridge connection you probably never knew existed.

Selfridge was transferred to control of the Michigan Air National Guard, July 1, 1971, making it the first major active-duty Air Force Base to come under the control of the Air National Guard. Shortly after the MIARNG took over the base, the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.- Eta Lambda Zeta Chapter was chartered here at Selfridge, Oct. 31, 1971.

The charter members were a group of local sorors that were wives of Selfridge airmen, and one was a schoolteacher at the base. The Sorority has selflessly served Mount Clemens and Macomb County ever since.
“Zeta’s mission has always been to affect positive change in the world, raise people’s consciousness, encourage the highest standards of scholastic achievement, and foster a greater sense of unity among its members and the community,” said Zeta member Y. Michelle Wilson-Merriwether.

According to Wilson-Merriwether, some of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc’s programs include the endowment of its national educational foundation, community outreach services, and support for multiple affiliate organizations. Zeta chapters and auxiliaries have provided numerous hours of volunteer service to educate the public, assist youth, provide scholarships, support organized charities, and promote social and civic change legislation right here in the local community.

Over the years, the sorority has held, “Finer Womanhood,” programs, honoring local women in Macomb County, and hosted numerous programs and events to provide services for underserved women, children, men, and seniors.

Other Zeta activities include “Adopt-A-Road,” “Meals-On-Wheels,” eldercare, honoring veterans, supporting, “Wreaths Across America,” providing school supplies for children, and providing support to local churches and community service projects.

Each year, Women’s History Month is celebrated throughout March and the Department of Defense joins the nation in honoring and celebrating the contributions of women to our nation and our Armed Forces. The theme changes each year, and DoD’s theme for 2023, is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories”.

Please join the 127th Wing as we tell each other’s stories and honor the ladies of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. – Eta Lambda Zeta Chapter for their service to Selfridge and the surrounding communities.