As the nation’s leaders wage political warfare over education reform and the future of America’s children, one nonprofit organization is focused on leveling the financial playing field for exceptional students. The Zeta Phi Beta Sorority National Educational Foundation (Z-NEF) – a 501 (c )( 3) corporation dedicated to awarding scholarships, fellowship grants and education outreach programs – will host a fundraising breakfast 9: 30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Nov. 20, at Sheraton Washington North Hotel in Beltsville, Md. Proceeds benefit the organization’s endowment fund.

The morning of musical exploration features performances by Soloman Howard, a rich-voiced basso profondo (bass vocalist) who has appeared at the famed John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Brandie Sutton, a lyric soprano whose résumé includes performances at international concert halls and L’Shauntee Robertson, a contralto. Also performing are musicians James Glover, a gospel pianist, composer and student of the late Morgan State University choral director Nathan Carter, and sought-after producer and jazz saxophonist Chris Nichols. Adding to the list of notable faces is WJZ 13 news anchor Vic Carter, who will serve as the program’s host.

Event co-chairwoman Issie Jenkins says the fundraiser will be “inspiring, entertaining and most importantly, beneficial to Z-NEF,” which – with the assistance of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. – has awarded more than $1 million to various education-related initiatives in its 35-year history.

Scholarships are open to all applicants and, according to the foundation’s chairwoman, Dr. Kathryn T. Malvern, have supported higher education in the arts, the professions, as well as all areas of undergraduate and graduate studies.

In addition, Z-NEF has been lauded for its national community service education program for communities of color on developments in human genome research and the implications for minority community health and awareness.

Tickets for the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority National Educational Foundation’s benefit breakfast, “A Morning of Music,” are $60. For more information contact co-chairwoman Juanita Robinson at 301-384-8756 or Michelle Johnson at