Soroptimist was founded in 1921 in Oakland, California by 80 women. The organization has grown to almost 100,000 members in 122 countries.

The name Soroptimist is coined from two Latin words - "Soror" (sister) and "Optima" (the best), translated to mean "The Best for Women".

Soroptimist International is a worldwide service organization of business and professional members dedicated to providing service to others in six programs of service areas:

Economic and Social Development; Education; Environment; Health; Human Rights/Status of Women; International Goodwill and Understanding.

Soroptimist clubs are organized into districts, regions, and federations. Districts hold meetings annually; regions hold conferences annually; federations hold biennial conventions every two years in the even numbered years; Soroptimist International holds international conventions every four years in the odd numbered years. Soroptimist clubs meet weekly, bi-weekly or monthly as determined by the club membership.

Club members raise funds and perform hands-on community service. In addition to monthly business meetings, clubs have meetings with speakers presenting programs of educational interest. A portion of each member's dues is sent to the region and federation levels for larger service actions.

Soroptimist International Headquarters is in Cambridge, England.
Soroptimist International of the Americas, one of the four federations, is comprised of 19 countries and has headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Founder Region, where Soroptimist began includes ten north coast counties in California, the State of Hawaii and the United States Territories of Guam and the Northern Mariana islands.

For more information, please visit the following websites:

Founder Region: sifounderregion.org
Soroptimist International of the Americas: www.soroptimist.org
Soroptimist International: www.sorop.org

SJ/dya - October 2002