Soroptimist International was founded on October 3, 1921 in Oakland,  California.  On that date 85 working women, representing many diverse professions, joined together to “foster the ideal of service.”  The name “Soroptimist,” derived from the Latin “soro” (sister) and “optima” (best), means “the best for women.” From that small beginning has grown the world’s largest classified service organization for executive and professional women, with more than  98,000 members in 113 countries  throughout the world.  Soroptimist International plays an important role in global affairs, participating as an advisor to the United Nations and the World Health Organization.
Soroptimist of Lakewood/Long Beach was chartered on May 28, 1955.  It is part of the Camino Real Region of Soroptimist International of the Americas (SIA), which is the largest of the four federations of Soroptimist International.