Top 10 Divine Nine News Stories, First Quarter of 2015

Last Updated on April 28, 2015

Members of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity of Kean University
From left to right; Tosin Oduwole, Jakim Jackson, Schalor Blackshear, Anthony Cannon, and Al-Tece Montgomery, are some of the members of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity of Kean University that will volunteer to build a home for a homeless family currently residing at Sierra House, a shelter for young women in East Orange on February 28, 2015. (Photo credit: Alexandra Pais, For NJ Advance Media)

Members, chapters and the national offices of the Divine Nine are helping communities every day, and I feel strongly that we need to tell those stories. That is why, in 2014, I began tracking news stories from and about the Divine Nine.

I want these news stories to accomplish three things. First, I hope we recognize that members of the Divine Nine are continuing to serve their communities by honoring the aims and ideals of their fraternities and sororities. Second, it is my wish that those of us within the Divine Nine are motivated to do more through our organizations. Third, I want to motivate high-caliber, high-character students to join Divine Nine organizations and take our servant leadership brand to heights we have never imagined.

That said, take a look at my top 10 Divine Nine news stories of the first quarter of 2015:

10. Delta Sigma Theta and Zeta Phi Beta members recognized for advocacy via social media by New York Daily News

Let’s recognize three important things. This piece came out of the country's biggest media market, it was a Black History Month feature, and it connects the organizations with an important cause. Leontyne Brown, a Delta, was recognized for starting the die-in movement that engaged Divine Nine members across the country even more in the Black Lives Matter movement. The paper also quoted Maliyka Muhammad, a member of Zeta Phi Beta, who said, “The quietest messages are the loudest, and people are able to absorb that.”

9. Mufreesboro Kappa Alpha Psi alumni chapter sets record straight about teen summit news coverage

Bravo, Antwan J. Walton of Kappa Alpha Psi’s Murfreesboro Alumni Chapter. As a former public relations director, I always encourage folks to call the news out for crappy coverage. The public need not be misled about what really happened at an event because of negligent reporting. Walton called the Daily News Journal out after disagreeing with the paper’s coverage of the chapter’s “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” Teen Summit. If the Kappas didn’t call them out, who would?

8. Omega Psi Phi chapter feeds homeless on “Super Bowl Sunday”

I’m not even going to lie, it is hard to get me to dedicate my “Super Sunday” to anything but the big game. That is why I have nothing but respect and love for Omega Psi Phi’s Lambda Iota chapter in Columbus, Ga. The chapter also offered free haircuts, and this marked their third year doing the project.

7. Delta Sigma Theta chapter completes fundraising for Kenya well project

Raising money for wells in Africa has become sort of a fundraising cliché but there really is a need. Delta’s Roanoke Alumnae Chapter (Va.) is yet another group to answer the call. Over a seven year period, the chapter showed consistency and persistence in their fundraising efforts through yard sales, raffles, and a “Walk for Water”. The Delta women eventually hit their $14,000 goal to assist Water For Children Africa.

6. Sigma Gamma Rho’s founding celebrated during ‘History of Butler’ series

Not only did The Butler Collegian, Butler University’s student newspaper, include Sigma Gamma Rho as part of their series but the writer did a great job of providing perspective about the sorority’s founding. Many of us in Black Greek life take for granted that Sigma Gamma Rho (and Kappa Alpha Psi) were founded in a state that, at the time, was a hotbed of Ku Klux Klan activity. One can’t help but gain a new respect for the sorority’s founding and growth.

5. Alpha Kappa Alpha partners with the National Alliance on Mental Illness

Mental health, without a doubt, is the elephant in the room when talking about health in Black America. Any mental health professional will tell you how tough it is to get our people, especially men, to confront mental health. Alpha Kappa Alpha is to be applauded for forming this partnership to engage communities with mental health education, awareness, and support activities on college campuses (where such outreach is sorely needed) and in local communities.

4. ‘Sorority Sisters’ gets the axe

It was a long, hard-fought battle by members of the Divine Nine to protect our collective brand. With a social media strategy spearheaded by author, speaker and Alpha Phi Alpha member Lawrence Ross, Jr., VH1 succumbed to the pressure due to an exodus of sponsors from the time slot held by the infamous reality TV show.

3. Alpha Phi Alpha chapter in Liberia distributes medical supplies and equipment in wake of Ebola outbreak

Alpha Phi Alpha’s Eta Epsilon Lambda chapter pooled their international resources to help their country fight the deadly Ebola disease. As a result, the chapter was able to donate medical supplies and equipment valued over $100,000. The chapter also took part in training 1,775 citizens and volunteers covering 63 communities in an aggressive outreach campaign with materials from UNICEF and Liberia’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

2. The Christian Science Monitor educates America about Delta Sigma Theta

One thing we in the Divine Nine take for granted is the importance of our network. I believe that our organizations make up the most prolific leadership network among people of color in America. The Christian Science Monitor, a respected publication, expressed that very well. Satisfying the curiosity of millions of politically-minded Americans, the publication wrote a great piece about the sisterhood, advocacy, and influence of the women of Delta Sigma Theta when members attended the initial confirmation hearing for then-U.S. attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch.

1. Iota Phi Theta chapter buys land for homeless family

In presenting “The Black Greek Success Program”, I encourage students to think big when they do community service projects. Iota Phi Theta’s Beta Xi chapter at Kean University did that and then some. These gentlemen consulted with a non-profit that works with homeless families, bought a plot of land, and now they are collecting money via GoFundMe to build the house. They are even up for an award from MTV. By the way, did I mention that this is a college chapter?

Five Honorable Mention Divine Nine News Stories of the Quarter:

2 thoughts on “Top 10 Divine Nine News Stories, First Quarter of 2015”

  1. Greetings,

    I habitually google my name and was pleasant surprised when I came across this piece. Thank you good brother for recogizing our accomplishments. As you know, those that are in the trenches don’t do it for recognition. We do it because we believe that, “To whom much is giver, much is required.” We do it because we want to serve and help others. Thank you again for doing this. It is indeed a good thing. Many question where we are. Your piece shows that we are EVERYWHERE doing good works!


Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top