Eastern NPHC members take pride membership

Corryn Brock, News Editor

The National Pan-Hellenic Council, a council for historically Black sororities and fraternities, has a number of proud members who have gone on to do important things around the world.

From civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. (Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.) and Coretta Scott King (Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.) to football player Ron Brace (Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.) and musical artist Aretha Franklin (Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.), NPHC has left its mark on history.

Now the council, better known as the Divine Nine, will have the ability to say the first Black, first South Asian and first female Vice President of the United States was a member of one the organizations they represent, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris became a sister of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. when she attended Howard University, a historically Black university, in Washington, D.C. and when she accepted the nomination to be President-elect Joe Biden’s running mate she spoke fondly of the organization and school saying, “Family is my beloved Alpha Kappa Alpha, our Divine Nine and my HBCU brothers and sisters.”

Eastern has had chapters of multiple Divine Nine organizations, with the campus currently being officially home to the Zeta Nu chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Tau Theta chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Theta Zeta chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Delta Beta chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., and the Omicron Delta chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

Being a member of the Divine Nine is a lifelong commitment and one its members take seriously, especially when it comes to supporting fellow members.

Shortly before the election, members of the Divine Nine did just that with Stroll to the Polls, where members were encouraged to vote in the 2020 election.

Strolling is a major part of Divine Nine culture and can be defined as “an organized line movement performed around the floor at a party” or “a cultural dance that is often performed in a circle or in unison to symbolize unity and strength.”

Many did so in support of Harris.

For the newest members of the Divine Nine, having a member elected to one of the highest offices in the United States can be seen as an inspiration.

Shariah Campbell, a senior human service and community leadership major and member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. said the Harris being elected was a good sight to see as an NPHC woman.

“For me it was like yes she’s a part of NPHC but she’s also a Black woman and it was just like wow, that’s phenomenal. It lets someone younger think ‘that could be me when I grow up because she did,’” Campbell said.

Raven Ramsey, a junior construction management major and member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. said it was nice to see someone from the council elected to the office.

“I think it is quite amazing to actually see someone in that type of position coming from NPHC,” Ramsey said.

To them an NPHC woman represents something they see in the women within their organizations.

“An NPHC woman is no different than any other woman, she just stands with courage, she’s strong, she’s brave, she’s resilient, she’s smart, she’s educated, she’s everything and more,” Campbell said.

“It represents bravery, just knowing that she’s the first,” Ramsey said. “It lets little girls, even people like me, be able to know that even though you may be the only woman or the only African American woman you still have a place and she’s definitely showing that she has a place.”

Ramsey said she is excited to see what Harris does in the position as a member of an organization dedicated to servicing the community, and is excited to see how she executes her “calling to serve to the people, not just her community but the nation. It’ll be very exciting to see how service is shown with her for the whole nation.”


Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].