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Thursday, June 13, 2024

North Carolina ‘Divine 9’ Black Fraternities & Sororities Push For HBCU State Funding

RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina Black Alliance’s “Divine 9” fraternities and sororities had the opportunity to express their concerns to state lawmakers on Wednesday.

Divine 9 refers to a group of nine historically Black Greek-letter organizations, also called the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC).

Speakers on Wednesday had the chance to share their agenda with Gov. Roy Cooper and hear from Rev. Dr. William Barber, who conducted the keynote address.

The speeches began at 9 a.m. at Halifax Mall in downtown Raleigh. Those in attendance listened to Cooper as he touched on the importance of public education, teacher pay, and voting rights. The N.C. Black Alliance group laid out an agenda for lawmakers that includes election protection, healthcare access, and educational equity.

North Carolina House Democratic leader Robert Reives said the annual gathering is vital in addressing critical issues, including HBCU funding.

“This event is important … it’s a chance for all of our Black fraternities and sororities to come together that are based here in North Carolina, to really get a chance to see what we do, to talk about what’s going on with the issues that matter to us,” Reives said.

The North Carolina Black Alliance (NCBA), a 501(c)(3), works toward state-level systemic change by strengthening the network of elected officials representing communities of color throughout the state and collaborating with progressive, grassroots networks on intersecting issues. 

These issues range from voting rights, gerrymandering, criminal justice reform, health and wellness, and economic development to education. The Alliance is an intergovernmental network of African American legislators, county commissioners, school board members, and municipal elected officials centered on a commitment to ambitiously address broad issues of inequality and fairness.

NCBA collaborates with strategic partners to advance the work of those organizations and to enhance intentional collaboration with black constituencies. 

Reives said the group’s top agenda item is educational resources for HBCUs.

“What’s on top of mind for me right now is education,” he said. “It is our great building block. That’s the one thing that evens out everything … we have to amplify the importance of making sure that everybody gets a good solid education.”

NPHC was chartered on May 10, 1930, by five fraternities and sororities at Howard University in Washington, DC. Four other Greek-letter organizations later joined the council.

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