LUBBOCK, Texas- The National Pan-Hellenic Council is an organization that has consisted of the nine historically black fraternities and sororities casually referred to as the “Divine Nine.”
The NPHC was formed May 10, 1930, at Howard University and consisted of four sororities and and five fraternities. The official Divine Nine organizations include Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta, Sigma Gamma Rho Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Alpha Phi Alpha, Phi Beta Sigma, and Iota Phi Theta.
These organizations were created at a time racial segregation was prominent, and Blacks were excluded from being a part of white organizations on college campuses.
As of 2023, the estimated amount of NPHC member was around two million.
Texas Tech University is one of the many colleges across the country where these organizations have had a presence.
“When I did become a member of the D9, and specifically [Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc.], I found likeminded people who looked like me,” said, Karmen Brown, a Texas Tech student. “So, I think it gives me the encouragement to keep going and know that I am not alone. We share like experiences, and they want to do the things that I want to do in the community.”
Education, community service and unity are a few of the common pillars that these organizations share, but they all have different principals and mottos.
“[Zeta Phi Beta Inc.’s] principles are scholarship, service, sisterhood and finer womanhood and our motto is a community conscious action-oriented organization,” said Texas Tech student Mahogany Nails. “Throughout Zetas history, we have been in the community getting on the ground and getting our feet dirty, getting our hands dusty that’s just who Zeta is.”
Some of the world’s greatest leaders come from these organizations such as civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, current United States Vice President Kamala Harris is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, and basketball legend Michael Jordan is a member of Omega Psi Phi.
“It’s more than what meets the eye. It goes into a lot of history it goes into a lot of principles a lot of morals and character,” Kappa Alpha Psi Inc. member and Texas Tech student, Justin Reid said. “It’s definitely a self-building and also a community building type of thing. And at the end of the day its’ a lifelong brotherhood and sisterhood.”
“I feel like the media has really misconstrued what and who we are as a movement,’ said Shauna Pugh, Texas Tech student and Delta Sigma Theta Inc. “Making sure that you know what you are getting into, again doing your research and who would you be before and after you join the D9. I think those are some important factors that you need to take into consideration because this is a lifetime commitment.”