It’s January, which for many means setting and sticking to resolutions, MLK Day service projects, and for members of Black Greek-letter organizations, celebrating a slew of Founders’ Days.
The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), often referred to as the “Divine Nine,” is composed of historically Black, Greek-letter fraternities and sororities, including: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity.
Among many initiatives and goals, the NPHC fosters collaboration between organizations, supports issues of mutual concern, and promotes the well-being of its fellow members. Thus, while Kappa Alpha Psi (Jan. 5), Phi Beta Sigma (Jan. 9), Delta Sigma Theta (Jan. 13), Alpha Kappa Alpha (Jan. 15) and Zeta Phi Beta (Jan. 16) all have Founders’ Days in January, the entire Divine Nine has a lot to celebrate.
Yes, more than half of the NPHC organizations were birthed in January, but Founders’ Days acknowledge more than that. The days uplift vision, courage and collective action.
Many of the issues tackled by individual organizations turn into initiatives bolstered by the entire Divine Nine, such as supporting HBCUs, addressing health inequities and thwarting voter suppression. Founders’ Day, no matter the Greek-letter organization, is like family matriarchs’ and patriarchs’ birthdays; it’s a time for the whole family — extended folks included — to celebrate.
Beyond the NPHC honoring Founders’ Days, the nation should recognize their value.
President Joe Biden has taken to social media in acknowledgment of many of the organizations’ contributions on the anniversary of their charters.
“Happy Founders Day to the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha,” the president said on the occasion of the sorority’s 115th Founders’ Day.
“More than 100 years of employing that motto, ‘by culture and by merit.’ That’s made us a better America, trust me I know. Through my Vice President Kamala Harris and my Director of Office Management and Budget Shalanda Young, I see it. That’s why Kamala and I have made sure to create a real and lasting collaboration with the Divine Nine for the first time in any White House,” Biden said, thanking the sorority for its service.
Showing love on Founders’ Days not only celebrates longevity, but acknowledges these organizations as historic change agents continuing to work towards a stronger nation and world.