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January Is Divine 9 Impact Month

In 1989, when I became a member of my fraternity, I wasn't sure what to expect from my membership. Of course, I had been told about potential career perks, but my neophyte mind couldn't fathom the impact that the (then) "Great 8"* had on society. Nearly 15 years later, I wrote the Black Greek Success Program for college members of the "Divine 9" to inspire them to embrace the great privilege that we all have to stand on the shoulders of the giants who had already done our letters proud.

Graphic featuring the text: Divine 9 Impact Month J1-J31, A celebration of the Divine 9's impact on society, Learn more at

For the uninitiated (pardon the pun), the Divine 9 consists of the nine biggest collegiate-based historically African American fraternities and sororities. In order of founding years, the fraternities Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma, and Iota Phi Theta; and the sororities Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta, and Sigma Gamma Rho.

A significant part of the Black Greek Success Program is calling to college members attention that we all have a responsibility to maintain a legacy of leadership. This is not a platitude, it's a reminder that history has been influenced by members of our fraternities and sororities since the early 20th Century, something that I detail in the Divine 9 Social Impact Timeline. I wanted to go beyond my campus presentations, so I dedicated a month to posting Divine 9 historical facts and notable figures on social media.

The month that I chose for this celebration of Divine 9 impact is January. One reason is five of the Divine 9 fraternities and sororities were founded in January (Kappa, Sigma, Delta, AKA, and Zeta). The other reason is January represents a renewed focus for a new year. I had been calling the month "Black Greek Success Month," but I have given consideration to the fact that the Divine 9 are not the only historically Black Greek-lettered fraternities and sororities making an impact on communities every day. There are also very important historically Black fraternal and social impact organizations that are not represented by Greek letters.

To be more accurate about the organizations represented,

I renamed the month to honor my Divine 9 brothers and sisters.

January is Divine 9 Social Impact Month.

Features throughout the month will be posted on the Black Greek Success Instagram and Threads accounts as well as my TikTok account. Please join me in celebrating Divine 9 Social Impact Month!

*Iota Phi Theta joined the National Pan-Hellenic Council in 1997, turning the "Great 8" into the "Divine 9."


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