Historically African American fraternities and sororities are members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). NPHC’s nine Greek-letter organizations are sometimes referred to as the Divine Nine/ (D9). One must be a matriculating college student or have obtained a bachelor’s degree as a pre-requisite to join a D9 organization. Here are 5 reasons why your African American college-aged student should consider joining a D9 organization.
5. Protection In Numbers
Regardless of what college you choose, in what state HBCU, or PWI, the transfer from high school to university is a culture shock to our teens growing from children into adults. The world swells as we go from a small middle school to a large high school. It triples in size when we get to college. It can be a lonely road without friends, and a trying one when friends come and go. D9 organizations provide for your student brother/sisterhood that is more consistent than fleeting friendships. Protection in numbers is a known preventative against physical harm not limited to assault and kidnapping, an unfortunate threat on college campuses. It is also a protection against the mental harm of loneliness and sadness that may come with living away from home for the first time.
4. Core Values
Chances are, if you have a child that you’ve managed to get to college, that this is a job well done on your part. However, with the growing pains that are often accompanied by rebellion, it is beneficial to have an organization that reinforces the best of your own values. D9 organizations are predominantly made up of Christian African Americans. Each one of them has a five-point thrust that includes something to the effect of scholarship, political engagement, and community service. These core values, along with companions that live by them, can fuel your child’s success during their undergraduate education.
While masculinity can be innate for any boy or girl, manhood is not. Manhood is a mantle that must be passed from man to boy. Manhood means what it means to be a father, a leader, a brother to be relied upon by his brother, a pillar of a community, and all things noble when it comes to the male gender role. Women often come about womanhood a bit more naturally than men come about manhood. D9 fraternities instill and inculcate manhood as a tradition of generation-old tests and trials. Single mothers and fatherless boys can benefit especially from this. When you as a woman, are unable to teach him how to be a man, know that the big brothers of his fraternity can.
2. Community Service
It was mentioned before but deserves to be mentioned again: Community Service. In reality, we as African Americans despite all of our strides towards success and upward social movement, are in reality one of the poorest most disenfranchised communities in America. D9 Community Service allows for our best and brightest to return to their marginalized communities to pay it forward. Each one may teach, but first, they must reach one. These organizations make it easy for them to participate in community service because they are always in the know. From demonstrations to voter registration D9 organizations make it easy to be a positive change in the black community.
Let’s say your daughter graduates from Spelman College and is hired as a White House intern in Washington D.C. She doesn’t know anyone there. She’s never been there, doesn’t know where to live, where to shop, or how to meet people. Let’s say this same daughter just so happens to be a soror of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc/ (DST). The largest D9 sorority. She can alert the DST graduate chapter at Howard University, notify them of her arrival and expect to be treated like a blood sibling. Accommodated and integrated, your daughter can go anywhere in the USA for the first time and find herself a Delta who is willing to help her out. This goes for any D9 organization.