NC Divine 9 Legislative Day sets record participation
On Wednesday, May 10, the NC Black Alliance hosted over 100 representatives in person from the Divine Nine Advocacy Group and over 800 online during the hybrid 7th Annual Divine 9 Legislative Day. Among Wednesday’s attendees included an intimate and engaging group of college students and recent college graduates to participate in the discussion.
The Divine 9 Advocacy Group is created as a collaboration among the nine Historically Black Greek Letter Organizations sororities and fraternities to promote unity, provide community education, awareness, and advocacy as it relates to legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government, and to address the most prominent issues and needs of North Carolina residents. Legislative Day serves as a purpose to engage the state’s legislative leaders with Divine 9 leadership from Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.
This year’s theme, If Not Us, Then Who?, was opened with a Legislative Roundtable discussion featuring a panel of NC General Assembly representatives, followed by breakout sessions centered around pivotal issues plaguing North Carolina and nationwide, including:
- Criminal and Juvenile Justice: Gun Laws and School Shootings
- Mental Health in the Black Community: Treatment and Accessibility
- Voting in the Black Community: Voter Rights, Suppression, Education and Funding
- Environmental Inclusion
- Housing Disparities – Budget and Food Subsidizing in the Black Community, and
- Education Reform
The stakes could not be higher, and while we have a long road ahead, election protection, access to healthcare, and fair maps remain at the forefront of democracy. As lawmakers introduce legislation that could have impactful consequences, political participation from our fraternities and sororities will be indispensable to providing social, civil, and political intervention in North Carolina this year. The Divine 9’s unified movement of organizations will play a vital role in organizing, which will be critical to increase community education, awareness, and advocacy for our most vulnerable populations.
Cassandra Stokes, Esq.
Democracy and Economy Coordinator