‘The Divine Nine’ talk how to move King’s dream forward

By Dedrick Russell Published: Jan. 12, 2024

Divine 9 on King Day (Dedrick R)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – The city of Charlotte is kicking off Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend with a panel discussion with representatives from the nine Black Letter Greek sororities and fraternities.

They are called the Divine Nine. They include Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.

This is the second year of this type of discussion. It was held Friday at Johnson C. Smith University. The conversation centered on what the Greek letter organizations could do to fulfill King’s dream.

Many Charlotte politicians and city leaders are members of the Divine Nine. It was mentioned to those politicians – once you get in office what are you doing to improve the lives of your constituents?

Each panelist was asked to say some things Charlotte needs to focus on. Marcus Jones is Charlotte’s city manager. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He told the crowd with about 120 people moving to the Charlotte region each day – work can’t stop.

He believes the focus should be on creating good-paying jobs, affordable places to live, and the opportunity for people to find a way to give back.

Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden who is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. says the focus should be on mental health. He mentioned the saying “A child that is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth.” He believes a way to help people not be destructive and “burn down the village” is to offer them supportive services.

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