Gina Pettis Dean Lobbies the Divine Nine for “A Call to Colors” GDN Exclusive Part Xby Cash Michaels, contributing writer June 1, 2018
There is no doubt in her mind that “A Call to Colors,” the Greater Diversity News voter registration campaign for historically black colleges and universities throughout North Carolina, if not the nation, should be embraced and adopted by The Divine Nine – the nine historically Black Greek letter organizations (male and female) that make up the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC).
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
A long time and devout “sister” of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, Pettis Dean says the long and distinguished history of The Nine – of giving HBCU students across the nation a constructive role and voice in the fight for justice and equal rights – is certainly the spirit with which “A Call to Colors” campaign will be seen.
“We just need to put it together,” Pettis Dean told GDN, indicating that she is in process of making a formal presentation to the Pan-Hellenic Council. She emphasized that each member organization of The Divine Nine is indeed sponsoring their own voter registration and GOTV (get-out-to-vote) campaigns on their respective HBCU campuses across the state and the nation.
“A Call to Colors” asks that The Divine Nine combine their efforts so that every student can be registered to vote in time for this November’s 2018 midterm elections and beyond.
Pettis Dean added that getting the support of Kappa Alpha Phi Fraternity, Inc. President Thomas Battle, who is also currently the president of the Council of Presidents, will be critical.
GDN’s strategy for “A Call to Colors”
GDN’s strategy for “A Call to Colors” response is quite simple and powerful. Ask all alumni associations, at all levels, to create standing committees for non-partisan civic engagement. They would ask their members to volunteer 8, 16, 24 hours or more per election cycle, to help mobilize Black voter participation. Volunteer activities could include making telephone calls, Facebook posting, door knocking, organizing their churches or other community-based organizations, Greek organizations, working polls, supporting the NAACP and more.
GDN recommends that Alumni Association urge all HBCU Student Government Associations (SGAs) to make similar civic engagement pledges. SGAs should have twice a year student rallies promoting civic engagement and student organizations. “A Call to Colors” is a suggestion that appeals to student and HBCU Alumni members sense of community responsibility.
AKA Sister Gina Pettis Dean, and Dr. Everett Ward, join Congressman G. K. Butterfield (D-NC-1); Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC-12); NC Sec. of Veteran Affairs Larry Hall; Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, Pres. of the NC NAACP; newly appointed State Senator Milton “Toby” Fitch, who is also “Most Worshipful Grand Master State of NC and Jurisdiction of the Prince Hall Mason Lodge; Dr. E. Lavonia Allison, former Chair of the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People; Charles Warren, Chairman of the NC Black Leadership Caucus; and N. Carnell Robinson, past Chairman of the NC Black Leadership Caucus; Andrea Harris, Senior Fellow of the Durham-based Self-Help Credit Union; John C. Easterling III, President of the College Democrats of North Carolina and Robert Stephens, Founder of the HBCU Collective, in endorsing the “A Call to Colors” civic engagement campaign.
The “Call to Colors” campaign is working to formally engage with the Pan-Hellenic Councils, the NC NAACP, the NC Black Leadership Caucus, and the Prince Hall Masons and the Eastern Star, among others, to support the effort.
Ms. Pettis Dean also joins other black leadership who endorse “A Call to Colors” action plan in recommending you subscribe to Greater Diversity News’ weekly Civic Engagement Project email updates (GDN eNews) for free at GDN’s website: GreaterDiversity.com.