Divine Nine Organizations Prepare For 2020 Elections – GDN Exclusive, Vol. II, Part XXVIby Cash Michaels, GDN Contributing Writer October 30, 2019
It should be no secret that the fraternities and sororities that proudly make up the Divine Nine plan to assist in turning out the African American vote in 2020 – one of the most crucial elections in our lifetimes – in a major way.
And according to Dr. Everett B. Ward, president of the National Pan-Hellenic Council of Presidents, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., that vision was reaffirmed at the recent National Pan Hellenic Council Leadership Conference in Memphis, Tennessee, where hundreds of representatives from collegiate and alumni councils from across the nation gathered.
It was during the Council of Presidents meeting that all Pan Hellenic Council presidents agreed to work collaboratively, “under one umbrella,” when it comes to voter education, registration and mobilization in 2020, as well as fighting against voter suppression.
“We have a joint Social Action and Civic Engagement Committee (SACE) of all of the Nine that will be developing a plan of action,” Dr. Ward told Greater Diversity News (GDN). “Using our individual and collective strengths around getting people to the polls, and also building a legal team of individuals that will be available to help us to fight on Election Day should there be any issues that emerge around voter suppression.”
But what about “A Call to Colors, (ACTC)” the GDN sponsored civic engagement strategy that along with the NC NAACP, HBCUs, community groups, faith-based organizations and Divine Nine chapters, seeks to ensure total voter empowerment for the 2020 elections?
Dr. Ward says ACTC has been adopted as part of the Council’s “media strategy,” making sure that constant updates on D9 voter engagement activities are shared with GDN on a regular basis.
“We are at a precarious time in the history of our nation,” said Dr. Ward. “The serious nature of these issues in this current climate necessitates intentional strategic action. We are committed to using the power of our 1.5 million collective membership to engender positive societal change.”
Ward added that the joint SACC will work with the national NAACP and President Derrick Johnson to identify unregistered voters, per their data, and targeted census work, thus the strategy will be localized to each individual state to address the unique circumstances there. Putting manpower behind NAACP existing efforts.
“So, what we do in Georgia will be a lot different than what we do in North Carolina,” Dr. Ward said, making clear that the Divine Nine will be pinpointing it’s activities, but not announcing a lot about them publicly.
Strategic discretion is necessary, Ward noted, primarily because of the divisive atmosphere currently in the country.
“We’re not trying to do a fifty-state strategy. We’re just being very methodical about where we go, where we put our resources, and where we turn people out to vote.”
Dr. Ward is encouraging all 1.9 million Divine Nine members to attend all local city council meetings, school board meetings, and visibly become advocates at the grassroots.
Ultimately, though, when it comes to social action and civic engagement for the 2020 elections, Dr. Ward assures that the community will see Alphas, Omegas, Sigmas, Deltas and all Divine Nine organizations working together towards the same goal – the total voter empowerment of the African American community.
And “A Call to Colors” will be a pivotal tool, Dr. Ward says, in that effort.
To get updated information about “A Call to Colors”, sign up for GDN’s free eNews edition at: greaterdiversity.com.