Greetings to members of the Divine Nine, family, friends, and community partners:
Thank you for your continued support of the National Pan-Hellenic Council of Washington, DC (DCNPHC). The Council and our member chapters continued to work in the late spring and over the summer. Check out this edition of the Eye on Nine to see what we've been up to.
As the DCNPHC kicks off a new Council year, we look forward to building on what we’ve accomplished over the last few years. We are working to be more efficient, offer more support to our 16 member chapters and the undergraduate chapters in the District of Columbia, find more ways to harness our collective bargaining power, and engage in strong community partnerships.
As I begin the last year of my administration, I recognize that there is still more work to be done. I remain committed to helping this Council, our chapters, and our undergraduates find ways to work together on issues of mutual interest. The DCNPHC can harness its collective power if we strategize, work together, and use our similarities and differences as positives for change. Now, more than ever, it is important that we put on our oxygen masks and work as a collective unit to help protect our families, communities, and those who are voiceless, from our nation’s downward spiral. We really are one and can do this together. We hope you will join us. DCNPHC: United We Serve
Kim Varner, President
National Pan-Hellenic Council of Washington, DC
DCNPHC member chapters stayed busy this summer, remaining focused on service, stewardship, and fun. Here are a few highlights.
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
May 13 - Kappa Psi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. held its third annual "Self-Defense Training Seminar” at the Kelly Middle School in NE Washington. This session featured self-defense tactic demonstrations and self-awareness tips to reduce vulnerability by making participants more aware of their surroundings and teaching them how to react to a variety of everyday situations. A portion of the proceeds were donated to the DC Rape Crisis Center.
June 17 - Kappa Psi Chapter held its annual Boat Ride. Attendees enjoyed an open bar all-white experience
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
May 20 - Beta Zeta Chapter held its Pumps and Pearls Fashion Show and Luncheon, with Fashions by Lovely Lady Boutique at the Washington Navy Yard Catering and Conference Center in SE Washington, DC.
June 17 - Women of the Dove Foundation and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Omicron Phi Zeta Chapter held their 7th Annual Gala: Diamonds, Sapphire and Pearls at the Washington Navy Yard. Proceeds benefited scholarship and community outreach programs.
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
August 13 - Phi Sigma Chapter celebrated its 79th Charter Day at "Sip & Jazz" at the Romano Vineyard & Winery. Music provided by DJ PynkDyamond, and live spoken word artists were featured.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
May 20 - Rho Mu Omega Chapter worked to restore, refresh, and renew the Orr Elementary School playground in SE Washington, DC.
June 4 - Xi Omega Chapter hosted its 8th Annual Pink Hat Tea Scholarship Fundraiser at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC.
Partners for Good
June through August - The DCNPHC partnered with the Metropolitan Police Department and participated in Beat the Streets this summer. The DCNPHC supported the essay competition. The goal of Beat the Streets is to reduce violence in neighborhoods throughout Washington, DC. The program was designed to celebrate togetherness, dispel violence, improve community relations and encourage citizens to live in peace and aspire to enhance their quality of life.
June 11 - The Ivy Foundation and Mu Lambda Foundation (the funding arms of AKA-Xi Zeta Omega Chapter and Alpha Phi Alpha Mu Lambda Chapter) hosted "2017 Men Who Cook - Summer Sizzler." Men showed up and out as chefs extraordinaire. The family-friendly event left no-one hungry. It was held at the University of the District of Columbia and included food tasting, an open bar, and live entertainment.
June 24 - DCNPHC supported the DC Metro HBCU Alliance for its 5th Annual HBCU 5KRun/2KWalk – HBCU Community Day. The DCNPHC along with area NPHCs collected 800 toiletries during the community fair. Approximately 400 of the toiletries went to the N Street Village on behalf on DCNPHC.
August 12 - DCNPHC partnered with Project GiveBack and We Feed Our People for a back-to-school drive event on August 12. Over 150 backpacks filled with school supplies were distributed.
DCNPHC Board & Chapter Presidents’ Retreat
“United We Serve.”
On August 26, the DCNPHC Executive Board and graduate and undergraduate chapter leadership gathered at the Masonic Temple on U Street in NW, DC to review the Council’s high level accomplishments and lessons learned in 2016-2017, discuss ways to further support the 16 member chapters and undergraduates, and identify ideas and collaborative events for the next year. DCNPHC President Kim Varner underscored the importance of the council’s work in supporting undergraduates, increasing scholarships, and representing the Divine Nine politically and socially. "We are getting stronger,” she told the group, “and our work is more important than ever.”
The 2017 hurricane season has been worse than most in recent memory and people from all corners have reached out with helping hands. David Gaston, DCNPHC's Second Vice President of Undergraduate Relations, visited Miami recently and was able to provide support to a family impacted by Hurricane Irma. David presented the family with a gift card for $100, on behalf of the DCNPHC.
"Take the time every day to be grateful, thankful for everything that you have. You can always have more, but you could also have less."
Peace & Love
Doc V (Valerie Robinson, DCNPHC Chaplain)
What is your greatest strength? My greatest scholastic strength is my work ethic and creativity, and it gives me great pride to see the goals I’ve set come through to completion. As an artist, I have a perfectionist’s eye, I like to complete my projects with efficiency and style.
What was your most difficult high school course? The most difficult were AP Language and World History courses due to their teach-to-test curriculum. Often times I wasn't absorbing the information, and instead learning to repeat the lessons I'd learned for a general grade. This took a lot of discipline and memorization.
How did you deal with hard questions in pursuit of success and excellence? I asked my past teachers in the department to tutor me on the things that confused me. It was important for me to be active [in] my learning because if I let myself fall behind on understanding, I would also fall behind in my work.
Who is your biggest role model? My mother embodies what it means to be a strong Black woman and influences me to be equally, if not better, than her. I look up to the ways in which she is flexible, hard working, and socially conscious.
What is your greatest strength? My greatest scholastic strength is mathematics. I’ve always loved math because I like learning new ways to manipulate numbers and how they can be used. It is the only subject where there is only one answer, so I like the certainty that comes along with finding answers to math problems.
What was your most difficult high school course? Even though I struggled most with history, that was the class I worked the hardest in because it required the most effort. I appreciated the things that we learned about, however the concepts were somewhat difficult for me to grasp because it wasn’t my favorite class.
How did you deal with hard questions in pursuit of success and excellence? When faced with tough assignments, I’d turn to my classmates or my teachers.They were quite helpful and I was comfortable asking them questions. Often times, my classmates and I would be doing the same assignment so we’d be able to help each other.
Who is your biggest role model? My mother was extremely resilient throughout her life and all of the things that she’d endured made her into a wonderful person. To sum it all up, my mother is everything that I aspire to be.
Excerpted Thank You Letter from the 2016
DCNPHC Scholarship Recipient
Dear Mr. Burton & Members of the DCNPHC Scholarship Committee:
I hope this letter finds you all well. I am writing you to once again express my thanks for helping me fund my education at the University of Chicago. I just finished an amazing first year here at University of Chicago, and I wanted to update you all on what I've been doing so far. I have kept up the good work in all my classes throughout the entire year. I finished the year with a GPA of 3.97 and I earned an A in all four classes I took my spring quarter and I have made Dean's List for the 2016 — 2017 academic year.
Throughout the year I took some very interesting classes. My favorite was Social Science Inquiry where I was able to write a research paper with my own unique research. On my final paper, I received a grade of 100% and my professor told me that was the first 100% she had given on a paper in 10 years of teaching! My professor also told me my work has potential to become something of publishable quality. My research was looking at the ratios of polling locations to various other factors in four states: Illinois, South Carolina, Arizona, and Pennsylvania.
After completing my school's introductory Spanish sequence, this September I will be headed to Spain to continue my learning. I will be living in Toledo, Spain and participating in an intensive intermediate Spanish language program.
I also had the chance to take on additional leadership roles in my extracurricular activities over the course of the year. As part of my school's Moot Court Team I helped host our invitational tournament in the spring, where over 30 kids from various universities competed over two days. I also stepped up in my leadership roles in college housing. In my role on the International House Council I was also one of the two people primarily in charge of planning and executing an event called Sports Frolic. Along with a fellow resident we managed a budget of over $1,000.
I thoroughly enjoyed my work as a research assistant at the University of Chicago Law School. While working I researched international arbitration for investor settlement disputes. Next year I hope to find some more employment in a law related area.
I also enjoyed opportunities to have fun with my new friends in Chicago and enjoy the city. Overall, I had an amazing first year and had the chance to make some great friends and learn new things. I just want to once again thank the DCNPHC for helping allow me to have this experience without the stress of financial burden hanging over my head.
Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. Celebrates 54 Years
On September 19, 1963, at Morgan State College (now Morgan State University), 12 students founded what is now the nation’s fifth largest, predominately African-American social service fraternity: Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Incorporated.
Today, Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. continues to define its leadership in the community through programs such as Afya Njema Afya (aah-fee-yah) Njema (j-ma), which means “Good Health” in Swahili, a concept which allows the fraternity to deal with a number of “health-related” issues faced by African-Americans and persons of African decent.
The National Pan-Hellenic Council and the DCNPHC celebrate with International Grand Polaris Robert Clark and the men of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. on their 54th Anniversary.
DCNPHC was represented well at The National Pan-Hellenic Council's Council of Presidents Forum, held at the United States Capitol on September 20th during a busy week of Congressional Black Caucus Foundation events. Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) and her team have organized this event for five years; this year's theme was "A Different World: Exerting Power to Effect Change.".
Members of Congress Introduce Report and Educate About Campus Hazing (REACH) Act
In July, 2017, officials from fraternal umbrella organizations went on record to unanimously support anti-hazing legislation. The following statement was issued by The National Pan-Hellenic Council:
“The Council of Presidents of the National Pan-Hellenic Council commends the bipartisan leadership of Rep. Pat Meehan and Rep. Marcia Fudge and supports the objectives of the REACH Act,” said Dr. Paulette C. Walker, Chair of the NPHC Council of Presidents and National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
“The organizations of the NPHC are resolute in the commitment to nurture the ideals of sisterhood and fraternalism and uphold the dignity and self-respect of all persons seeking membership in the respective organizations,” said Jennifer Jones, NPHC President. “Hazing is antithetical to this commitment. NPHC organizations collaborate with universities regarding hazing concerns and believe that university-sponsored hazing education and annual reporting of hazing incidents will be important tools in a more comprehensive and proactive approach to combat hazing.”
As we enter the new fall season, DCNPHC remains ready to serve, ready to work, ready to make a difference. Click to check out our calendar and learn more about the Council.