Black and Latino Caucus holds Black History Month celebration honoring historic Black fraternities and sororities


Members of the RI Legislative Black and Latino Caucus and representatives of the National Pan-Hellenic Council at a Black History Month celebration held at the State House on Feb. 15.


            STATE HOUSE – The Rhode Island Legislative Black and Latino Caucus held their annual Black History Month celebration yesterday in the State Library of the State House

            The caucus honored the National Pan-Hellenic Council, also known as the Divine 9, which are nine historically Black fraternities and sororities that came together in the 1930’s at Howard University to foster brotherhood and sisterhood in the pursuit of bringing about social change through the development of social programs that create positive change for African Americans and the country.

            Rep. Karen Alzate (D-Dist. 60, Pawtucket), the chairwoman of the caucus, presided over the event. 

            “Black history is American history, it is our history.  Black History Month allows us to recognize the contributions African Americans have made to our great nation and it makes us have conversations about uncomfortable truths that we need to face so that our country continues to grow and prosper.  The Divine 9 has consistently demonstrated to Black Americans the formula for success in life and their legacy will continue to make a lasting impression on countless generations to come.  The RI Legislative Black and Latino Caucus thanks them for all that they have done, and continue to do, and it was an honor to have these wonderful representatives of the Divine 9 joining us at the State House,” said Representative Alzate.

            House Finance Committee Chairman Marvin L. Abney (D-Dist. 73, Newport, Middletown), a member of Omega Psi Phi; House Municipal Government and Housing Committee Chairman Raymond A. Hull (D-Dist. 6, Providence, North Providence), Rep. Brianna E. Henries (D-Dist. 64, East Providence) and Rep. Jose F. Batista (D-Dist. 12, Providence) all delivered remarks.

            Representatives from the following organizations attended the event and received legislative citations honoring the Divine 9’s contributions to our country’s history and culture:


·         Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Founded 1906 at Cornell University

·         Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Founded 1908 at Howard University

·         Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Founded 1911 at Indiana University

·         Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Founded 1911 Howard University

·         Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Founded 1913 Howard University

·         Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Founded 1914 Howard University

·         Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Founded 1920 Howard University

·         Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Founded 1922 Butler University

·         Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Founded 1963 Morgan State University


            The Rhode Island Legislative Black and Latino Caucus (RILBLC) represents and advocates for the interests of disadvantaged people throughout the State of Rhode Island. It seeks to increase a diverse participation and representation in all levels of government. The goal is to close, and ultimately to eliminate, disparities that still exist between white and non-white Americans in every aspect of life.