This year’s general election is unprecedented, to say the least. Stakes are high, and for many people, notably Black Americans, lives are at risk. That’s why several associations dedicated to bettering communities of color are mobilizing Black voters to cast their ballots. One such guild is the union of the Divine Nine Greek organizations: Alpha Kappa Alpha, Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Delta Sigma Theta, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma, Zeta Phi Beta, Sigma Gamma Rho, and Iota Phi Theta. For months, members have been diligently campaigning in favor of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, galvanizing marginalized groups across the country to hit the polls on or before Nov. 3. Not only is it a matter of standing up for racial equity, human rights, and social justice, but it’s also a matter of backing Kamala: a member of their family.
When Kamala pledged AKA at Howard University – where she graduated in 1986 after studying political science and economics – she joined a lineage that’s committed to uplifting their ménage. So when a D9 comrade needs their squad to pull up, that crew comes through. We’re seeing the impact of Black Greek sororities and fraternities in this election as they canvass, steer the Stroll to the Polls initiative, and host events to encourage voter turnout for Joe and Kamala’s ticket. One of their biggest gatherings took place on Oct. 29 at the Divine Nine Virtual Rally where Kamala made a special appearance and reflected on her D9 shout-out at the Democratic National Convention.
“To talk about the Divine Nine and the family of the Divine Nine was a particular source of joy and honor for me because, as we all know, the sororities and fraternities that make up the Divine Nine were founded on the principle of scholarship and the principle of faith fueling our responsibility in service to all mankind,” the vice presidential candidate said at the rally. “Ours is a family of leaders who have been national and international leaders. Ours is a family, in the Divine Nine, of people who have excelled and have shown in every sector of our country and our world what can be unburdened by what has been. That’s who we are.”
Adjoa Asamoah, a Delta Sigma Theta who serves as Joe and Kamala’s national advisor for Black engagement, also spoke to POPSUGAR about the historic significance of the Divine Nine’s civic involvement. Although the D9 organizations are prohibited from engaging in political activities under the 501(c)(7) guidelines for nonprofits, they’ve created separate 501(c)(4) social welfare entities for the first time to endorse Joe and Kamala. “We have all vowed to move the needle for our community,” Adjoa said. “We’re very powerful as a collective, and we’re not just committed to hoping they win, but helping them win.”
According to the Pew Research Center, around 30 million constituents within the Black diaspora are eligible to vote in the presidential election. The think tank also found that 63 percent of Black electors are “extremely motivated to vote.” While Black views and experiences aren’t completely concordant, the demographic is notably more left-leaning, and with the D9 community out doing the Lord’s work, it’s hard not to feel hopeful. Keep reading to see how and why members are working to translate sentiments into votes.
These interviews have been edited for length and clarity.