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SHOUT presents The Divine 9: History, Purpose, and Historical Significance of Black Greek Letter Organizations

February 18 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


SHOUT (Social Handprints Overcoming Unjust Treatment) is a coalition of students whose purpose is to champion equality for all people. This student-led group is based at South Fayette Township School District, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and was developed by Dr. Chuck Herring who oversees diversity, equity, and inclusion for the school district. The members also seek to help students build new chapters throughout the country. 

In honor of Black History Month, the SHOUT students invite you to explore The Divine 9: the nine historically Black Greek letter organizations that make up the National Pan-Hellenic Council. Not only do many critical historical figures belong to these sororities and fraternities – Martin Luther King, Jr. and Shirley Chisholm among them – but so do our country’s future leaders including Vice President Kamala Harris and newly elected Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock.  

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At this event, we will learn about why these organizations were created, what is unique about each one, and hear experiences from local members of each of the Divine 9 organizations.  

The event will be moderated by SHOUT’s Dr. Chuck Herring and GBA’s Alyssa P. Lyon, both members of Divine 9 organizations. 

Our speakers will include: 

Andrea James, representing Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
Ms. James is currently employed as a Public Health Administrator for the Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention Dept for The Allegheny County Health Department. Before this position she spent a total of 20 years working as an advertising manager for The Pittsburgh Current and for The Pittsburgh City Paper. Ms. James currently serves as President of the Lambda Lambda Zeta Graduate Chapter in Pittsburgh. She also serves as President of the National Panhellenic Council Pittsburgh chapter which is comprised of all of the historically African American Greek organizations.


Dr. Rahmon Hart, representing Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. 
Dr. Rahmon Hart Sr. is a Pittsburgh native and proud alumni of the Pittsburgh Public Schools. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. where he has held several local and regional leadership positions. He currently serves as the Director of Community Relations at Rivers Casino and is the CEO of Hart of the Game Consulting, LLC.  



Dr. Clyde Pickett, representing Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. 
Dr. Clyde Wilson Pickett currently serves as the Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Pickett was appointed to this position after a national search in 2020. Prior to his current appointment, Dr. Pickett served and Chief Diversity Officer for Minnesota State and before that he served as Special Assistant to the President for Diversity and Inclusion at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) in Pittsburgh, PA.


Tonya Riley-Gilbert, representing Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.  
Tonya is a Wellness Advocate who has practiced as a Certified Physician Assistant for 27 years.  She has practiced medicine for 27 years in specialty areas such as: Hospital Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehab, Hematology and currently Mental Health and Substance abuse. Tonya is committed to developing women of purpose through mentoring, mental health and wellness education and community outreach. That is why she founded GrowGurl in 2018.


Dr. Vernon Simmons, representing Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
Originally from Pollocksville, NC. Served nine years in the USAF as a Combat Controller. Served in Operation Just Cause and Operation Desert Storm. B.S. in Physics from NC A & T State University; MS and PhD in Physics from PITT. Initiated into Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Spring 1994 at Eta Chapter. President of Gamma Lambda Sigma Chapter since 2018.



Charonda Hill, representing Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Ms. Hill is a multilingual enthusiast with a bachelor of arts degree in International Communications from Penn State U and a master of science degree in Organizational Leadership. Ms. Hill is the director of operations at a nonprofit specializing in incubating new businesses, building equitable economy and entrepreneurial education. She is the owner of Swanky Productions & Wisedom Seeds, two businesses that execute corporate/special event planning and multicultural education program services focusing on language learning and intercultural communication techniques.


Sean McCaskill, representing Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. 
Mr. Sean L. McCaskill is one of America’s latest emerging voices in the early years of the 21st century focused on saving our youth. He is motivational speaker, educational consultant, leadership coach and entrepreneur. A product of the mean streets of the Pittsburgh Hill District, he was molded by his experiences and learned that suffering does not destroy an individual. Sean believes that “Everyone is born with greatness however; most people fail to discover it because of FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real).”


Lyasha Bishop, representing Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
Ms. Bishop holds a bachelor’s degree in History and Africana Studies from Lehigh U, a master’s in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum from Drexel U, and a master’s in Business Administration from West Chester U. Her experiences include early childhood care, higher education management, classroom-teaching, and parent advocacy work. She directs a nonprofit organization, and coordinates The Learning Loft Extended Day Program at Catalyst Academy and the Community Learning Hub at Learning Loft Hill District. Ms. Bishop is also Co-founder of Bishop-Gaines Grant Writing & Consulting.


Ryan Scott, representing Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. 
Ryan S. Scott is the Executive Director of the Social Justice Institutes at Carlow University. The Social Justice Institutes exemplify Carlow University’s strong commitment to social justice; ethical, forward-thinking and responsible leadership; and service to the community. Mr. Scott is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Education at the University of Pittsburgh, with an area of concentration of Higher Education Management. His dissertation will be focused on culturally responsive pre-college programs and the connection to college matriculation for students of color.


This event is hosted with support from GBA’s Green & Healthy Schools Academy and Inspire Speakers Series. It will be hosted on Zoom, and advanced registration is required. We hope you can join us! 

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February 18
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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