Home Navy establishes ‘Divine Nine’ program to strengthen ties with HBCUs

Navy establishes ‘Divine Nine’ program to strengthen ties with HBCUs

Crystal Graham
(© Photos By Moo – stock.adobe.com)

The U.S. Navy Recruiting Outreach and Diversity has announced the establishment of the “Divine Nine” ambassador program to build stronger relationships with students, faculty, administration and alumni at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

“Divine Nine” refers to the nine sororities and fraternities that were established by African American students more than a century ago, mainly at HBCUs. These organizations are known collectively as the National Pan-Hellenic Council or the “Divine Nine.”

As part of the new program, the Navy has appointed 19 active-duty officers and reservists – including six representatives from Hampton University.

Most of the ambassadors named are HBCU graduates with “Divine Nine” affiliations. The ambassadors will attend events at HBCUs to establish deeper connections with current “Divine Nine” members and share information about Navy career opportunities available to HBCU graduates.

“The Navy has always attracted the best-and-brightest HBCU graduates and ‘Divine Nine’ members to its ranks,” said Commander Dominique “DJ” Jackson, a graduate of Southern University and a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. who currently serves as Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer for Naval Surface Forces Atlantic. “These officers make incredible contributions to our service and rewrite our history every day. It is important that the current generation of HBCU students and “Divine Nine” members know about this legacy and understand the opportunities that are available to them in today’s Navy.”

This fall, the program will leverage HBCU football games to create customized, onsite activations to authentically engage with campus communities.

Last week, “Divine Nine” ambassadors were on campus at Hampton University to participate in the festivities prior to the football game against Tuskegee University.

This weekend, “Divine Nine” ambassadors will be in Arlington, Texas, offering engagement opportunities at the football game between Texas Southern University and Southern University at Choctaw Stadium.

 “Divine Nine” ambassadors

  •  Commander Renee S. Baggot, North Carolina Central University, Delta Sigma Theta
  • Lieutenant Commander Jasmine M. Bee, Prairie View A&M University, Alpha Kappa Alpha
  • Lieutenant Commander Julia H. Brown, University of Tennessee – Chattanooga, Delta Sigma Theta
  • Lieutenant Shannon Davis, Hampton University, Sigma Gamma Rho
  • Lieutenant Arielle Dixon, Hampton University, Delta Sigma Theta
  • Commander Shemeya “Cole” Grant, Prairie View A&M University, Alpha Kappa Alpha
  • Retail Services Specialist Ricardo Guilory, Hampton University, Omega Psi Phi
  • Senior Chief Navy Counselor Shaunell Hyatt, University of Arkansas – Grantham, Alpha Phi Alpha
  • Lieutenant Ryan Irving, Morehouse College, Alpha Phi Alpha
  • Commander Dominique Jackson, Southern University, Omega Psi Phi
  • Lieutenant Jordan M. Johnson, Spellman College, Delta Sigma Theta
  • Lieutenant Reginald Jones, Morehouse College, Alpha Phi Alpha
  • Tapeka Pringle, Florida International University, Zeta Phi Beta
  • Lieutenant Netetia K. Walker, Northeastern State University, Delta Sigma Theta
  • Lieutenant Alisha Maitland-White, Hampton University, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority
  • Captain Timothy C. Moore, Jr., Hampton University, Kappa Alpha Psi
  • Lieutenant Junior Grade Kendall Sapp, Hampton University, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
  • Lieutenant Lanika Vann, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
  • Captain M. Juanique Wallace, Florida A&M University, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.