The Black Greek Association at the University of Michigan was established as a unifying body for the 10 historically African American Fraternities and Sororities on campus. Harsh-minded and blatant racism had prevented many African American students from enjoying a "normal" tenure at the University. The unified African American Greek community helped to combat the effects of racism and fight for the rights of the minority student body on this campus.
It should be noted, however, that these organizations did not then nor do they now restrict membership on the basis of race or skin color to African Americans. They have developed a distinctive African American style in their activities both social and philanthropic.
After its inception, members of the BGA spearheaded the Black Student Union's efforts to better serve the Black students at Michigan. BGA members took a number of leadership roles throughout the University of Michigan, which helped to enrich the campus community through cultural programs and by supporting efforts to take advantage of the University's diverse student body. Many BGA members have gone on to become successful doctors, lawyers, educators, and successful professionals in many other fields of study.
On May 10, 1930, on the campus of Howard University, in Washington DC, the National Pan-Hellenic Council was formed as a permanent organization with the following charter members: Omega Psi Phi and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternities, and Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta and Zeta Phi Beta Sororities. In 1931, Alpha Phi Alpha and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternities joined the Council. Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority joined in 1937 and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity completed the list of member organizations in 1997.
In 2008 the Council began to shift from the BGA and formed the UofM chapter of the National Pan-Hellenic Council. The NPHC serves as the umbrella organization for the NINE historically Black Greek-letter fraternities and sororities, at the University of Michigan. The nine organizations are collectively referred to as the “DIVINE NINE”. The NPHC plans to carry on the mission, vision, and tradition of the BGA: to serve the black community at the University of Michigan, helping minority students matriculate into and graduate from the University of Michigan, all while making everyone's stay a bit more comfortable through fostering a comfortable environment for minority students through a variety of parties, study breaks, and other activities. With revitalized purpose, newfound strength, and sound leadership. The NPHC will not only carry on this mission and vision but will take it to new heights by unifying both the organizations and the African-American community as a whole.
The Council also provides student s with a social outlet through our Annual Icebreaker, Midnight Madness Yard Show, Open House, Step Show, Community Service events and various individual organization events. Each organization however, holds its own membership intake process.