Divine Nine Garden Plaza – Invest in Inclusion

Since 1946, the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) has been a pillar of community, service, and strength for the Black student population at UW–Madison. Through campus leadership, community investment, academic achievement, and advocacy, the NPHC has been — and continues to be — a cornerstone for the survival of communities of color on this campus. Yet, as you make your way through Langdon Street and University Avenue, Van Hise to Engineering, the Kohl Center to Camp Randall, the near 75-year contributions of the fraternities and sororities of the NPHC are lost, unrepresented, and invisible. Nothing to physically represent the survival of these groups through years of discrimination, prejudice, and blatant racism.

Donations to this fund will help create a physical garden plaza at the Vilas Green and place historical markers recognizing all nine of the NPHC chapters — also known as the Divine Nine — to show appreciation for the rich history of this campus community. The NPHC is partnering with the Student Inclusion Coalition and the UW–Madison administration to create a physical place for these organizations to be properly commemorated. Placing historical markers to publicly recognize and celebrate contributions from these organizations is not a new tradition nationally, but this act would make the university the first in Wisconsin to demonstrate this necessary support and physical recognition of the NPHC organizations.

As the culture throughout the nation shifts to be more inclusive, it is important for UW–Madison to follow and lead in the areas that make a significant impact on campus culture and creating a sense of belonging for all students. The Divine Nine Garden Plaza project is not simply a desire for a few students, but a necessity for the entire community. Invest in inclusion. Donate today.

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