About

Divine Nine Spaces 2023 Black History Month Webinar Series

Black Landscape Architects Designing the History of Black Greek Letter Organizations 

 Divine Nine Space

 Image Credit: Wake Forest University. The Pan-Hellenic Garden on the campus of Wake Forest University was built in 2010. The garden has nine brick and granite podiums — one for each of the Black fraternities and sororities that make up the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC).  

During the first half of the twentieth century, Black students began to enroll in predominately white institutions (PWIs) where they were met with racism and exclusion from campus organizations, including fraternities and sororities.   

Communities of Black students met their exclusion with the determination to form Black Greek Letter Organizations (BGLOs) and create spaces on campuses where they would feel welcomed and see their culture celebrated. To this day, BGLO spaces serve to honor the legacies of the organizations and their founders. Outdoor spaces have included dedicated trees and benches, plaques, sculptures, monuments, and meticulously designed landscapes. 

In his documentary on BGLOs, Henry Louis Gates Jr. explains that “with education, community service, and philanthropy as their focal point, these organizations were able to foster academic and personal excellence on their own terms … [They] created the National Pan-Hellenic Council, totaling nine organizations with like-minded agendas. Each of those organizations continue to be pivotal in the continued advancement of Black people.” 

The nine BGLOs include:   

  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated
  • Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated
  • Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated
  • Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated 
  • Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated
  • Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated
  • Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Incorporated

FREE Webinar Series: Divine Nine Spaces - Black Landscape Architects Designing the History of Black Greek Letter Organizations

Reflecting on the ASLA Racial Equity Plan of Action, the Divine Nine Spaces webinar series raises awareness of Black historic landscapes and pioneering Black landscape architects. The series will include discussions with Diane Jones Allen, FASLA, and Glenn LaRue Smith, FASLA, both Black landscape architects who have carved out a unique role for the profession as the evolution of Divine Nine spaces expands. 

Divine Nine Spaces Part I - Diane Jones Allen, FASLA discussed her project, the Divine Nine Park Project on the campus of Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia.  

  • Click here to access the recording of Dr. Allen's presentation.

  • Click here to read about the unveiling of The Divine Nine Plaza in Georgia Tech News

  • Click here to learn more about The Divine Nine Plaza at DesignJones LLC  

Divine Nine Spaces Part II - Glenn LaRue Smith, FASLA discussed his design of the Phi Beta Sigma Centennial Monument and the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Centennial Monument, both located on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C.  

  • Click here to access the recording of Smith's presentation.

 View the spectacular photo gallery of BGLO spaces and celebrations.

 Divine Nine Space

Members of the first two BGLOs - Alpha Phi Alpha, Incorporate fraternity, founded in 1906, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, founded in 1908. Image Credit: Saint Augustine’s University Divine Nine Plots, courtesy of Saint Augustine’s University / Jerrell Jordan, Jordan Esteem Photography 

Divine Nine Space

Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, founded in 1908. Image Credit: Saint Augustine’s University Divine Nine Plots, courtesy of Saint Augustine’s University / Jerrell Jordan, Jordan Esteem Photography 

 Divine Nine Space

Members of Delta Sigma Theta, Incorporated, founded in 1913. Image Credit: Saint Augustine’s University Divine Nine Plots, courtesy of Saint Augustine’s University / Jerrell Jordan, Jordan Esteem Photography 

Divine Nine Space

Members of Kappa Alpha Phi, Incorporated founded in 1911. Image Credit: Saint Augustine’s University Divine Nine Plots, courtesy of Saint Augustine’s University / Jerrell Jordan, Jordan Esteem Photography

 Divine Nine Space

Members of Phi Beta Sigma, Incorporated, founded in 1920, and Zeta Phi Beta Incorporated founded in 1914. Image Credit: Saint Augustine’s University Divine Nine Plots, courtesy of Saint Augustine’s University / Jerrell Jordan, Jordan Esteem Photography    

 Divine Nine Space

Members of Omega Psi Phi, Incorporated, founded in 1911. Image Credit: Saint Augustine’s University Divine Nine Plots, courtesy of Saint Augustine’s University / Jerrell Jordan, Jordan Esteem Photography 

 Divine Nine Space

Members of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated, founded in 1922. Image credit: Saint Augustine’s University Divine Nine Plots, courtesy of Saint Augustine’s University / Jerrell Jordan, Jordan Esteem Photography

 Divine Nine Space

Members of Iota Phi Theta, Incorporated, founded in 1963. Image credit: Members of Iota Phi Theta courtesy of Fridson Janvier (@fridson44) /@Vattmediamarketing @l1onheart.creations  

Please direct questions about the Divine Nine Spaces webinar series, past Black History Month celebrations, and the complete collection of ASLA Diversity Webinars to Lisa J. Jennings, Senior Manager, Career Discovery and Diversity at diversity@asla.org 

Contact

ASLA General Inquiries:
info@asla.org  

ASLA Center Event
Space Inquiries: 
Janet W. Davis 
jdavis@asla.org

PR Inquiries:
communications@asla.org  

Diversity, Equity,
and Inclusion
Lisa Jennings
Senior Manager, Career Discovery
and Diversity
ljennings@asla.org 

Donations to the ASLA Fund: 
DonateToday@asla.org  

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