FORT WORTH, TEXAS and WASHINGTON, D.C. — September 14, 2022 – The Divine 9, the historically Black fraternities and sororities of the National Pan-Hellenic Council led by Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., are joining forces to save the lives of Black women. The influential organization will launch “Tell Somebody,” a public service campaign emphasizing the profoundly disproportionate impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 24 decision to overturn nearly half a century of established law under Roe v. Wade, on Black women. The campaign is a collective effort by the Divine 9 to empower the community to counteract the potentially disastrous effect of the repeal by urging Americans to contact the politicians who can make the most difference.
“Overturning Roe v. Wade will not end abortion, it will only end safe abortions and access to healthcare for millions of women—particularly poor women of color—and fuel a full-fledged public health crisis in this country,” said Chris V. Rey, J.D., President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., a member of the National Pan-Hellenic Council. “We’re calling on the 2.5 million members of the Divine 9 to contact lawmakers to mitigate the impact of this egregious blow to the well-being of 10 million Black women of child-bearing age.” *
“Tell Somebody,” narrated by iconic actor Jenifer Lewis (Black-ish, Strong Medicine, Five, The Preacher’s Wife, Cars, What’s Love Got to Do with It), starkly illustrates the circumstances that drive nearly four times more Black women to seek abortions versus their white peers, particularly sexual violence. Nearly half of Black women experience sexual coercion, and one in four will experience sexual abuse by the age of 18. Thirty-five percent will experience some form of sexual violence within their lifetime.† Black women are also three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than their white peers. This mortality rate among Black mothers is expected to increase by 33 percent in the wake of the repeal. † †
Lewis, known as the “Mother of Black Hollywood,” urges viewers to contact key lawmakers to tell them to relax filibuster rules so Congress can protect women’s healthcare rights.
Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, an advocate for reproductive rights, supports the Divine 9 campaign.
“What we are living through is an unprecedented public health crisis. The severity of losing the right to govern our own bodies cannot be overstated, especially for Black communities who have long felt the impact of politicians asserting power and control over our bodies at the expense of our health, lives, and futures,” said McGill Johnson.
“Creating medically unnecessary barriers to abortion only makes it harder for people to get the health care they need, and deeply affects communities that already face challenges within the health care system — communities like ours. Despite the darkness we are living through, we must remember that we have the power to make a difference. As a member of a Divine 9
sorority, I know there is power in our stories and strength in our voices as we continue to push for freedom.”
“Tell Somebody” is produced by veteran broadcaster Sybil Wilkes “The Voice of Reason” on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, Executive Producer Yolanda Starks-White, co-founders of YoSy Media, a trusted multi-media news, information and Black culture platform and Executive Producer Kiki Shepard, veteran actress and host of It’s Showtime at the Apollo and member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
“This is a call to action. Lives are on the line—the lives of those with the least access to medical, financial and social resources. The measure of a nation is how it treats its most vulnerable,” Wilkes said. “It’s time to stand up together for those who cannot stand up for themselves.”
Contact information for members of the U.S. Senate can be found at:
For more information about the Tell Somebody campaign visit www.TellSomebodyNow.org.
About Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity was founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C., Jan. 9, 1914, by three young African American male students. The founders, Honorable A. Langston Taylor, Honorable Leonard F. Morse, and Honorable Charles I. Brown, wanted to organize a Greek letter fraternity that would truly exemplify the ideals of brotherhood, scholarship and service. Today, Phi Beta Sigma has blossomed into an international organization of leaders. No longer a single entity, members of the fraternity have been instrumental in the establishment of the PBS Impact Foundation, the Phi Beta Sigma Federal Credit Union and The Sigma Beta Club Foundation. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., founded in 1920 with the assistance of Phi Beta Sigma, is the sister organization of the Fraternity. To learn more about Phi Beta Sigma, visit https://phibetasigma1914.org/
About The National Pan-Hellenic Council (Divine 9)
The National Pan-Hellenic Council, Incorporated (Divine 9) is currently composed of nine International Greek letter Sororities and Fraternities: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. NPHC promotes interaction through forums, meetings and other mediums for the exchange of information and engages in cooperative programming and initiatives through various activities and functions.
On May 10, 1930, on the campus of Howard University, in Washington D.C., 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.
The stated purpose and mission of the organization in 1930 was, “Unanimity of thought and action as far as possible in the conduct of Greek letter collegiate fraternities and sororities, and to consider problems of mutual interest to its member organizations.” Early in 1937, the organization was incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois and became known as “The National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc.”
About YoSy Media
YoSy Media is a full-service multi-media news and information platform developed specifically to Inform and Empower the African American community. Lead by the highly respected and revered Sybil Wilkes, YoSy Media is poised to become the information destination for Black people. In 2019 after the Tom Joyner Morning Show ended its legendary run, Sybil along with entertainment executive, Yolanda Starks White created a media company to continue super-serving the African American community. The primary focus of YoSy Media is addressing overall Health and Wellness for Black people through: Political, Health, Financial, and Social Justice advocacy. YoSy Media dominates the industry, curating and disseminating news and information for people of color through multiple platforms. When you want the news, when you need it broken down, when you want to know what’s really going on, when you want to be Informed and Empowered, turn to YoSy Media for all your vital news needs. For more information, visit www.yosymedia.com
Martine Charles, email@example.com direct: 206-295-9114
* National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. Joint Statement on Supreme Court’s Decision Overturning Roe V. Wade, June 26, 2022, The Council of Presidents
† “Black Women and Sexual Assault,” The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community, October, 2018.
† † “The Pregnancy-Related Mortality Impact of a Total Abortion Ban in the United States: A Research Note on Increased Deaths Due to Remaining Pregnant,” Research Note, Duke University Press, December 2021.