This February, as SOS Illinois celebrated Black History Month, children in our care at the Chicago Village learned about an important component of Black history in academia: Historically Black Colleges and Universities and The Divine Nine. Joined by special guests from local Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and Delta Sigma Theta sorority alumni chapters, the children in our care learned that it is never too early to begin thinking about how you can be a leader on your college campus and beyond.
Chicago Village Black History Month Celebration
On Monday, February 24, SOS Illinois Foster Parents and children gathered together at the Chicago Village to spend an evening focused on celebrating Black History Month. Children spent time coloring portraits of famous Black leaders, historians, scientists, and more while laughing and playing with their Village friends. All in attendance enjoyed a special dinner and dessert, including potluck items supplied by Foster Parents from across the Village.
Black History Month is particularly important for children in foster care because of the disproportional number of African American children in care in Illinois and beyond. SOS Illinois aims to provide messages of hope and empowerment from a young age, and programs like these help to encourage the youth in our care to be their very best selves regardless of barriers.
Kappa Alpha Psi and Delta Sigma Theta Join the Party
Following the shared meal, SOS Illinois’ Education and Activities Coordinator, Emily Brown, welcomed a group of guest speakers from local Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and Delta Sigma Theta sorority chapters. Delta Sigma Theta provided an introduction to the topic of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and the Divine Nine, a group of longstanding black fraternities and sororities. Following the presentation, the representatives from Kappa Alpha Psi shared a list of famous Kappa Alpha Psi members, as well as the fraternity’s history with stepping, especially with canes.
Additionally, Delta Sigma Theta showed the gathering a video of a step competition they participated in during the sorority’s centennial celebration. The group explained that this form of traditional, African American dance is very prevalent within historically black Greek life, and that many fraternities and sororities have special moves to signify their organization.
We are thankful for the encouragement these groups provided by sharing with SOS Illinois children the importance of education, fellowship, and embracing Black culture. Events like these show youth valuable examples of strong black men and women who empower and help our youth dream towards their futures. As both Kappa Alpha Psi and Delta Sigma Theta value academic excellence in their members, we hope that our children will view leaders as mentors as they participate in our College Bound and Beyond Program and take the next step in their educational journeys.
SOS Illinois would like to thank the individuals that came to speak from Kappa Alpha Psi and Delta Sigma Theta for the work they do in inspiring youth and young adults to pursue bright futures.
Celebrating Black History All Year
SOS Illinois wants to highlight that celebrating black history and inspiring youth in foster care should not be limited to only one month. We encourage more people to get involved in becoming Foster Parents to help prevent unfair systems and to instead inspire and encourage youth in our care. You can read more about why this month matters to children in foster care here.