By John Gordon
The National Pan-Hellenic Council Inland Empire, a national public organization comprised of the "Divine Nine" members of the Black Greek letter organizations invited all of Southern California to their 2nd Annual Black Greek Weekend "A Foundation Based on Unity" began Friday, June 29th for a Greek Mixer at the Jazz Café in Ontario. On Saturday evening, a formal banquet and dance at the Ontario Marriott Hotel brought out all the fashion mavens of the "Divine Nine". The weekend culminated on Sunday, July 1st with an old fashioned Cookout at Guasti Park in Ontario, California.
From l-r: Jennifer Smith, Chair of Black Greek Weekend (Delta Sigma Theta); Malita Wilson, Chair of Cookout (Delta Sigma Theta); Nicholas Thompson (Omega Psi Phi); John Iszard (Phi Beta Sigma); Jerome Cannon (Alpha Phi Alpha); and Chantell Ridley (Zeta Phi Beta).
Appearing at the cookout to read excerpts from their work and autograph copies of their books were, Victoria Christopher Murray with her latest book "The Ex Files", Cheryl Iszard and former ‘Young and the Restless' star Victoria Rowell and her latest book "The Women Who Raised Me," who shared that she, her daughter, and niece used the Metro Link rail system to travel to the park from her Los Angeles home. These three ladies did not disappoint their audience and fans and were present at the request of event sponsor Malita Wilson, owner of Heritage Bookstore & More located in Upland, California.
Members of Kappa Alpha Psi
The cookout, which is considered to be the highlight of the entire weekend exceeded expectations of 300 in attendance, and featured radio personality DJ JiJi Sweet, formally of 100.3 The Beat's noon day time slot, who laid down tracks that kept the flow of the cookout moving and encouraged many to participate in group dancing and banter. Several of the fraternities in attendance showcased their smooth choreography, and everyone showed up to represent their group by proudly displaying their colors.
All of this excitement was not just a weekend of leisure. The event was for a wonderful cause as partial proceeds from the event will benefit scholarship programs in all of the communities served in the Inland Empire.