FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/FOX24) — Many future leaders are created at the University of Arkansas each year. On campus, there are organizations that specifically work to inspire Black students to make a difference in their communities while in school and after graduation.

Those groups are part of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, or what many call the Divine Nine.

The NPHC was established at the university in 1992, and there are currently seven Divine Nine chapters on campus. Although, the council dates back to 1930 when Black students weren’t given the same civil liberties as other students.

One local pastor at a historically Black church dedicated one of his Sunday services during Black History Month to celebrating the Divine Nine. Senior Pastor Curtiss Smith at the St. James Missionary Baptist Church said the NPHC is a Black greek letter organization that started back when many Black students could not join other sororities or fraternities.

He said it’s important to celebrate the Divine Nine’s contributions to higher education and believes it has played a major role in creating Black leaders in every industry.

“When you look at these organizations, they’re ministers, scientists, doctors, educators, astronauts, presidents, vice presidents, and so being able to understand the history of those may also inspire those who have not gone to college to be a part of these organizations as well,” said Smith.

Leilani Mack, Jarron Gray and Payton Holme are UA students who are members of the NPHC, and they shared stories of building confidence, meeting role models, and finding a sense of unity on campus through their organizations within the council. Each chapter has its own philanthropic goals and sister or brotherhoods, but they said they all strive to promote Black excellence and unity at UA.

“It’s something that goes back to the historic culture and the historic foundation of Black people, so this is a space for us to be able to come together, celebrate unity, celebrate peace, but also make a difference within our community,” said Gray.

Each student says their NPHC chapter has given them opportunities that’ll help them in their future careers and friendships that’ll last a lifetime.

“After joining this amazing sorority, I developed many friendships and also just developed a lot of personal growth skills and just a lot of leadership skills,” said Holmes.

You can check out more about UA Greek Life here.