A Greater Purpose: Community Service and Activism in Black Greek Life at UNO

Stop 6 of 6 of the "A Space of Their Own Color: Black Greek Letter Organizations at UNO" Tour.

Of all the purposes of Black Greek organizations at UNO, perhaps the most important and impactful is the community service they provided to the UNO and surrounding community.

Founded in the early twentieth century, the founders of Black Greek organizations were surrounded by the ideals of racial uplift, the notion that the Black intellectual class can attain the education and resources usually only afforded to the White population. Black Greek organizations would then use those resources to educate and train the entire Black community to bring racial equality forward. With these ideals, the founders set up their organizations to be both social and service organizations.

The Black Greek chapters at UNO are no different, community service is at the core of their operations. While their community service focuses on the African American community, the service provided by Black Greek organizations benefits the UNO and New Orleans community at large. This service and the other functions performed by Black Greek organizations proves why these organizations continue to be important on campus.

Black Greek organizations were chartered by Black students, as a safe space for Black students on a campus where they faced hostilities continuously throughout the decades. While racial tensions may not be as severe as 1958, Black students at UNO are still in the minority, and still face racism and discrimination. This is why Black Greek letter organizations, as a safe space and as an act of resistance, continue to be of importance here at UNO.