Since its inception in 2004, The Atlanta Greek Picnic Weekend (AGP) has emerged as the largest festival weekend for Black Greek-Lettered Organization (BGLO) members in the South. Every summer, for the past 14 years, an influx of BGLO members make their way to Atlanta for a host of events, including parties, community service, and a step show.
This year’s weekend events started with a networking social at the Gathering Spot called “The Network,” hosted by Rashan Ali — moderator of TV-One’s “Sister Circle Live” and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. — and Francesca Amiker — 11Alive news anchor and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
The Atlanta Voice caught up with Ali, a philanthropist and media industry veteran, who said she was excited to host “The Network,” a meet and greet for members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) attending the Atlanta Greek Picnic Weekend.
“The network of being in the NPHC is huge and it’s beautiful for all of us to get together to see where our paths cross,” Ali said, as she described the importance of networking events.
The National Pan-Hellenic Council, Incorporated was formed in 1930 under the purpose of “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,” according to the organization’s official website.
The NPHC is comprised of nine international fraternities and sororities, including Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc., and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc.
Ali shared that it is not uncommon to hear and see friendly competition between the members of the NPHC.
“A lot of stuff goes on between sororities and fraternities,” she said. “When you become a grown person, all that goes out the window. We are all African American people, in the majority, and we need some stand together. This is the opportunity to show that unity for the kickoff of AGP.”
Although there are nine different organizations, every organization has one thing in common: “At the core of what we do it service,” Ali said as she spoke on the true purpose of Black Greek-Lettered Organizations.
With nine organizations coming together, it is inevitable for one’s personal network to grow, just off the basis of being in this number.
“It’s always a conversation starter, no matter what organization you’re in,” Ali said.
A large network can be the basis for business partnerships, jobs, and even just friendships in general, Ali said. “It’s just really really important that you tap into those resources,” Ali said.