Divine Nine Presidents Visit Richard Wright Schools, Contribute $10,000, And Pledge To Continue Support


Nonprofit Building Hope to Partner with Richard Wright Schools to Renovate and Expand Current Facility, Explore Additional Growth Opportunities in Other Cities

WASHINGTON D.C. (Sept. 26, 2023) – Over 300 Richard Wright Schools students bore witness to what an inclusive and intentional sisterhood and brotherhood invested in their success looks like today as the Council of Presidents of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), composed of the historically Black Greek-lettered member organizations, affectionately known as “The Divine Nine,” visited the school and contributed $10,000 to support the school’s growth.

Founded in 2010, Richard Wright School transforms lives in an engaging, student-centered environment with a caring, highly qualified staff to develop students for college and beyond. With its unique focus on journalism, media, creative and performing arts, Richard Wright offers a myriad of opportunities, both on and off campus, for all students to thrive and achieve. Richard Wright Schools has mastered a model that fortifies its young people with the resounding impact of education, to transform their lives and those around them, and to uphold the vision of “re-writing the future, one student at a time.” Where 98% of students are Black/African-American and 100% are eligible for a Free and Reduced Lunch program, 100% of students receive college acceptances, and last year, students garnered more than $6 million in scholarships.

During this historic visit, each of the Divine Nine leaders was interviewed by one of the student anchors from the Wright Now News Network (WNN)@richardwightschools. Here is what each of the leaders said about their visit to Richard Wright:

Ricky Lewis, Grand Basileus of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., said, “We are about building a strong and effective force of men dedicated to our cardinal principles of manhood, scholarship, perseverance, and uplift. That is what today is all about.”

Dr. Willis L. Lonzer, III, General President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the Chairman of the NPHC Council of Presidents said, “I saw inspired students. I saw inspired faculty. I saw a leader who is smitten with lifting up our community, and I am very pleased to see the vibrant nature in this school, and I plan on coming back and staying connected to Richard Wright School. It is a wonderful place for young people and for those who teach them.”

Chris Rey, International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and Vice Chair of the NPHC said, “I saw that it was possible. That’s what I saw today! I saw the passion of adults committed to education, what can happen when they come together with the right resources and the right mindset, and what they can create. I saw the future of our students, that they can go out into the world and change it. That’s what I saw today.”

Rasheeda S. Liberty, International Grand Basileus for Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., observed the following during her visit, “Vision. Vision for our children. Inspiration. Children inspired by what they are doing at this school and feeling inspired by seeing our children see what they can be.”

Danette Anthony Reed, International President and CEO of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. said, “Let me tell you, I saw students working, studying, doing everything that I think we should be doing, and I saw a place where folks really care and want to ensure the success of the students. I am excited to be here and honored to be your guest.”

Jimmy McMikle, Grand Polemarch of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. said, “I saw a commitment to shaping the lives of our children, our future, a dedication and a passion to really change the narrative and allow children to maximize their potential, and I saw a willingness on the students’ side to embrace their future so that they can be the change agents we need tomorrow.

Elsie Cooke-Holmes, International President and Chair of the National Board of Directors
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. remarked, “The first thing I saw here is our future. I saw students who are motivated and committed, and I saw a faculty, and a Head of the school as well as the board who are committed to their success. It was so impressive. This was my first trip here, but it definitely will not be my last. “

Dr. Stacie NC Grant, International President and CEO of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. said, “Without education, we are not empowered to do everything that we were placed on this planet to do. Here at the Richard Wright School, I am excited because there is an intentional vision about the power of possibility. When we expand our minds, we can never return to our former form. So I am really thrilled that we get to soak in a good seed on fertile ground here at Richard Wright School, and I am excited about what all of you do in the future.”

Myron J. Covington, International Grand Vice Polaris of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc. said, “First and foremost, I have seen an awesome campus today. I have seen enthusiasm from individuals who were engaged in leadership, engaged in knowledge, and engaged in education. More importantly, I’ve seen students who were focused on becoming intelligent, outstanding, and talented achievers and striving to be the next leaders of our society.”

Donna Jones Anderson, National President of the National Pan-Hellenic Council Inc. said, “I saw excellence and drive and determination. I saw future leaders and doctors and lawyers and entrepreneurs having their own business and doing wonderful things in the future. I saw hope.”

Richard Wright Founder & CEO Dr. Marco Clark said of the event, “Just as we teach our students, we are stronger together. Students, teachers, administrators, community leaders. It is an honor and a privilege to welcome the Divine Nine to our campus today. Our students are the future leaders for the 21st century, and feeling the support and community of the Divine Nine makes them even more determined to make a very strong impact on the community and the nation.”

Richard Wright Schools is preparing to renovate and expand its current facility in partnership with DC-based nonprofit Building Hope. Building Hope’s IMPACT program works with inspiring school leaders, like Dr. Marco Clark, on growing and replicating their successful school models across the country.

Interested families and donors are invited to learn more about Richard Wright and Building Hope.


About Richard Wright Public Charter Schools

The mission of Richard Wright Public Charter Schools for Journalism and Media Arts is to transform students in grades 8-12 into well-versed media contributors by providing a student-centered environment that connects them to the classics and modern languages and a curriculum focused on strong writing skills and vocabulary. Richard Wright provides rich, balanced, and diverse opportunities to all students, supporting the mission and vision of the schools, fostering intellectual, cultural, social growth, and promoting physical health and wellness.

Learn more at www.richardwrightpcs.org


About Building Hope

Building Hope is a non-profit foundation created to support education and public charter schools. Since 2003, Building Hope has created impact by investing in facilities, financial, and operational services for charter schools nationwide. With Building Hope’s support, schools can devote more resources to educating students in underserved communities. Building Hope has supported over 300 charter school projects and more than 150,000 students in 20 states and the District of Columbia, by providing more than $375 million in direct loans, credit enhancements, and equity investments to support more than $2 billion in school construction. For more information about how Building Hope helps charter schools nationwide with facilities, financing, and operational services, visit www.buildinghope.org.


Martha Holler

ShinePR for Building Hope | pr@buildinghope.org