The Union County Board of County Commissioners is celebrating Black History Month with a series of virtual events highlighting the achievements and contributions of Black leaders in Union County and beyond. Coming up on February 26 is a special event honoring local chapters of the Divine Nine historically Black sororities and fraternities.

All events are open to the public and are presented online in accordance with COVID-19 safety rules.

“Today’s Black history makers are among us now, and the Board of Commissioners is very proud to highlight Union County residents who are -- and will be -- an important influence in our community for years to come,” said Union County Board of Commissioners Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

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“Black History Month brings a message of determination, resiliency, and achievement to the whole community, and we hope our celebration of Black history continues to resonate as we face new challenges and work towards a future of equal justice and equal opportunity for all,” said Vice Chair Rebecca L. Williams.

“This year’s celebration of Black History Month is all the more meaningful because 2021 marks the adoption of the new County Commissioner title in New Jersey history, following years of advocacy and collaboration to embark on a new era that recognizes and celebrates diversity. Those who value inclusion and equality can make new history together,” said Commissioner Angela R. Garretson.

“By recognizing the achievers of today we can continue to build on the progress won by the heroes of the past,” said Commissioner Andrea Staten. “We are all very proud to shine a light on leaders who make a difference in our community.”

On Friday, February 26, at 6:30 p.m., everyone is invited to join with local Divine Nine chapter representatives and members of the Union County Board of County Commissioners to honor the historically Black sororities and fraternities that shaped significant figures in Black history, including Vice President Kamala Harris.

During the Black & Divine Awards event, the Board of Commissioners will present awards honoring the role each organization has played in fostering public service, leadership, citizenship, brotherhood and sisterhood.

The Board of Commissioners also recognized the Divine Nine during Black History Month with a three-week series spotlighting three fraternities and sororities each week on social media:

February 5: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity
February 12: Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity
February 19: Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Iota Phi Theta Fraternity

To view the Black & Divine Awards event live on Zoom, register at bit.ly/blackanddivine.

For more information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Drive-Through Test Center at Kean University, the Mobile Test Unit walk-up sites, vaccination information, emergency food distribution and other support services, visit ucnj.org/covid19. General information about COVID-19 is available through the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.

For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.