From today through Sunday, June 8th, the Atlanta Greek Picnic is taking place. The annual event, which is in its 10th year, draws members of the Black Greek Letter Organization community, ranging from its fraternities (Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma, and Iota Phi Theta) and sororities (Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta, and Sigma Gamma Rho).
Each year, the event is growing, but it also is evolving to provide a balance that the aforementioned organizations are synonymous with. Yes, there is ample time to enjoy some events related in celebration and fun, but with components related to professional networking, health and wellness, community service, and worship-based events, there truly is something for college students, younger alumni, and veteran alumni who are members of the "Divine 9".
Today at Suite Food Lounge from 6-10pm is the professional networking event. With the backdrop of musical selections by T-Ray the Violinist, organization members are able to enjoy the business-casual environment to forge professional relationships. Sponsored by IBM, State Farm, HBCU Connect, Wealthy Greeks, Tiwa Works, and Buyrealestate.com (in addition to the Atlanta Greek Picnic), it provides a mature and professional way to get the weekend started.
Each morning (June 5th-7th) at the host hotel (the Marriott Marquis) from 6-8am, a fitness bootcamp is taking place. Conducted by fitness experts Anowa, Guru of Abs, and KD with Muscles, it provides a good way to get the day started, as well as promote health, wellness, and physical fitness to all in attendance. Likewise, Thursday's (June 5th) career fair, taking place from 8:30am-5pm (at the Marriott Marquis) is a prime opportunity for professionals to bring their resumes and market their skill-sets to over thirty companies who are prepared to hire; as an added bonus, the rotation of panel discussions and workshops (from 9:30am-4:45pm), including the likes of noted life coach Tony Gaskins, Jr. and other leaders in business and entrepreneurship, should provide all in attendance an understanding of the tools for success in the professional and other related arenas.
Thursday evening's (June 5th) social outing at Dave and Buster's (2215 D&B Drive in Marietta), starting at 7:30pm, provides attendees with a creative outlet for a little game-play as well as catching the opening game of the NBA Finals (Miami Heat vs San Antonio Spurs). Included with their game play (purchase of $10 in game play includes another $10 in free game play) are appetizer and beverage specials for a mature (21 and older) audience. Friday's (June 6th) main event includes the highly anticipated step show at Forbes Arena at the campus of Morehouse College (the doors open at 4pm and the show starts at 6pm). Included with performances from the top step teams of all of the Divine 9 organizations, a concert featuring Atlanta-based rap artist 2 Chainz caps off the event.
Saturday (June 6th) provides the main event, the annual picnic at the campus of Morris Brown (the cost is $10 per person and ID's confirming your membership in a BGLO is required for admittance). Prior to the opportunity for members of all organizations to come together and socialize in a relaxed yet festive setting, there is the service project that takes place earlier in the morning (from 8am-11am). This year's project includes working with the Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta; the organization provides assistance to individuals and families moving out of homelessness, battling HIV/AIDS, and fleeing domestic violence by providing essential household furniture (once they have secured a place to live).
Saturday evening's key social events include the "School Daze" themed alumni party at Suite Food Lounge, as well as Finale Party at the 755 Club at Turner Field.
Sunday, June 8th, is the conclusion of the weekend. A Praise and Worship service is taking place at the Marriott Marquis (from 10-11am), and later in the day, a brunch (from 11am-3pm at a venue TBA) and a closeout pool/outdoor party (at the Melia Hotel from 5-10pm) are taking place. For a complete list of all official Atlanta Greek Picnic 2014 events, you are encouraged to visit the site. Likewise, a number of the events are ticketed events, so it is suggested that tickets be purchased in advance given the expected attendance.
With a wide range of events, the immediate and surrounding community is provided an opportunity to get a snapshot of the well-roundedness that many of the Divine 9 community truly encompasses. There is nothing wrong with a party, and there are opportunities do to so. However, with the business, community-service, and worship-based events, it shows that said organizations are more than what is sometimes portrayed.
Cheers to 10 years...