Blogs Menu
View Latest Posts
View Subscriptions
Posting Instructions
Active Bloggers
Kamal Imani
class of
Will Moss
Hampton University class of 1995
Elynor Moss
North Carolina Central University class of 2003
Reggie Culpepper
Clark Atlanta University class of 1998
LePra George
Clark Atlanta University class of 2002
Andrew Alexander
Johnson C. Smith University class of 2015
Bruce Smith
DeVry University class of 1998
Tommie Mabry
Jackson State University class of 2020
Can your fraternity or sorority chapter make Gumbo?
Posted By: Eddie Francis on March 22, 2013

I’ll never forget the words of an old radio colleague, a very cool Cajun man named J.P., who said in a classic South Louisiana dialect, “Eddie, cookin’ takes love.”

In the Black Greek Success Program, I tell my fellow Greeks that every chapter is like a bowl of Gumbo; you have to find a way to gather the ingredients, prep them, and get them to work together.

The mission of every fraternity or sorority chapter is to maintain a healthy family that will promote the mission of the organization. Creating a family is the easy part; the trick is to maintain that family. Here are 7 things that fraternity and sorority members need to know.

1. Identify your chapter. Determine the collective personality of your chapter and decide how it successfully promotes the mission of your organization. By knowing who you are as a family, you will have a better understanding of who belongs.

2. Observe your prospects. Once you know who is interested in your organization, watch them from afar to assess whether or not they are serious about contributing to your fraternity or sorority.

3. Identify how your prospects fit. Do you have a prospect who is a pure worker? Do you have a prospect whose strong personality will contribute to the chapter’s growth? Most importantly, do your prospects genuinely want to work for the betterment of your organization or do they simply want to be seen with a nice line jacket while they stroll at the next party?

4. Appreciate the bigger family. One of the biggest problems we have in the Black Greek System is what I call “chapter delusion”. These are the chapters that seem to believe they are bigger than both the entire organization and even the college or university. Without your fraternity, sorority or your college/university, you wouldn’t be a member of “Elegant Epsilon Eta”, “Bold Beta Mu”, or “Chaotic Chi Xi”. The chapters that maintain a focus on contributing to the bigger families, especially financially, tend to be the most respected and critical players in the game.

5. Know that the real work starts after initiation. Maintain the family; when you initiate your new line, impress upon them that the reason they have letters to wear is the work of those who came before them. Let them know that if they want to be associated with the notable members they brag about, it will take a commitment to service, education, and their lives.

6. Manage your family. When you deal with people, problems almost never work themselves out. It takes strong, consistent leadership to steer diverse personalities in a positive direction. Take advantage of personality tests to identify your members and to figure out how their strengths contribute to the success of your chapter.

7. Always seek wisdom. I always listen to those more experienced than I am, even people with whom I don’t agree. Every chapter member should have a mentor who both preaches the mission of the organization and has a productive life.

Our blood relatives aren’t perfect, therefore, expecting perfection among our frat brothers or sorors is unreasonable. That is why it is so important to understand the value of getting the personalities in a chapter to work together. To create the best gumbo (or family), we need the right ingredients and stir it with love.

This entry appeared on the H.O.P.E. Scholarship blog as "The Secret of Gumbo" (
If you enjoyed this article, Join HBCU CONNECT today for similar content and opportunities via email!

Please Login To Post Comments...

More From This Author
How a Young HBCU Alumna Landed a Big Company Job
Three Big Reasons You Are Expected to Do Your Homework About Potential Employers
Five Ways to Make a Hiring Manager's Day
Career Moves: Know Your Value
Many days in the life of...
Five Ways for Admissions Reps to Stand Out at College Fairs
Latest Blogs
Lovin Her Nappy Nappy - Down Home Remix by Kamal Imani
Check Out the New Video for "Lovin Her Nappy Nappy" by Kamal Imani You can support postive music and images by downloading at: ...more
Kamal Imani • 11 Views • July 14th, 2020
HBCU Grad from Johnson C. Smith University Doctor on The Move
There was a time, not long ago, when black doctors and black patients were not allowed to work, or be treated at Moses H. Cone Memorial Hosptial, where I work. Simkins vs. Cone was a monumental trial ...more
Andrew Alexander • 116 Views • July 12th, 2020
Creators welcomed! AIA Film Challenge: SHARE YOUR STORY. Win up to $7,000!
Design has the power to solve some of the biggest issues facing cities today. We believe these stories are among the most important stories we can tell. The AIA Film Challenge is a film contest that a ...more
Elynor Moss • 292 Views • July 9th, 2020
The AFTER...?
The BLACK-OUT DAY of JULY 7, 2020! When you look at our conditions here, World-wide, I feel like I am (we as a Family are) living in a "Dog Day Afternoon," episode of the Twilight Zone. If you c ...more
Ivan Butcher II • 92 Views • July 8th, 2020
What to Do When You're Injured on Campus Due to Unsafe Environment
Campuses are supposed to do everything that they can to make sure that everyone stays safe. That is why if they drop the ball, then they can be held responsible for it. There are several things that y ...more
Hannah Whittenly • 55 Views • July 6th, 2020
Popular Blogs
Divorce in America in 2009 – What’s love got to do, got to do with it?
Join Brother Marcus and the cast and the crew of the Brother Marcus Show live this Sunday evening on February 1, 2009 @ 8:00 p.m. for another hot topic in our community! “Divorce in America in 2009 ...more
Brother Marcus! • 67,518 Views • January 27th, 2009
IT'S PRETTY OBVIOUS FOLKS: Some of our Republican senators and congressman..are Swearing & Wearing White Sheets Also ..NASCAR was given 70million dollars in tax breaks the New Fiscal Cliff Deal ...more
David Right • 42,944 Views • December 28th, 2012
Seemingly innocent medication such as Visine eyedrops are used by people to concoct a mixture with similar effects as a date-rape drug. When mixed with alcohol and taken orally, the eyedrops can l ...more
Siebra Muhammad • 42,697 Views • May 23rd, 2009
Black College Student Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison for Kissing a White Girl
Albert N. Wilson, a former University of Kansas student, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison and a lifetime of probation after being convicted by an all-white jury of raping a white teen girl. Bu ...more
Will Moss • 31,590 Views • June 4th, 2020
Black History Daily: Who Was the First Black Female Dentist?
In 1890 Ida Gray Nelson Rollins (1867-1953) became the first black woman to earn a doctor of dental surgery degree in the United States. She graduated from the University of Michigan in June. Nelson ...more
Stacie Coulter • 21,582 Views • August 22nd, 2011