News and Notes

BOS Salutes those who serve

BOS salutes who serves

The Beta Omicron Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. is hosting our inaugural veteran’s breakfast, The Blue Salute! We will show our appreciation of all the sacrifices made by these brave men and women by recognizing them for all they have done to protect the freedom we enjoy.

Awards

  • BOS Distinguished Career Award (for career service 15 or more years of service--active or retired)
  • BOS Meritorious Service Award (acts of combat, valor, etc.)
  • BOS Citizen Soldier Award (recognizes active duty/active reserve involved in the Greater Columbus community)

Eligibility

All nominees must be Ohio citizens at the time of nomination.

Deadline

The deadline for submissions was Oct. 16. Finalists will be notified, and then the public will be allowed to vote for the winner. Winners will be announced at our Veteran's Appreciation Breakfast on Nov. 14.

Sigma Man On Leaders to Watch List

Bro. Dr. David Inniss, Theta Gamma Sigma chapter in Sacramento, CA. was recently featured on the cover of Comstock Magazine as one of "10 change leaders to watch in 2015".

Here's an excerpt from the article:

David Inniss wanted to be an infantry officer, and he set his sights on West Point. As a native of Barbados, he had to compete with foreign nationals from around the world to gain entry. Each year, approximately 10 are admitted. In 1995, Inniss was one of them.

"I enjoyed the camaraderie inherent in military units," Inniss says. "The selflessness and teamwork were attractive to me. As I got older, the idea of service, leadership and responsibility were values that drove me."

Raised by a single mom, Inniss has a heart for fatherless boys and has vowed to be a positive role model. He coaches youth sports and plans positive community events, including the Capital City Legends Ball, which honors up-and-coming professionals doing exceptional work in the community.

Celebrating 75 Years: Portraits of John Lewis

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity will join a star-studded gala planned to celebrate Sigma Brother Congressman John Lewis' 75th Birthday. The gala celebration will be held on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at the Tabernacle, 152 Luckie Street, NW, Atlanta, GA. The evening will begin at 6:00 PM with a VIP Reception and Dinner, with doors opening at 7:30 PM for the Gala Performances.

The featured appearances and performances include Tichina Arnold, Indigo Girls, Dionne Warwick, Regina Belle, The Anointed Pace Sisters, Jennifer Holliday, Morehouse College Glee Club, Demetria McKinney, Gary Jeter, Kim Fields, Clark King, Terri J. Vaughn, Alfre Woodard, and more.

We're calling on Sigma Brothers to fill the venue with your presence. Brother John Lewis is an American Civil Rights Icon and dedicated member of this great brotherhood. Let's make our presence seen and heard at this special birthday celebration. Tickets range from $25 through $500. Purchase your tickets today!

Sigma in Selma

Alabama is the birthplace of leaders with dreams. It's the place where thousands of leaders came together to march for the paramount victory in the fight for equality - the right to vote.

On March 7, 1965, Phi Beta Sigma Brothers Reverend Hosea Williams and John Lewis stepped from the pulpit of Brown Chapel Church and led a group of 600 toward Montgomery. After just six blocks, when they crossed the now infamous Edmund Pettis Bridge over the Alabama River, Sheriff Jimmy Clark's deputies and state troopers dispatched by Governor Wallace attacked the group with nightsticks and tear gas, injuring dozens.  The violence stopped the marchers' first attempt, but they would not be silenced or stopped for good. The event came to be known as "Bloody Sunday."

Today, those dreams march on. The Dream Marches On replicated the footsteps of the brave men and women who fought for equal rights. On March 6 - 8, 2015, the world watched as thousands visited Selma, Lowndes County and Montgomery marking the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March.

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity's leadership joined a large bipartisan congressional delegation for part of a three-day civil rights pilgrimage to Alabama. Phi Beta Sigma Brother, Representative John Lewis, D-Ga., who has led the pilgrimage every year since 1998 passed through Birmingham, Selma, Montgomery and Marion. On March 7, 2015, Brother Micheal Cristal, International First Vice President joined the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery marches.

Sigmas Help Serve The Homeless

In true Sigma spirit of service, Brother Xavier Myers relished the opportunity to serve those who are less fortunate during the #HashtagLunchbag event.The movement started in California and through the power of social media arrived in Columbus in 2014.

Volunteers distribute coats and blankets to people who need them in addition to packing 200 brown bag lunches, complete with sandwiches, cookies, fruit and water.

Bro. Myers said this is his opportunity to be a light to people living life in the shadows.

"It's good for them to see that someone actually cares and is coming out to see them," Myers said.

You can read more about Bro. Myers' participation in the event, and visit the #HashtagLuchbag website to learn more about the movement and how you can get involved.

101st International Founders Day

From Honorable Jonathan A. Mason

101 Phi Beta Sigma Founders Day

Greetings Sigma Brothers and Congratulations on 101 Years of "Culture for Service a nd Service to Humanity!"

2014 was an amazing year for Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity! As your 34th International President, I never imagined what incredible he ights our organization would achieve in the 100th year of our existence. I thank God for His phenomenal blessings and each member of this great Brotherhood for your support and encouragement throughout the year.

Thanks to your commitment, the year of 2014 represents a series of record-breaking accomplishments. Here are just a few milestones the organization experienced:

  • Celebrated our Centennial Founders Day simultaneously in 7 cities nationwide.
  • Inducted renown actor, singer and Civil Rights Icon Harry Belafonte
  • Achieved record-breaking, world-wide media exposure throughout the year
  • Achieved the largest financial membership in the history o f the fraternity
  • Achieved the highest registration to any event in the history of the fraternity
  • Unveiled the Phi Beta Sigma Memorial Monument at the birthplace of Sigma
  • Unveiled the Sigma History Museum
  • Established a historic partnership with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Developed a national initiative that's on the pulse of the nation: I Am My Brother's Keeper( in association with President Barack Obama's My Brother's Keeper
  • Generated the highest revenue in the history of the fraternity
  • Deposited over $5,000,000 of revenue in the City of Washington, DC in July
  • Endowed a $500,000 scholarship to Howard University
  • Elevated the fraternity's exposure and participation in the Congressional Black Caucus' Annual Legislative Conference as a sponsor, moderators and facilitators
  • Sponsored REAL TALK, a major brain-trust symposium featuring some of the nation's top thought-leaders on the topic of securing the future of boys and young men of color
  • Participated with significant presence in the official burial of the late, Brother Dr. Alaine Leroy Locke, the nation's first African American Rhodes Scholar
  • Renovated our house at 145 Kennedy Street, NW, Washington, DC
  • Implemented the fraternity's Education initiatives Adopt-A-School and Sigma Read-In internationally to Oaks Field Primary School in Nassau, Bahamas
  • Sponsored the ACTION NOW! Prayer Vigil and Youth Summit and an Adopt-A Business
  • Relief Fund in Ferguson, MO in response to the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown case

To God be the Glory for the things He has done!

As we welcome 2015, the next century of service, we focus on I Am My Brother's Keeper, our call to action. When Phi Beta Sigma is called upon, it's important that our response is ACTION NOW! On today and throughout the month of January, we must mobilize all Sigma Chapters and Brothers to give generously during our International Giving Month. A minimum donation of $5, $10 or $15 will have a significant impact on the future of our boys and young men of color. It will greatly assist in the restoration of a business that was destroyed during civil unrest. It can also aid in securing a promising future for those pursuing higher education. I'm calling on each of you to make a donation now to The National Sigma Beta Club Foundation, our Adopt-A-Business Relief Fund and/or the Howard University Scholarship Endowment. Please encourage your friends, families and colleagues to support our giving efforts as well. Together, we can transform lives, which transforms communities. Every day there's a Sigma Brother proclaiming I Am My Brother's Keeper. With each proclamation, I hear in loud refrain, "Phi Beta is the life." I pledge to continue this claim and transformation, for this is the manifestation of the Founders' vision.

Welcome to the next 100 years!

Phi Beta Sigma: From Protest to Proactivity

Members of Phi Beta Sigma lead prayer vigil in Ferguson, MO

On the national day of Protest, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., assisted by Kappa Sigma Chapter of St. Louis, MO, staged a Prayer Vigil at the historic Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in St. Louis, Missouri.

"We didn't want to just protest. We didn't want to just lie down on the streets. We wanted to get up and take actions," said Jonathan A. Mason, Sr., International President. He enthusiastically added, "This is not about having a fit, it's about starting a movement. This is a movement Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. is proud to be involved in at this time in our history."

Residents packed the church, under the leadership of Sigma Brother Bishop Courtney Allan Jones, and engaged in prayer, read scriptures, and heard inspiring Gospel music by an outstanding Praise Team. Speakers included Bishop Jones, Mary Breaux Wright, International President, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.; Bro. Jerryl T. Christmas, attorney for Vonderrit Myers, a young man recently killed by a St. Louis police officer, and President Mason.

"As this community heals, it is going to take all of its citizens' commitment and support in the rebuilding efforts," shared President Mason. "We are committed to be proactive partners for action in this community."

Carter D. Womack, current BOS member and Past International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. issued the "Call to Action" and "What's The Bottom Line" charges during a community conversation He persuaded the audience from being attentive listeners to active participants in a role playing exercise where each adult present was asked to stand behind the youth, who had gathered in a large circle holding hands.