Compiled By Margena A. Christian, EBONY Senior Writer
The good works and community outreach performed by the men of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. during its recent centennial conclave is yielding dividends even after the men have returned to their homes around the world.
As part of the fraternity’s commitment to President Obama’s Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative, chapters will conduct programs and events that promote the role patriarchs and men have in the lives of their children.
The chapters will work to change government policies in their communities, because they believe government agencies should be challenged to foster better communications and create working relationships that address policies affecting a father’s involvement in the lives of his children.
“The absence of a father has a significant impact on a child,” said Dr. Andrew A. Ray, the fraternity’s 39th Grand Basileus. “It is critical that we put our collective arms around this problem and, by doing so, we are making a very powerful statement.”
Recently Omega Psi Phi celebrated its 100th anniversary in Washington, D.C. It paid homage to its Howard University roots during the conclave by donating nearly $500,000. Fraternity leaders also met with President Barack Obama during their time in the nation’s capital. Other events centered around Omega’s emphasis on community service, social action programs and philanthropy.
“The Centennial was a glorious moment in time, when Omega Men from their respective stations in life met on the plane of friendship and fraternity…and parted on the square of Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance and Uplift,” said Ray.“We celebrated the legacy of our founders and the Omega Men who guided us through our first century, as we dedicated ourselves to enhancing their legacy in our second.”
Another highlight was the memorial service and wreath-laying ceremony that took place at Arlington National Cemetery to honor Bro. Col. Charles Young, a recipient of the NAACP Spingarn Medal and one of the first Black men to graduate from West Point.
Some collegiate members of the organization are noted for wearing camouflage pants and gold boots. This pays homage to Young, the highest-ranking African American officer in the army when World War I started, whose black combat boots were covered with sand, which made them look gold.
Entertainer Bill Cosby, NBA legend Michael Jordan, comedian/radio personality Rickey Smiley, U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, former Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher, Ernest Green of the Little Rock Nine, Black Enterprise magazine founder Earl Graves, Essence magazine founder Ed Lewis and Vernon Jordan, confidant to President Bill Clinton, are among the fraternity’s notable members; dozens of others were recognized for their contributions and professional achievements - Read more…