The Crescent Magazine is published twice annually by Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated., Jonathan A. Mason, Sr., International President. POSTMASTER: Please send address change to: The Crescent Magazine Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. 145 Kennedy Street, NW Washington, DC 20011-5294 FOUNDERS Honorable A. Langston Taylor Honorable Leonard F. Morse Honorable Charles I. Brown FOUNDING DATE January 9, 1914 Howard University, Washington, DC EDITORIAL STAFF Todd D. Le Bon, Editor-In-Chief Gerald Smith Eric Davis Albert Elam William Harrington Clarence Johnson STAFF WRITERS Kenneth “Rico” Abrantes Craig Arthur Brandon Brown Reuben D’Silva Williard Hutt Todd D. Le Bon Martin Ricard David McGinnis Chris Rice Torian Richardson J. Artel Smith Anthony Springer Tyrone Williams LAYOUT & DESIGN Duvall Brown Dion Coward Kevin Davis Alex Dorsey Christopher Fleming Byron Keys Leon Moody Hamid Saahir CONTRIBUTORS Steve E. Ballard Rogers L. Barnes Hon. Ron Carter Charles E. Ellis, Jr. Dr. Errick Farmer De’Sean Fennell Kenneth Flowers, Jr. Ken Love, Sr. Mark “Mallet” Pacich Hon. Dr. Anthony A. Samad Hon. Arthur R. Thomas, Esquire Mary Breaux Wright
18 CONCLAVE PHILADELPHIA
2nd Vice President’s Greeting
36 THUNDER BACK: Sigma Returns to Washington to March for Jobs and Freedom
43 A. Philip Randolph, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity and the Day that Changed America
44 Sigma Cares: Chaplain’s Corner 46 Centennial Membership Growth Plan 48 The Importance and Value of the Congressional
Introducing the 2013-2015 General Board
Black Caucus Week ... and Sigma’s Participation in It
50 Sigma Promotes Literacy: Adopt-A-School
18 POWER UP! Conclave Philadelphia: Review
62 DSC #1: Honorable Brother Jesse W. Lewis
26 2013 National Sigma Beta Club Leadership Conference
64 Seeking Justice in the Face of Injustice
28 2013 Conclave Service Project: Serving
66 Beta Lambda Sigma Chapter Wins International Award at Conclave Philadelphia
Those that Served - Our Shared Responsibility
67 D9 Happy Hour - A Party with a Purpose PHOTO CREDITS Conclave: Kamau Kadirifu August 2013: Hamid Saahir Thunder Back: Hamid Saahir, Kevin Davis, Adedayo Kosoko Adopt-A-School: Adedayo Kosoko
32 Conclave 2013: Reflections from International Grand Basileus - Mary Breaux Wright
68 Brother Darryl Wise Appointed New CEO
34 AUGUST 2013: The TRANSFORMation Begins 70 Brother De’Sean Fennell: Following My Dream
GREETINGS BROTHERS IN SIGMA: Welcome to the Fall 2013 Edition of The Crescent! Before I write about this wonderful edition, let me express to you my sincerist thanks for allowing me to serve as your 34th International President. When I joined the Delta Zeta Chapter on the campus of Norfolk State University, May 7, 1992, I never envisioned a day where I would serve as the president of our “Wondrous Band.” You have provided me with an awesome opportunity to serve and I will not let you down! There is Something Special Going on in Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity! As you read this Crescent Magazine, I want you to keep repeating that phrase in your mind. As Sigma moves toward its 100th birthday, your elected servants are working overtime to make you proud, excited and anxious to carry out the mission of Phi Beta Sigma. Through our collective efforts, we will position Phi Beta Sigma as the preeminent service organization in America.
HONORABLE BROTHER JONATHAN A. MASON, SR. 34th International President
In just a couple of short months, under the theme, “One Fraternity Working Together to Transform Our Communities”, Phi Beta Sigma brought to fruition the THUNDER BACK program. THUNDER BACK was our tribute to A. Philip Randolph, Congressman John Lewis and others that organized the 1963 March on Washington. Thousands of Sigmas from across the country converged on Washington, DC to let the world know that this annivesary was not a celebration but a continuation of our fight for the equality of all people! In that same time period your Fraternity created the Centennial Membership program focusing on Reactivation, Recruitment and Retention. In every step of the program, we endeavor to show you that membership in Phi Beta Sigma offers a true value proposition. We especially want to show those Brothers that have been continuously financial that we appreciate their commitment to the “Cause.” Our Headquarters Team is also working to create the paradigm shift promised during the campaign season. The Team is focused on being proactive in the area of membership and customer service. They are putting in the hours to make sure that every member receives what is promised in a timely manner. Add to that, the reinvention of the Sigma Exchange. If you are going to buy paraphernalia, buy it from YOUR OWN STORE! Every Wednesday, you will receive special offers from the Exchange. In coming weeks, you will receive a brochure highlighting the “2014 Collection.” This is a special Centennial collection that can be accessed only through the Sigma Exchange! Sigma Cares For Our Own is a signature program of this administration. If we are truly a family, we must care for one another when in need and we must celebrate our successes. I strongly encourage you to send information to the Sigma Cares Team so that the fraternity can respond accordingly. If you are sick, we want to make a visit. If a Brother has joined the Omega Chapter, we want to make sure the International Fraternity touches the family. If one of our Brothers loses a loved one, we want to be there. Sigma Cares For Our Own and the only way we can make this program successful is if you provide us with the necessary information. The Centennial is coming! The Centennial is coming! Register TODAY! You do not want to miss this once in a lifetime celebration. Stay tuned to PBS100.org for all of the exciting details. Further in this publication, you will read about several celebrities that have already signed to be with us in Washington, DC. If our Centennial is important to them, it should be a number one responsibility for all Men of Sigma! We will kick off our seven month Centennial Celebration on January 11, 2014 when all seven of our regions will host Founders’ Day Galas. The theme of our celebration is, “Stony the Road, We Trod-A Tribute to Icons of the Civil Rights Movement”! Through the efforts of Hosea Williams, James Foreman, A. Philip Randolph and John Lewis, Phi Beta Sigma was deeply immersed in the fight for justice and equality. So, it is fitting, on our 100th birthday, as we celebrate our Most Honorable Founder’s Dream, that we also celebrate those icons of the movement that helped to make it possible for us to stand today. There will be a satellite feed at all locations. Our keynote speaker for the evening will be Mr. Harry Belafonte! Mr. Belafonte, a leading actor of the time, risked everything to provide financial support for the movement and to promote freedom and justice through his music and public appearances. Mr. Belafonte also covered most of the expenses for Dr. King’s funeral. It is fitting that on January 11th; we hear from Mr. Belafonte and bestow upon him honorary membership in Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. At the end of the gala that evening, we will officially kick off our Centennial with a special charge to the Blue and White Family from Zeta Phi Beta’s International Grand Basileus, Mary Breaux Wright! Yes, as you read this Crescent Magazine, I pray that you will join me in saying, “There is Something Special Going on in Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity!” Let me close by thanking our editor, Brother Todd Le Bon and his entire team for bringing this publication to life. They have put in hundreds of man hours to provide you with this great publication. Words cannot properly express my gratitude!
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Enjoy this edition of The Crescent. Get excited about your fraternity, get ready for your Centennial and get involved!
IN 2014 PHI BETA SIGMA FRATERNITY, INC. WILL BE ENTERING THE RANKS OF fraternal organizations that are standing the test of time. 2014 signifies the year our organization reaches 100 years old, and a glorious 100 years it has been.
BROTHER PROFIT IDOWU International 2nd Vice President
Alas Sigma Men across the nation will “...proclaim in loud refrain that Phi Beta is the life.” It is an exciting time to be a member and more importantly a witness upholding the vision and message that our Founders have left for us to convey to the greater community. As we stand united within the “Transformation” led by our President, Hon. Jonathan A. Mason Sr., it is time to rise above our expectations and place an emphasis of “Quality and Precision” in every activity and program we conduct. In every city, state and on every campus let us aim to have Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. at the forefront and be known as the premiere Greek organization of choice. As we approach our Centennial, our collegiate team has new life. We are looking for talented collegiate brothers to step up and join our team. We must hear from our collegiate body as we work to better serve you. If there are any questions or concerns that you have feel free to reach me at email@example.com. Lastly, I encourage all collegiate chapters to engage wholeheartedly in our Centennial Membership Plan, stay in alignment with our organization’s policies on hazing (Zero-Tolerance), and purchase a copy of our History Book; March On March On Ye Mighty Host: The Comprehensive History of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.(1914-2013), from the Sigma Exchange.
THE CRESCENT MAGAZINE TEAM EXTENDS GREETINGS TO ALL SIGMA MEN around the globe. We hope this publication finds you and yours in the best possible health.
BROTHER TODD D. LE BON Editor-In-Chief, The Crescent
We want to, first, take a moment to thank Hon. Bro. Jonathan A. Mason, Sr., our 34th International President, for appointing us to produce our national organ. Humbled and honored by the appointment, we give our Sigma Word to work relentlessly in producing a magazine worthy of our Wondrous Band. Over the past few months we have assembled a team of talented brothers dedicated to ensuring The Crescent is a first-class publication. The Team is excited to share their talents and serve the membership as we speed our cause on its way. It is our goal to continue to build upon the rich legacy passed down by those Sigma men that have come before us. We look forward to your support, feedback and ideas as we move forward and grow as one team with a shared vision. These are special times in Phi Beta Sigma as we march towards our Centennial. The pages of The Crescent will provide a record of these moments and preserve them for future generations to enjoy. We look forward to hearing from you and sharing your stories with our readers. In closing, we dedicate this post Conclave issue to one of our Sigma Giants, the Honorable Bro. Demetrius C. Newton, Sr., 24th International President. Join us as we celebrate his life and the impact he continues to have on so many. March On, March On . . . FALL 2013 THE CRESCENT
PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY IS QUOTED AS SAYING, “HISTORY IS A RELENTLESS master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.” You have to love Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. We refuse to be held back and we refuse to be swept aside! 2013 is a year that will be highlighted by our organization making changes in its operations, changes in its policies, changes in its façade and changes in its way of thinking. In other words, there is a new Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.; “it is not your daddy’s Sigma!” Our organization is embracing a new method of making things happen for its members.
HONORABLE BROTHER DARYL A. ANDERSON International Executive Director
We have a new international website where information is now just a mouse click away from our fingertips. We are proud of our ability to vote, as a Conclave, on new leadership and issues important to Sigma using the latest concepts and technologies of today. Electronic registrations for conferences and events is now a way of life for Sigma. Our future is our now. We have always been able to recognize the work of a few by inducting them into our Distinguished Service Chapter; we just have a new way of doing it and new Brothers in it. Kennedy St., NW in Washington DC has been the home of our International Headquarters for over 40 years; now it has a new and improved look, a new staff, and whole new way of serving the brotherhood. Never again will rain, or snow, or sleet wash away our history. Our electronic data management system will preserve our national and chapters’ history for years to come while providing greater and more expedient access to all who request it. In 2013, the March on Washington celebrated its 50th anniversary. There was something old (the need for jobs, justice and peace), something new (an AfricanAmerican President who will make it happen), something borrowed (Phi Beta Sigma provided the only living survivor, Rep. John Lewis, of the original March and a key organizer!) and something definitely Blue to its appearance. Men of Sigma and Ladies of Zeta were dominant in their presence and appearance during the 2013 March on Washington, that commenced with a breakfast and conversation with Congressman Brother Lewis and Dr. C. T. Vivian, hosted by Phi Beta Sigma, Sigma Sigma Sigma Chapter. And the 2013 Masterpiece is not yet finished. Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. is sweeping into a Centennial Celebration that is going to make us stand proud of our heritage. We are registering brothers for Centennial history with galas and upcoming conferences. We are preserving and sharing history with record sales of our Centennial History book. We are creating history with the construction of the Centennial Monument that will forever grace the grounds of our first chapter’s location, Howard University, and include the names of brothers and chapters who are contributing to its construction. 2013 will see us renew partnerships with old friends (the Centers for Disease Control, St. Jude Children’s Hospital and the American Cancer Society). 2013 will see us return to an active membership base that will well exceed the 10,000 mark. 2013 will see us complete 100 years of Brotherhood, Scholarship, and Service. And 2013 will relinquish itself and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. into 2014 a year of celebration and service. And, hallelujah, 2014 will be a significant year for a significant organization that is making significant strides. Brothers, get on board and enjoy the ride. We are changing for the betterment of Sigma; for the betterment of our people; for the betterment or our communities. We refuse to be swept aside and we want you to come with us!
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GENERAL BOARD INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT HONORABLE JONATHAN A. MASON, SR. Whether it was during his Norfolk State University (NSU) days as a four year lettermen for the football team, as President of the Delta Zeta Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, or as President of NSU’s National Pan-Hellenic Council, the Honorable Brother Jonathan A. Mason, Sr. has never and won't ever take his position as leader lightly or for granted. In fact, he holds himself to practicing integrity, honesty, conviction, and faith as characteristics of a leader. Born to Reverend and Mrs. Lee Mason, Jr. on October 14, 1972, Jonathan attributes much of his success to having, “the best parents on this side of creation.” He attended Abington Junior and Senior High Schools in Abington, Pennsylvania where he excelled academically and athletically. He decided to attend NSU in 1990 because of its excellent mass communications program and successfully graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in News and Public Affairs with a minor in Public Relations. After graduation, Jonathan started his radio career in Norfolk, VA, as a marketing consultant. Jonathan moved to New York in 1997 to further his marketing career at 92.3 K-ROCK, home of the Howard Stern Radio Show. Jonathan was selected as the 2000 New York Inﬁnity Broadcasting Radio Marketing Consultant of the Year for his work with clients like AAMCO Transmissions, Paramount Pictures, Bally Total Fitness and Coca Cola. In 2004, Jonathan was promoted to the position of Retail Sales Manager at 1010 WINS, the most successful radio station in the Inﬁnity Radio Group. Jonathan managed a team of sellers that was responsible for generating new direct business in the most challenging marketplace in America. Much of Jonathan’s time has been dedicated to community service through his fraternal and religious afﬁliations. In 1999, Jonathan founded Sigma’s Waging War Against Cancer, a national partnership between Phi Beta Sigma and the American Cancer Society. In the ten plus years that the program has been in existence, Phi Beta Sigma has reached over 250,000 people
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through this important cancer awareness program. Jonathan has received numerous awards and citations for his volunteer work. Some of his awards include the 1996 Portsmouth, VA National Pan Hellenic Council Outstanding Frater Award; 1998 Nu Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Liberty Bell Award (Philadelphia, PA); 1998 Samuel B. Newton Eastern Regional Ofﬁcer of the Year Award (Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity); 1998 and 2000 Edgar B. Felton Eastern Region Service Award Recipient; 1999 National Social Action Outstanding Service Award Recipient (Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Conclave) and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Man of the Year (Conclave 2001). Jonathan has been a guest on several radio and television programs. He has also been featured in Crain’s Business Weekly, the American Society's 2001 Annual Report, and the American Cancer Society’s Legislative Newsletter. In addition, Jonathan has appeared with motivational speaker and author Les Brown in a nationally distributed video focusing on Prostate Cancer. Jonathan has served as International Director of Social Action and International First Vice President for Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated. On July 11th, 2013, Jonathan was elected the 34th International President of this historic, 100 year old organization. At the ripe old age of 40, Jonathan still has several goals left to accomplish. He is an ordained Baptist minister and spends a great deal of time working for the church. He serves as the CoPastor of the Northeast Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Professionally, he directs sales for 77 WABC Radio and WABC Syndication in New York City. Last but certainly not least, Jonathan is married to the former Dionis A. Hussey of Baltimore, Maryland. They reside in the suburb of East Orange, New Jersey where they are raising their sons, Jonathan Andrew, Jr. and Jackson Alexander. Jonathan humbly says, “To God Be the Glory for the things he has done!”
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2013-2015 General Board INTERNATIONAL FIRST VICE PRESIDENT MICHEAL CRISTAL BROTHER MICHEAL CRISTAL is the Director of Operations for the Kroger Company within the Atlanta, GA division. He leads a team of over 10,000 employees and is responsible for the sales and proﬁts of 80 stores. Micheal has held several leadership positions during his 28 year career with the Kroger Company. Micheal was initiated on April 3, 1982 through the Theta Iota Chapter at Mississippi State University (MSU). While he was a collegiate, he served as Chapter President and as the Mississippi State Director of Bigger and Better Business. He also served as President for MSU’s National Pan-Hellenic Council. Because of his excellent leadership qualities and abilities, the State of Mississippi Sigmas awarded him with the “Collegiate Brother of the Year Award” in 1985. Micheal majored in marketing and graduated with a BS Degree in 1985. Since becoming an alumni member, he has continuously served in different leadership positions on the local, regional and international levels. Some of these positions included: President of Tau Iota Sigma Chapter (Memphis, TN); Southwestern Regional Director; and International Director of Bigger and Better Business. At Conclave 2013 in Philadelphia, he was elected as the fraternity’s International First Vice President. Micheal’s overall goal for his new position is to increase our membership numbers to historic levels. Micheal, who is a Life Member, is a member of the Tau Iota Sigma Chapter in Memphis, TN. Micheal is also very active in his community. He has either served or serves on the Board of Directors for several different community service organizations, including the Memphis Afﬁliate of the National Urban League, Boys Club of America, Memphis Neighborhood Watch, Olivet Sharing Corporation and Arkansas Grocers Retail Merchant Association. Additionally, he is a Deacon at the New Olivet Baptist Church in Memphis. Micheal and his wife, Marcia, have been married for 26 years, have three children and reside in Collierville, TN with plans to relocate to the Atlanta area.
INTERNATIONAL SECOND VICE PRESIDENT PROFIT IDOWU BROTHER PROFIT IDOWU is a senior at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in Minneapolis, MN. Majoring in business and marketing with a minor in management, he hopes to become a thought leader in the ﬁeld of consulting, information technology, marketing and/or sales. He was initiated into the Pi Eta Chapter in the Spring of 2011. Since then he has served as the chapter’s Historian, Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, and now currently is the chapter President. At Conclave Atlanta in 2011, he was elected as the International Collegiate Member at Large. At Conclave 2013 in Philadelphia, Proﬁt was elected as the International Second Vice President and aims to carry on the legacy that the many 2nd Vice Presidents before him have left. Proﬁt believes that he is truly blessed to have this opportunity and is looking forward to the challenge of working with and learning from the collegiate and alumni brothers. He wants to make sure that all collegiate brothers serving on the international and regional boards maximize the use of their positions to enhance Sigma. Additionally, he
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General Board 2013-2015 INTERNATIONAL TREASURER CHARLES E. ELLIS, JR. CPA BROTHER CHARLES E. ELLIS, JR., CPA is the Senior Accountant in the Research Administration ofﬁce at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he accounts for non-grant revenues and expenses and grant contract compliance. He previously served as Mayor of the City of Greendale, Missouri, and has been appointed by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to the Citizen’s Advisory Committee on Corrections. He is also designated as a Certiﬁed Public Accountant by the Missouri State Board of Accountancy and a Certiﬁed Internal Auditor by the Institute of Internal Auditors. Charles was initiated on March 23, 1993 into the Eta Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. at the University of Missouri, in Columbia, Missouri. Since becoming a Life Member of the Fraternity in 1996, Charles has acted in past roles including Treasurer and President for the local National Pan-Hellenic Council in St. Louis, Missouri, and Treasurer for the Southwestern Region of the Fraternity. He was named to the Region’s Distinguished Service Chapter in April 2010, was elected to the ofﬁce of International Treasurer of the Fraternity in July 2013 and also serves as President of the Kappa Sigma Chapter in St. Louis, which is noted as the ﬁrst alumni chapter established west of the Mississippi River. Charles earned a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy in 1994 and a Master of Business Administration in 1998, both from the University of Missouri. Charles currently lives in St. Louis, Missouri, where he was also born and raised. He serves as chair of the ﬁnance ministry at Fresh Winds Christian Church in Florissant, Missouri. In his spare time, he follows sports and music.
plans to improve all avenues of communication to make sure the collegiate voice is heard and the alumni voice is received. All Brothers should be on the lookout for the “Collegiate Zone”, which will be coming to our international website in the near future.
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2013-2015 General Board INTERNATIONAL DIRECTOR OF BIGGER & BETTER BUSINESS QUENTIN GOODWIN BROTHER QUENTIN GOODWIN was elected International Director of Bigger and Better Business at the 2013 Conclave in Philadelphia. He is excited about the opportunity to manage the Bigger and Better Business component of the fraternity’s programmatic thrust, which are 1) promoting ﬁnancial literacy awareness through Project S.E.E.D. and 2) enhancing the fraternity’s participation in the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). Quentin graduated from the College of Charleston in South Carolina in 1992 with a BS Degree in Business Management. He was initiated into the Lambda Psi Chapter in the Fall of 1988. He also received a Master of Business Administration in 1995 from Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is currently a member of the Beta Rho Sigma Chapter located in Charlotte, NC, and is the Immediate Past Director of the fraternity’s Southeastern Region. Professionally, Quentin is a Certiﬁed Project Management Professional and is currently employed as a Managing Editor at Mergent, Inc., a provider of global ﬁnancial information and company data. Additionally, he serves on the Board of Directors of the National Sigma Beta Club Foundation, and volunteers through the Sigma Beta Club. He is a member of Simpson-Gillespie United Methodist Church, where he serves as a Certiﬁed Lay Speaker and Chairman of the Finance Committee. In his spare time, he enjoys music, urban gardening, and wine-making. Quentin is married to Soror Renee Goodwin, who is currently the International Youth Coordinator for Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
INTERNATIONAL DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION JEAN B. LAMOTHE, MPA, CPM BROTHER JEAN B. LAMOTHE, commonly referred to as Jet, attended Rutgers University and triple-majored in Political Science, African Studies, and Philosophy. Jean became a Sigma by way of Mu Zeta Chapter on April 22, 1988. Jean’s academic credentials also include a Master of Public Administration and Certiﬁed Public Manager from Rutgers University and Farleigh Dickinson University, respectively. Professionally, Jean is employed by State of New Jersey’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development. In his current position, he serves as Chief of Disability Services where he manages and directs a staff of 150 employees. His staff consists of physicians, analysts, supervisors, examiners, and support technicians who adjudicate permanent disability decisions. Within Sigma, Jean has held several leadership positions on the local, state, regional, and national levels. He is a charter member of his alumni chapter, Lambda Lambda Sigma, which serves Trenton, NJ and the Mercer County community. One of his passions is advocating for quality education for all, particularly for young males of color. He is also a Board Member for two organizations: the Haitian American Uniﬁed Council, which addresses issues and concerns of Haitian Americans, and the Renaissance Of Our Traditional Selves, which promotes diversity and cultural awareness in the work place. Jean, who has received numerous professional, civic, and fraternity awards and honors, resides in Ewing, NJ and is a loving and proud father of three children.
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General Board 2013-2015 INTERNATIONAL DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL ACTION IVORY W. LYLES, PhD BROTHER DR. IVORY W. LYLES holds a BS Degree from Alcorn State University, a Master’s Degree from Mississippi State University, and a PhD from The Ohio State University. After a 31 year career in higher education, Dr. Lyles retired as the Associate Vice President of Agriculture at the University of Arkansas System and started the Lyles Consulting Group. Ivory, who specializes in management coaching and public speaking, was elected the International Director of Social Action at Conclave 2013 in Philadelphia. Dr. Ivory was initiated into the Eta Sigma Sigma Chapter in Forest, Mississippi in 1981 and is currently a member of the Mu Beta Sigma Chapter in Little Rock, Arkansas. He is active in his church serving as a Deacon and is also active in the 100 Black Men of Greater Little Rock. He also serves as a Board Member for several organizations, including the Hope Enterprise, Arkansas Foodbank, Centers for Youth and Families, and Alcorn State University’s National Alumni Association. The Forest, Mississippi native and his wife, Pauletta, are the proud parents of four adult children, Irish, Eddie, Ivory and Maurice.
COLLEGIATE MEMBER-AT-LARGE JEREMY BYRD BROTHER JEREMY BYRD was initiated into the Alpha Beta Delta Chapter in the Spring of 2012. He is a sophomore pursuing a degree in criminal justice at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN. Jeremy, who is coming to the General Board with a mission, wants to work with collegiate brothers and do what our International President Honorable Jonathan A. Mason has set out to do with the fraternity as a whole: TRANSFORM. Jeremy believes that there is a lot of work that needs to be done with collegiate brothers, but he is determined to do his best with the position because of the opportunity he has been given. He also believes that the fraternity’s collegiate leadership team is going to do marvelous things over the next two years and he is truly blessed and grateful to be part of that team. Additionally, he states that “he is aiming to be that envoy for the collegiate brother to get their voice to the General Board.”
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2013-2015 General Board COLLEGIATE MEMBER-AT-LARGE CHRISTOPHER COLBERT BROTHER CHRISTOPHER COLBERT brings a unique set of skills to the Collegiate Member-at-Large position. He has previous experience serving in the military and currently serves as Second Vice President for the Western Region and Chapter President. One of the ﬁrst things Chris often states when introducing himself to new brothers, is that while he’s only been in the fraternity for a short while, he has been dedicated to the fraternity’s principle of “Service” for more than 10 years. Before starting at Sacramento State University, he served in the U.S. Army for four years, where he was deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and where he became a Sergeant. After being honorably discharged, he worked in several human resource positions, which allowed him to serve military veterans in California. Chris, who was initiated into the Omicron Eta Chapter in the Fall of 2011, helped his chapter raise $6,000 to save a treasured multicultural art museum near campus from closure. He also volunteers at his church and helps to coach a youth football team in the Sacramento area. Chris is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in organizational communication and plans to obtain a master’s degree in clinical social work. Being an older collegiate brother, Chris prides himself in being able to be a liaison between younger collegiate brothers who want a voice and alumni brothers who have the wisdom to pass down. He plans to bring that asset to the General Board. Additionally, Chris, who says “he has the heart of the collegiate and the ears of the alumni and never stops working”, and his lovely wife, Danishia, live in Sacramento with their three children.
INTERNATIONAL DIRECTOR OF COLLEGIATE AFFAIRS RAY SMITH BROTHER RAY SMITH is a North Carolina native who relocated to Philadelphia, PA during his secondary school years. In 1976 Ray received a B.S. Degree in Health and Physical Education from Florida Memorial University in Miami, Florida. Ray was initiated into the Beta Pi Chapter on November 16, 1974. Currently, he is a member of Rho Sigma Chapter in Miami. Ray taught school brieﬂy and retired from UPS after 37 years. Within Sigma, Ray has held several leadership positions on the local, state, regional, and national levels. Some of these positions have included serving as Chapter Advisor, Chapter President, Florida State Director, and Vice Director and Regional Director for the Southern Region. At Conclave 2013, he was re-elected to the General Board to serve as the International Director of Collegiate Affairs. He also currently serves on the board of trustees at Florida Memorial University and is a past president of their National Alumni Association. He also serves on the usher board for his church and is a member of several other organizations, including Prince Hall Mason, Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity and 5,000 Role Models. Ray and his wife Lisa, a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., have three children and reside in Miami.
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General Board 2013-2015 INTERNATIONAL GENERAL COUNSEL HONORABLE JOHN M. TURNER, ESQUIRE BROTHER JOHN M. TURNER, JR., Esq., a native of Atlanta, Georgia, graduated cum laude from Morris Brown College in 1969 with a double major in history and political science. While at Morris Brown, he was initiated into the Zeta Chapter on December 2, 1966. John also graduated with honors from the National Law Center at George Washington University in 1972 and later in life obtained a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Clark Atlanta University and a Master’s Degree in Litigation from Emory University Law School. John has worked in the legal ﬁeld for several decades and has tried many high proﬁle murder cases. From his ﬁrst job out of law school in corporate law at the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C., to serving as Executive Assistant District Attorney for Clayton Judicial Circuit, his legal career is ﬁlled with public and private defense attorney positions. He’s worked in the latter capacity for four years and again entered the private practice of law in January 2009. Throughout his career, he has taught at several universities, participated in many national and international legal forums, written numerous legal articles for publications, and has received many community service awards. John has been a member of Lambda Sigma Chapter in Atlanta since 1973 and served as Chapter President in 1989. The previous State of Georgia and Southern Region Legal Counsel has served as the elected General Counsel for Phi Beta Sigma from 1997-1999 and 2005-present. John is a Life Member and at Conclave 2011 was selected for membership in the Distinguished Service Chapter.
IMMEDIATE PAST INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT HONORABLE JIMMY HAMMOCK BROTHER JIMMY HAMMOCK was elected 33rd International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. in 2009, and re-elected in 2011. The Hammock Administration’s goal was to make Phi Beta Sigma synonymous with community service, using as his theme: “Changing Lives Through Service.” Hammock’s passion for community service extends beyond Phi Beta Sigma. He is the ﬁrst and only African-American to serve as board president and Capital Campaign Chairman of United Way of Hamblen County. In addition, he serves or has served on boards of AAA of Tennessee, Morristown-Hamblen Hospital, Boys and Girls Club, Morristown College Trustee, Morristown/Hamblen Library, Red Cross, and Hamblen County Chamber of Commerce. Hammock was commissioned Kentucky Colonel and Arkansas Traveler, which are awards. He is also a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. The native of Fordyce, Arkansas attended J. E. Wallace High School, and graduated with high honors. Because of his academic excellence, he received a full four-year academic scholarship to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, where he earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Administration in 1972. He was initiated into the Beta Theta Chapter on December 8, 1970 and is currently a member of Phi Sigma Chapter in Knoxville, Tennessee. Hammock retired in February 2007 from Arvin Meritor as Materials Manager, after twenty-nine years. He lives in Morristown, Tennessee with his wife, Vicki, who is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. They have one son and Sigma Brother, Andre’. FALL 2013 THE CRESCENT
2013-2015 General Board EASTERN REGIONAL DIRECTOR LEONARD LOCKHART
GREAT LAKES REGIONAL DIRECTOR ARNOLD MAURICE BLACK
GULF COAST REGIONAL DIRECTOR THEO AMMONS
SOUTHEASTERN REGIONAL DIRECTOR WILLIAM FRASIER, JR.
SENIOR ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT
INTERNATIONAL DIRECTOR OF SIGMA-ZETA RELATIONS
HONORABLE CARTER D. WOMACK
NIGEL J. COELHO
INTERNATIONAL DIRECTOR OF GRANTS & DEVELOPMENT
REV. DR. CHRISTOPHER V. BROWN
INTERNATIONAL DIRECTOR OF RISK MANAGEMENT MARTIN B. CURRIE, CSP
EDITOR, THE CRESCENT TODD D. LE BON
ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT SOUTHERN REGIONAL DIRECTOR DR. MARCUS A. CHANAY
SOUTHWESTERN REGIONAL DIRECTOR T.J. LEWIS
ROGER BARNES, CHAIR DEVON HENRY
DIRECTOR OF SIGMA BETA CLUBS DR. PATRICK HARDY
DIRECTOR OF SIGMA LEADERSHIP ACADEMY DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF EVENTS, MEETINGS, PROTOCOL CHARLES H. TALBERT STEVE E. BALLARD
INTERNATIONAL DIRECTOR OF STANDARDS & RITUALS BRANDON HILL, CHAIR TIMOTHY MCCRAY, CO-CHAIR
EDWIN K. MILES
SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT
INTERNATIONAL DIRECTOR OF TECHNOLOGY MARK ELLIOT CORNELIUS
SENIOR ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT
HONORABLE SIDNEY W. MCCRAY
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COLLEGIATE ADVISORS UNIVERSITY
REAL ESTATE COMMISSION
HONORABLE DANIEL J. TANN, ESQ.
DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF HUMAN RESOURCES & FRATERNITY RELATIONS
DR. KENT POINDEXTER CARLOS WILLIAMS, II
STEVEN J. RUSS, CHAIR RAFAEL MATOS, CO-CHAIR
CHIEF OF STAFF
INTERNATIONAL EDITORS, THE CRESCENT EXTRA
WESTERN REGIONAL DIRECTOR JEFFREY F. SNEED
INTERNATIONAL INTERNAL AUDITING TEAM DAVID C. TURNER, CPA, CHAIR SYDNEY MOSHETTE, III DARRICK B. FULLER, CPA
KENNETH DANIEL, PRESIDENT
SPECIAL ADVISORS TO THE PRESIDENT-LEGAL MATTERS KENNEDY BARNES JUDGE CARL A. WALKER
INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT TEAM ROGER BARNES REGINALD M. BROWNE LARRY A. MUNGIN, CPA
WINSTON K. Oâ€™NEAL, CHAIR JAMES D. STEPHENS, CO-CHAIR T.J. LEWIS, CO-CHAIR, SPECIAL EVENTS BLAKE DYE, CO-CHAIR, LOGISTICS CHARLES TALBERT, LOGISTICS TEAM
P H I B E TA S I G M A F R AT E R N I T Y, I N C .
Century OF SERVICE
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION SCHEDULE MARRIOTT WARDMAN PARK HOTEL • 2660 WOODLEY ROAD, NW • WASHINGTON, DC 20008 WEDNESDAY - July 16, 2014 Golf Tournament Welcome Reception Sigma Museum Sigma Marketplace Chapter Displays Collegiate Sigma Summit Opening Ceremony/Gospel Concert Nat. Pan Hellenic Council Reception
FRIDAY - July 18, 2014 8:00 AM 9:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM 6:00 PM 9:00 PM
Rededication & Omega Ceremony Sigma Museum Sigma Marketplace Chapter Displays Sigma-Zeta Breakfast Legends Roundtable Maze featuring Frankie Beverly Concert After Parties
THURSDAY - July 17, 2014
SATURDAY - July 19, 2014
Centennial Monument Unveiling at Howard University Sigma Museum Sigma Marketplace Chapter Displays Founder Taylor Gravesite Memorial Centennial Step Show Competition
Family & Legacy Brunch A. Philip Randolph Unity March Grand Orchid Ball
9:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM 1:00 PM 9:00 PM
8:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM 1:30 PM 7:00 PM 11:30 PM
9:00 AM 1:00 PM 10:00 PM
SUNDAY - July 20, 2014 Ecumenical Service
REGISTRATION DEADLINE DATES: • Centennial Celebration Pre-Registration Ends January 9, 2014. • Centennial Celebration General Registration Ends May 1, 2014.
CONCLAVE PHILADEL BY BROTHER TODD LE BON 18 THE CRESCENT FALL 2013
The week of July 9-14, 2013, the men of Sigma were called to the City of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia, PA) for their bi-annual conference, the Conclave. For the first time in nearly twenty years, the Conclave was held in the Eastern Region, home of the Fraternity’s origin. This gathering of Sigma men would serve as the “unofficial” final push towards our Centennial. The new General Board, elected in Philadelphia, would have the responsibility of guiding Sigma into its next century of service.
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CONCLAVE PHILADELPHIA REVIEW The Conclave Planning Team and local chapters worked diligently to prepare an exciting schedule of events for all attendees. Sigma men would answer the call from as far away as Korea to experience all that Philadelphia had to offer. The City of Philadelphia is well known for its rich cultural history and a variety of activities to satisfy all tastes. The Philadelphia Marriott Downtown was our point of operations for Conclave Philly. Conclaves are always special times for the men of Sigma. It is a time to reconnect with old friends, build new relationships, and always provides an atmosphere for positive networking opportunities. The host hotel lobby is always an important gathering location during Conclaves. You can always find brothers assembled there well into the morning reminiscing about old times or just enjoying that, which is Conclave. Traditionally, the first two days will find brothers engaged in workshops designed to improve their leadership and chapter management skills. It is a time for committees to meet and address unresolved issues as they finalize their reports to present to the membership later in the week. Brothers arriving early also use this time to relax and prepare for the business sessions, which begin early Thursday morning. Wednesday’s schedule began with the Collegiate Advisors University. These sessions will provide our Collegiate Chapter Advisors with a solid foundation to use as they carry out their duties as Advisors. Advisors will play a key support role in the normal operations of a Collegiate Chapter; the Collegiate Advisors University provides the tools and training to assist them along the way. Our Collegiate Advisors are a vital link between our Collegiate and Alumni chapters by providing Collegiate Chapters with their first look into the operations of an Alumni Chapter. When not attending workshops or committee meetings brothers visited the Sigma Village and Sigma Marketplace. The Sigma Village is an opportunity for chapters to showcase their many service programs conducted in their local community. Chapter booths displayed photos, articles, videos and other items highlighting chapter programming and events. After viewing the chapter booths brothers could visit the Sigma Exchange and other vendors in the Sigma Marketplace. This was also their first opportunity to purchase the newly released Phi Beta Sigma history book, MARCH ON, MARCH ON YE MIGHTY HOST: The Comprehensive History of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.(1914-2013), by Bro. Dr. Anthony A. Samad. The morning schedule was highlighted by the first of three History Workshops on the conference agenda. Brother Mark “Mallet” Pacich, International Historian, awed brothers in attendance as he focused on Founder Charles I. Brown. Brothers learned of the ongoing research on the life of Founder Brown and how so much is still left to discover after a very successful ten years of research has uncovered various documents about
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Brother Brown and Sigma. A team of Sigma Historians has been working diligently in its effort to solve the mystery of Founder Brown for the Fraternity. As their research continues, they are ever hopeful they will soon have the documents they need to answer the many questions about the life of Founder Brown. The afternoon began with Brothers gathering for the Conclave Oratorical and Debate Competitions. Regional winners proudly represented their respective regions with fabulous orations and impressive debates. The Oratorical Competition winner was Bro. Nick Gilchrist of Delta Alpha Chapter. The team winning the Debate Competition consisted of Bros. Benjamin Greenough, Zeta Nu Chapter and Thomas Boucher, Gamma Zeta Chapter. The Oratorical and Debate Competitions always showcase some of the finest Sigma has to offer on campuses across the country. We salute all participants and wish them the best as they continue their academic pursuits. Wednesday evening attendees and guests gathered in the Grand Ballroom for the Opening Ceremony. We received greetings from Presidents of the National PanHellenic Council member organizations and local officials. Special greetings came from Soror Mary Breaux Wright, International Grand Basileus of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. After the ceremony all conference attendees and guests were invited to attend The President’s Reception to close out the day’s scheduled activities. Thursday morning, Brothers adorned their favorite Sigma Suit and Tie, had an early breakfast and made their way to the first Business Session of the Conclave. Delegates were seated and our 33rd International President, Bro. Jimmy Hammock, called Business Session 1 to order and Phi Beta Sigma got down to work. This signaled the official opening of business for Conclave 2013. Brothers assembled, were eager to address the agenda items and make this a successful conference. Next on the agenda was the ever-popular Brotherhood Luncheon. This included the pinning of the newly appointed members of the Alain Leroy Locke Honors Society. This is the highest honor an undergraduate brother can receive. The young men chosen to become members represent the highest ideals of scholarship. The 2013 Class of the A. L. Locke Honors Society include; Bros. Tony Tillman, Zeta Alpha Chapter, Fred Reed, Rho Chapter and Armani Davis, Epsilon Kappa Chapter. Business Session 2 closed out the business portion of the day’s agenda. There was a heightened level of excitement and anticipation in the room as this session began. We heard from Bros. Larry A. Mungin CPA, International Treasurer; Hon. John H. Turner, Esq., International Legal Counsel; and conducted the election of the new General Board. But the top item on the agenda was the State of the Fraternity Address from our 33rd International President, Jimmy Hammock. The room
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Top left: Bro. Christopher Cooper, International 2nd Vice President, Hon. Bro. Jimmy Hammock, International President and Bro. Jonathan A. Mason, Sr., International 1st Vice President prepare for Conclave General Board Meeting.
Top right: Hon. Bro. Daryl Anderson, International Executive Director and President Hammock address first Plenary Session.
Center: Hon. Bro. Daniel J. Tann (left) and Rev. Bro. Dr. Christopher Brown, President of Nu Sigma Chapter, Philadelphia present Proclamations from local city government to President Hammock.
Bottom: National Pan Hellenic Council’s Council of Presidents pause for photo after the Opening Ceremony; (left to right) William “Randy” Bates, Jr., Grand Polemarch, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Mark S. Tillman, General President, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Carolyn House Stewart, Supreme Basileus, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, President Hammock, Mary Breaux Wright, Grand Basileus, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Bonita M. Herring, Grand Basileus, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, and Karl Price, Grand Polaris, Iota Phi Theta Fraternity.
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CONCLAVE PHILADELPHIA REVIEW
Past International Presidents with President Hammock, (left to right) Paul L. Griffin, Jr., 32nd, Arthur R. Thomas, Esq., 31st, William E. Stanley, Jr., 28th, President Hammock, Carter D. Womack, 27th & 29th, and Peter M. Adams, Esq., 30th.
Sisters of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. join President Hammock and Soror Vicki Hammock during the General Board Dinner. Included are Mary Breaux Wright, Grand Basileus, left of President Hammock, Barbara C. Moore, Past Grand Basileus (left of Wright) and Stacey Montez, International Executive Director (right of Mrs. Hammock).
Boxing Champion Roy Jones, Jr. was the Keynote Speaker for the The Salute to our Collegiate Brothers.
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President Hammock presents LaVerne Council, Chairman of the Board, March of Dimes Foundation with the coveted Image Award.
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was overflowing with brothers eager to hear Bro. Hammock’s address. The State of the Fraternity address is one of the highlights of the business sessions during any Conclave. Brothers listen earnestly to obtain the latest update on the current status of the organization, and some insight into where Sigma is heading. This address always seems to serve as a motivating factor to the membership, as they leave the session energized and motivated to better serve our communities. Prior to enjoying the evening’s social events brothers attended the second History Workshop. Bro. Pacich used this session to discuss some of the facts and myths surrounding Founder A. Langston Taylor. Over the years, Pacich and the History Team have managed to build relationships with relatives of Founder Taylor, and several of the key brothers from the early days of Sigma. These relationships have allowed them to obtain vital information concerning the organization’s early history, as well as the men whose shoulders we stand upon. In some cases it has also resulted in the finding of rare historical items. After the presentation Bro. Pacich fielded questions from the brothers assembled. The evening’s schedule opened with the Miss International Phi Beta Sigma Pageant. The Pageant is an opportunity for the Fraternity to award scholarships to young ladies to assist them as they continue their academic pursuits. The young ladies represent the seven regions of the Fraternity. The Southern Region’s, Ms. Kendra Kelly was crowned Miss International Phi
Beta Sigma. All of the young ladies represented their respective regions well, with elegance and dignity. The Phi Beta Sigma International Championship Step Show followed the pageant to close out the day. Brothers and guests were treated to a rare performance when the UnKNOWn Step Team took the stage for a reunion exhibition to open the show. They received a warm welcome from the crowd, many of whom are familiar with the Team and the high level of skill they have exhibited over the years. The exhibition was followed by performances from Sigma step teams from across the country representing each region. The brothers from Gamma Chapter at Morgan State University won top honors bringing the trophy home to the Eastern Region. Friday morning was a time to honor those who have gone on to join the Founders in the Omega Chapter. The Omega Ceremony is one of the most solemn times of any conclave or regional conference. It is a time for brothers to reflect and honor the lives and hard work of our fallen brothers. This year’s ceremony was especially difficult for many after the recent passing of Hon. Bro. Moses C. McClendon, the 26th International President and
Bro. Marco McMillian, 5th Executive Director. As we acknowledge the impact these brothers have made on family, friends and the communities they served, we also reaffirm our oath to continue their work during the Rededication Ceremony. Brothers, President Hammock and several past Presidents led Brothers through the Ceremony. Following the Omega Ceremony, the Rededication Ceremony has always found a way to lift Brothers’ spirits back to a highly enthusiastic Conclave Level. The Founders’ Award Breakfast was next on the morning agenda. The breakfast is a time to acknowledge brothers and chapters for their hard work and dedication to our principles and national programs. Chapters honored during the Founders’ Award Breakfast set the example for all to follow in the area of programming. The morning schedule would end with the final History Workshop on the Conclave 2013 agenda. This workshop was facilitated by Brother Kevin Christian. Bro. Christian had the honor of introducing a special guest, Soror. Elaine Doar, wife of the late Hon. Bro. William E. Doar, Jr., Executive Secretary/Executive Director of Phi Beta Sigma. Soror Doar was invited to discuss the history of our National Headquarters prior to the move to our current location in Washington, DC. She worked under Bro. Doar during the time the headquarters was located in New York, and was able to give us a first-hand account of the operations and challenges of the time. The workshop would dispel some of the myths concerning the headquarters which have been circulating for years. The room was standingroom- only for this workshop, as brothers listened attentively as Soror. Doar shared a glimpse of our rich history. Following her presentation she answered questions from the brothers and remained for photo opportunities. It is safe to say this was one of the major highlights of the entire Conclave. After lunch, brothers gathered in the Philadelphia Convention Center for Business Session 3. The first item on the agenda was A Salute to Our Collegiate Brothers. This is an opportunity to acknowledge and honor our recent graduates. Keynote speaker for this ceremony was Roy Jones, Jr., boxer and holder of numerous titles in multiple weight classes. Mr. Jones acknowledged the graduates for their hard work and spoke to them about surpassing expectations and not simply going with the flow. He was warmly received by the brothers and was very down to earth and
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CONCLAVE PHILADELPHIA REVIEW approachable during his visit. He took time to meet brothers and take photos with brothers all evening. Following the ceremony we heard from our undergraduate brothers as 2nd Vice President Bro. Christopher Cooper presented the Collegiate Affairs Committee report. Our undergraduate brothers are a vital part of the Fraternity, it is always important for us to support them and to ensure their voices are heard. We then moved on to the Distinguished Service Chapter report. It is only fitting to honor those brothers we believe exemplify everything a Sigma man should strive to be after honoring and supporting our undergraduates. The following members were inducted into the Distinguished Service Chapter; Bros. Greville French, Epsilon Sigma Chapter, Sidney McCray, Rho Sigma Chapter, Keith Pitts, Eta Beta Sigma Chapter, Dr. Archie Powell, Zeta Kappa Sigma Chapter, Paul Griffin, Iota Mu Sigma Chapter and Jimmy Hammock, Phi Sigma Chapter. Brothers received the newest inductees to the DSC with a standing ovation and rousing applause worthy of those receiving our highest honor. The session ended with the announcement of the election results. The following brothers were elected to be members of our new General Board; Jonathan A. Mason, Sr. as President, Profit Idowu, as Second Vice President, Charles E. Ellis, Jr., as Treasurer, Jean B. Lamothe as Director of Education, Quentin Goodwin as Director of Bigger & Better Business, Dr. Ivory W. Lyles as Director of Social Action, Hon. John M. Turner, Esq. as Legal Counsel, and Ray Smith as Director of Collegiate Affairs. The offices of First Vice President and Collegiate Member-at-Large would require run-off elections to determine the winners. Unfortunately, the Conclave would have to wait until the next Business Session to hear the results. Brothers waited anxiously. That evening, the place to be in Philadelphia would be at the Image Awards Banquet. The honorees for the evening were Laverne H. Council, Chair of the March of Dimes Board of Trustees, Michael Brown, Co-Founder/CEO of City Year and Dr. M. Christopher Brown II, President, Alcorn State University. This is always a special evening as Sigma Men acknowledge those in the community for their unyielding work serving others. Saturday was the last official day of business. It was time to conclude the business for this conference and push towards our Centennial. There was
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an overall feeling that Sigma was about to go in a new direction with the newly elected General Board. However, this would have to wait for now. There were still three positions to fill on the Board, and several committees were scheduled to report during this session. The Centennial Committee report was highly anticipated for this session. The committee presented a tentative breakdown of activities for the week-long celebration, along with some other details on registration and hotel. The Committee ensured the brothers that the celebration promises to be one like no other. Before Business Session 4 concluded, the results of the run-off elections were announced. The newly elected members were as follows; Micheal Cristal as First Vice President, Christopher Colbert as Collegiate Member-at-Large and Jeremy Byrd as Collegiate Member-at-Large. With this announcement the 2013 â€“ 2015 General Board was complete. While delegates were concluding the business, brothers were out in the community participating in the Conclave 2013 Service Project at the Philadelphia Veterans Comfort House (PVCH). PVCH was established in 1994 to serve as a temporary residence for veterans across Pennsylvania who may travel to Philadelphia to receive medical treatment at the VA Hospital, as well as for homeless veterans trying to assimilate back into society. The brothers were there to assist the PVCH with removing construction debris left from a recent bathroom renovation. They would also help sort water damaged donations resulting from a flood in the basement. Manpower is something Phi Beta Sigma has plenty of and is always willing to assist service organizations whenever the need exists. Itâ€™s Saturday night, all business has been concluded, projects and workshops completed. The last item on the 2013 Conclave schedule is the Grand Orchid Ball. This event marks the official end to every Conclave of Phi Beta Sigma. It is a time for brothers to finally relax and enjoy all that is Conclave. Brothers and their guests are dressed to impress for an evening of public introductions, dancing and overall brotherly fellowship. During this grand affair we have the official introduction of our newly inducted A. L. Locke Scholars, DSC members and the newly elected General Board. The final activity on the agenda will be the Pinning Ceremony of our 34th International President, Honorable Jonathan A. Mason, Sr. With all of the ceremonial items addressed, it was time for all
CONCLAVE PHILADELPHIA REVIEW
Above left: Bro. Darryl Williams, International Director of Social Action (left), along with Bro. Devon Henry, March of Dimes Coordinator (second from right) and March of Dimes Foundation Representatives present Highest Fund Raising Award to Beta Rho Sigma Chapter, Charlotte, NC. Above right: Kendra Kelly, Miss International Phi Beta Sigma and her court.
Above left: Debate Competition Winners, Bro. Benjamin Greenough, Zeta Nu Chapter and Bro. Thomas Boucher, Gamma Zeta Chapter. Above right: International Step Show Competition Winners, Gamma Chapter at Morgan State University. Left: Soror Dionis and newly pinned President Mason at the Grand Orchid Ball.
brothers, family and guests to enjoy the evening. As with all Grand Orchid Balls, the excitement reaches a heightened level as the evening inches closer to the midnight hour. Brothers exit the room to prepare for the Grand Finale. After a week of hard work and spirited debate, brothers cast aside their differences and prepare for the Grand March. At the stroke of midnight the men of Sigma marched into the room singing â€œThe Men of Sigma, March Onâ€? to the delight of our family and guests in attendance. The men of Sigma ended Conclave 2013 in grand style. All roads lead to our Centennial Celebration in Washington, DC . . . March On, March On!!!
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CONCLAVE PHILADELPHIA REVIEW
2013 NATIONAL SIGMA BETA CLUB LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE BY HONORABLE BRO. ARTHUR R. THOMAS & BRO. BRANDON BROWN
“The SBC Leadership Conference gave me the opportunity to meet my fellow Sigma Betas from across the country. It was a great experience that I will never forget as I look forward to Little Rock.” Amani Kamara, Alpha Sigma SBC, Washington, D.C.
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Sigma Beta Clubs (SBC) and their Advisors from several regions converged on the campus of Temple University in Philadelphia to take part in the National Sigma Beta Club Leadership Conference. This would be the first time the conference would take place at a college or university. The Conference Committee (Hon. Arthur Thomas, Esq., Melvin Kaufman and Brandon Brown) worked hard to ensure a well-rounded educational, cultural and motivational experience. Highlights of the Conference included a Radio interview on WURD 900 AM, College Prep, Professionalism and Health/Nutrition Workshops, Oratorical and Debate
CONCLAVE PHILADELPHIA REVIEW Workshops The College Prep workshop was conducted by Bro. Nolan Fontaine, Nu Sigma Chapter. The objective was to provide Sigma Betas with a checklist of action items they should achieve to ensure they embrace college, not as an option, but an expectation. The Professionalism workshop was conducted by Bro. Dr. Adell Brown, an Economist and Vice Chancellor of the College of Agriculture at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Challenging Betas to become their own brand and defend it against typical adolescent challenges was the main focus of the workshop. The Health and Nutrition Workshop was conducted by Sterlen Barr, a Hip Hop Artist and former Professional Boxer in association with The Food Trust. This workshop focused on the need for an active lifestyle to combat childhood obesity which includes exercising through dancing and sports. Oratorical and Debate Contests Sigma Betas were challenged to demonstrate their abilities to articulate and be persuasive on topics of childhood obesity and gun violence during the Luncheon. Bro. Captain James Evens, U.S. Marine Corps, provided words of encouragement. The contests were judged by Brothers Mohammad Kamara, Eastern Region, Howard Smith, New York SBC Coordinator, Antoine Dolberry, New England SBC Coordinator and Kevin Bracey, Eastern Region. The 1st and 2nd Place Winners of the Oratorical contest were Edward Leonard of Theta Rho Sigma Chapter, Miami, FL and Jeremiah Quinn of Theta Beta Sigma Chapter, New Orleans, LA respectively. The 1st Place Winners of the Debate Contest were Taylor Brown and Myles Patin of Omicron Beta Sigma Chapterâ€™s SBC, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Stepping Out Against Childhood Obesity Symposium
The event started with a workout by Ms. Batrice Adams, a Master Trainer. The Sigma Betas were then engaged in challenging discussions and competitive activities with Soror Karima N. Rose, Ed.M., The Food Trust, Dr. Chanelle T. Bishop-Gilyard, a Pediatric Psychologist, University of Pennsylvania, Ms. Batrice Adams, Fitness Instructor and owner of Tru U Fitness, and representatives from Students Run Philly Style, a youth group, encouraging Sigma Betas to get involved in healthy living by eating healthy and exercising daily.
Contests, a Stepping Out Childhood Obesity Symposium, and the National Sigma Beta Club Foundation Breakfast. WURD 900 AM The Hon. Bro. Arthur Thomas, Esq., President of the National Sigma Beta Club Foundation and 31st International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., was interviewed by Albert Butler during his radio show. Bro. Thomas gave an overview of the Sigma Beta Club, events during the Leadership Conference and encouraged the public to participate.
National Sigma Beta Club Foundation Scholarship Breakfast Bro. Jordan Harris, former Sigma Beta and current Pennsylvania State Representative, gave the keynote address. His message was that there is a duty to pay back to our communities what Sigma Beta has invested in you. Also, during the Breakfast, the Honorable Carter Womack, 27th & 29th International President, presented four (4) $1,000 savings bonds to four (4) Sigma Betas who excelled in academics on behalf of the
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2013 CONCLAVE SERVICE PROJECT Serving Those that Served Our Shared Responsibility BY BRO. J. R. REEVES
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uring Conclave Philadelphia our International Director of Social Action, Bro. Darryl Williams passed the torch of leadership to the newly elected Director of Social Action, Bro. Dr. Ivory Lyles. This transition of office also marked the transition of the Conclave 2013 service project. As part of our Social Action initiative, Phi Beta Sigma along with the United States Marine Corp (USMC) joined forces to ‘Serve Those Who Have Served.’ On Saturday July 13th during the early afternoon, we left the luxury of the Philadelphia Marriott to journey to the Philadelphia Veterans Comfort House, located on Baltimore Avenue near the Philadelphia Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital.
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Phi Beta Sigma’s dedication to the Armed Forces is nothing new. From having chartered a chapter at West Point, to our countless Brothers that have served this great nation’s military. Sigma has among its ranks both active duty and retired military. We also have a great number of ‘citizen soldiers’ who serve in the military reserves. Sigma men represent the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Given our ranks it was an easy choice to select the Philadelphia Comfort House as our Social Action service project. The Philadelphia Veterans Comfort House (PVCH) was established in 1994 to serve as a temporary residence for veterans across Pennsylvania who may travel to Philadelphia to receive medical treatment at the VA Hospital, as well as for homeless veterans trying to re-assimilate into society. The PVCH is an 11-room facility that provides shelter and a safe haven while the vets find work, save money and locate a more permanent place to live. Their mission is simple and straight forward, “leave none of our brothers and sisters behind as we work day by day to make their lives more rewarding and less complicated.” It is inspired, in part, by the Ronald McDonald House. On that hot afternoon in July, Sigma’s mission was also simple and straightforward; to perform any and all tasks that PVCH needed us to complete. Walking into the facility, you have to stoop down and duck your head in order to gain access to the basement. The steps down feel a little unstable and once inside, the musky smell of a damp basement instantly hits you. The house is not perfect but you immediately get the sense that its purpose is perfect. The well organized facility is a great example of Dignity of Simplicity. With its bare bones kitchen, open group entertainment area, and a southern style back porch, the facility is run with military precision. Chores and house tasks are passed out by a resident Vet everyone refers to as “Sergeant Major.” We never had the opportunity to stop and ask how much truth was in his distinguished military
title, but factual or not his demeanor was every bit of a Sergeant Major. He barked out orders and gave direction to the Vets that were residents of the house. It was clear to us that in order to stay here you had to work. Perhaps this is the reason that every resident we encountered had an unspoken greatness of character and pride regardless of their circumstances. It left me wondering how we as a society can ask these individuals to place themselves in harm’s way only to often return home with poor health, too few jobs and a lack of opportunity. Realizing that there is no easy answer to this question we focused on Pleasure in Work. PVCH has had several recent renovations to expand its service capability. One such upgrade was the installation of a basement bathroom. The general contractor that installed the bathroom left all of the construction debris under the back porch. This material was both an eye sore and a hazard as it blocked the rear pathway to the building. There was also a recent flood in the basement. This explains the musky odor. The water damage destroyed much of a side wall and framing in one corner of the basement. It also soaked several shelves of donated clothing and many unopened boxes. Our tasks for the day were clear; remove the construction debris which included rocks and dirt as well as sort through the water damaged donations. Our Brothers separated into two groups. Following the ‘Sergeant Majors’ directions a few Sigma Brothers grabbed shovels, picks, and a wheelbarrow to begin the arduous task of cleaning up the debris while others donned face masks and gloves to sift through the wet boxes. While it was backbreaking work on a hot Saturday afternoon, the work was rewarding and worth the sweat. It was truly enjoyable to watch our International Directors of Social Action both past and present roll up their sleeves and assist in the effort. It is a testament of Brotherhood and the dedication shared by all that labored that day. Continued on page 31 FALL 2013 THE CRESCENT
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Above left: Exterior of the Philadelphia Veterans Comfort House. Above right: Bro. Darryl Williams, Immediate Past International Director of Social Action (left) and Bro. Dr. Ivory W. Lyles, International Director of Social Action. Below: (left to right) Bro. Al Warner, Bro. J.R. Reeves, and Bro. Dennis Harrell with PVCH resident.
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CONCLAVE PHILADELPHIA REVIEW National Sigma Beta Club Leadership Conference
The Brothers that worked to clear the water damaged clothing and donations had their own risks to manage. The water had been there long enough to cause mold to grow. In order to ensure safe work conditions masks and gloves were worn for protection. A special thanks to all the Brothers that participated: International Director of Social Action, Bro. Dr. Ivory Lyles, Immediate Past International Director of Social Action, Bro. Darryl Williams, Alpha Eta Chapter at Florida A&M University, Bro. Joseph Petit Homme and Bro. Emanuel Odies of Kappa Upsilon Sigma Chapter, Bro. Al Warner of Delta Rho Chapter, University of Michigan, and our Brothers of the United States Marine Corp. All that participated experienced a warm, rewarding sense of accomplishment.
Marco Watson McMillian Endowed Sigma Beta Scholarship through the Foundation. The recipients were Timothy Spearman and Joshua Nichols, Gamma Eta Sigma Chapter, Tampa, FlL; William Gilmore, Theta Rho Sigma Chapter, Miami, FL; and Maxwell McDaniel, Theta Mu Sigma, Dallas, TX. The McMillian Scholarship Endowment was established by Brother Womack. To date, it has received over $7,000.00 in donations and contributions. The late, Bro. McMillian was the 5th International Executive Director of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. The Scholarship Breakfast, through the recommendation of the Finance Committee of the Foundation, Chaired by Honorable Brother Paul Griffin, 32nd International President, is a part of the overall fundraising plan to raise funds for scholarship opportunities for Sigma Beta Club members. Social Media Sigma Betas were encouraged to share their experiences via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, #NSBCLC13. Finally, the National Leadership Conference was supported in-kind by Black Male Development Symposium, Cheyney University, ESPN, Lincoln University, State Farm Insurance and the University of the Sciences of Philadelphia â€œIt was a good experience and it was different from being in the City. I enjoyed experiencing new things the most,â€? shared Daneik J. Francis, Kappa Beta Sigma SBC, Harlem NY.
If your chapter is looking for a service project or a worthy group to form a partnership with, the Philadelphia Veterans Comfort House has proven to be a deserving group. Their website is: http://www.vetscomforthouse.org/index.html
The National Sigma Beta Club Foundation, Inc. is a 501-C-3 Foundation organized pursuant to the constitutional mandate of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. It was organized for the expressed purpose of the development and administration of unified programs, projects and activities of Sigma
We should all keep our veterans in mind. Many of them have given the ultimate sacrifice so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we experience every day. The least we can do is thank them for their service and improve the quality of their time back at home. It is what we as Sigma men must do.
Beta Clubs, which are housed in Alumni chapters of Phi Beta Sigma. You can make your donations in support of scholarships, programs and activities of the Foundation by going to our website at www.sigmabetaclub.org and simply click on Donate and give to support our Sigma Beta Club members.
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Reﬂections from the CONCLAVE 2013
INTERNATIONAL GRAND BASILEUS
My Dear Brothers of Phi Beta Sigma, What an honor to have been asked by International President Jonathan Mason, Sr. and Brother Todd LeBon, Editor of e Crescent, to give reflections of my experience at Conclave 2013. I have attended countless Conclaves with my husband, James, but this was my first as the International Grand Basileus of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. As I prepared for this Conclave I was both excited and nervous at the same time. Zeta had two key responsibilities: hosting dinner for the General Board of Phi Beta Sigma and extending greetings at the public program. As we successfully completed our first responsibility, it was truly the event that set the tone for the remainder of the Conclave for Zeta. e atmosphere for the Board Dinner was one of joy, sharing and much bonding. As I greeted each Sigma and Zeta, as they entered the room, I knew how blessed we were for having A. Langston Taylor, Charles Robert Samuel Taylor and Arizona Cleaver. God has a reason for everything He does and that Lovers' Stroll, 93 years ago, was where it all began. As I prepared to extend greetings at your public program, I wondered what I would say that was diﬀerent and unique from the other national presidents of the Divine Nine. en I realized Zeta is the only Greek-letter organization that could speak about our constitutional bond and I was ready. When I walked into the public program and saw thousands of Sigmas, what would I say that signified our love, support and dedication to our brothers? I gave it my all. From the opening to the closing of Conclave I was filled with a greater sense of appreciation, respect, pride and sisterly love as never before for the Sigma-Zeta bond. You handled business, you honored special people, you crowned Miss Phi Beta Sigma, you gave to the community, you wore your colors with pride, you wore your letters with distinction, you stepped with class, you had a Ladies' Agenda, led by Soror Vicki Hammock, that was well organized and executed, you elected a new president, and you concluded Conclave with your renowned Grand Orchid Ball, where you installed new oﬃcers. I was treated with the utmost respect and constantly acknowledged by all Sigmas while attending your events or simply walking through the hotel lobby. As I witnessed the 33rd International President Jimmy Hammock pin the newly-elected International President, Brother Jonathan Mason, Sr., I reflected on the fact that Brother Hammock and I were the first to hold the honor of being the first Sigma and Zeta International Presidents, serving concurrently, to be married to a Zeta wife and Sigma husband. And now, for the second time in a row, International President Mason and I will hold that honor again, as his wife Dionis, is a Zeta. I was filled with excitement and a glow of blue and white pride knowing that our Founders would have said, "this is the dream of our hearts." en to have International President Mason invite me to take a photo with him, and see it placed on your web site, was the icing on the cake! I know the excitement is mounting and the momentum is shifting as you Power Up and are Marching Towards the Jubilee; your cause truly speeds on its way. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated stands united with you. May we continue our legacies of service to our communities and mankind by working together, serving in brotherly and sisterly love, and strengthening our bond; for we are truly brothers and sisters!
Mary Breaux Wright
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The TRANSFORMation Begins BY TODD D. LE BON
erriam-Webster defines TRANSFORM as follows: trans-form: 1a: to change in composition or structure b: to change the outward form or appearance of c: to change in character or condition. Our 34th International President, Hon. Jonathan A. Mason, Sr., selected this word to symbolize his campaign while seeking to serve the Fraternity in its highest oﬃce. e campaign called on the membership to join him in transforming Sigma. e message served to energize and motivate the membership to get involved, and become the change they were seeking. On Friday, August 2, 2013, members the General Board and past presidents met at the William E. Doar, Jr. International Headquarters Building in Washington, DC, at the request of President Mason, to begin the TRANSFORMation. e Board met for two days with a keen focus on setting the tone for the Fraternity to move forward into the next 100 years. e president wanted to be certain the membership knew that they were hitting the ground running, committed to leading the way to Transforming Phi Beta Sigma for the good of the membership and all that we serve.
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Brother Mason thought it important to quickly get certain entities and committees focused and moving in the same direction on the same page and for the same purpose. Brothers arrived in DC
with their sleeves already rolled up and ready to begin the necessary work to better serve the membership. e time was right to make it clear to the Fraternity and the communities we serve . . . “ere is Something Special Going on in Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity!” Friday’s meetings focused on the internal operations of the Fraternity. Making an uneventful transformation between Boards was paramount in the minds of all. Former board
members were eager to assist with the transition, working hand in hand with the new Board. Meetings with representatives from the Washington Marriott Wardman Park, host hotel for the Centennial Celebration, and the Omni Shoreham Hotel were part of the day’s agenda. Tours of the facilities aided in the planning and coordination eﬀorts of the Centennial Celebration Committee. e evening concluded with President Mason meeting with the Centennial Committee in order to put together an updated report to present to the membership. Brothers from local chapters and throughout the Eastern Region arrived early Saturday, ready to participate in the Saturday meetings, which were open to all members. International Executive Director, Hon. Daryl Anderson, and his Headquarters Staﬀ were on hand to assist the brothers in attendance. e morning began with a prayer followed by greetings from the 25th Eastern Regional Director, Bro. Leonard Lockhart. Bro. Anderson then took a moment
to introduce the Headquarters Staﬀ to all those in attendance. President Mason kicked oﬀ the agenda with opening remarks to the brothers assembled and thanked them for lending their talents to the new administration. He expressed his excitement about Sigma; the journey that was underway; and welcomed all brothers to get on board and take the journey together. e agenda for the day introduced key elements to the TRANSFORMation that was already taking place within the Fraternity. Newly appointed International Chaplain Rev. Dr. Christopher V. Brown, Nu Sigma Chapter, Philadelphia, PA, introduced a new initiative, SIGMA CARES FOR OUR OWN, to the Brotherhood. SIGMA CARES FOR OUR OWN will help brothers from a more spiritual and mental perspective in a manner unlike ever before on a Fraternity-wide basis. Reverend Brown will establish a Chaplains Council made up of brothers from all faiths and backgrounds, charged with aiding and promoting the spiritual growth of Sigma Members worldwide. Brothers are encouraged to visit the Chaplain’s Corner, on our international website and in e Crescent magazine. e Chaplain’s Corner will serve as a spiritual meeting place for the membership. Immediate plans for the Chaplains Council include developing a Chaplain’s Manual; a Bereavement Package; and the Leonard Francis Morse Scholarship, all designed to address the spiritual and emotional needs of our membership. Most assuredly, SIGMA CARES FOR OUR OWN will be of great benefit to the membership families of the Blue and White. Next on the agenda was Editor-InChief, Bro. Todd D. Le Bon, to present his Team’s vision for our national organ, e Crescent Magazine. Over the last five years Bro. Le Bon has been working with a dedicated team on the eastern regional
publication, the OUR CAUSE. Integrating ideas and concepts of e CRESCENT magazines gone by with the most popular and successful features of the OUR CAUSE, e Crescent staﬀ will merge the old with the new to produce a true blue tradition thereby TRANSORMing the
past into the future. To bring this vision to fruition they are reaching out to build a team consisting of brothers from each region. e team will include the publicity directors from each region, graduate and undergraduate brothers alike. Bro. Le Bon shared a few goals which include linking the organ with our international website, and bringing the works of Bro. Mark Pacich and his History Team to life in e Crescent. Digitizing all issues of the organ and making them available to the membership ranks high on the list of goals for e Crescent staﬀ. e Crescent Magazine Team will produce a top quality publication that you will embrace, treasure, and share with your family, friends and coworkers. During breakout sessions, brothers were aﬀorded the opportunity to purchase the newest edition of the history book and have it signed by author, Bro. Dr. Anthony Samad and several past International Presidents. Get yours now while supplies still last; “MARCH ON, MARCH ON YE MIGHTY HOST: e Com-
prehensive History of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. (1914-2013)“. Copies of the books signed by all the living presidents can be purchased through the Sigma Exchange. Following the breakout sessions, all brothers gathered once again in the conference room to continue to address items pressing upon Sigma. Bro. Steve Ballard opened the afternoon session with a presentation on the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. He shared the importance of the event and how Phi Beta Sigma is deeply intertwined with the Civil Rights movement of the past and what will be happening in the area of Civil Rights. We were reminded that this was more than a commemoration, but a continuation of the 1963 March on Washington. e men of Sigma would converge on the National Mall in Washington, DC to march for JOBS, JUSTICE, PEACE and FREEDOM. To assist brothers in attending the March the Fraternity will provide buses from several locations across the country to bring brothers to the March. It was time for brothers to get on the bus and get moving. ose arriving on the bus were anticipated to attend the Breakfast and Conversations event sponsored by Sigma Sigma Sigma Chapter at Bolling Air Force base in Washington, DC. Guest speakers for the breakfast were Congressman Brother John Lewis, and Dr. Cordy Tindell (C. T.) Vivian. A presentation from the Centennial Committee was the last item on the agenda for the afternoon session. Bro. Meredith Jackson, Centennial Project Manager, started oﬀ the presentation by introducing the agenda for the conference. He went through the agenda day by day pointing out some of the highlights of each day. It was noted that our sisters of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. would be joining us in DC to help celebrate the Centennial. ere are a number of joint
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50th Anniversary of the MARCH on WASHINGTON BY STEVE E. BALLARD & HON. RON CARTER
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“As Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity stands on the verge of celebrating 100 years of service to communities globally, I want the world to know the impact of this great Brotherhood. The nation will soon celebrate the 50th Anniversary of The Great March on Washington. Sigma men played major roles in the development of that march. I believe it is critical that Phi Beta Sigma’s presence and commitment is even greater this year as we continue the fight for social justice.” Brother Jonathan A. Mason, Sr., the morning after being elected the 34th International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
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is emblazed in U.S. history as the year when racial unrest and civil rights demonstrations reached a critical peak. Across the world, television brought families face to face with the violence taking place in Birmingham, Alabama, where police used attack dogs and fire hoses to disrupt civil rights demonstrations. For the first time, people were forced to see for themselves the violence unleashed against people who were simply asking for equal rights; some of the demonstrators were in their early teens. e Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was arrested and jailed during these protests, and as a result, penned his famous “Letter From Birmingham City Jail,” which advocated civil disobedience against unjust laws. Twenty-two years earlier, Civil Rights Activist A. Philip Randolph, a Phi Beta Sigma brother, was encouraged to organize a march on the nation’s capital to protest racial discrimination in the defense industries. e potential threat of over 100,000 participants pressed President Franklin D. Roosevelt to issue Executive Order 8802, the Fair Employment Practice in Defense Industries Act. As a result of this order, Brother Randolph called oﬀ the proposed march. But the potential actions of Randolph and those who supported civil rights served as the major influence on the organizing of the greatest act of protest to take place in America. On Wednesday, August 28, 1963, e March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom or “e Great March on Washington” as it was styled in a sound recording, was one of the largest political rallies for human rights in United States history. Active protestors and their supporters called for civil and economic rights for African Americans. e March represented a coalition of several civil rights organizations, all of which brought diﬀerent approaches and diﬀerent agendas to the overall movement. e “Big Six” organizers were James Farmer, of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE); Martin Luther King, Jr. of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC); A. Philip Randolph, of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters; Roy Wilkins, of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); Whitney Young, Jr., of the National Urban League; and John Lewis, of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), another member of Phi Beta Sigma. Bro. Randolph would be designated as the titular head organizer as a result of his proven experience in the labor movement and influence with the nation’s leaders of the time. Organized under the theme, “Jobs and Freedom,” the stated demands of the March were: the passage of meaningful federal civil rights legislations; the elimination of racial segregation in public schools; protection for demonstrators against police brutality; a major public-works program to provide jobs; the passage of a law prohibiting racial discrimination in public and private hiring; a $2 an hour minimum wage; and self-government for the District of Columbia, which had a black majority.
Estimates of the number of participants varied from 200,000 to 300,000 with 75-80% of the marchers being African American. e historical march is credited with encouraging the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and motivating the organizers of the Selma to Montgomery marches, which led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Sigma Then and Now Phi Beta Sigma was there in 1963 and 50 years later, as the nation celebrated the anniversary of the original march, Phi Beta Sigma made its presence known. Immediately following his election as the 34th International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Jonathan A. Mason, Sr. called brothers to join in the celebration of this monumental event: “Knowing that Sigma Men were leading the charge to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the most important gathering of Black people in the history of America, I knew deep in my soul that the time was right to call on the Brotherhood to continue that fight.” Mason selected Brother Steve E. Ballard, his newly appointed Deputy Chief of Staﬀ for Events, Meetings & Protocol to chair the fraternity’s eﬀorts. At the same time, Mason was communicating with the Reverend Al Sharpton, Founder and President of National Action Network who were the chief organizers of the 50th Anniversary March on Washington. Sharpton, another Phi Beta Sigma brother, joined eﬀorts with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and garnered the full support of Congressman John Lewis, the only living organizer of the original “Big Six.” e Reverend Martin Luther King, III was actively involved in organizing the historical event. Brother Ballard was given the charge to develop a plan to ensure Phi Beta Sigma’s contribution to the golden celebration. “President Mason was clear in his quest. He wanted to make sure the nation understood that Phi Beta Sigma has a legacy within the March on Washington. He also believed that the organization should show strong support for the eﬀorts of our Sigma leaders on Capitol Hill and on the battlefields lobbying for employment rights and social justice,” says Brother Ballard. To that end, a planning team was formed and they etched out two days of history-making events. “ere’s a lyric in our fraternity hymn that reads ‘we’ll thunder back along the line, our cause speeds on its way’ that immediately spoke to me,” shares Ballard. “When I considered the fact that Phi Beta Sigma was returning to the nation’s capital, which is also the birthplace of our Fraternity, to stand shoulder to shoulder in large numbers 50 years later for the same cause, I thought the obvious title was THUNDER BACK.” With lightning speed, planning began with a six-week time frame. Joining Brother Ballard were Brothers Dr. Ivory W. Lyles, International Director of Social Action, Jacob Gillison, Christian Hill and Charles Young.
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Town Hall Meeting THUNDER BACK featured four events and activities designed to bring together Sigma men from all corners of the nation. A Town Hall Meeting was held on Friday, August 23rd at 4:00 pm. e topic of discussion for this meeting was “What Must WE Do Today?” Featured panelists for this event included Civil Rights icons Congressman John Lewis and Hank omas, activist and an original Freedom Rider, President Jonathan A. Mason, Sr., Mary Breaux Wright, International Grand Basileus of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and Brother Dr. Anthony A. Samad, author, scholar, and columnist. Brother Dr. Ivory Lyles moderated the insightful discussion that oﬀered varied responses as to how Black Greek-Lettered organizations can mobilize communities in the continued struggle for jobs and freedom. For the first time in Sigma history, viewers around the nation were able to watch the meeting on the internet via coverage by C-SPAN, the public access aﬃliate of CNN news network cable station. To watch the recorded broadcast, go to www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Lewiso. “I was honored to secure C-SPAN as a medium through which we would disseminate our message to our brothers, our supporters, our donors and our corporate partners,” said Ron Carter, a Sigma brother and THUNDER BACK’s Public Relations consultant. “It was important for all our stakeholders to know we, Sigmas, were involved in the March On Washington 50th Anniversary activities. C-SPAN helped us in telling that story,” Carter added.
Civil Rights Breakfast Several national and local organizations in Washington, DC sponsored events during the seven-day stretch of commemoration. Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity’s Sigma Sigma Sigma Chapter (Tri-Sigma) of Montgomery County, Maryland had originally planned the “Breakfast & Conversations”, a special morning event to honor icons Congressman John Lewis and Reverend C.T. Vivian, President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for their eﬀorts in the civil movement. e leadership decided to support Tri-Sigma’s eﬀorts by including the breakfast in THUNDER BACK’s schedule of events. President Mason declared “What a great opportunity for Sigma brothers and Sigma Beta youth to hear first-hand the recounting of experiences straight from the mouths of history makers”. Coordinated by Brother Jacob Gillison, the breakfast was held at the Bolling Air Force Base and moderated by Karen Finney, host of the district’s “Disrupt with Karen Finney” and Nicole Turner-Lee, Vice President & Chief Policy and Research Oﬃcer for Minority Media and Telecommunications Council served as the Mistress of Ceremony.
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Get On the Bus! In honor of the Freedom Riders of 1961-1963, THUNDER BACK featured a special eﬀort to bring the Blue and White family to Washington. e “Get On the Bus!” project secured seven buses, originating from seven major cities across the country, to carry Sigma brothers, Zeta sisters, Sigma Beta Club members, family and friends to Washington, D.C. to be a part of history -- free of charge! Seven fraternity members serving as City Marshals assisted the THUNDER BACK team with promoting and filling up the buses. e marshals and their respective cities included Brother Corey Stayton, Atlanta, GA, Brother Kevin Davis, Chicago, IL, Brother Richard Boone, Columbus, GA, Brother Jerome Younger, Detroit, MI, Brother T.J. Lewis, Memphis, TN, Brother Brandon Brown, Philadelphia, PA, and Brother Craig Collins, New York, NY. Brother LaMar Fallie of Chicago, Illinois summed up the importance of grabbing the opportunity, “When they say membership has its privilege, it’s true! When I read the e-blast about “Get On the Bus!” I quickly thought to myself, what a memorable experience this would be for my 8 year old son, and signed us up real fast. I talked to my chapter president and we contacted our Sigma Beta Club parents and signed up some of our club members as well.” e buses arrived early Saturday morning on the campuses of Montgomery College, to a surprise welcome by President Jonathan Mason, accompanied by Brother Michael Cristal, International First Vice President and Hon. Brother Carter D. Womack, past International President. e riders were provided special accommodations to freshen up, after which they were carried to the Civil Rights Breakfast. After the breakfast, bus riders were taken to Washington, D.C.’s Smithsonian Metro Train Stop, the rally point for the Sigma March to “e March”!
50th Anniversary March on Washington – President Mason Makes History Over 800 Phi Beta Sigma men, Sigma Betas, Zeta sisters and friends created a sea of blue and white as they marched to the Lincoln Memorial to join hundreds of thousands of people from around the world gathering to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the original march for jobs, freedom and justice. ey marched with pride and vigor, chanting and singing traditional Sigma work songs at the top of their voices. Led by past international presidents, Hon. Brother William E. Stanly, Hon. Brother Peter M. Adams, Hon. Brother Arthur omas, and Hon. Brother Paul L. Griﬃn, Jr., the Sigma March to e March represented a “once in a lifetime moment” as shared by a march participant. e impact was unforgettable!
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Twenty-four hours before the actual march, e National whatever it took to make it to Washington, D.C. I have a new Action Network confirmed with Phi Beta Sigma’s leadership perspective on being active in the fraternity,” shares Brother that Brother Jonathan A. Mason was indeed scheduled to be Harold Black of Iota Nu Sigma Chapter of Chicago, IL. one of the chosen speakers at e March. Mason would be the “To be one of hundreds of my brothers carrying our signs, only leader of a Greek-Lettered Organization invited to speak. marching under our banner, and singing our marching songs President Mason reminded the world of the reasons why truly moved me to reflect on eighteen years of being a Sigma the struggle for civil rights, equality and justice must continue: man. Our marching army spanned generations, including “I stand before you today to let you know that in the fifty years brothers who, themselves, could remember the original March since the original March on Washington, America made a small on Washington. e people in the crowd took notice of the down payment on the debt that is owed to presence of Sigma men. We were the only African American people. But there’s some Historically Black Greek Organization I interest owed – and so we march!” saw marching nationally under one banSigma brothers around the world watched ner. It became obvious to others what we with pride, as their 34th International already knew: ere’s Something Special President honored the memories of two of Going On in Phi Beta Sigma!,” stated Sigma’s own: Brother A. Philip Randolph Brother Mark Cornelius of Xi Chi Sigma and Brother John Lewis. He reminded the Chapter of Atlanta, GA and International crowd gathered on the mall and those Director of Technology. watching from their homes of the late Dr. “For me, riding on the bus with my Martin Luther King’s speech 50 years earchapter members, our Sigma Betas and lier, during which he spoke of a promisbrothers from Chicago; and journeying to sory check given to African Americans, a e March was a great experience. But the promise upon which America had demoment it hit me deeply was when I was faulted. at the foot of e Martin Luther King Me“When Trayvon Martin can be shot morial. It was there, that I was moved down and the perpetrator can go free, spiritually. e emotional weight and there’s some interest owed; and so we significance of the occasion was truly powmarch. When the Supreme Court can diserful,” shared Brother Charles Talbert, mantle the Voting Rights Act in front of Director, e Sigma Leadership Academy. our eyes, there’s some interest owed; and President Jonathan A. Mason so we march,” Mason stated. speaks on the steps of the Over 50 speakers addressed the sea of Phi Beta Sigma International marchers and civil rights advocates. As the Headquarters Open House Lincoln Memorial. crowd patiently listened to each presenter, As participants took in the events of the a thunderous applause erupted at the introduction of the lone day, shuttle buses carried riders to the corporate oﬃces of survivor of the 1963 March. e Honorable Congressman John Phi Beta Sigma, where they joined local and visiting Sigma Lewis took the podium and delivered inspiring words as the Brothers in a time for food and fellowship with Sigma and Zeta closing speaker. In contrast to the 1963 event, the faces on the leaders. mall at the 50th Anniversary commemoration represented For the first time in recent history, Honorable Brother Daryl people of all ethnicities, religions and orientation. Banners, Anderson, International Executive Director and the headquarsigns and t-shirts attempted to call attention to a wide range ters staﬀ extended all-access passes to the visiting members of social issues from immigration reform to coal mining. e and friends. Over 300 guests dined and fellowshipped in every March proved to serve as still the “iconic event” for allowing corner of the building, including oﬃces, hallways, stairways the voices of the many disenfranchised in this country to be and even on the sidewalk. Similar to a family gathering, Sigma heard. brothers, Sigma Betas and children made connections with e great event culminated with a re-enactment of the those whom they now share an unforgettable experience. events of August 28, 1963 with the organizers, guest speakers Brothers Mason, Cristal, Anderson and Ballard remained and political leaders leading the march from the Lincoln until the very last visitor and rider reloaded the buses and Memorial to the Martin Luther King Memorial. departed to their respective homes. Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma members reflected on this day with heartfelt Inc. undoubtedly fulfilled its mission of having a greater impact memories. “I was overwhelmed with pride and emotion the and visibility at the 50th Anniversary March on Washington! entire two days. August 24th was my birthday and I had to do
“I stand before you today to let you know that in the fifty years since the original March on Washington, America made a small down payment on the debt that is owed to African American people. But there’s some interest owed – and so we march!”
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A. Philip Randolph, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity and the Day That Changed America Commentary By Honorable Brother Dr. Anthony A. Samad e 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington was a unique opportunity for Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. It was an opportunity to honor a member of our fraternity who had done something no other individual had done at that point in America history—lead a mass non-violent protest on the nation’s capital, the largest in history at that point. It was an opportunity for the fraternity to tell its story about the “men of service” whose footprints were deeply entrenched in America’s 20th Century social change movement, from the march’s architect, A. Phillip Randolph to the leader of the students that fueled the movement, John Lewis. It was an opportunity to commemorate the day that changed America forever. A reflection on how far we, as a society, have come—but how far we still have to go to achieve a nation truly free and equal. Alex Haley once said, “History is the past, told by the winners.” Winners tell their story; losers rarely have a story to tell. ere are very few days in American history that change the country forever. You can name, maybe four, days that changed the trajectory of American history and American culture forever. August 28th, 1963 was one such day. is was the day 250,000 people came to Washington, to appeal to the federal government for jobs and freedom (equality). ere has never been a day in American history that has been so historically misstated, whose cause was so misrepresented and whose outcome was so manipulated. People remember the March on Washington. One part of it—not much else. Few remember why the march was called, who called it and how it was marshaled. e organizing of the march has been historically misappropriated. Fifty years later, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and the blue and white family—over 700 of them—got on planes and trains, in cars and buses, returned to Washington with tens of thousands of others—to set the record straight and put history on the right course. Our presence was telling—our impact was noticed, all the way to the White House—who invited our fraternity leader to commemorate this moment in time in the “People’s House,” at the Executive Mansion. e President of the United States understood how he, himself, benefited from that day and immersed himself in the richness of the moment. It was not just any other day. Why was this day important? Because after this march, on this day, America went through five years of turmoil that produced sev-
eral assassinations (including Kennedy and King), hundreds of protests, dozens of urban riots and three major pieces of Civil Rights legislations. America was never the same after this period. It could not go back to being the same after this period. Jim Crow America died in this period and the march demonstrated that the world had taken up the mantle. e vision of Sigma was the platform for the world to hear about King’s dream. Race in America is as old as the nation itself. One hundred years after Lincoln began slavery’s deconstruction, America was still holding on to a race caste system that subjugated blacks. e march sought to remind the nation of America’s “broken promise” to those who helped build the nation. It was considered a bold and radical move to force the nation’s hand on race equality. Fifty years later, the fraternity led a nationally televised town hall discussion; a defining “teaching moment” on how the March on Washington had changed the world and had been appropriated to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King did not organize the March on Washington. Dr. King was the featured speaker of the march. It was important for Randolph’s fraternity to lead that discussion, and invite Congressman John Lewis-the last living speaker on the program 50 years earlier—to be a part of that discussion. It did, and it was a much needed talk. Fifty years later, the March on Washington story was still being largely misappropriated and Phi Beta Sigma was there to set the record straight. Once we started invoking Randolph, others started invoking Randolph (and Bayard Rustin). A. Philip Randolph is a name that can never be lost to history. Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity was a “game changer” in the 50th Anniversary discussion. With a century of service under its belt, there was no 20th Century movement that Sigma wasn’t a part of. e day was significant enough for the fraternity to weigh in on its historical meaning—starting with how and why it happened. is time around, another Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity man was a co-convener, the Rev. Al Sharpton, and the fraternity’s International President, Jonathan A. Mason, Sr. was one of the program speakers. Bro. John Lewis spoke again, on both days, as he did fifty years ago. is was significant because it was history being retold and reinforced. e thing about history is, if you don’t tell your story—somebody will tell it for you (and they rarely get it right). We couldn’t let the nation forget how it all came about. e march didn’t come about on its own; 1963 was a bell weather year for the
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CHAPLAIN’S CORNER Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity is proud to announce Sigma Cares For Our Own, a new international committee developed to support and respond to the spiritual and emotional concerns and needs of our Sigma Brothers. Regardless of your religion, faith or background; whether you worship in a church, synagogue, mosque or otherwise, you will find a rich tradition in Phi Beta Sigma -- one that has tied all brothers toger -- “I am my brother’s keeper.” Throughout our Rituals, The Sigma Light, and chapter traditions, spirituality is richly integrated. Addressing the need to support our Chapter Chaplains and the members they serve, we are in the process of creating a Chaplain’s Manual; a resource guide to help Chapter Chaplains provide spiritual and emotional support to the brothers they serve when it is needed the most. The manual includes ways to remember, celebrate, and honor the spiritual heritage of our Fraternity.
REVEREND BROTHER DR. CHRISTOPHER V. BROWN
Sigma Cares For Our Own has created the Chaplain’s Corner on our international website where brothers can provide words of encouragement, reflections, and prayers. Brothers will post career changes, wedding plans, promotions, retirements, birth announcements and, of course, health recoveries, while recognizing the spiritual nature of our successes and life achievements. Opportunities to respond to these life milestones will be afforded our brotherhood, as well, on the Chaplain’s Corner. The Chaplain’s Corner will provide information on brothers who have transitioned to the Omega Chapter and, again, allow others to reflect and offer prayer for our brothers who have passed on. The Chaplain’s Corner will offer spiritual support on an internaional basis to our entire membership. What a blessing it will be to serve our Fraternity in this way. Brothers, we are asking you to consider the Chaplains Council. The newly formed council, charged with assisting the International Chaplain in caring for the international brotherhood in emotional and spiritual crisis, needs your support as we get things rolling. The members of the council will stand ready to help in any way. The goals of this team are to uplift brothers in the midst of crisis situations; to be available when called upon; and to call upon brothers and families during times of trials and spiritual suffering. In life, we are either going into a storm, in the storm, or coming out of a storm. The council wants to see you through emotionally and physically, whenever possible. We need brothers from across the Sigma world to be a part of this council.
For more information regarding SIGMA CARES FOR OUR OWN, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Let us remember that our Founding Father, The Honorable Leonard F. Morse gave our Fraternity its name, which in Greek means “LOVE PRODUCES ALL.” As we march toward our JUBILEE, we need to spread and share that brotherly love throughout our beloved fraternity. Our 34th International President, Reverend Jonathan A. Mason, Sr., along with the leadership team, believes that all Sigmas are called to be our Brother’s Keeper. It is our responsibility as men of Sigma to insure and promote the spiritual growth of our brotherhood. As your International Chaplain, I invite all brothers to answer the call to serve. As 2013 closes out a century of service, now is the perfect time for us to show the world that we embody the true spirit of Brotherhood, Scholarship and Service by providing a Spiritual Service to our Brotherhood. Let us care for our own, as we care and serve humanity.
MEMBERSHIP GROWTH PLAN
A Paradigm Shift Towards Strategically Growing Membership By Micheal Cristal, International First Vice President Our first 100 years was about creating the structure for Phi Beta Sigma, surviving during the Great Depression, and thriving during the Civil Rights era. As we grappled with those opportunities, we were still the first fraternity to cross the Mason Dixon line. As we prepare to go into the next century, we must make sure we’re plotting a path that creates the BEST OPPORTUNITY for us to continue to grow. I believe the BEST OPPORTUNITY for sustainable growth is for us to develop a STRATEGIC MEMBERSHIP GROWTH PLAN that has as its foundation a Great Brotherhood Experience for its members! Since coming into office after Conclave Philadelphia, we’ve been extremely busy working with all key stakeholders (General Board, Regional Directors, Regional Vice Directors, International 2nd Vice President, International Director of Collegiate Affairs, International Collegiate Members at Large, International Executive Director and his Membership Team) in shifting membership growth from “processing membership information” to ALL embracing a paradigm shift towards “how do we strategically” grow our membership where ALL KEY STAKEHOLDERS ARE ALIGNED around the same goals. When ALL KEY STAKEHOLDERS are aligned we can deliver a true Value Proposition to Our Members that will truly get the Brotherhood excited about reactivating and recruiting. Here are a few initiatives/activities that have occurred since Conclave Philly…we’re making a difference in two areas: within our community and within our membership.
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COMMUNITY IMPACT o Support for President Obama’s African American Male Initiative o Participation in the 50th Anniversary March on Washington • Town Hall Meeting with Congressman John Lewis and Rev. C.T. Vivian, SCLC • President Jonathan Mason was the only Divine Nine President to speak during the 50th Anniversary March on Washington: “So We March”
MEMBERSHIP IMPACT When President Mason came into office he shared with the newly elected General Board his initial primary focus would be, “our members and finalizing the planning for the Centennial Celebration”; we were very excited to receive the focus and support of our President towards our members. That focus and support would certainly assist us as we developed our membership growth plan. Things that are having a Positive Impact on our Members and Chapters: o Our International Headquarters, led by Hon. Daryl Anderson, International Executive Director, and his membership team has adopted the “SERVICE CENTER” philosophy…when a member calls, treat them like a CUSTOMER: a CUSTOMER who’s BUSINESS YOU WANT! o The membership department has moved from processing membership to developing ways to assist chapters in growing membership. o Sigma Exchange is revamping their connection to the members by revisiting open hours and doing frequent E-Blasts to the membership highlighting current promotions. o Membership Department is hosting Monday Night Football Open Houses for members in the DC area for fellowship and reactivation; they also held reactivation outreach activities during homecoming season within the DC area. o Membership Department is testing a dues payment online system for collegiates; hoping to introduce the practice to all members at a later date o Bro. Quentin Goodwin, International Director of Bigger and Better Business, has secured more companies to the Sigma Business Directory,providing discounts to our members o We’ve hosted four (4) International Chapter Meeting Conference Calls to keep our membership engaged…if you were not able to participate, the calls were recorderd and posted on Facebook for your convenience. o Through the efforts of Hon. Ron Carter, we’ve received a tremendous amount of “national press” on the key initiatives published; so the nation can see what Phi Beta Sigma IS DOING!
In a very short period of time…there has been a paradigm shift, a TRANSFORMation towards “Providing a Value Proposition to our Members”, making an impact within our communities, and making sure the brotherhood and the communities we serve are aware of our Impact as we prepare to celebrate 100 Years of “Culture for Service and Service for Humanity”. In support of our upcoming Centennial Celebration, we’ve developed our Membership Growth Plan to reach our target goal by January 9, 2014. All chapters have received communication detailing the plan from our international headquarters. Likewise, members can contact your respective state and regional directors for details. Our growth plan has four focus areas: REACTIVATION
“Come Home for Your Centennial”
“Join the Brotherhood for the Centennial and Beyond”
“Rewarding Our Loyal Brothers”
To review the various incentives associated with each Membership Growth Plan Category, check your Fall Chapter Mailing or contact your International First Vice President, International Second Vice President, Regional Director or State Director. FALL 2013 THE CRESCENT
The Importance and Value of the Congressional Black Caucus Week...
and Sigma’s Participation in It BY BROTHER GERALD SMITH
o the Uninitiated, the mention of the Black Caucus Week might bring to mind a weeklong orgy of parties and receptions. And while there are many parties and receptions, the Annual Legislative Conference primarily serves as the one time each year when the African-American leaders, representatives and oﬃcers of politics, organizations, industry and business gather to chart the progress of previously set goals and to set additional goals for the future. The week also serves as a platform where charitable organizations can conveniently recognize the entities that have supported them in the past and to work to forge additional relationships that can beneﬁt charitable causes in the future. For those of us in the fraternal world, the week serves as a gathering place where our organizational leadership can sit together to work in concert for the common good of all of the various fraternities and sororities.
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity’s International Headquarters served as host site for the National Pan Hellenic Council, Inc.’s Council of Presidents Fall Meeting. Paticipating were (left to right) Karl Price, Esq. (then) Grand Polaris, Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Jennifer Jones, National President, NPHC, Dr. Andrew Ray, Grand Basileus, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Mary Breaux Wright, Grand Basileus, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and Co-Chair, COPs, William “Randy” Bates, Jr. Grand Polemarch, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Bonita M. Herring, Grand Basileus, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Hon. Jonathan A. Mason, Sr., International President, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, and Mark S. Tillman, General President, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.
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NPHC leaders receive recognition honors during the March of Dimes Foundation Reception.
The National Action Network Reception e National Action Network is an organization headed by Brother Al Sharpton. NAN continues the work of Dr. Martin Luther King to promote social justice and peace. NAN has been focusing on ensuring that the communities it serves are taken into account when political decisions are made that aﬀect them. Its reception was to honor recipients of this year’s special recognition awards. Who’s Who in Black DC Who’s Who Publications, a Real Time Media Company unveiled their latest edition of Who’s Who in Black Washington. e Chief Operating Oﬃcer is Hon. Bro. Carter D. Womack and Phi Beta Sigma is a Gold Sponsor of this year’s publication. President Jonathan A. Mason is prominently featured and is among those gracing the cover. More information about this publication can be found at http://realtimesmedia.com/ Alpha Phi Alpha Reception President Jonathan Mason was a special invited guest attending a dinner conversation sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Brother Mason. Brother Mason, along with a sizable delegation of Sigmas made the presence of Phi Beta Sigma felt. Alpha member, Roland Martin, conducted the conversation with a panel of Alpha members including Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA). NPHC President’s Forum Brother Jean B. Lamothe, International Director of Education represented Phi Beta Sigma at the 4th Annual NPHC Greek President’s Forum. e forum was presented by Hon. Marsha I. Fudge (D-OH). e panel discussed civil rights issues and the role of NPHC organizations in working to protect the rights and safety of our communities. Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity member and journalist host of “HuﬀPost Live”, Marc Lamont Hill, served as the moderator.
Brother Malik Yoba Visits the Phi Beta Sigma Headquarters On Friday September, 20th, 2013, Bro. Malik Yoba made his first visit to the Phi Beta Sigma Headquarters. At this important meeting and conversation, Bro. Yoba agreed to be an active participant in the Phi Beta Sigma Centennial Celebration. The Sigma Gamma Rho Reception e Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority held a reception in which they honored Congresswomen Robin Kelly (D-IL) and Connie Brown (D-FL). MC Lyte, a member of Sigma Gamma Rho, and many of the NPHC Presidents attended the reception. Saint Jude’s Reception Saint Jude’s Hospital in Memphis has for 50 years dedicated itself to pediatric treatment and research; providing care for all children without charging any patients a fee. It takes some 850 million dollars each year to keep St. Jude’s operating. Of the NPHC organizations, Phi Beta Sigma has the longest relationship with St. Jude’s; our relationship was established by our current International President when he was serving as International Director of Social Action. The Meeting of the Council of Presidents One of the highlights for Phi Beta Sigma was the meeting of the Council of Presidents which was hosted at our headquarters by our International President. Our headquarters has recently been refurbished and all of the NPHC presidents were duly impressed. To add a special note of welcome, President Mason had the organizational flags of each NPHC fraternity and sorority installed in our lobby. The Zeta Alpha Sigma Annual Jazz Brunch President Mason’s sojourn in Washington, DC gave him the opportunity to attend the Annual Jazz Brunch of the Zeta Alpha Sigma Chapter in Columbia, MD.
Zeta Phi Beta Special Events During the weekend, two chapters of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. held special events that were both attended by President Mason. e Alpha Zeta Chapter held its 90th Anniversary and the Alpha Alpha Alpha Zeta Chapter held is Chartering. Alpha Alpha Alpha Zeta is the first four-letter Zeta Chapter. Photos (Right): President Mason joins counterparts Bonita Herring, Sigma Gamma Rho and Mark S. Tillman, Alpha Phi Alpha to honor Congresswoman Robin Kelly (second from right) at a reception sponsored by her sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho. Honorary Member, Bro. Malik Yoba visits the international headquarters.
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SIGMA PROMOTES LITERACY BY BROTHER BRANDON BROWN
In July 2013, the men if Sigma gathered in Philadelphia for their bi-annual Conclave. After a successful week of meetings, workshops, community service and fellowship the men of Sigma departed the City of Brotherly Love to return to their respective communities and continue the work of Sigma. The TRANSFORMation of Sigma and the communities we serve that began in Philadelphia, would now spread to communities across the globe. In October 2013 Sigma men were called back to Philadelphia to attend the fall General Board Meeting. As part of the transformation process our International President, Hon. Jonathan A. Mason, Sr. mandated that we perform a service project in those cities where we meet. This mandate resulted in the launch of a new initiative under the direction of Bro. Jean B. Lamothe, International Director of Education. The program, Project Sigma Promotes Literacy, took place at Penrose Elementary School in Philadelphia, PA. Brothers converged on the Penrose Elementary School, with two foci: promoting literacy and celebrating scholarship. On Friday, October 18, 2013 brothers gathered in the school gymnasium to spend some time with the students at the invite of the school principal, Bro. Huie Douglas. The men of Sigma were there to encourage the students with a positive message focusing on the importance of education. After the opening presentation brothers were divided into small groups and escorted through the school to interact with smaller Continued on next page
groups in the classroom. Brothers assigned to the younger grades read to the students using the books they were already reading, while those assigned to the older students engaged them in conversations on the importance of education. The program was warmly received by the students and they were excited to participate in the day’s events. Following the classroom sessions everyone reassembled in the gymnasium, where scholarships were presented to the top three students in the 7th and 8th grades. Everyone that participated received a Certiﬁcate of Appreciation. Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. also presented a donation to the school for its library. PHOTOS: 1) Bro. Jean B. Lamothe, International Director of Education presents donation to Bro. Huie Douglas, Principal. 2) 7th Graders Eric Moore, Lavanté Banks and Troy Chambers escort President Jonathan Mason and First Vice President Micheal Cristal. 3 - 4) President Mason and Vice President Cristal with Ms. Scarcelli’s 6th Grade Math Class. 5) Brothers Rogers Barnes, Hon. William Stanley, T.J. Lewis and Jeﬀrey Sneed encourage students. 6) Members of Nu Sigma Chapter, Philadelphia, PA.
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“We must invest in our youth and demonstrate to them that we (Phi Beta Sigma and the community) are truly concerned about their growth, development and well-being,” shared Brother Lamothe. Principal Brother Huie Douglas, when asked about the event stated, “I am honored and appreciated that my brothers of Phi Beta Sigma are not only holding true to blazing a path to the future, but we are also reaching back to pull the next generation along. My students and I will cherish the honor of having such distinguished Men of Sigma at Penrose. G.O.M.A.B.!”
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PHI BETA SIGMA FRATERNITY, INC. CENTENNIAL MONUMENT
In 2014 we will celebrate 100 Years of Service as men of Phi Beta Sigma. We have a great legacy built by our Founders, The Most Honorable Brothers A. Langston Taylor, Charles I. Brown and Leonard F. Morse. These visionaries walked on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. They planted an idea that took root and has been carried forth around the world by over 150,000 strong, for a century. A simple reflection would not suffice! Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity will erect a monument reflective of the aspirations and accomplishments of the Founders and the Brothers who daily bring those dreams to fruition. The Fraternity is giving every member and every chapter of this great organization an opportunity to ETCH THEIR NAMES onto the monument at Howard University, in tribute to their commitment to the founding principles that have endured. Just as the Founders of the worldâ€™s greatest fraternity left their mark, each Brother and Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma will have the chance to leave their mark at Howard University! Until February 28, 2014, each Brother has the opportunity to have his name, the name of a deceased Brother or the name of his chapter engraved onto the Phi Beta Sigma National Monument! Donors of $100 or greater will have their names engraved onto the monument. Chapter names will be engraved for a donation of $200 or more. Donâ€™t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to honor our founding!
DEADLINE IS FEBRUARY 28, 2014
ETCH YOUR NAME TODAY! VISIT WWW.PHIBETASIGMA1914.ORG
...There ...T here is Something SPECIAL Going On in Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity here Frater nity
In Memoriam The Honorable Demetrius C. Newton, Sr., Esquire 1928 - 2013
24th International President Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. 1981 - 1984
BY TODD D. LE BON 60 THE CRESCENT FALL 2013
"I thought about what I might say to you in these few moments and a few words came to my mind. They are four things that a man must learn to do and he will make his record true: To think without confusion clearly To love his fellow man sincerely To act with honest motives purely To trust in God and Heaven securely . . . Thank you, my Brothers, and may there be peace in the Temple of Sigma." Hon. Demetrius C. Newton addressing the Brothers at Conclave 2013/Philadelphia.
Demetrius C. Newton, Sr. was born in Fairfield, AL, and graduated from the Fairfield public schools. He went on to attend Wilberforce University majoring in Economics and Political Science, with a Minor in Speech. He received his BA in 1949 and went on to attend Boston University School of Law where he received the Juris Doctor degree in 1952. While at Boston University, Brother Newton became the first African-American to be elected to membership in Phi Delta Phi International Legal Fraternity. Bro. Newton also served in the United States Army, 82nd Airborne Division from 1952-1954. Brother Newton was admitted to practice in all of the courts of Alabama, The United States District Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th and 11th Circuits, the U.S. Tax Court, the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Supreme Court of the United States. For more than thirty years he headed his own law firm and in 1991 was named Chief City Attorney for the City of Birmingham, Alabama a position he held for eight years. Brother Newton won more than 30 million dollars against major corporations for discrimination in employment. He also represented icons like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. Southern Christian Leadership Conference president emeritus and CEO Charles Steele said, “Newton played an important role in the Civil Rights Movement”. Newton was known as the attorney for some of the people arrested during demonstrations in Birmingham. Governor George Wallace appointed him as Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Alabama in 1978. Representative Newton was elected to the Alabama State Legislature in 1986. He was the first AfricanAmerican to serve as Chair of the House Judiciary Committee. He served as the first African-American Speaker Pro-Tem of the Alabama House of Representatives from 1998 until 2010. Republican House Speaker Mike Hubbard of Auburn said, “Newton was so well-respected that even when Republicans took over the majority, the newly elected Caucus unanimously agreed that he should retain his seat in the front row of the Chamber, a seat normally reserved for members of Leadership”. Representative Newton has been distinguished by receiving awards such as the "Outstanding Lawyer Award" by the Alabama Lawyer Association, and the "Outstanding Legislator Award" by the Alabama Poultry & Egg Association. His hometown of Fairfield, Alabama, honored him by naming the major public Housing Village, “The Demetrius C. Newton Gardens.” Brother Newton was a member of the Mount Olive Baptist Church of Fairfield, Alabama, where he served as Chairman of the Board of Deacons. He is the 24th International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, and member of the Fraternity’s Distinguished Service Chapter (DSC). He is also a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and a 33rd Degree Mason Prince Hall Affiliation. He is a former National President of the Wilberforce University Alumni Association, and Past President and Chief Executive Officer of the Birmingham Urban League. Newton was a member of the Alabama, National, and American Bar Associations, as well as, the American Judicature Society, NAACP, 101 Black Men, and the Vulcan Gold Club. He is the father of two children, Deirdre C. Newton, a graduate of Tufts University and the University of Michigan Law School. A son, Demetrius C. Newton, Jr., a member of Phi Beta Sigma, a graduate of Tuskegee University and Howard University with a degree in Masters of Fine Arts. He has his own film company.
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DSC #1 BY BROTHER TODD LE BON Pictures provided by BROTHER MARK PACICH, International Historian
It is hard to tell if he is Benjamin Franklin Gates from the “National Treasure” movies…or Indian Jones…or a combination of both, but one thing is for sure…our International Historian, Bro. Mark “Mallet” Pacich, has a unique ability and amazing perseverance when it comes to ﬁnding, tracking down, and securing some of the rarest Sigma artifacts and documents from years gone by. Several years ago, fellow History Team member Bro. Craig Arthur was able to locate the son of the Hon. Bro. Jesse W. Lewis. Bro. Lewis was the Fraternity’s ﬁrst Distinguished Service Chapter (DSC) member, inducted in 1929. He, in turn, passed the information on to Bro. Pacich, who contacted his son immediately. Over the years, Bro. Pacich formed a relationship with Mr. Lewis through emails and phone calls. Mr. Lewis was able to provide amazing, little-known historical information about his father’s life; but there is one day that stood out from the rest. It was the day that Mr. Lewis thought he had located one of his father’s Fraternity pins, but he was unsure of what it was. He said over the phone that it “had the Fraternity letters, two hands that were clasped together, and what appeared to be a diamond on the front.”
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Very excited at this point, Bro. Pacich asked Mr. Lewis to turn the pin over, and to see if there was anything “inscribed” on the back. Mr. Lewis conﬁrmed that there were markings on the back, and that they were the initials “J.W.L” and the date “December 30th, 1929”. At that point, Bro. Pacich knew that the pin Mr. Lewis was holding was DSC Key #1! Connecting the term “rare” to this discovery is not enough. This situation deserves the phrase “One of a Kind” ﬁnd. Mr. Lewis has been gracious enough to loan the pin to the Fraternity Historian, for all brothers to see. Bro. Pacich brought DSC Key #1 to the 2013 Conclave in Philadelphia, PA. Brothers from all over the country were able to hold this “One of a Kind” piece of history in their hands! The following in an excerpt from Phi Beta Sigma’s History Book…”Our Cause” (1957) pertaining to the December 1929 Conclave: “A distinguished service “chapter” was created into which annual Conclaves might vote Brothers from time to time. A special distinguished service key, that looked much like the Phi Beta Kappa key, was authorized. Brother Jesse W. Lewis, who had worked so well as Field Secretary and SecretaryTreasurer, was voted the ﬁrst distinguished service key as he went out of ofﬁce.”
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FACE OF INJUSTICE BY BROTHER KEN LOVE
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July 13, 2013, the Superior Court lies to promote the agenda, and (6) Push the people to vote. Some brothers passed out of Seminole County Florida federal government to charge Zimmerman water. While others passed out informahanded down a not guilty verdict to George with civil rights violations tional flyers about the Rally’s goals. Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case. To As with the March, Mother Nature Two days after the verdict, the first rally many in Black America, the subtext was was planned. e brothers of Kappa Alpha showed up and proceeded to deliver a down“What is the price of Black Life?” “Are we not Sigma Chapter reached out to the Blue and pour of rain during the Rally. In spite of the due equal protection under the law?” e White family to be volunteers for a rally and bad weather, nobody in the crowd of over verdict seemed to send a message that march. e March would start at Sankofa 6,000 left. In spite of the heavy police presechoed the quote from W.E.B. Du Bois, “A United Church of Christ and end up at the ence on the perimeter, the rally remained system can-not fail those it was never built CNN Center in Atlanta. e brothers pro- peaceful, respectful but focused. to protect”. To quote Brother Calvin Hurse, “is is vided man power to set up PA systems, disWhile some may look at the situation as a tributed water to the marchers and handle what Phi Beta Sigma is supposed to do. is tragedy of the American judicial system, security to ensure the march would take is why we exist. When we call ourselves the many took the verdict as an opportunity to place in an orderly manner. e initial goal People’s Fraternity, we have to show it is make a change. e Brothers of Kappa Alpha was to have 1,000 people come to the rally. more than a saying”. Towards that end, the Sigma Chapter, Stone Mountain GA, decided at evening, in spite of the rain, over 6,000 Chapter has adopted two of the goals from to mobilize to address some of the issues people came out to hear the message and that initial planning meeting. e first of raised in the wake of the trial. Chapter President, Kenneth Love, collaborated with Reverend Derrick Rice of Sankofa United Church of Christ, Attorney Mawuli Davis of the Davis Bozman Law Firm and Derrick Left: March supporter with Bro. Ken Love. Center: Bro. Roderick Duff and son march in the crowd. Right: Peaceful Bozman of Let Us March of over 6,000. Opposite page: Brothers of Kappa Alpha Sigma Chapter. Make Man and WAOK-AM to come up with ideas to raise march in solidarity. which is to continue our voter registration awareness, and mobilize the Atlanta come rally not only drew the community eﬀorts especially during midterm elections munity. To quote Rev. Rice from the meet- and other organizations, but also local where voter turn-out is traditionally low. ing, “For the next 2 – 3 weeks every church celebrities such as Ex-Mayor Bill Campbell, e second initiative is to help organize in the country will be talking about Trayvon and Rappers T.I. and Lil Scrappy. ey not the bi-monthly community awareness Martin. For a few weeks there will be more only came out to march and support the forums along with Sankofa United Church rallies and marches. Some will consider eﬀort, but also addressed the crowd. of Christ. e first forum was scheduled for Department of Justice possibilities and Because of the success of the first march, August 12th at the church. Right now there perhaps policies. However, when the coun- a subsequent rally was scheduled for the fol- is a calendar of 12 topics that are already try goes back to business as usual, only a lowing weekend, Saturday July 20th. is being slated. handful of churches will still be doing this time the rally was in front of Richard B RusAs was mentioned earlier, we do not want work. And for most, Trayvon’s name will be sell Federal Building in Atlanta, across the this incident to be hot news for a few weeks like the names of: Tramaine Miller, Eric street from the Martin Luther King Federal and then we as a community go back to Johnson, Ariston Waiters, Cory Ward and Building. e event was covered by local “business as usual”. Fredrick Douglas once Troy Davis…. Names you remember but, radio stations, as well as worldwide media said, “If there is no struggle, there is no stories you have forgotten. “ outlets such as CNN. Speakers from various progress”. We encourage every chapter of e group came up with a few goals that organizations such as e National Action Phi Beta Sigma to do whatever you can to we wanted to promote. ose goals being; Network (Brother Al Sharpton’s organiza- bring about progress and change in your (1) Work to repeal the Stand Your Ground tion), e Southern Christian Leadership community in the wake of this tragedy. Law in the state of Georgia, (2) Increase Conference and local religious leaders stood Many Christians believe that God does not voter registration and encourage voting beside entertainers such as Jennifer Holiday make mistakes. Our challenge is to find the EVERY year through voter education, (3) and Big Tigger to address those assembled. purpose he wants from us in the aftermath Have bi-monthly forums to educate the Again, brothers of the Kappa Alpha Sigma of this unjust verdict. community about social issues, (4) Encour- Chapter supported the march in various age people to get involved in organizations ways. Some provided security for the media NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE! promoting these initiatives, (5) Organize ral- and personalities. Some registered over 500
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Pictured: Don Tolliver, Reginald Dudley, Antonio Kilpatrick, Eddie Williams, Perry West, Rickie Williams, Anthony Fedd, Delano Townsend, Dr. Errick Farmer, Dr. John Warford and Harris Wiltsher.
BETA LAMBDA SIGMA CHAPTER Wins International Award at Conclave Philadelphia By Brother Dr. Errick Farmer
he Beta Lambda Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., (Tallahassee, FL) was awarded the 2011 - 2012 International Model Alumni Chapter (Level II), during Conclave 2013 in Philadelphia, PA. e Chapter competed against hundreds of chapters to win this prestigious award. All chapters were judged based on their programming under the Fraternity’s initiatives, which included the following areas; Bigger and Better Business, Social Action, Education, Social Activities and Membership Retention, Recruitment and Reactivation. ese programming activities were highlighted in the chapter report, which showcased the chapter’s accomplishments and community service hours. In addition, the chapter was required to display many of the events and activities during the conclave, and participate in an extensive interview. As a special caveat, the Chapter was also awarded the overall Regional Alumni Chapter of the Year for 2011 - 2012 and the 2013 Florida Alumni Chapter of the Year. According to chapter President Rickie Williams, “is was a great accomplishment for the Beta Lambda Sigma Chapter, it goes to show the level of impact we have in the Tallahassee community. e judges were very impressed with the type of programs we provide in our community and beyond. It is our mission to build and expand upon them”.
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e Beta Lambda Sigma Chapter was founded on March 12, 1949 by ten visionary men, who saw the need for change and progress in Leon County and Tallahassee, Florida. e ten Charter Members were: Bros. James H. Abner, R. L. Abner, Dr. J. R. Bates, David H. Brooks, Clinton C. Cunningham, Herman K. Matthews, S. T. Muller, Lewis. A. Stokes, J. C. Turner, and Henry Wright. ese men were stewards of the Tallahassee community and held prominent positions throughout Tallahassee. We pay a special tribute to these men for leading the path for the Beta Lambda Sigma Chapter.
Above: Beta Lambda Sigma Chapter receives Proclamation from Leon County, Tallahassee, FL. Pictured (L to R) are Brothers Antonio Kilpatrick, Dr. Errick Farmer, Rickie Williams, Eddie Williams and Harris Wiltsher
D9 HAPPY HOUR A Party with a Purpose
By Brother Kenneth Flowers, Jr.
n just under four years of existence, the Omicron Zeta Sigma Chapter (OZS) of Woodbridge, VA has begun establishing themselves as a service provider for their community. Hosting its third “D9 Happy Hour for Charity” on August 29, 2013; OZS has begun making its mark in Prince William County, VA. e brainchild of Bro. Kenneth (KJ) Flowers Jr., the event is co-hosted by Brother Dion Coward. OZS has established a charitable event in which over $3500 has been raised and disseminated over the last year and a half alone. Over 100 guests attended this year’s event, one of the highest totals to date. Held bi-annually at K2 Restaurant and Lounge, a local minority owned establishment in Woodbridge, VA, each event is treated as a networking/social gathering in which members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council from the DC Metropolitan area gather and co-mingle with one another. e time is spent fellowshipping, updating each other on chapter events, and raising money for a diﬀerent charity event. Each time OZS’ Blue Wellness Foundation donates all funds and proceeds raised from each event to a selected charity. is year’s recipient is Trevor’s Treasures, www.trevorstreasures.org. Trevor Blake, an 11-year old resident of Prince William County, passed away in August 2013 from cancer. During his time on this earth he established his foundation, Trevor’s Treasures, as a way to help other youth battling similar diseases. Trevor was to be a student at Benton Middle School in Manassas, VA, this year, where Brother Kevin Smith is Principal. We can only hope to help continue his legacy and push forward his dream. OZS looks forward to continuing to serve the community and build upon the Sigma brand.
“Times have been tough trying to continue life without Trevor. But we are definitely going to continue what he started with Trevor’s Treasures. anks for thinking of us” Shannon Nuzum, Trevor’s Mother
BRO. DARRYL WISE APPOINTED NEW CEO Annie Malone Children & Family Services Center By Brother Charles E. Ellis, Jr. ro. Darryl L. Wise, a member of the Kappa Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. in St. Louis, Missouri, was appointed as the new Chief Executive Oﬃcer of Annie Malone Children & Family Services Center, a not-for-profit social services organization that is celebrating its 125th anniversary of service to the St. Louis community in 2013. e organization's mission is to improve the quality of life for children, families, elderly and the community by providing social services, educational programs, advocacy and entrepreneurship. Chairman Aaron Phillips noted that Annie Malone is looking to forge new partnerships and alliances with this anniversary celebration and the promotion of Bro. Wise.
Bro. Wise joined Annie Malone in 2007 to provide leadership and direction to the agency's Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) process. He had also received promotions to Director of Professional & Quality Services in 2009 and Vice President of Programs & Planning in 2010. For more than 20 years as a social worker, Bro. Wise has worked to improve the lives of people through individual, group and family counseling, legal resource referral, conducting training and development programs and organizational performance improvement. Bro. Wise, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, holds a Master's Degree in Social Work (MSW) from Washington University, a Master's of Business Administration (MBA) from Lindenwood University and a Bachelors of Science degree in Administration of Justice from Culver-Stockton College. He is a member of the National Association of Black Social Workers, a graduate
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of Leadership St. Louis 2011-2012 and St. Louis Outcomes and Evaluation Network (SLOEN). Bro. Wise was inducted into the Fraternity through the Pi Phi Chapter at CulverStockton College in Canton, Missouri. Annie Malone held a "Meet and Greet" reception to welcome Bro. Wise as the newly appointed CEO at the Rustic Goat Restaurant and Bar in downtown St. Louis. e reception was co-sponsored by local members of the Fraternity. e Fraternity has also shown support to Annie Malone in the past by making it the recipient of the Southwestern Region Community Service Donation during its Regional Conference held in St. Louis in the spring of 2012. At the reception, Bro. Wise gave his vision for Annie Malone in that he wanted to restore its iconic status and make it the premier organization that provides a diverse array of services advancing the quality of life for children, families and communities. For more information on Bro. Wise and the Annie Malone Children & Family Services Center, go to: www.anniemalone.com
OUR CULTURE Does Better than Ordinary Equate to a Culture of Excellence? By Brother Torian A. Richardson
“is music is from the street. It is not dark, it’s the light of the spirit” A moment of introspection and personal truth, from of all people a 60 something Danish man on what could be called - a perfect day – in Copenhagen, Denmark. is late August Saturday was blessed with royal blue skies, speckled with pure white cumulus clouds, and the necessary crisp early autumn breeze. e focal point of our conversation was music; specifically jazz and its influence on the soul. “ere is so much dignity in how jazz musicians make something so academic seem simple. Jazz is a mirror of life, its complex but is rooted in very simple things”. He began to school me on the greats that had made Denmark home, the likes of Red Norvo, tenor saxophonist Ben Webster and pianist Kenny Drew. As we continued our dialogue, I explained to him that my family is originally from the Southside of Chicago but that I had not cultured myself in the rich history of jazz the Windy City has to oﬀer. “A shame” he stated “but remember that it is never too late for refinement.” Walking away from that conversation, I could not help but feel remorse for not harnessing the opportunity for enrichment in the Culture of Excellence that jazz musicians had created, nevertheless my cause sped on its way. Ironically upon ambulation throughout Copenhagen I realized just how refined the city was, eclectic and various in people yet equally as embracing in their diﬀerences. I could not help but wonder if e Most Honorable Founders Morse, Taylor and Brown envisioned the same - a fraternity that could transcend the
discrimination they were experiencing during the early part of the 20th Century. ose reflections were embedded in my thoughts on the way to my next stop to western Denmark; to a town named Kolding, where a Sigma man calls home. Upon arrival he and his family welcomed me with a full ambit of Blue Fellowship. We walked and talked while visiting the historical places in the city, driving through beautiful countryside, and experiencing the regale of Danish culture in his home. e experience was unadulterated koinonia. Imagine if you will two Sigma men, both of whom originally from the Great Lakes Region, both having traveled and worked around the world, now conversing in Northern Europe as the same royal blue skies and pure white cumulus clouds from days before were beginning to bless the other side of the earth with their esprit. e experience was better than ordinary – some might say special. Upon hearing more about our brother from Kolding, Denmark track record and achievements, I would argue the experience was much more. It was further aﬃrmation of Phi Beta Sigma’s Culture of Excellence. Our conversations pointed to three questions that I would like to present to the brotherhood for reflection. Continued on Page 75 FALL 2013 THE CRESCENT
BROTHER DE’SEAN FENNELL:
Following My Dream BY BROTHER TODD D. LE BON WITH BROTHER DE’SEAN FENNELL
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ro. De’Sean Fennell is a native of Philadelphia, PA. While growing up many boys his age were drawn to basketball and football, but De’Sean’s mother wanted him to be diﬀerent and encouraged him to explore other sports. At the age of nine he began to play tennis, and has never looked back.
Bro. Fennell attended Legacy Youth and Education, formerly known as the Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education Center, in Philadelphia. He credits the Center with helping him develop into one of the top 200 players in the country for boys eighteen and under. While a student at Roman Catholic High School he was undefeated with a 61-0 record. He helped the Roman Catholic High School Cahillites reach the Catholic League Championship three times. Bro. Fennell is a three time Catholic League Championship MVP and two time PIAA District 12 Class AAA singles champion. De’Sean chose to attend La Salle University in Philadelphia after they showed the most interest in him his senior year in high school. La Salle oﬀered him a full tuition scholarship to come play tennis for the Explorers. While at La Salle he met some of the brothers of the Mu Upsilon Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. Spending time with Bros. Colin Washington, Brandon Washington, Kenny Jones, Rashon Howard and Jordan Reid; he experienced the brotherhood, scholarship and service they presented on the campus and in the local community. De’Sean was impressed with the outstanding networking opportunities the fraternity oﬀered its members. He would follow in their footsteps and became a member of Phi Beta Sigma along with his Line Brother, and current chapter president, Bro. Erick Bey. After joining he began attending Nu Sigma Chapter (Philadelphia, PA) meetings. Nu Sigma Chapter is the local graduate chapter. While attending one of the meetings he was introduced to Bro. Luzerne McAllister and found out they both shared a common love for tennis. When Bro. McAllister learned that De’Sean had never attended a professional tennis match he secured tickets to the 2013 US Open through Isha Price, sister of Venus and Serena Williams. “One of my biggest dreams was to attend at least one US Open. I was able to realize in a new way that this is what the Founders envisioned when they set BROTHERHOOD as a founding principle of our fraternity and why President Mason is emphasizing a program called Sigma Cares for Our Own”, stated Bro. Fennell. As De’Sean set out to make the trip to New York it looked as though his dream to attend the US Open might be delayed for another time. He missed his bus out of Philadelphia and soon discovered it was the last bus leaving for the evening by that bus company. Luckily Bro. McAllister was able to book him another ticket to arrive in New York at 1:00AM, Friday morning. When he arrived Bro. McAllister took him to Time Square. is was his first time visiting this popular tourist area, and he was surprised to see so many people out and about enjoying the atmosphere at 2:00AM. e next morning De’Sean and Bro. McAllister played tennis on a roof top court overlooking the water. After a practice hitting session he was introduced to Bro. McAllister’s parents. “During my stay in New York Bro. McAllister’s parents treated me as if I was their youngest son”. When it was time to go to the match they all caught the Long Island Rail Road train to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows. Attending the 2013 US Open allowed De’Sean to see the dominant players of his era, including: Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Andy Murray as well as up and coming players such as Alison Riske, John Isner, Sloane Stephens and Milos Roanic. “Seeing players such as Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams is exciting enough, but just imagine being able to be a couple of feet away from them instead of having a television screen in between you and them. When I was watching these stars in person, I had the urge to just run on the court and just shake the players’ hands. e best part for me was being able to feel the energy of all of the people that were walking the grounds of the US Open. Both Friday and Saturday, I literally stopped outside of Louis Armstrong Stadium for more than an hour watching the match that was taking place within. Seeing everyone walk past with smiles on their faces put a smile on my face.” “As I walked the grounds throughout the day, I envisioned myself playing on those very courts with America cheering me on. God willing, I will see that dream come true on day too.” FALL 2013 THE CRESCENT
THE MAKING OF A LEGACY Interview by Brother Tyrone Williams
diverse poet, Bro. Bryson Brown has been writing poetry for over 30 years, covering a broad spectrum of subject matters through his writings. e Making of a Legacy is Bro. Brown’s first book release. is recently released book is a poetic journey through African-American history from slavery to the present. e concept of the book is somewhat unique and I am not aware of any other eﬀorts to paint a picture of African-American history is such a creative way. e pages of this sensational book are filled with many of the achievements, contributions and individuals who played a role in the making of the great AfricanAmerican legacy in the United States. Also highlighted are the challenges, plight, and struggles that were a part of the sometimes painful African-American experience.
A native of Harrisburg, Pa., Bro. Brown currently resides in Raleigh, NC with his wife and four children. He has worked in the mental health field for over 25 years. He is a proud graduate of Lincoln University (Pa) and attended graduate school at Penn State University-Harrisburg. He was initiated into Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. 20 years ago through eta Omicron Sigma Chapter in Harrisburg, Pa. Bro. Brown was drawn to all Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. exemplified and was impressed with the dynamic organization the Blue and White was historically. Bro. Brown was also inspired by the Sigma principles of Brotherhood, Scholarship and Service. e Crescent had a moment to sit down with Bro. Brown to discuss his book, inspiration for the book and future plans. CRESCENT (CR): What and/or who was the inspiration behind the Legacy project? Bro. Bryson Brown (BB): ere were several inspirations for e Making of a Legacy. I had been writing poetry and performing spoken word for years. After my late sister, Brenda Bair, read some poem, she became the first person to suggest me telling the history of AfricanAmericans through poetry. Also, a good friend of mine from New Orleans, LA; named Leevance Williams, had just finished his book called From the Depths of My Soul. He became an inspiration in making the book a reality. My parents were also an inspiration. ey introduced me to the power of words and were always encouraging me to read. I have always had a love and passion for history. When I was growing up I would sit around and listen to my parents and other relatives talk about social issues and of the history of African-Americans. eir
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many stories and lessons about the journey of African-Americans always captured my interests and it made me always thirst for more. My wife and kids were also an inspiration for me in writing the book. To be able to give my children something that could help them to fully understand who they are and their journey as a people is priceless. It was also important for me to give my family e Making of a Legacy, because it would be something that would be a part of their lives and of our family’s history forever. CR: Why write a book of this magnitude? BB: I really believe there was a need for a book like e Making of a Legacy. When I was growing up my parents made sure I knew the price that was paid for me to be all that I could in this land called America. We seem to have gotten away from sharing the history and legacy of AfricanAmericans and in some ways I feel that has impacted a lot of our young people today. Many young people do not know and understand the history of their people, nor do they understand that many
people fought, sacrificed and died for them to have so many of the rights and privileges that are taken for granted today. CR: What was the message you wanted people to know or learn after reading your book? BB: I have never seen a book like e Making of a Legacy before. ere are history books out there and other books of poetry, but I had never seen a book that attempted to tell the history of AfricanAmericans from 1619 to today through poetry. I think that is what makes this book so unique. I realize that a lot of people are not readers and they probably will not pick up a chapter book to read, but a book like this my draw their interest. It is easier to read a poem that is a page or two long, rather than a whole chapter. My goal was for all people to pick up this book and to be motivated by the poems to want to research and learn more about the history and legacy of African-Americans. CR: You earned your undergraduate degree at Lincoln University. Why did you choose Lincoln?
graduate chapter in Harrisburg, Pa, becoming a member of eta Omicron Sigma Chapter in 1993. CR: How, if any, did the History of our illustrious fraternity and your life experiences play a role in inspiring "e Making of a Legacy"? BB: Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. has a very rich history and great legacy of its own with many members such as; James Weldon Johnson, A. Phillip Randolph, Hosea Williams, John Lewis, Huey Newton, George Washington Carver and many more. e history of the Blue and White was educational as well as inspiring. CR: How has writing "e Making of a Legacy" changed your life and or influenced a generation of readers? BB: is book has reminded me that I am a part of continuing a great legacy and I am obligated to pass on the history and legacy to those coming behind me. I definitely feel this book will be an inspiration to everyone that reads it. I would definitely say it is a must read book and should be in everyone’s library.
BB: My first year of college, I attended Shaw University in Raleigh, NC and became homesick. I transferred back to Pennsylvania and closer to home to Lincoln University in 1982. e history of Lincoln University caught my interest right away, being the first historically black college and university in the country. Lincoln also has a long list of prestigious graduates such as Langton Hughes, urgood Marshall, Melvin Tolsen, Roscoe Lee Brown, Kwame Nkrumah and many others. e size of the campus also made Lincoln University a good choice for me to
further my education. My years at Lincoln University impacted my life greatly. CR: e Blue and White Family became part of your DNA at Lincoln . . . WHY? BB: e Brothers of Mu Chapter, Lincoln University (PA), were strong and represented our organization well during my time at Lincoln. I was always impressed with their presence on the yard, the leadership skills and how they represented the Fraternity with enormous pride. I had a lot of respect for the brothers of Mu Chapter and they helped to influenced me to pledge at the
CR: Is there a Legacy II project in the works? BB: I am currently finishing up two other books of poetry, but doing a volume II has been discussed with my publisher, Dawn Rivers. She has been a great supporter and I am pretty sure there will be something coming in the future. CR: How has writing the book changed your life's perspective? BB: Writing this book helped me to realize how much history is not being shared or accurately recognized. is book has helped me personally recognize that I am a historian and it has challenged me to continue to share a great legacy through my love for words. FALL 2013 THE CRESCENT
AUGUST 2013, continued
The Day that Changed America Commentary, continued
events on the conference schedule with the Ladies of Zeta as they conduct their Boule in DC. Bro. Jackson shared details about the oﬃcial conference service project. We will partner with the A. Philip Randolph Institute and the National Action Network to conduct a walk-a-thon. e walka-thon will take place during the conference and raise money for the Institute and other entities. Details on the walk-a-thon will be shared with the membership in the fall giving brothers a head start in gathering sponsors for the event. One of the events President Mason was excited to announce is the Legends Roundtable facilitated by Bro. Mark Pacich, International Historian, and his History Team. Legends Roundtable will give us all an opportunity to listen to many of our senior members as well as family members of some of our Sigma Legends. Senior Brothers and family members will share stories and reflections of our rich history. e highly anticipated session will include time for brothers to ask questions of our special guests. e Centennial Committee presentation concluded with a special announcement from the committee Co-Chairs, Hon. Bros. Carter Womack, William Stanley and Peter Adams. To commemorate our Centennial we will be placing a monument on the campus of Howard University. Bro. Adams shared images of the proposed monument with the brothers and plans to complete the construction and dedication during the Centennial Celebration in July 2014. All brothers will have an opportunity to have their name or a chapter’s name etched on the monument for a small donation. With each report excitement grew in anticipation of the 2014 Centennial Celebrations. Bro. Mason thanked the brothers in attendance for taking the time to participate and share in the dialogue. Brothers were encouraged to stay around after the meeting and fellowship before heading home. He thanked the Headquarters Staﬀ for taking time out of their weekend to host and assist those in attendance. e meeting was ended as it started, with a prayer and wishes for safe travels back home to all brothers. Your newly elected General Board and appointed members are hard at work in an eﬀort to better serve you. ere is a feeling of excitement as we move towards our next century of Service for Humanity. We encourage all brothers to join us and be a part of the TRANSFORMation. “ere is Something Special Going on in Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity!”
civil rights movement. e South had drawn a line in the sand and turned up the heat on direct action non-violent protest. Violence and racial confrontation peaked as local governments and white citizen councils (sometimes, one in the same) brought all its resources to bear to turn back the movement. King received his severest criticisms, to date, particularly for the Birmingham movement—where he was criticized for putting women and students in harm’s way to fill up the jails in segregation protestations. A. Philip Randolph, now the dean of the movement, had a plan to call a March on Washington in 1941 to protest segregation in defense industry jobs and he called on President Roosevelt to desegregate the defense industry. Roosevelt did and Randolph called oﬀ the March. In 1963, job discrimination was at an all-time high and federal government had been passive in intervening in the deadly conflicts in the South. A. Philip Randolph decided it was time to call a march for “jobs and freedom.” at’s where the theme came from. And guess what? Fifty years later—job discrimination is at a 30 year high and justice is again under assault. e March on Washington showed America the depth of the conflict taking place in the South. e mass mobilization that demonstrated this was more than just isolated “states rights” conflict. It was the largest gathering on the national mall in American history. e story of the day that changed America needed to be properly told and properly appropriated to the man that made it possible. Yes, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made the moment memorable, but A. Philip Randolph made the day great because he made it possible. And Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity returned to Washington to celebrate his legacy 50 years later for changing America in our lifetimes and the lifetimes of generations to come. e cause was just. e purpose was true. It was necessary to recall the day when America was called into account. It was necessary to show new generations that the issues of then are the issues of now. It was important to show that active peaceful protest was still alive in America. It was more important to be at the right place in history, at the right time, in its most defining moments. It was right to protest for right. Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity was there then, and it was there now—fifty years later. History only happens once. When it repeats itself, it is usually in some diﬀerent iteration where the circumstances are diﬀerent—but the results are the same. e only diﬀerence between 1963 and 2013 are those who are experiencing the injustices of wage and wealth discriminations and the brutality of unjust laws that hide racial motives. e outcomes today are eerily similar to what our fathers and grandfathers experienced. e more things change, the more they remain the same. And so, again, we marched for jobs and freedom. e greatest reflection of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington was that the nation remembered, even if many didn’t want to, how and why America changed. It was a day for the ages. Remembering the day that changed America forever.
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Bro. Anthony Asadullah Samad, Ph.D., DSC member #158, is the author of the fraternity’s newly released history book, March On, March On Ye Mighty Host: e Comprehensive History Of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity (1914-2013). He can be reached at www.AnthonySamad.com and on Twitter at @DrAnthonySamad.
OUR CULTURE, continued • How relevant are the contemporary programs of Phi Beta Sigma? • How influential is Phi Beta Sigma; especially in relation to our peers? • Does our current culture equate to a Culture of Excellence? Much like the city of Copenhagen, many of the world’s most relevant and influential people have made Phi Beta Sigma home. Currently the flag bearers are the likes of Rhodes Scholars such as Honorary Brother and Former U.S. President Bill Clinton. However, let us keep in mind the legacy of the first African-American Rhodes Scholar - Alan Leroy Locke – who made Phi Beta Sigma home in 1915. Yet is this today’s standard? It is imperative that we ask some crucial questions regarding our relevance and influence: 1) Does Phi Beta Sigma have the same influence that Brother Charles E. Freeman (first African-American district judge of the Illinois Supreme Court) had on Brother Harold Washington (the first African-American Mayor of Chicago) in becoming a brother of Phi Beta Sigma? 2) Is attracting men the likes of Brothers Congressman John Lewis[Civil Rights trailblazer], Jerry Rice[NFL Hall of Fame receiver], or Dr. Rod Paige[first African-American U.S. Secretary of Education], the standard or the exception in our current culture? 3) Yes, Phi Beta Sigma has Soul, but like jazz do we continue to influence the soul of others outside of the Blue and White family? Just as I could have done more to culture myself in the richness of the Chicago jazz genre, let us not be coy in actively transforming our organizational refinement. It would truly be a shame if we did not and our relevance or influence was marginalized due to loitering.
ice. Phi Beta Sigma is rooted in this ethos, a position that must continue to be an essential non-negotiable when evaluating candidates whom are attracted to Phi Beta Sigma. After all, we cannot give excellence to the communities we serve, if we do not attract excellence. e present-day challenge for Phi Beta Sigma is not to just accept better than ordinary as the culture of our fraternity, but to continue to build a Culture of Excellence to the highest international standards. Measured not only internally but also externally and relevant at the top of contemporary classifications; ensuring that our actions are influential internationally, to our peers, and most importantly to the communities that we serve. Refinement (culture) is part of our cause, which is the light of the spirit of Phi Beta Sigma. Culture for Service, is rooted in a Culture of Excellence. As we approach our 100-year millstone it is important that we do not leave room for remorse over the next century. Better than ordinary does not always equate to a Culture of Excellence just as not all change and progress is correlated to favorable outcomes. We have constructive momentum still keep in mind that better than ordinary is not adequate. Let us thunder back with higher expectations and tangible action as we reaﬃrm our Culture of Excellence in Mighty Phi Beta Sigma. Our Culture of Excellence speeds on its way . . . * e “Our Culture” commentary of the Crescent publication is an attempt to aﬃrm our Culture of Excellence through a lens of invigorating relevance and international influence. Bro. Richardson was initiated through Pi Omicron Chapter and is a life member of Phi Beta Sigma. He has a track record of over 15 years of successful international business experience as a thought leader, management strategist, and change agent. A firm believer in lifelong learning through experience and immersion, he has lived and worked on four continents and journeyed to over 25 countries. He has served as colligate chapter advisor, chapter president of Beta Lambda Sigma, and as the Great Lakes Regional Director of Publicity. He was selected to the board of Benedictine University’s Alumni Association, his alumnus, where he completed his Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance. Torian earned a certificate of completion from Harvard Business School’s - High Potentials Leadership Program, and completed studies for a Masters in International Development from Tsinghua University in
e Most Honorable Founders Morse, Brown, and Taylor laid such a solid framework with Brotherhood | Scholarship | Service; dignified in simplicity yet transferable within the non-discriminatory, diversified fraternity they sought to build. ey knew there was not an alpha or omega in a Culture of Excellence and Serv-
Beijing, China. We look forward to your readership, comments, and critiques.
FALL 2013 THE CRESCENT
PHI BETA SIGMA FRATERNITY, INC. 145 KENNEDY STREET, NW WASHINGTON, DC 20011-5294
The Crescent is the official publication and voice of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. The journal, released twice yearly, provides the frate...
Published on Dec 15, 2017
The Crescent is the official publication and voice of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. The journal, released twice yearly, provides the frate...