Our Cause Spring 2014

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Celebrating our Centennial Year 1914 - 2014



We Remember Hon. Louis D. Hassell Hon. Louis D. Hassell (DSC #133) passed away on Friday, December 13th at the age of 82. Bro. Hassell was born and educated in New York City and attended Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx. After high school he served four years in the United States Army. He later attended Manhattan College where he received his degree in Mathematics. Throughout his entire adult life he excelled at every professional endeavor he was blessed to undertake; athletic director for Kennedy Community Center in Harlem, a licensed Quality Control Engineer, and later as an Operations Research Analyst for the US Army. He received numerous professional commendations and citations for his leadership and professionalism. Bro. Hassell sat on the Board of Directors of the Picatinny Federal Credit Union for 32 years and served in numerous leadership roles on the board. Civically he served as an educational advisor and leader for the Orange Board of Education for many years assisting the superintendent in the 80’s and early 90’s. He was also a multiple appointee to the city of Orange Planning Board where he served under numerous mayors dating back to the 70’s. He also attended the Police Academy allowing him to become a Special City Police Officer, and served as Sergeant of



the Orange Special Police Unit. Bro. Hassell joined Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity in 1974 after re-connecting with his childhood friend the Hon. Alonzo C. Jackson (DSC# 112). As a member of Chi Sigma Chapter he served in every elected position possible and was instrumental in Chi Sigma Chapter founding the Sigma Community Enrichment Initiative, a non-profit branch of the Chapter with focus on education and mentoring. He was inducted in the Distinguished Service Chapter (DSC) in July of 1999.

Dr. Clayton McNeill Bro. Dr. Clayton “Pete” McNeill became a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity on October 15, 1966 as a member of the charter line of the Delta Delta Chapter (Coppin State College). He was also a Charter Member of the Epsilon Nu Sigma Chapter (Baltimore County, Maryland). Through his dedication to Sigma, Bro. McNeill became the 11th Eastern Regional Director of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. During his 34-year career at Coppin State University, Dr. McNeill held several prominent positions, including Vice President of Student Life and Executive Vice President of Administration and Finance. He also oversaw a $325 million campus expansion at the university. McNeill and his wife, Pamela, also a Coppin State graduate, established two endowed scholarships in


the Coppin State University Development Foundation. They were recently inducted into the Foundation Merit Scholarship Program as founding members.

Charles C. Holt, Jr. Mentor, Big Brother, dedicated officer, dynamic stepper, soulful singer and one of Phi Beta Sigma’s biggest undergraduate advocates; that was Charles C. Holt, Jr.; who on December 3, 2013 transitioned to the Omega Chapter. He served in the office of Regional Secretary from April 2010 until his untimely passing. Although a Washington, DC resident since the mid 1980’s, Charles never missed an opportunity to represent his hometown of Brooklyn, New York. He was initiated into the Beta Lambda Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. at Brooklyn College in spring of 1980. While at Beta Lambda Chapter he began building his legacy of hard work and dedication that followed him throughout his journey in Sigma. Charles was also a great bowler, dresser, and dancer and loved all things old school, particularly music. Professionally, Charles worked for one of America’s leading newspapers, The Washington Post, doing accounting work because of his love for math. Although Charles will be greatly missed, may we all find comfort in knowing he no longer belongs to us -- he belongs to God.



Contents 2014 EASTERN REGIONAL BOARD Hon. Leonard Lockhart - Regional Director Devon Henry - Vice Regional Director Brandon Gatling - Associate Regional Director Brad Leak - Treasurer Chris Wilson - Secretary J.R. Reeves - Director of Social Action Dr. Gerald Roberts Weatherspoon - Director of Education Dumisani Solwazi - Director of BBB Milton Savage - Legal Counsel Occasio Gee - Director of Publicity


Accepting The Charge

Hon. Darryl T. Williams - Immediate Past ERD


From Music To Movies



Positioned For Success: Phi Beta Sigma and the Growth of Zeta Phi Beta

Todd D. LeBon - Editor-In-Chief Craig Arthur

13 Allow Me To Introduce You To Esteeemed Brother Armani Davis

Brandon Brown Kevin Christian Willard Hutt

DSC Watch: #172 15 Hon. Bro. Dr. Archie Powell 16 One Sigma’s Journey Through, Hope, Healing, Rebuilding and Recovery Comes Resiliency 21 Paving The Way: Performing Arts Pioneers

DSC Watch: #169 14 Hon. Bro. Greville French

J. Artel Smith

LAYOUT & DESIGN Bro. Ron Lewis Lewis Design Group www.ldgcreative.com

OUR CAUSE MAGAZINE is published by the Publicity Committee of the Eastern Region of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Any use of the stories, pictures or articles without the expressed or implied consent of the Publicity Committee and the Eastern Region of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. is strictly prohibited. ©2014 COVER: Brothers Anthony Stringer and Anthony Griffin review past issues of the Our Cause Magazine and the historic Phi Beta Sigma Journal.

Celebrating 100 Years 1914-2014




Greetings Brothers of the Eastern Region, I cannot begin to express how honored I am to serve as your Eastern Regional Director at this time in our history. Through your continued support and hard work we are starting the next century of Sigma on a solid foundation. As we look back on those who delivered us here, and remember their sacrifices, we must never forget our responsibility to lay the groundwork to help guide those that will follow us to future success. As we celebrate 100 Years of “Culture for Service and Service for Humanity”, let us work even harder to address the issues of today in an effort to build stronger communities for generations to come. In this issue you will take a look back at our role in the founding of our sister organization, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., while also revisiting the early days of the entertainment industry and the role Sigma played in changing the industry. We take a moment to acknowledge and honor our newest members of the Alain Leroy Locke Honors Chapter and the Distinguished Service Chapter. Bro. William Kellibrew inspires us with his story of triumph over tragedy, while also expressing the importance of healing and rebuilding. Finally, we recognize the outstanding examples our Sigma Beta Club members continue to be both in the classroom and the community. Brothers, this is our time. A time to celebrate the present, reflect on our history and prepare for the future. Together we will build on our rich history and ensure Sigma continues to be relevant by addressing issues in communities across the globe. We hope to see you all at the Centennial Celebration July 16-20, 2014 in Washington, DC. Leonard O. Lockhart 25th Eastern Regional Director





Greetings Brothers of the Eastern Region, I extend greetings to you on behalf of the Eastern Region Publicity Team. As we celebrate 100 years it is amazing to witness the exceptional activities taking place around the Region. Chapters are raising the bar as they continue to serve our communities and build on the vision of our Founders. We look forward to sharing some of those events which will transpire throughout our Centennial year in the pages of our electronic newsletter, regional magazine and on the regional website. The OUR CAUSE Magazine annually highlights significant items throughout the Region that we believe should be preserved in the annals of Sigma history. Our regional organ also provides an opportunity to reflect on the rich history of our wondrous band. We challenge you, to share information concerning your chapter activities and other significant news with the Publicity Team. No matter how small the activity, the work you continue to do in the community, on campus or in the business arena deserves to be highlighted. We look forward to partnering with you to share all future activities with our membership and the community at large. As you read this issue of the OUR CAUSE, I want you to enjoy the work put forward by the OUR CAUSE editorial team. Led by Bro. Todd D. Le Bon, Editor of the Crescent, this team has been producing an excellent product for the past six years. In closing the first 100 years of Sigma has been life changing for so many. With your assistance the next 100 years of Sigma will be equally beneficial to the communities we serve. The Publicity Team looks forward to telling your story. We thank you for your continued support. Bro. Occasio Gee Eastern Region Director of Publicity

Celebrating 100 Years 1914-2014





By Bro. Jenabu C. Williams

During Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity’s Centennial Celebration, in Washington DC, Soror Mary Breaux Wright (International Grand Basileus of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.) delivered a soul searching and rousing “Charge”. In her speech, one of the things she challenged the men of Sigma to do was to continue the awesome mentoring work we are doing throughout the country with our Sigma Beta Clubs. Soror Wright called on the brotherhood to teach the young men in our community to pull up their pants and pick up a book! She also challenged the brotherhood to take these young members to the White House and show them that the possibilities in life are endless if they are willing to work. Well, the brothers of Chi Sigma Chapter graciously accepted the “Charge” delivered on that day. Chi Sigma Chapter is proud to operate one of the largest Sigma Beta Clubs in the country. The Chapter currently has over 90 financial Brothers and their award winning Sigma Beta Clubs are under the direction of the Honorable Bro. Dr. Kevin R. West (DSC# 152) and Bro. Jenabu C. Williams; Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Chapter’s SBC, respectively. Chi Sigma Chapter has over 150 members in their Sigma Beta Clubs that encompasses four elementary schools and three high schools in Northern New Jersey. PAGE 6


Dr. West is currently the Superintendent of Schools for the Roselle Public School District and the Advisor of the Abraham Clark High School (ACHS) Sigma Beta Club in Roselle, NJ. During the month of January, the ACHS Sigma Beta Club members collectively designed an exemplary

staff, students and parents from the school district at the Superintendent’s Monthly Parent University. They also take time to volunteer at local elementary and middle schools tutoring younger students and assisting teachers. On the elementary side, the Chapter’s Sigma Beta Clubs

Community Service L to R : Bro. Nigel Coelho, Bro. Mark Williams Jenabu Williams, and Bro. Eric Myers bulletin board which prominently stands in the school’s main lobby in honor of the 100 years of dedicated Service for Humanity that Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. has rendered. The ACHS Sigma Beta Club also inducted 22 new young gentlemen into the Club, bringing their total number of members to 46. The young men in this club are known throughout the district and community as they are committed to “Academic Excellence,” “Community Service,” and “Outstanding Character.” These club members can often be found assisting their Superintendent,


are managed by Bro. Jenabu C. Williams who is currently a 3rd grade Special Education Teacher at Washington Community School in Plainfield, NJ. Bro. Williams is currently the Advisor of the Washington Community School and Stillman Elementary School Sigma Beta Clubs in Plainfield. He is also the CoAdvisor of the South 17th Street Elementary School Sigma Beta Club in Newark. During the month of January, the Plainfield and Newark Sigma Beta Clubs partnered with the New Jersey Cares Non-Profit Organization in honor of the Dr. Martin www.pbseast.org

Luther King National Day of Service. The Clubs were assigned to the “Sort it Out” Initiative at Chatham Middle School in Chatham, NJ. Together the young men assisted with sorting over 700 youth, female, and male coats that where later distributed to homeless shelters throughout

their parent/guardian. Proudly the club members really stepped up! The majority of our single parent mothers have reported that they speak to their sons less throughout the month about negative behavior, and according to the primary classroom teachers the club members are making

Brooklyn Nets game L to R: Bro. Darren Potts, Bro. Jenabu Williams, Bro. Kobina Thomas Bro. Mark Williams, Bro. Nebraska Clark New Jersey. “What an awesome way for the boys to apply the social responsibility skills the club members learned during their meetings over the past two months,” stated Bro. Williams. The Plainfield and Newark Sigma Beta Clubs also participated in an incentive based trip to see the Brooklyn Nets vs. Toronto Raptors at the brand new Barclay Center in Brooklyn, NY. This was an academic and personal behavior incentive base activity. In order for the club members to participate they needed to hand in a favorable progress report from their primary school teacher and

great strides academically! Other Chi Sigma Chapter Sigma Beta Club Advisors and CoAdvisors (Bros. M.A. Williams,

Celebrating 100 Years 1914-2014

J. Stradford, E. Myers, D. Potts, A. Hurdle, J. Ijaola, R. Estrict, D. Jones and I. Anyanwu) have also accepted Soror Wright’s charge of being role models to young men, and ensuring that tomorrow’s youth develop into responsible and productive members of the community. Our prayer for our sons and the Sigma Beta Club members is that they develop Love, Honor, Responsibility, and Respect for themselves; their families and their community. Chi Sigma Chapter salutes our 20th International President Dr. Parlett Moore for his vision of formulating the concept of the Sigma Beta Club, and we honor him through our service as Sigma Beta Club Advisors. As we celebrate 100 years of Service we also celebrate 64 years of Positive, Effective, and Measurable Mentoring. “The Next Generation of Leaders, Accepting the Responsibility and Loving the Challenge!”




FROM MUSIC TO MOVIES By Bro. Brandon Brown

Bro. James Elam (Kappa Eta / Fall 1989) carved a niche for himself in the entertainment industry as an entertainment lawyer in early 2000. Bro. Elam negotiated numerous agreements in music publishing, licensing, distribution, merchandising and investment. He also served as general counsel to corporations, as well as individuals in the industry. Bro. Elam worked with some of the largest names in the industry; Jill Scott, Jaguar Wright, John Legend and the Roots to name a few. Outside of the legal arena he also held positions as an adjunct professor at Drexel University and Saint Joseph’s University. After almost a decade in the industry he left the world he created because of the proliferation or standard of “bad music,” to create another world for himself in the movie realm. In 2008, Bro. Elam created Eternal Crescent Media, where he serves as the President and CEO. Eternal Crescent Media is an independent PAGE 8



media company that produces feature and documentary film, television and digital content. “Movies tell messages, overtly and subvertly,” stated Bro. Elam. When asked about his vision for his new endeavor, he shared, “to create movies that will change the black male’s image…to eliminate racial profiling.” Currently, Eternal Crescent Media, working out of Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia, has producer credits with three movies: Magic Valley (Tribeca); Ass Backwards (Sundance); and 513 (Cannes). “Put in work to master your craft and be prepared for future opportunities,” is his advice for any emerging professional. When asked what lessons Sigma taught him that have helped with his professional life, he smiled and said, “#2 of the 12 Inch.” For more information on Eternal Crescent Media, visit their website at www. eternalcrescentmedia.com.


Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. - Alpha Chapter 1928

Positioned for Success: Phi Beta Sigma and the Growth of Zeta Phi Beta By Tilu Khalayi

Fraters Charles Robert Taylor and A. Langston Taylor were the attending physicians when Zeta was born. Thus Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity proudly refer to theirs as the only true sister-brother relationship among Negro sororities and fraternities. - Ola Adams1



eginning with one chapter at Howard University in 1920, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority has gone on to charter hundreds of chapters around the world. It was the first National Pan-Hellenic Council organization to charter a chapter in Africa, the first to form auxiliary groups, the first to centralize operations in a national headquarters, and as Ola Adams wrote, the first “true” constitutionally bound sister-brother relationship. One of the most significant accomplishments during past 100 years is the Fraternity’s investment in the development of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. In 1918 Phi Beta Sigma Founder A. Langston Taylor appointed two members to a special committee to establish a sister organization, Ivorite Lorimer Scruggs and Clarence Quinton Pair. Dr. Ivorite L. Scruggs was a Charter Member who would go on to succeed the venerable Taylor as National President, serving from 1917-1919. He graduated from Howard’s Medical School and moved to Buffalo, New York where he established a 45-year private

Ola Adams, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, 1920-1965, (Washington, DC: Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, 1965), 43.

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practice. It should be noted that Bro. Scruggs also married the former Ruth Eliza Tappe, a 1919 Howard graduate who went on to serve as Grand Basileus for Zeta Phi Beta. Soror Scruggs would be elected for four consecutive terms, serving from 1926-1930. Dr. Clarence Q. Pair would also enter Howard’s Medical School and serve as president of his senior medical class. After graduating he established a 50-year private practice in New York and served as an attending physician at Mount Vernon Hospital. Dr. Pair would also go on to author a book, “The American Black Ghetto”. A few months before he died in 2001, he recounted the early effort to form a sister-organization in a letter to Bro. Kevin A. Christian. He stated: “Founder Bro. Taylor appointed me to a committee to select founders of Zeta Sigma Sorority. Our first effort failed in 1918-1919. But Taylor appointed a second committee of Sigma Bros who were successful in forming our sister sorority in 1919.” 2 This second committee mentioned by Dr. Pair consisted of Charles Robert Samuel Taylor, Benjamin John Ragsdale, and Julius T. Adolpho Smith, all members of the graduating class of 1922. Charles Robert Samuel Taylor was born on November 9, 1894 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He received his early education at the Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute in Frankfort,

Kentucky (now Kentucky State University). According to his World War I military draft card, by 1917 Charles Taylor was a single twenty-two year old school teacher at the State Street High School in the Bowling Green. By 1918 he was enrolled at Howard University, where he joined the Kentucky Club, College Choir, Men’s Glee Club, and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. In 1921 he served as general secretary for the Fraternity. After Howard, Charles Taylor did further study at Indiana University, Bloomington and would go on to join the faculty at Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Florida. Benjamin John Ragsdale was a native of Asheville, North Carolina pursuing a degree in the School of Music. At Howard he earned a coveted spot on the Men’s Glee Club alongside Charles Taylor, and would go on to serve as an officer of the Club. The two men would travel together when the Glee Club went on tour, providing them with increased opportunities for fellowship. After graduating, Ragsdale had a shortlived professional singing career in New York. According to the May, 1920 Howard University Catalog, Julius T. Alphonso Smith was from Baltimore, Maryland, enrolled in the School of Education. After graduating Smith went on to teach at the Eastern North Carolina Industrial Academy in New Bern, NC. He would later settle in Chicago where he joined the

Upsilon Sigma Chapter. On May 15, 1920 the Washington Bee reported that a reception had been held at the famed Whitelaw Hotel on May 14, 1920. The newly opened Whitelaw was Washington, DC’s first luxury hotel for African Americans, and prided itself on being financed and built by African Americans. The members of the Alpha Chapter of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, of Howard University, were the guests of honor at a reception of Messrs. A. L. and Charles R. S. Taylor, Friday evening at The Hotel Whitelaw. Fully one hundred guests called to meet the young ladies. The Sorority is the youngest Greek Letter organization of the University, having been organized four months ago, but they have four other college chapters to their credit.3 It’s interesting to note the announcement of four additional Zeta chapters established within four months. The sorority’s own page in the 1921 Howard yearbook also alludes to the same: The growth of the organization has been very rapid. In one year it has increased from one chapter to five. 4 The first Greek-letter organization established by African-American women was Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in 1908. In 1913 it would charter its second chapter in Chicago and a third at the University of Illinois in 1914. Founded

Letter, Clarence Q. Pair to Kevin A. Christian, January 4, 2001. (Note: the images on the Table of Contents is what is referenced here.) “The Hotel Whitelaw” Saturday, May 15, 1920. Washington Bee (Washington (DC).Page 5. 4 Enopron, Howard University 1921 (unnumbered pages), yearbook. 2 3





in 1913, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority would charter its second chapter in 1914 at Wilberforce University. A third chapter would be chartered at the University of Pennsylvania five years later in 1918. During their first six years, Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta each chartered three chapters; Zeta Phi Beta chartered fifteen. It’s significant to note both the number of chapters and their respective locations, as Zeta chartered new chapters not only in nearby states such as Maryland,

but in the Deep South (Georgia), the Midwest (Kansas) and in New York City. Of course with Zeta’s debut in 1920, the young sorors were in the enviable position of being able to analyze the success and failures of the two other sororities on campus. This information surely went a long way towards informing some of their organizational decisions; however it does not explain the sorority’s breathtaking expansion pace. The reason why the sorority was able to expand

so rapidly is quite simple, and surprisingly obvious: Phi Beta Sigma. If there was one thing that the Fraternity knew, it was how to grow a strong, vibrant organization. The initial failure in organizing a sister organization made the Fraternity hone in on a two-prong strategy that would position the sorority for success: select a young woman with exceptional leadership and appeal--Arizona Cleaver Stemons-and organize chapters wherever

Zeta Phi Beta’s first 10 chapters:


Howard University Zeta: Alpha Chapter, 1920

Sigma: Alpha Chapter, 1914


Morgan State University Zeta: Gamma Chapter, 1920

Sigma: Gamma Chapter, 1916


Morris Brown University Zeta: Beta Chapter, 1921

Sigma: Zeta Chapter, 1921


Kansas State University Zeta: Delta Chapter, 1921

Sigma: Delta Chapter, 1917


Columbia University Zeta: Epsilon Chapter, 1921 Sigma: Epsilon Sigma Chapter, 1920


Ohio University Zeta: Zeta Chapter 1921 Sigma: Omicron Epsilon Chapter, 1972


Temple University Zeta: Eta Chapter, 1921

Sigma: Epsilon Chapter, 1919


Wiley College Zeta: Theta Chapter, 1922

Sigma: Beta Chapter, 1915


University of Cincinnati Zeta: Iota Chapter, 1923

Sigma: Lambda Theta Chapter, 1978


Roger Williams University Zeta: Kappa Chapter, 1923

Sigma: Chi Chapter, around 1923

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the Fraternity had chapters. Charles R. S. Taylor recounted some of the early maneuverings in an article in the Crescent: As National Executive Secretary of Phi Beta Sigma, I wrote to the officers of every Sigma Chapter requesting the establishment of a sister organization. There was a quick response--so, in addition to the Alpha Chapter, at Howard; Beta, Morris Brown University; Gamma, Morgan College (Gamma was a second Chapter, so named because they wished to carry the same name as the Sigma Chapter on Morgan’s Campus): Kansas State College; and Epsilon, New York City, were started by ardent brothers who saw the good in my meditations and in the work done by those first faithful sisters: Arizona Cleaver, Myrtle Tyler, Viola Tyler, Fannie Pettie and Pearl Neal.” A quick look at Zeta’s first ten chapters reveals that seven out of the first ten were established on campuses where the fraternity had a presence. And in the case of Epsilon Chapter at Columbia University, the fraternity did not have a chapter there; however, by 1920 it had organized the graduate chapter Epsilon Sigma in the city. While it’s fascinating that a large number of African-American women who were enrolled at Temple University’s Pharmacy school in the 1920s were members of Zeta Phi Beta, it should come as no surprise that a large number of African-American men enrolled at the same school, during the same time period, were members of Phi Beta Sigma. In 1917, Sigma Co-Founder Charles I. Brown would extend Phi Beta Sigma into the Midwest with the Delta Chapter at what is now Kansas State University. Zeta Phi Beta’s expansion into the Midwest with its own Delta Chapter would also take place at Kansas State University. Although the chapter name was coincidental, the location was not. These were all




strategic moves designed to position the sorority for success. As remarkable as the Fraternity’s plan was, when it came time to do the heavy lifting, a woman showed up. One of the most intriguing personalities in Zeta’s early history, Lily O’Goldia Smith Scott was a student at Morgan College and served as national secretary for the Sorority from 1921-1924. She holds the distinction of being an Incorporator, the only non-Alpha Chapter Incorporator. In addition, she would serve the Sorority as a national organizer, implementing the strategy, and at times veering off course into non-Sigma territory. During her tenure Soror Scott travelled to Mississippi, Alabama, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas in an effort to organize chapters. It’s through her diligence that the chapters at Temple, Ohio (Sigma would not have a chapter there until 1972) and Columbia Universities were chartered. And perhaps nothing speaks to the remarkable capability of Soror Scott like having a hectic sorority schedule and graduating valedictorian of her class in 1923. Zeta Phi Beta Co-Founder, Myrtle Tyler Faithful once said that “We were a small group and we worked together in perfect harmony and had the full cooperation of members of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity.” As the members of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority join their fraternity brothers in celebrating 100 years of service, the Sorority’s own enduring legacy added testament to the success of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. Tilu Khalayi is an assistant film production accountant and author of the book, “Finer Women: The Birth of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, 1920-1935.” It is available at tilukhalayi.com.


Allow me to introduce you to… Esteemed Brother

Armani Davis

By Bro. Brandon Brown Backstory: Proposed in 2009, and the first initiation taking place at Conclave Atlanta in 2011, The Alain Leroy Locke Honors Chapter is based upon the principle of scholarship and is the highest honor which can be attained by an undergraduate member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. The minimum GPA to be considered for induction is a 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. Members in this chapter are referred to as “Esteemed”. Bro. Davis was inducted into the Alain Leroy Locke Honors Chapter at the 2013 Conclave in Philadelphia, PA. OUR CAUSE sat down with Esteemed Bro. Davis for a brief conversation. OC: What attracted you to Sigma? AD: The Fraternity’s overall image, its genuineness and how I connected with the brothers I came in contact with. OC: What are your future plans? AD: To take the LSAT and attend law school. I want to be either a Juvenile or Family Court Attorney. Howard, American and Catholic Universities are my current choices for law school. OC: What was your initial reaction upon being selected for the Alain Leroy Locke Honors Chapter? AD: Shocked. I need to thank Bro. Demetrius Tucker for making sure that I submitted the application. He is good with stuff like that.

Celebrating 100 Years 1914-2014

OC: What have you learned being a StudentAthlete? AD: To be focused on my academics, discipline and Time Value. OC: Who is on your team? AD: Reggie Allen, a fellow teammate, who makes sure I am on point. Bill Klein, my advisor, who makes sure that I am taking the right classes and keeping on top of things. My Father, for putting the football in my hand as a baby. OC: What advice would you give your fellow undergrads? AD: Take advantage of every opportunity. Take every class seriously. Ask for help from instructors. Academics help economics. OC: Do you have a motivational quote? AD: “The mask which the actor wears is apt to become his face.” - Plato OC: What scholarships do you have? AD: Icon Student Athlete, Last Dollar Scholar and Boule Scholarships OC: What message would you like to share with the Fraternity? AD: Always make the time to give back to make it easier for those following you.





Hon. Greville H. French was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. He is the older of two children born to Hartley and Thama French. A product of the New York City public school system, he went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Sociology, and a minor in Urban Affairs from Hunter College. He is also a graduate of Adelphi University with a Master Degree in Social Work. Bro. French has been married to Soror Maryanne DouglassFrench for 23 years. Greville and Maryanne have two sons Douglas 21 and Brandon 17. Bro. French is currently employed in the New York City public school system as a School Social Worker. Bro. French also works as a Consultant with Visiting Nurse Regional Healthcare System where he provides social work services to primarily homebound elderly patients. Bro. French has been a



presenter at the C. Mel Patrick Career Conference where he assists students in future career development in the field of social work. He is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, and is a past board member of Concord Family and Children Service Agency. Bro. French was initiated into Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity through the Theta Gamma Chapter on March 30, 1976 as part of the “New Birth” charter line along with Bros. Jeoffrey DeYounge, Herbert Pilgrim, Edward Gadson, William Robinson, Steve Cooper and Michael Greene. Bro. French was one of the first undergraduate brothers to serve as a State Director for New York in the Eastern Region, and has gone on to hold several appointed positions. Bro. French has held the following elected regional offices; Secretary, Director of Social Action (on two separate occasions), Vice-Director and the 23rd Eastern Regional Director.


Bro. French has chartered and/or reactivated 17 chapters throughout the State of New York during his tenure as New York State Director and New York Area Director. Bro. French charted a chapter at SUNY@ Oneonta while serving as Eastern Regional Vice-Director. Bro. French is currently a member of Epsilon Sigma Chapter, and has served the chapter as Corresponding Secretary, Vice-President, President, and Parliamentarian. He has served as Chairman of the Membership Committee for 25 years continuously. Bro. French has received numerous awards on the state, regional and national level, and is the recipient of the Prominent Brother Service Award (PBS), which is the highest honor in the Eastern Region. During the 2013, Philadelphia Conclave, Bro. French received the highest award conferred onto a member of Phi Beta Sigma when he was inducted into the Distinguish Service Chapter and became DSC #169.


HON. Dr. Archie J. Powell (DSC # 172)

Hon. Dr. Archie James Powell was born in Lakeland, Florida. He is the oldest of three children of Archie Lee and Audrey Daniels Powell, and the only male child. Bro. Powell began studying the piano at age four. At the age of 14 he won First Prize at a National Guild of Piano Teachers Southern District Piano Competition. The First Prize Award was a scholarship to the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. At age 16 he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America. Upon graduating from Atlanta’s Charles Lincoln Harper High School he also received an academic scholarship to Morehouse College. He chose to attend Morehouse College, rather than Juilliard, to study music. He became the first sophomore in Morehouse history to be awarded the Merrill-Overseas-Travel StudyGrant. The grant paid for a full year of foreign study and travel. He spent his junior year at the University of Nantes, France. In addition to his studies, Powell also earned the Certificat Practique de Langue Francaise, licensing him to teach the French language anywhere in the world. Upon returning to Morehouse for his senior year Powell served as

Celebrating 100 Years 1914-2014

senior class president and graduated with honors in June 1972. He was awarded the Ford Foundation Doctoral Fellowship, paying all expenses to the Graduate School of his choice. Powell enrolled at Brown University (Providence, RI) and was accepted into their Doctoral Degree Program. As the only black PhD student in the History Department, Powell became immediately aware of the problems many black students faced at historically white universities, and helped to organize the Graduate Minority Student Association. While at Brown he would join the Pi Beta Sigma Chapter (Providence, RI) of Phi Beta Sigma and serve as chapter secretary, vice-president and president. He later introduced the Brown University campus to Phi Beta Sigma when he founded the Iota Upsilon Chapter at Brown. Powell served as New England Area Director and founded the Providence Area Sigma Beta Club. He later served as Regional Secretary, ViceRegional Director, and eventually Eastern Regional Director. In 1977 Powell accepted a position as Associate Dean of Students for Minority Affairs at Albany Medical College. While there he joined Bro. Rev. James E. F. Lawrence in identifying four additional brothers and chartered Mu Iota Sigma Chapter (Albany, NY). Dr. Powell became the first

Area Director for Upstate New York, and helped to strengthen chapters in Syracuse (Zeta Psi Sigma), Rochester (Theta Upsilon Sigma), and Buffalo (Theta Sigma). In 1983 Dr. Powell was recruited by Boston University to duplicate his efforts at both Brown University and the Albany Medical College in the area of increasing minority student enrollment. Dr. Powell has maintained his strong commitment to Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. In 2005 he transferred to the Zeta Kappa Sigma Chapter (Boston, MA), where he previously served as secretary. Dr. Powell’s dream is to have the Zeta Kappa Sigma Chapter grow into one of the largest, most active chapters in the Eastern Region. Bro. Dr. Archie James Powell continues to commit his life to living the motto: “Culture for Service and Service for Humanity”. During the 2013, Philadelphia Conclave, Bro. Powell received the highest award conferred onto a member of Phi Beta Sigma when he was inducted into the Distinguish Service Chapter and became DSC# 172. For a detailed biography of Hon. Dr. Powell visit the Eastern Regional Website at: http://www.pbseast. org/172-honorable-bro-archiepowell/








One Sigma’s Journey

‘Through Hope, Healing, Rebuilding and Recovery comes Resiliency’ By Bro. Kevin Christian


rother William Kellibrew considers himself lucky and blessed to have a second and third chance in life. One of those chances came on July 2, 1984 at age 10 staring down the barrel of a gun begging for his life from the man who just shot his mother and brother. Witnessing this horrific event completely shocked and traumatized him and his family for years. Brother Kellibrew acknowledges that rebuilding and recovering from a traumatic experience can be a life-long process and that the effects of trauma are long-lasting. “I use to cry and cry. I felt isolated, guilty, and that the world ended,” said Kellibrew. “No one realized how devastating the trauma was inside. I masked it by appearing to be a happy child, but I was far from it. I was coping and boiling at the same time.” It was not a pretty picture reeling from those experiences. Kellibrew became the abuser by bullying his younger brother and stealing cars in his teen years. He would later turn to alcohol and other substances to cope in his twenties. But, he did not give up. Bro. Kellibrew learned how to cope effectively and has turned his life around. In an effort to survive and thrive he has become a beacon for others. Through childhood sexual abuse, neglect, physical abuse, bullying and a host of victimizations, he defies the odds by facing each day as an opportunity to grow and give back.

Turning Point It is easy to look at Brother Kellibrew and forget that he has a daily struggle each day on the road to healing and recovery, but the statistics tell us that he is not alone. According to the Children’s Exposure to Violence: Comprehensive Survey, most of our society’s children are exposed to violence in their daily lives. More than 60 percent of the




children surveyed were exposed to violence within the past year, either directly or indirectly (i.e., as a witness to a violent act; by learning of a violent act against a family member, neighbor, or close friend; or from a threat against their home or school). Brothers of Sigma know that the numbers are much higher in African-American communities and households. However, we more than often remain silent without addressing the issues that stifle our children’s development and leave the experience of trauma unresolved. One morning on the way to school, when he was in the seventh grade, Bro. Kellibrew remembers walking like a zombie. This particular morning he was contemplating suicide. “I woke up that morning, put my book-bag on my back and headed to school,” reflected Kellibrew. But, not like any other day, he stopped at a bridge and decided to take the leap. He stalled. Somehow he made it to the assistant principal’s office. A caring and compassionate Charles Christian, the assistant principal, provided a haven for William when he had problems in class and was disruptive as the class clown. This morning, however, Mr. Christian saw more than just a troubled kid. He saw a kid that was completely distraught. Charles Christian called Kellibrew’s grandmother who in turn contacted Children’s Hospital National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. for help. Bro. Kellibrew eventually made his way to the hospital and was admitted for thirty days to a psychiatric hospital. Upon his release from the hospital he was paired with a therapist, Christine Pierre. What Kellibrew did not know was that his life was about to change. Christine Pierre took Bro. Kellibrew to the Children’s Hospital dining room and asked him, “What do you want for lunch?” It may have seemed like an ordinary question for Ms. Pierre, but for Bro. Kellibrew it was the question of a lifetime. At the time, about ten children and six adults crammed in a house in Northwest Washington, D.C. where both the living room




and dining room were used as bedrooms. Bro. Kellibrew recounts that while he ate well and played fun games with his family, it was the one on one attention that he lacked at home. It was that year that Kellibrew began to gain his self-esteem. His confidence started to improve. Although, Kellibrew would live his entire teen life with suicidal thoughts, he always remembered the compassion of Christine Pierre, Charles Christian and countless others who stepped in along the way including a mentor, Melvin Andrews and a teacher, Pamela Alexander. Over twenty years would pass before Bro. Kellibrew would reconnect with Mr. Christian and Ms. Pierre. This author noticed that Bro. Kellibrew mentioned his great-uncle’s name in an article and reached out to Kellibrew. It was then that the connection was made and Bro. Kellibrew was able to thank them both for everything they had done for him. Today, they all work together to build awareness of trauma and the impact it has on children and families. Small world!

Champion of Change The work Bro. Kellibrew continues to do provides an opportunity to help others who are trying to heal and rebuild their lives. It has also allowed him to meet many interesting, and sometimes prominent, people along the way. Those who hear his story and witness his confidence and spirit are impressed by the man he has become. Congressman Brother John Lewis (D-GA) once said about Kellibrew, “No child should ever have to go through what you [Kellibrew] went through.” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, in a speech during the 2010 National Crime Victims’ Rights National Observance said, “His message of hope, which he delivers to children all across this city [Washington, D.C.], provides a tremendous service to young people. Mr. Kellibrew’s commitment to protecting victims and empowering survivors is shared by so many


of you.” But, Brother Kellibrew is not about the fanfare. Most of his time is spent sharing his story of resiliency, writing, working on public policy issues, assisting others in crisis and spending time with his family, friends and brothers in Sigma. In 2011, while his grandmother and supporters watched, the White House recognized Bro. Kellibrew as a ‘Champion of Change’ working to end domestic violence and sexual assault. On stage, Kellibrew gave the credit to those who helped him along the way.

Addressing the Most Pressing Issues Brother Kellibrew currently consults with a number of organizations, agencies and partners to address some of the most pressing issues in the world. His works has expanded to Beijing, China; the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Canada; Kenya, Africa; and other countries. Some of the organizations and agencies he consults with include the William Kellibrew Foundation, Mauldin Brand Agency, Inc. in Atlanta, GA, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, and the Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center, just to name a few. Brother Kellibrew continues to focus on children, youth and young adults as a priority in his work, but also recognizing that effective strategies by service providers, practitioners, law enforcement, adult and juvenile justice system staff, judges, and a host of others help to create a trauma-informed system of care – a system that considers the background, not just behavior, of individuals they serve. In an effort to address issues on a broader scale, Bro. Kellibrew has teamed up with music mogul, Michael Mauldin. He believes that bridging the world of the entertainment industry with the work he does with publicly funded and linked systems provides perspective and a greater understanding of the issues facing youth and young adults today.

Celebrating 100 Years 1914-2014

Additionally, he continues his work with the William Kellibrew Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to breaking the cycles of violence and poverty. The Foundation was founded by Sigma Brother Clarence Davis (D.C. Historian) and Zeta Soror Professor Barbara Harvey in 2007. Since then, the Foundation has evolved under the direction of Bro. Brandon Wallace (International 2nd Vice President of Phi Beta Sigma 2005-2007). “With a new chairman, board, executive director and CEO, the William Kellibrew Foundation will make an even greater impact on the lives of the people it serves and engages,” said Kellibrew. “With programs such as the Men’s and Women’s Circles, Sleep Out for Peace and the policy work, there is enough to keep the Foundation busy beyond my lifetime and for generations to come.”

Honoring His Grandmother Today, Bro. Kellibrew takes a look down that long winding road in life and remembers the difficult times and takes a deep breath. “It was hard and sometimes it still is,” says a thankful Kellibrew. “There isn’t one day that goes by that I do not miss my mom and brother. My grandmother tells me that if I can handle their deaths I can do anything. I believe it is my ability to cope today that enables me to survive and surviving can be an every moment process.” His grandmother, Delores Short, worked for 38 years as a sterile processing supervisor. She was late less than ten times and never used an alarm clock. She took Bro. Kellibrew and his siblings in after the tragic deaths of their mother and brother, and continues to be a strong matriarch for the family today. “I supported the children’s strengths,” Ms. Short mentioned, “William was a case. I knew he needed help, but it took over three years before relief came. Before that, I watched him go downhill. It was painful. Today, I know my efforts were not in vain.”




Pathway to Success At age 27, Brother Kellibrew enrolled at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). Kellibrew quickly became the go-to person on campus. He played for the UDC Tennis Team, was elected to two terms as president of the Undergraduate Student Government Association and studied abroad in England at the University of Sunderland as part of the ‘Friendship Pact’ between Washington, D.C. and the City of Sunderland. In 2004 Kellibrew was initiated into the Gamma Lambda Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.; and quickly gave his service to the Fraternity. Honorable Bro. Greville French (DSC# 169 / 23rd Eastern Regional Director) appointed Bro. Kellibrew as the Associate Regional Director for the Eastern Region, where he served and was elected to a second term. “Kellibrew is one of the most persistent, passionate and creative students I know,” said Dr. William Pollard, former president at U.D.C. “He has the capacity to inspire.” When actor, comedian and activist William ‘Bill’ Cosby came to campus, Kellibrew joined him on the stage and recounted the inspiring story of watching his mother and brother being killed before his eyes. Kellibrew had his grandmother stand up in the audience. She received a standing ovation. When Bill Cosby went on Oprah the following year, Kellibrew followed again. “Bill Cosby said he met a young man he says he will never forget,” said Oprah. “William Kellibrew, grew up in a poor crime ridden neighborhood just outside of Washington, D.C. and recently took our cameras back to a place where he said his childhood literally came to an end.” On the Oprah Winfrey Show, Bro. Kellibrew proudly wore his Sigma lapel pin remembering how important service was and how much having a brotherhood is important in his life. After the horrific killings at Sandy Hook in Newtown, CT, President Barack Obama appointed Vice President Biden to head a task




force to look at gun violence. Kellibrew was invited to participate in the official convening of the task force with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence at the White House. Bro. Kellibrew mentioned to the Vice President how important it is to focus on the impact of trauma as we simultaneously focused on access to guns and gun safety. The Vice President told Bro. Kellibrew that he was impressive. The meeting fueled Bro. Kellibrew’s passion to end gun violence.

On the Horizon “I plan to expand my knowledge, work to bridge the divide between the entertainment industry, the media and the community, write books, continue to be a voice for victims like my mom and brother and stand alongside other survivors as we all hope, heal, rebuild and recover,” said Kellibrew. While it seems like a lot of work, Kellibrew already has made strides in each of these goals. “I am proud to be a Sigma man,” Kellibrew acknowledged during the interview. “The brothers I have and the brotherhood I am apart of keeps me going. The brothers of the Alpha Sigma Chapter (Washington, DC) and members of the Gamma Lambda Chapter (University of the District of Columbia-UDC) are also a large part of my confidence and success. Brothers like William ‘Big Hutch’ Hutchins, Honorable Eric Gilliam, Honorable Thomas Washington, Mohammed Kamara and a host of other brothers, helped me understand commitment and loyalty. I keep striving and I keep my head up. I am grateful to Bros. Kevin Christian and Todd Le Bon for the opportunity to share my story with the OUR CAUSE readers. It not only helped me to reflect on God’s grace, but to bring awareness to the issues of domestic violence, sexual assault and trauma.” To contact Brother William Kellibrew, please visit: http://williamkellibrewfoundation.roundtablelive.org/ or via email at wkellibrew@gmail.com.


Paving the Way:

Performing Arts Pioneers

By Bro. Todd Le Bon

A scene from the 1940 movie ‘Broken Strings’ starring Bro. Clarence Muse

When we go out to enjoy a movie or a show we often take for granted the sacrifices made in order for blacks to obtain roles in films or on the stage today. Although roles for today’s black artists are not as plentiful as they should be, there are far more opportunities today than existed for a good portion of the twentieth century. There was a time when roles for blacks were very few, and those which did exist were often stereotypical Celebrating 100 Years 1914-2014

and/or demeaning. Not unlike the role Jackie Robinson played in breaking the color barrier, in modern day baseball, it would take special individuals to meet the challenges of the day in the entertainment industry. These men and women were forced to endure a host of challenges in order to open doors and expand the opportunities available to blacks in the industry. Today’s artists owe a debt of gratitude to these pioneers. They OUR CAUSE • SP2014



should build on the strength and sacrifices made by these men and women as they work to create more opportunity for the future. Two of those early pioneers are our very own, Brothers Clarence Edouard Muse and Lawrence Whisonant Winters. These men were part of a group of black artists who “set the stage” in the industry for those that followed.

Fighting For The Arts Clarence Edouard Muse was born in Baltimore, MD to Alexander Muse and Mary Sales on October 14, 1889. Muse earned his degree in International Law, from the Dickinson School of Law in 1911. He was one of the first blacks to graduate from the institution. He would later receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the Dickinson School of Law in 1978. Due to the lack of opportunities for blacks at the time he did not purse a career in law. Muse became involved in the performing arts. During a long career as an actor, director, composer and screenwriter he appeared in over 200 films and was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1973. Much of his time was spent fighting for better roles and an equal working environment for blacks in the industry.



Early in his career Muse performed across the East Coast with his second wife Ophelia. They established the Muse Pugh Stock Company with partner Willard Pugh, which later became the Crescent Players. They performed in theaters all over Harlem, including the Franklin Theater and Crescent

Muse had a difficult time playing the stereotypical roles they were offering him during his early film career. Playing a concert violinist in Broken Strings, a remake of The Jazz Singer, was a break from those types of roles. Some of Muse’s many films include: Huckleberry Finn, Broken Strings, Way

These men were forced to face discrimination, closed doors and other issues of the day to practice their craft. Theater, before merging with the Lincoln Players and moving to the Lincoln Theater. They joined the Lafayette players in 1916, with Muse becoming the leading dramatic actor. In 1920 he became the founding director of the Delsarte Film Corporation, a black independent film company. Muse and Ophelia did their last performance together in 1922. Shortly after, he moved to Chicago, IL. While in Chicago he continued to produce and direct until receiving an offer to do a film in Hollywood. In 1929, Fox Film Corporation offered him a role in Hearts of Dixie, only the second film to have talking. He would spend the remainder of his life in California.


Down South, Porgy and Bess, Car Wash and The Black Stallion. The Black Stallion was his last film, which was released in New York on October 13, 1979. Muse was an active member of the fraternity while living in California. He served as the Vice President of the Western Region, which would later become the position of Regional Director. He was also very involved in the community of Perris Valley, CA where he lived during his later years. He regularly attended city council meetings and demanded his concerns were addressed. He fought hard for the community arts and senior-citizen issues. Muse died October 13, 1979, one day shy of his 90th birthday.


Howard To Hamburg

with the Royal Swedish Opera (1950-1952) and the Hamburg State Opera (1952-1957), before Lawrence Whisonant becoming a principal baritone with the Deutsche Winters, opera baritone, Oper Berlin. In 1957 he did his first performance concert singer and actor; was with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra born on November 12, 1915 in singing selections from operas. Kings Creek, South Carolina. In 1960 Winters appeared on Broadway in The He began singing as a boy in the Long Dream, in the role of Tyree Tucker, one church choir, and later studied of his few non-singing roles. He was nominated singing privately. Winters for a Tony Award for his performance. In 1961 entered Howard University he returned to the Hamburg State Opera as a in 1941 with the intentions of studying law. He principal baritone. His final performance with the was interested in music, but it was something he NYCO would be in the role of Porgy in 1962. did on the side. Mary Lorraine Europe, sister Winters died on September 24, 1965, at the age of James Reese Europe one of the most famous of 50. Winters is buried at the Ohlsdorf Cemetery band leaders of his time; recognized the talent he in Hamburg, Germany. Today he is viewed as possessed and encouraged him to pursue music as part of an instrumental group of performers who a career. Mary Europe was a former teacher of his helped break down the barriers of racial prejudice and early member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. * in the opera world. At Howard he studied music under baritone These men were forced to face discrimination, Robert Todd Duncan, and would later change his closed doors and other issues of the day to practice major to music. After graduating from Howard their craft. However, they did it with grace and he began singing with the Eva Jessye Choir. dignity, earning the respect of the industry and He would later join the U.S. Armed Forces and the public along the way. Their example should became musical director in the Special Services be acknowledged and cherished by blacks in Division at Fort Huachuca. the industry today as they work to increase our After World War II he moved to New York presence in the industry, and open more doors for City where he began performing in the Broadway the future. musical revue Call Me Mister. His first role with NOTE: Dr. Norman Towels in collaboration with the New York City Opera (NYCO) would be in the African American Historical Society of Riverside, 1948 as Amonasro, in Verdi’s Aida. The NYCO California are in the process of raising $30k to honor was one of the few American opera companies Bro. Clarence Muse with a star on the Hollywood employing blacks at the time. He played several Walk of Fame in 2015. If you are interested in this more roles with the NYCO over the next seven effort, please contact Dr. Towels at 951.318.1729 or via years, while also touring in Europe, Central email at betasigma7@msn.com. America and the US Virgin Islands as a concert artist. In 1951 Winters became the first black * From Soror Tilu Khalayi’s book, “Finer Women: The Birth of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, 1920opera singer to perform a title role with the 1935.” NYCO, when he appeared in Verdi’s Rigoletto. He would also sing the role of Porgy, opposite Camilla Williams’s Bess, in the most complete recording of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess made up to that time. Winters would go on to perform

Celebrating 100 Years 1914-2014




Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Eastern Region Publicity Committee 200 Nutmeg Lane #219 East Hartford, CT 06118






Wed. July 16 • Welcome Reception • Collegiate Summit • Opening Ceremony

Thurs. July 17 • Centennial Monument Unveiling at Howard University • Founder Taylor Gravesite Memorial • Centennial Step Show

Sigma Museum

Fri. July 18 • Rededication & Omega Chapter Ceremony • Sigma-Zeta Breakfast • Legends Roundtable

Chapter Displays

Sat. July 19 • Family & Legacy Brunch • A. Philip Randolph Unity March • Grand Orchid Ball

Sigma Marketplace

Sun. July 20 • Ecumenical Service

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