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PUBLISHER’S PAGE OMEGA CHAPTER
CANDIDATE Mary Breaux Wright wants to lead Zeta Phi Beta to infinity and beyond
IMAGE | Omega Psi Phi Archive
IMAGE | Fall 2011 Initiates
The best exercises for your heart
38. ENTERTAINMENT Aaron Arnold from assistant to CEO
Stephanie Tubbs Jones
16. IMAGE | MLK Monument 18. LAW & GOVERNMENT Zeita Merchant is blazing new trails
Lional Dalton goes from NFL star to busi- ness owner
IMAGE | Sweethearts
Ter-oganessian and the power of friend ship
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
IMAGE | Kappa Alpha Psi Archive
Scholarship and the lack of a BGLO “Intellectual community”
IMAGE | A Taste of Blu Tuesday
IMAGE |Class of 2011
The Upsilon Psi Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta
Sonia Jackson Myles & the power of Relationships and networking
Ed The Sports Fan
Sherwin Bryant & the legacy of education
IMAGE | Miseducation of Black Greeks
IMAGE | Syleena Johnson Live
CULTURE Latesha Dejean talks Yoga
The Mu Iota Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta
Shane & Shawn, The Shoe Guys
IMAGE | Phi Beta Sigma Conclave
Marissa Ross is the Cover Girl
IMAGE | Alpha Phi Alpha Convention
PUBLISHER’S PAGE UNITED WE STAND
his year members and friends of Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi gathered in Indiana and Washington, D.C. by the thousands to celebrate the historic milestone of 100 years of brotherhood and community service. Also 2011 held national conventions for Alpha Phi Alpha in Chicago, Phi Beta Sigma in Atlanta as well as Iota Phi Theta in Boston. In other words, this was a very busy and eventful fraternal year. I had the honor and privilege to attend and cover the Alpha convention in my home town and developed some great relationships as a result. As you look through the photos from these events, you see a common theme- Greek unity. We also saw the Martin Luther King, Jr. monument dedicated on the National Mall in DC. I’ve seen hundreds of photos of Greeks out and about on Facebook and Twitter supporting the monument as well as the life and impact of Alpha Frater Martin Luther King, Jr. Director George Lucas saw his dream of telling the story of the courageous 332nd Fighter Group and 477th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps, more widely known as the Tuskegee Airmen come to the big screen with his move “Red Tails”. In true Progressive Greek fashion, we came out in numbers supporting Black History as well as the many members of our fraternities who were also members of this elite group. My inbox was filled with photos from Greeks around the country at the screenings and showings supporting the event with their letters and colors prominently displayed.
Visiting the FBS Epsilon Xi Chapter (Univ. of Illinois) house in Champaign, IL
Kevin L. Davis President
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. ‘02
With the rise of social media and social networking, it’s clear that we are embracing Greek life outside of our own organizations and the world notices this. When we show the slightest division, that wipes away years of progress and relationships- but as a true family, “The Lord knows our hearts” Members of the NPHC Greek community came out in numbers supporting the accomplishments and accolades of organizations other than their own. I can say, I’ve never been more proud of this level of support across all nine organizations. I am excited about 2012 with Zeta Phi Beta’s Boule’ in my neck of the woods as well as awesome events in the works with Amber Pratcher of www.realzetas.com. I am also eagerly awaiting the launch Progressive Greek University this year, headed by Alpha Frater Charles Davis. Fraternally Submitted,
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THE TEAM BOARD OF DIRECTORS Kevin Davis | President Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. email@example.com Quinne Lowe | Vice President Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org Charles Davis | Dir. of Progressive Greek University Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. email@example.com
PROGRESSIVEGREEK volume II, issue I
Erika Taylor | Dir. of Professional Development Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org Ruth Davis | Copy Editor Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. email@example.com
PUBLISHER Crush Media Group www.crushmediagroup.com
Toni Howard |Dir. of Strategic Partnerships Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org
Progressive Greek Media is a division of Crush Media Group, LLC. www.progressivegreek.com
WRITING TEAM Jamal Wilburg | Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. email@example.com
General information & submissions firstname.lastname@example.org
Chanel Ellis | Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. email@example.com
Event submissions firstname.lastname@example.org
Kahlila Alexander | Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. email@example.com
313.447.1488 Chicago, IL
Amber Pratcher | Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org Khashan Poitier |Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. email@example.com
Vera Smith -Winfree | Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Vera1913@progressivegreek.com twitter.com/progreekmag
CONSULTANTS Zeta Soror Deborah Anderson Black Unlimited | South Korea Delta Soror Dominique Hayes Pittsburgh, PA Zeta Soror Kendall Ridley Element K Creative | Atlanta, GA
linkedin.com/groups/Progressive-Greek-2185268 DISCLAIMER: Progressive Greek Media is not affiliated with nor endorsed by the National Pan-Hellenic Council and its member organizations. PGM is an independent publication powered by volunteers with a passion for Progressive Greekdom. All images are copy written and/or trademarked by their respective owners. Happy reading!
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P H O T O G R A P H Y
813-335-1914 WWW.HANKERSONPHOTOGRAPHY.COM Weddings, Sweet 16, Events, Real Estate, Conferences, Parties, Sports & More Greek Chapter Photos 150 With 16X20 Print
Steven Agee II, 22 Kappa Alpha Psi
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Dr. Arthur Jefferson, 85 Phi Beta Sigma
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Alvider Burgess Zeta Phi Beta
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Dovely Magazine For Zetas. By Zetas.
Read issues of Dovely at
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The Best Exercises For Your Heart (BlackDoctor.org) -- Whether you’ve gone for a run, a swim, and hit the weights, your body let’s you know that you’ve gotten in a good workout. But... can you feel what else you’ve worked like your heart? Any time you exercise and raise your heart rate, you’re helping yourself get healthier. Different types of exercise help your heart: 1. Aerobic exercise 2. Strength-training exercises 3. Yoga or Pilates classes How Aerobics Strengthens Your Heart You may already know that aerobic exercise does the most to strengthen your heart and reduce the risk of heart disease. “Aerobic exercise provides the best reduction of cardiovascular risk and has been studied extensively for its effects,” says Alfred Bove, MD, PhD, professor emeritus at the Temple University School of Medicine and past president of the American College of Cardiology. “Regular aerobic exercise reduces risk of sudden death from heart disease, improves outcomes from heart surgery, and lowers overall risk of heart disease.” Aerobic exercise is any type of physical activity that increases your heart rate — think of exercises like running, brisk walking, biking, and swimming.
Beyond Aerobic Exercise Is aerobic exercise and an increased heart rate all you need for a healthy heart and to prevent heart disease? Not necessarily. To get the greatest benefits for your heart, it’s a good idea to incorporate strength training into your exercise routine. First of all, strength training offers benefits for health and well-being. “Resistance exercise provides benefits such as better bone strength, better balance, and some improvements in aerobic capacity,” says Dr. Bove. Strength training helps you stay leaner, and maintaining a healthy body weight is crucial for a healthy heart and to prevent heart disease. Strength training may also have more benefits than once thought. Studies are now showing that strength training may directly improve cardiovascular health, helping to strengthen the heart. One small study conducted by researchers at the West Virginia University School of Medicine found that including weight lifting in an exercise routine helped to lower LDL, or bad, cholesterol levels by as much as 5 percent. The American Heart Association now recommends strength training as another form of exercise to help prevent heart disease and as a part of cardiac rehabilitation for those who have had a heart attack. In addition to aerobic and strength exercises, yoga and Pilates classes can help the heart by reducing stress - a major, but often underestimated, contributor to heart disease.
Healthy Heart Exercise: How and When to Work Out For a healthy heart, you should work out for about two and a half hours per week at a moderate intensity. For a greater challenge, you can opt instead for 75 minutes per week at a vigorous pace. Keep in mind that you don’t have to work out so hard that you’re sweating profusely or gasping for breath in order to help prevent heart disease. “Highintensity exercise is not needed to improve heart disease risk,” says Bove. While high-intensity exercise improves overall conditioning and lowers heart risk, exercise at a more moderate intensity will still help to prevent heart disease and strengthen a healthy heart. Not sure when you can fit in an hour or even 30 minutes at a time to exercise? You don’t have to. You can get the same heart-healthy benefits by breaking up your workout into short sessions — 10 minutes here, 15 minutes there. If you’re new to exercise, you can start slowly and gradually build up the time and intensity. -Marcus Williams www.blackdoctor.org
Stephanie Tubbs Jones
Member- U.S. House of Representatives September 10, 1949 –August 20, 2008 Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
tephanie Tubbs Jones was a Democratic politician and member of the United States House of Representatives. She represented the 11th District of Ohio, which encompassesd most of downtown and eastern Cleveland and many of the eastern suburbs in Cuyahoga County. She was the first African American woman to be elected to Congress from Ohio. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Tubbs Jones graduated from the city’s Collinwood High School. She earned an undergraduate degree from Case Western Reserve University, graduating with a degree in Social Work from the Flora Stone Mather College in 1971. In 1974, she earned a Juris Doctor from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law. In November of 1973, she married Mervyn L. Jones, and the two remained married for 27 years until Mervyn’s death in 2003. They have one son, Mervyn Leroy Jones, Jr. Tubbs Jones was elected a judge of the Cleveland Municipal Court (1981) and subsequently served on the Court of Common Pleas of Cuyahoga County (1983–91). In 1990, she ran for Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio replacing Mary Cacioppo, the winner of the Democratic Primary, who withdrew for health reasons. She narrowly lost that race to Republican incumbent J. Craig Wright. She then served as the
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor from 1991 until resigning in early 1999 to take her seat in Congress. In 1998, Tubbs Jones won the Democratic nomination for the 11th District after 30-year incumbent Louis Stokes announced his retirement. This all but assured her of election in the heavily Democratic, black-majority 11th. She was reelected four times with no substantive opposition. Tubbs Jones was a co-chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. She opposed the Iraq war, voting in 2002 against the use of military force. Despite representing a heavily unionized district, she was a strong proponent of free trade. Tubbs Jones most recently took a lead role in the fight to pass the United States – Peru Trade Promotion Agreement in November 2007. In 2005, She was selected by Speaker Nancy Pelosi as chairperson of the House Ethics Committee to watch over the standards of ethical conduct for members of the House. Tubbs Jones was popular in her district, and was routinely reelected against nominal Republican opposition. She received 83.44% of the vote in her final general election in 2006, against Republican Lindsey String. She faced no opposition in the 2008 Ohio Democratic primary.
fered a cerebral hemorrhage due to a burst aneurysm in her brain. Due to hemorrhaging, she remained in unstable and critical condition. Tubbs Jones died August 20th of complications from the brain hemorrhage. Tubbs Jones was a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority. She was actively involved in the National Five Point Thrust Programs of her sorority, particularly Social Action and Political Awareness and Involvement as an integral part of “Delta Days at the Nations Capital”. A special election was ordered by Ohio Governor Ted Strickland for November 18, 2008 to elect a successor to serve out the remainder of her term. Delta Soror, Warrensville Heights Mayor Marcia Fudge, the Democratic nominee, won the election. The $20 million dollar Stephanie Tubbs Jones Transit Center was named in her honor by the Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.
On August 19, 2008, while driving her car, Congresswoman Tubbs Jones suf-
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IMAGE | FALL 2011
Phi Beta Sigma • Beta Epsilon Chapter Langston University
Zeta Phi Beta • Epsilon Kappa Chapter Purdue University
Alpha Kappa Alpha • Epsilon Sigma Chapter Texas A&M University- Commerce
Delta Sigma Theta • Mu Theta Chapter Lewis University
Alpha Phi Alpha • Delta Eta Chapter Savannah State University
Zeta Phi Beta • Omega Pi Chapter Vanderbilt University
Sigma Gamma Rho • Gamma Omega Chapter Michigan State University
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Sigma Gamma Rho • Alpha Upsilon Chapter Fisk University
Iota Phi Theta • Gamma Omicron Chapter University of Florida
Phi Beta Sigma • Upsilon Chapter Chicago, IL
Zeta Phi Beta • Sigma Epsilon Chapter University of Central Florida
Alpha Phi Alpha • Epsilon Eta Chapter Eastern Michigan University
Phi Beta Sigma • Gamma Beta Chapter Alabama State University
Kappa Alpha Psi • Alpha Pi Chapter Virginia State University
IMAGE | TRIBUTE
세밀하게 여성을 뜻하는 *Finer Womanhood in Korean
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urricane force winds and a three month delay could not dampen the spirits of thousands of attendees to the dedication of the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial on October 16th, 2011. President Barack Obama was on hand to speak to an array of political dignitaries, civil rights leaders and citizens, all who came to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King. Conceived some twenty-seven years ago, the memorial project came to fruition under the leadership of Harry E. Johnson, 31st General President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. In his role as President of the Martin Luther King Memorial Foundation, Johnson raised nearly $110 Million of the $120 Million needed to complete the project. Dr. King, was a 1952 initiate of the Sigma Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. while pursuing his Doctoral Studies at Boston University. The mission statement of the memorial is To commemorate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by leading a collaborative funding, design, and construction process in the creation of a memorial to honor his national and international contributions to world peace through non-violent social change. -Charles Davis firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: White House Photography President Barack Obama and daughter Malia visit the MLK Monument
LAW & GOVERNMENT
G N I S Z L A I L A B R T W E N L
Delta Soror Lt. Commander Zeita Merchant took the road less traveled and is blazing new trails in the U.S. Coast Guard
ieutenant Commander Zeita Merchant joined the Coast Guard in 1997 and today serves as one of the Coast Guard’s senior African –American female officers. LCDR Merchant has more than 14 years of active duty, and is recognized as an expert in the marine safety and environmental field. She has been honored with numerous professional, academic, and community service awards, including her recent selection to receive the 2011 Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) STEM K-12 Promotion of Education Award, the 2010 Annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge Legends HBCU Trailblazer Award and the 2010 Coast Guard Award for Excellence in Diversity.
Born in Chicago and raised in Jackson, MS, Lt. Cmdr. Merchant is a graduate of Tougaloo College, and holds a Master of Quality Systems Management from the National Graduate School as well as an MPA in Environmental and Emergency Management from the Trachtenberg School. She recently earned her doctorate degree, graduating from The National Graduate School’s Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program. Dr. Merchant is a passionate volunteer in her community, inspiring young people to explore careers in the
fields of science, technology, mathematics and engineering. Dr. Merchant, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., (Gamma Psi, ’95) discusses her journey with Progressive Greek . PG: What motivated you to pursue a career in the U. S. Coast Guard? LCDR Merchant: My decision to go in the Armed Forces was a very hard decision as a junior in college. Since I could remember, I always wanted to be a doctor. As I excelled through school [however], the type of doctor I wanted to be just kept getting more complicated. While majoring in Biology Pre-Medicine at Tougaloo College, my goals and aspirations shifted. Having never missed a day from kindergarten to 12th grade, and being “student class president” this and “Miss Debutante” that, I was totally burned out. My drive came from wanting to take advantage of the opportunities my parents did not have. I wanted to be what they could not be, and do what they were not allowed to do. While doing all this, I realized I was doing what was expected of me, but not necessarily what I wanted to do. The one constant thing in my life that I loved doing was to serve.
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The military was by no means a cop out for me instead it was more of a strategic decision. I was still an honor student at Tougaloo when I decided to shift my focus. I was going against the grain and doing a 180 degree turn from what was expected of me. With a strong faith in God, I had the courage to take the road less traveled. I applied for a scholarship program with the Coast Guard now called the College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative, where I received free tuition, free books, free medical and dental benefits, and a monthly stipend of over $2200. It was a hard decision but it was one of the best decisions of my life. My senior year was a breeze. I no longer had to work two jobs, had no student loans, and most importantly, I had a guaranteed job after graduation. Now, almost 15 years later, I am one of a handful of senior African-American female officers in the Coast Guard experiencing historic and monumental opportunities of a life time.
PG: Who is your inspiration? LCDR Merchant: My parents. I come from very humble beginnings. My grandfathers were sharecroppers and my grandmothers were maids. Both of these professions were ‘passed down’ to my parents. I am speechless and amazed when my mother tells me stories of working on a plantation for two dollars a day picking cotton, and only, if she were lucky enough to pick 100 pounds. As a young girl, she could only go to school in the winter or when it rained. Despite her circumstances, she graduated from high school. She was able to stop working on the plantation once she got married at the age of 20. My father worked as a sharecropper growing up and as a kid, he was only allowed to complete the eighth grade. Growing up in rural Mississippi, they didn’t have options or opportunity. Yet they knew they wanted a different life for their children. Their resiliency inspires me to achieve above and beyond what is expected.
PG: What are you most proud of as you serve in the Armed Forces? LCDR Merchant: I am most proud to be able to represent my Sorority and African-American women in the Armed Forces. We all have amazing stories to tell and if I can just motivate one other sister to step out on faith at that fork in the road, I have done my job. Despite my decisions in life, I still reached my initial goal, but on a whole other level! In addition to being a senior officer in the Coast Guard, I was able to obtain my doctorate in June of this year. It may not be the type of doctor I had dreamed about when I as a kid, but at the end of the day, I am still Dr. Zeita Merchant. I encourage young Sorors to make smart decisions and to take advantage of unique opportunities. -Vera Smith-Winfree email@example.com
IMAGE | BATTLE OF THE GREEKS STEP SHOW Eta Nu Chapter Selected Omega Psi Phi 7th District Chapter of the Year The Forum at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) The crowd waited anxiously for the scores to be announced served as the stage for the annual Battle of the Greeks Step Show. The show consisted of six acts by the Delta Xi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Alpha Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta, Beta Nu Chapter of Iota Phi Theta, Joliet Area South Suburban Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Epsilon Xi Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma and Omega Psi Phi. A packed house watched as six teams battled it out for bragging rights on the stage, but only two winners were crowned.
after the show. In the end, Phi Beta Sigma and Delta Sigma Theta took top honors at the step show. Show creator and member of Phi Beta Sigma, Rasheed Howard used this year’s show as a platform to increase the awareness of HIV/AIDS in the community by providing free testing for over 1,000 responsible college students and adults. Photography: Sigma Frater Kevin Davis | Crush Media Group
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AWARDS & RECOGNITION Sigma Frater Jonathan Solomon Named National Greek All-Star the latest accolade an extension of the honor named to the chapter earlier this year. “I don’t see this is as a victory for me, but as a win for the chapter,” Solomon said. “We weren’t doing so great a few years ago, and now we have come a long way in becoming one of the better chapters in the nation.”
It has been a whirlwind year for Langston University’s Jonathan Solomon since he first pledged to be a member of Phi Beta Sigma during the fall semester of 2010. A week after being accepted as a member, he was voted in as President. Then, the chapter was named the International Collegiate Model Chapter of the Year in the spring semester, and this fall Solomon himself was named a 2011 National Greek All-Star. Solomon, who is president of the Beta Epsilon chapter of Phi Beta Sigma, said he was most proud of the award being a reflection of the work the entire chapter had done over the course of the past several months. He said he considered
Solomon was selected from millions of entries worldwide and was one of only 24 student Greek-letter organization members selected. The National Greek Fraternity and Sorority Awards is the national standard for academic, community service, positive organization involvement, performance prowess, and career excellence and achievement within the Greek fraternity and sorority world. Community service was one of the main reasons Solomon said he believes he was selected for the honor. He pointed to the partnership the fraternity had with Omega Psi Phi and Collegiate Outreach in providing food to the homeless as just one of the many new initiatives the Greek organization has participated in to help in the community.
Another new initiative – Sigma Saturdays – is a partnership with Marcus Garvey Leadership Charter School in Oklahoma City in which members of Phi Beta Sigma help mentor kids at the K-8 school while building lifelong relationships. “We really wanted to be able to do more in terms of working with the community and these initiatives were ways we could achieve growth as a chapter while also helping others,” Solomon said. The personal achievement for Solomon followed the naming of the chapter as the International Collegiate Model Chapter of the Year at the Fraternity’s 97th International Conclave. That distinction was awarded to the collegiate chapter that demonstrated the highest level of commitment to the organization’s cardinal principals – brotherhood, scholarship and service. For Solomon, they all go hand-in-hand with the overall goals of the chapter. And for the Beta Epsilon Chapter that has been around since 1947, the awards are the start of what is expected to be a trend in making a difference.
Knoxville Alumni Alphas Receive Outstanding Alumni Chapter of the Year Award The Alpha Mu Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. won the 2011 Outstanding Alumni Chapter of the Year Award at its district convention in Johnson City. The Knoxville chapter has been in existence since 1930. The criteria for the award is based on fraternity and community service, as well as developing programs and activities to promote education and awareness
on several causes in the Knoxville area, including voter’s education, Go To High School Go To College and Project Alpha. The chapter will represent the Tennessee District at the regional Alpha Phi Alpha convention in Columbia, S.C., in March. For more information, visit http://alphamulambda.com.
THE ARCHIVE | KAPPA ALPHA PSI
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GOING HARD IN THE DIGITAL PAINT Eddie “Ed The Sports Fan” Maisonet shares his love for all sports, one post at a time.
inding a sports blog that is original, thought provoking, innovative, and interesting can be quite a task these days. It’s hard to find a blog that speaks to the emotion of how true fans feel about their favorite sports, teams, and athletes.
Kenny Masenda, the co-editor of Ed the Sports Fan also shared some of the personal rewards that come with a successful sports blog. “It has allowed me to travel to places like New York to write about stuff that I would do for free,” Masenda said.
If you have been searching for such a site, search no more.
The future for Ed the Sports Fan is looking very promising. “The sky’s the limit it’s really just up to where we want it to go. As long as we continue to have fun with it Thanks to Eddie Maisonet and his site www.edthes- and remember why we did it in the first place,” Masenda portsfan.com, fans have a way to find passionate and said in response to where the site can grow in the future. quality sports articles. Maisonet is the founder and coeditor of Ed The Sports Fan, a blog that was created in On November 11, 2011 Ed the Sports fan evolved to the 2008 which focused on his personal musings and rants Sports Fan Journal (www.thesportsfanjournal.com), an about any and everything revolving around sports. online editorial blog that focuses on a sports fan’s perspective from across the country. It will feature writers The Fall 2003 initiate of Alpha Phi Alpha (Beta Kappa from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds as well Chapter, Langston University), said he has always been as some female writers. motivated to write and has been a sports fan since a very young age. Following the 2008 BCS Championship and -Jamal Wilburg Super Bowl he decided to turn his passion and talents firstname.lastname@example.org into his very own sports blog. When asked what about sports he enjoys most Maisonet replied, “Sports is the ultimate reality television show invoking all of the human emotions with its comedy, drama, and action.”
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IMAGE | CLASS OF 2011
Aislinn Herrera, B.A. Louisiana State University
Courtney Patterson, M.A. Northwestern University
Undergraduate & Graduate Degree Recipients University of Washington in Seattle
F. Michelle Richardson, PhD University of New Mexico
Shari Bridges, Robert Taylor and Andria Morman Appalachian State University
Eric Wilson, Sr., MBA University of Texas at San Antonio
Masters of Social Work Graduates Wayne State University
Wayne Morris, Steven Crawford and Brian Richardson Culver-Stockton College
Jason Ellis, B.S.E. University of Connecticut
The Legacy of Education Omega Frater Sherwin Bryant | Assistant Professor, Northwestern University Department of African-American History
herwin Bryant’s foundation was planted in knowledge and has matured into the academia of others. Today, Sherwin Bryant serves as an assistant professor for Northwestern University’s Department of African American Studies and History. He is an author and recipient of numerous awards, including the Institute Fellow from the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities. However, it is Bryant’s vertebrae that sustains a legacy of education. Growing up in rural North Carolina, Bryant witnessed the positive influences of his father and both of his grandfathers. These impressions lasted with Bryant, cultivating what he interpreted as manhood.
“My dad was always seen working or reading,” Bryant said confidently. “Hard working, well groomed, well spoken all represented manhood. Manhood was a part of my foundation.”
became inspired to share this knowledge with others.
Though Bryant’s father never attended college, higher learning was always presented and encouraged in his household. Bryant attended North Carolina Central University, becoming a first generation college graduate.
As an undergrad, Bryant was also inspired to join a fraternity that mirrored the manhood he witnessed from his father as a boy. Drawn to the organization’s legacy and its four Cardinal Principles of manhood, scholarship, perseverance and uplift, Bryant became a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. during the Spring of 1992.
While at North Carolina Central, Bryant studied history and took a Latin American class that encouraged him to teach. After learning of the intense black heritage in places like Peru and Bolivia, Bryant realized a world of people like himself existed beyond America’s deep south and
“I wanted to be a part of Omega’s luminaries like Langston Hughes, Charles Drew and Vernon Jordan,” explained Bryant. Bryant’s personal luminaries that inspired his walk with Omega included Dean of Students Dr. Eugene Yves and
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Director of Music Dr. Charles Gilcrest, both from his alma mater of North Carolina Central. Inspiration continued as Bryant furthered his education and career receiving both Masters and PhD from The Ohio State University and completing his dissertation fellowship at Notre Dame. He taught at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio prior to his current teaching status at Northwestern. Bryant enjoys teaching, but his enjoyment is so much more. “It’s not about the teaching,” affirms Bryant. “It’s about the life of the mind.” Bryant hopes to build a better society through his teaching of African American Studies with emphasis upon Latin America and the Diaspora of the slave trade. His teaching has allowed research travel to Spain, Ecuador, Columbia and Peru with hopes to “inspire young minds to do the same kind of work.”
Not every young person’s foundation mirror the likes of Bryant’s early upbringing, yet he shares inspiring words that will mature productive results. “Read as much as you can,” Bryant instructs. “Be curious. There’s a teacher that will take you seriously if you take yourself seriously. Something has to be inside of you. You have to believe in yourself.” Bryant is the co-author of Anthology: Africans to Spanish America (University of Illinois Press, Forthcoming 2012), and currently completing his book, Rivers of Gold, Sweet Valleys and Squalid Cities: Slavery in Colonial Quito, 18th Century. -Chanel Ellis email@example.com
Sonia Jackson Myles shares the importance of building relationships, one woman at a time
successful corporate executive and thought leader on diversity issues, Sonia Jackson Myles was named one of Essence magazine’s 25 Women of Power in 2008, selected as a History Maker by Bloomberg News in 2009, and inducted into the FAMU School of Business & Industry’s Hall of Fame in 2011. Myles is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the founder / author of The Sister Accord, The Promise that Will Transform Your Life! ™ In response to an invitation to speak at an inaugural event for President Obama, Myles penned “The Sister Accord,” a resolution to inspire girls and women to have positive relationships with one another. Myles credits her mother for showing her at an early age what it meant to be a true friend. “With 20+ years of mentoring and coaching, I heard stories that really concerned me. Some women would say their past experiences had been so negative they had given up on positive relationships with women. My response would be ‘you are missing out on such a rich experience by not nurturing these relationships.’ I love my husband with all my heart, but there are some things only a good girlfriend can get you through.”
In response to requests from women on ways to enhance their relationships with other women, Myles is publishing The Sister Accord: 51 Ways to Love Your Sisters. “Think about the impact we can have when we come together and support one other!” exclaims Myles. “My oldest son recently said, ‘Mom, you need to tell every girl and woman you see about The Sister Accord.’ I thought, ‘here is a 15 year-old boy that understands the positive impact even in his peer group.’ I was so proud.” Myles’ Sister Accord Foundation has three global areas of focus: educating girls and women, enlightening them on the POWER of Sisterhood, and eradicating bullying and violence against them. “I am crazy enough to think I can have a positive impact on the world. I pray other women and men alike will live their purpose and do the same.” For more, visit www.thesisteraccord.com. -Kahlila Alexander firstname.lastname@example.org
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IMAGE | MISEDUCATION OF BLACK GREEKS TOUR
The Harbour Institute lead by Omega Frater Rasheed Cromwell hosted the inaugural Miseducation of Black Greeks Road Trip Tour in the fall of 2011 on the campus of Howard University. The tour is designed to address the myriad of challenges facing Black Greek members and their advisors as well as the following: • Educate individuals and entities with a comprehensive and holistic education about Divine Nine organizations. • Evaluate issues and concerns that impact Divine Nine organizations, their members, and individuals that work directly with them • Empower individuals and entities with skills, short/ long-term solutions, and strategies to promote positive change so that their respective communities can be effectively served. www.theharborinstitute.com/mbgroadtrip/ Photography: Alpha Frater Jarrad Henderson
IMAGE | SYLEENA JOHNSON Hot on the heels of the release of “Chapter V: Underrated,” Soror Syleena Johnson, a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. (Lambda Epsilon ‘96), hit the road on tour promoting her latest masterpiece. Syleena performed before a packed house full of supporters in her home town at The Shrine in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood. Many members of the Greek community showed up in support of Syleena, and shouted their organization’s calls as she displayed her sorority hand sign, the “kitty” during a thank you session between songs. Legendary musicians such as Norman Connors and R. Kelly were in attendance as fans were treated to new releases as well as classic titles. Photography: Sigma Frater Kevin Davis | Crush Media Group
Syleena and her mother, Brenda Thompson
Ready to sign autographs after the show
Packed house at the Shrine
Syleena with Zeta Soror Robbin Lewis and Sigma Fraters Kenneth Bloodsaw, Kevin Davis and Marcus Chavers
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namaste! Sigma Gamma Rho Soror Latesha Dejean proves Yoga is more than relaxation and stretching.
or Sigma Gamma Rho Soror Latesha Dejean, Yoga is much more than simple stretches and poses. To her, the practice is a way of life and a means to escape the troubles of the world and help others find their own sense of serenity. Yoga first entered her life for a semester when she was in school as a means to unwind from the mental pressure of school, family, and work can bring. She feels that anyone interested in Yoga should give it a try without any preconceived expectations. “Listen to your body & be safe and smile, enjoy your practice and bring positive energy to yourself and the universe,” she said. “It will be so much better if you just let go of anything you are holding on to and just laugh or cry, whatever expression you think will help you enjoy it and get through it.” People shouldn’t get discouraged from Yoga because they don’t see themselves as young and flexible. Latesha made a point that anyone can practice. “There is a 90+ year old yogi named Tao Porchon-Lynch that I was blessed to take a work-
shop with,” Latesha said. “Age, flexibility and level of fitness doesn’t matter, it is about intention and heart. I wasn’t very fit when I started so that can come in time. So don’t worry about age, flexibility or fitness and just approach it with an open mind & heart and unwavering spirit!” She credits many former teachers with influencing her as she developed from student to teacher. However Yoshio Hama and Charles Wharton stood out to her since they both knew how to challenge her and continue to take her practice to a higher level. For those interested in her classes she is currently scheduled at Excel Yoga (Bronx) and Bamboo Moves Forest Hills (Queens) for children’s classes. On December 23rd, she became listed on Living Yoga’s (Queens) schedule. She is also on the sub list for all three studios where she occasionally teaches adult classes. The three studio websites are: www.myexcelyoga.com, www.bamboomovesfh.com & www.mylivingyoga.com -Jamal Wilburg email@example.com
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Mary Breaux Wright
Mary Breaux Wright wants to be the next International Grand Basileus of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and she’s not afraid to ruffle a few feathers. 34 PROGRESSIVEGREEK | WI ‘12
ary Breaux Wright may be slated as a candidate for the highest office in Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., but her heart is slated for the love of her Sisterhood. Representing the Southern Region (Texas and Louisiana), Wright has served as Louisiana State Director and Regional Director of the Southern Region. She also worked as Chairperson of the Regional Directors. Adding to her Zeta resume, Wright has held positions on the Sorority’s national level for the past 20 years including Director of Protocol under the administration of Dr. Barbara West Carpenter. However, Wright’s beginnings in Zeta began in 1969 on the campus of Grambling State University. She noticed the sisterly friendships with Zeta, which made her want to join. Combining the Sorority’s campus presence with that of the organization’s brothers, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Wright realized this was the place she wanted to be. “When you see all of us with the blue and white, it’s registered to you that we’re all sisters and brothers,” Wright confirms.
her to pursue the Office of International Grand Basileus. She is ready to take Zeta to the next level, defining leadership.
tive communication. Her leadership goals will be complete with her action to effectively inform the Sorority’s membership.
“A leader has to be accessible, dedi- “Communication needs to be made cated, knowledgeable and have that in a timely manner,” says Wright. experience,” Wright says with confi- “And it needs to be made frequently.” dence. This effective communication plan In addition, Wright desires to pro- is listed on Wright’s platform. She vide an environment that allows the wants to continue the policy of reSorority’s members to play an active porting to the membership of all role. Under her administration, Ze- Sorority matters, including mainta’s collegiate and alumnae member- taining its transparency of all fiscal ship are essential. Her goals include management. Wright’s views on efincreasing membership training, fective communication mirrors her to encouraging the transition from stance on her accessibility to sorors. undergraduate to graduate member, She wants to be “a Grand for the soand to educate graduate chapters in rors.” the effective advisement of undergraduate chapters. “I want to be accessible. I want to be able to communicate with the soWright affirmed that “Zeta Phi Beta rors,” explains Wright. “I want them is about the sisterhood and the so- to feel like they can walk up to me at rors are primary.” any time or call me at any time and I will be there for them.” Working with others is also slated on Wright’s leadership agenda. She Other items included on Wright’s is focused on Zeta partnerships with agenda as Zeta’s Chief Executive Ofthe brothers of Phi Beta Sigma and ficer include training members on other Greek-lettered organizations the definition and consequences of as well as community based part- hazing and working with colleges nerships such as continuing its rela- and universities toward productive tionship with March of Dimes. membership intake processes.
Wright’s foundation of love for Zeta is still prevalent over 40 years later, In her quest to lead the women of convinced this is the right time for Zeta, Wright is animate about effec-
(Cont’d on page 49)
THE ARCHIVE | OMEGA PSI PHI
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fierce marketer, music executive and man of impeccable style, Aaron Arnold is one to watch. This mighty, melodic member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity has always stepped to a different beat. “Growing up, I was in concert choir, my mother was in opera, and my father started the music business program at Kentucky State, so music runs deep.” Faith was instrumental in Arnold’s journey. After leaving a top five global PR/marketing firm to become an unpaid internassistant to Sean “Diddy” Combs, what happened next was fate. Arnold launched MusicIsMyBusiness (MIMB), one of “America’s smartest new companies led by people under 30” according to Inc magazine. MIMB was also nominated by GQ magazine’s “The Gentleman’s Fund” for contributions to the United Nations World Food Program. Arnold appeared on CNN‘s “Young People Who Rock,” which honors people under 30 who impact and inspire the world. In 2010, he was named one of Florida A&M University’s “Top 40 under 40 Alumni.” “At the core, MIMB creates authentic experiences via music that enable us to properly position our content, platforms, and brands,” says Arnold. Thanks to social media, the musical landscape has become fertile ground for independent artists.
HE’S A BUSINESS, MAN!
Omega Frater Aaron Arnold goes from Diddy’s assistant to CEO of his own firm.
This year, MIMB debuted “Run it Back,” a song infused with hip hop and rock, on MTV and the cover of Yahoo! Music with Lady Gaga and other top artists; MIMB was the only independent label. “When they see our video, they can see the diversity of who we are and the energy of the brand. It will always be about giving fans the best experience with a personal touch.” MIMB also consults for brands such as ESPN, Heineken, Billboard magazine, Grammy Winner Bryan-Michael Cox, and MTV’s “Making the Band” Platinum Selling Artist, Danity Kane. On lessons he’s learned the hard way, Arnold laughs, “There are too many to name! Being patient was one. You want to rush everything, but it’s a process. I sacrificed a lot, not knowing when I was going to eat or where I was going to stay, but God rewards you for being faithful to the vision He’s given you.” -Kahlila Alexander firstname.lastname@example.org
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LIONAL DALTON From gridiron to the entrepreneurship, his cause speeds on!
ormer NFL Defensive Tackle Lional Dalton has been often tried and willing to be tried again; he is battle tested and approved. Early in his football career, Lional proved his worthiness as a “big man” standing 6’1 in a land of giants as a starter at Detroit’s Cooley High School football team. Following a stellar career on the grid iron at Cooley, “Jelly Roll” as he is affectionately known by friends and family, took his talents to Eastern Michigan earning three varsity letters as a two-year starter. During his time as an Eagle, Dalton racked up 166 tackles, 4 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. The highlight of his college career was twice earning All Mid- American Conference honors and being selected to play in the Hula Bowl All-Star Game. Dalton also was also involved in cam-
pus life as a 1996 initiate of the Zeta Epsilon Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Dalton, was initiated with fellow EMU football team member, Charlie Batch of the Super Bowl XL and XLIII winning Pittsburgh Steelers. After a dynamic college career, Dalton spent 9 years in the NFL and earned a championship ring with the Super Bowl XXXV winning Baltimore Ravens. He also played with the Broncos, Redskins, Chiefs and Texans before retiring from the league and taking his talents off the field. Dalton says one of his proudest moments was causing NFL rushing legend Barry Sanders of his hometown Detroit Lions to fumble before his friends and family. Never being one to sit still Lional says, “Have a solid back-up plan, have a plan B. This is a short lived career in the
middle of your life. You will have to find something else to do.” These days Dalton stays busy with his non-profit, PowerPlay Sports tackling childhood obesity. He is also sticking his toes into the health and beauty industry, specifically hair care “We [African-Americans] spend a lot of money in the hair industry, but don’t own a lot. I would like to create more jobs in urban communities and bring money back to those communities” says Dalton. When asked what else he would like to do since he’s retired, Dalton says he would like to do more traveling and visit each continent of the world. -Kevin Davis email@example.com
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IMAGE | SWEETHEARTS
Junior Bernadin WYF Tashinea Lee DSQ
Charles Davis AFA LaTrica Best SGR
Mack Washington KAY Michelle Washington DSQ
DeMarris Manns FBS Kennisha Stowe AKA
Kenyon Arthur FBS Kumani Arthur ZFB
Lawrence Manning AFA Shayla Manning AKA
Xavier Durden FBS Nicole Edwards- Durden AKA
Jason Ellis IFQ Christelle Dorcil, Esq. ZFB
Allan Washington, Sr. KAY Jenel Washington DSQ
Chris Scott FBS Monisha Scott SGR
Ron Wilson WYF Annette Wilson SGR
Stephen Whitley FBS Raven Smith DSQ
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DYING TO LIVE The Power of Friendship
orn in Armenia/Russia, Edgar Ter-oganessian (T.O.) came to the U.S. in 1993 after the fall of the USSR. A Mike Tyson fan since the age of five, T.O. learned early what it meant to fight for what you want in life. He fought to attend Florida State University where he played football, pledged Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, earned five championship rings and two degrees. Though the biggest fight of his life was around the corner, he possessed one essential gift: friendship. In 2008, T.O. was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, an extremely rare cancer in adults. He underwent harsh chemo and worked every day, even when weak and burned by radiation, to pay his medical bills. Three years later, after beating it twice, the cancer returned. Without $40K to pay for one of the treatments he needed to live, T.O. emailed chapter brothers with a birthday wish for help.
Junior Bernadin, T.O.’s prophyte, was compelled to do more. “All I could think was ‘That can’t be right! Maybe the doctors misdiagnosed him. Not T.O.” As Technology Manager at the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, GA with a life goal to teach youth to create and sustain technology infrastructures in third world countries like Haiti, Bernadin leveraged his expertise. He created a fund raising page, used social media and tapped his networks. Through the support of friends, fraternity brothers, and strangers, the page has reached $23K in donations. “Success is bringing national attention to T.O.’s story in hopes that he would receive all the support he needs to get healthy,” says Bernadin. “The most rewarding aspect of it all is to know that I am doing God’s work and helping a good friend that is deserving of this support. His ability to remain upbeat
and smile while facing adversity is inspiring.” With no interest in giving up this fight, T.O. has an even greater appreciation for life. He expresses gratitude for friends like Bernadin. “I think that was my first time getting teary eyed in all these years. Friendship is essential to my soul. I invested in friendship and now it’s paying me back.” http://www.giveforward.com/toscancertreatment http://www.facebook.com/FriendsAgainstCancer https://twitter.com/#!/GivingForLife4 -Kahlila Alexander firstname.lastname@example.org
And the Lack of an“Intellectual” BGLO Community By Matthew W. Hughey, PhD and Gregory S. Parks, JD, PhD
ecently, one of the authors of this article was listening to some old school hip hop. Boogie Down Production’s Criminal Minded album was bumping, and on came the lyrics: “The girls look so good but their brain is not ready…” The author chuckled and followedup with, “Black ‘Greeks’ look so good, but their brain is not ready.” Before you get bent out of shape, let us explain. If you were to ask the average Black Greek-Letter Organization (BGLO) member what the greatest challenges facing the organizations are, you would get a host of predictable responses: hazing, reclamation, public image. While each of these are worthy areas of concern, these issues are what we might term, second-order issues, reflecting—or at least exacerbated by first order issues. While
space is too limited for us to analyze each of these first order issues, we take the time to look at one: a paucity of intellectualism within BGLOs qua BGLOs.
mation about BGLOs and analogous organizations can only serve to advance BGLOs. If we may add, that advancement is likely to proceed by leaps and bounds. The problem is, as Dr. Kimbrough ended his post, Back on 1 March 2007, Walter M. “So how do you help someone who Kimbrough, President of Philan- doesn’t know he needs help?” der Smith College, wrote a piece on Black College Wire entitled “Anti- Case in point: about a year ago, there Hazing Conferences Are Fine If was a debate on a list-serve for one Only Students Attended.” What we of the authors of this article’s fratertake away from that piece is simple: nity. While the subject of the debate knowledge is power. In Dr. Kim- eludes us, the debate involved a few brough’s assessment, the knowledge dozen brothers. One of us respondthat BGLO members can gain from ed by highlighting some hard data attending conferences on BGLOs on the particular issue. A brother can make a crucial difference in retorted, sometime later, “How do them helping BGLOs move forward. you expect us to know that!?” That Our assessment is broader in scope was a valid question. The problem than Dr. Kimbrough’s assessment in was, however, that BGLO scholars that piece—that being, we believe, had been increasingly writing about BGLO members’ intellectual con- the topic at issue. A quick trip to sumption of data, facts, and infor- amazon, google.scholar, or the lo-
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cal library yields a treasure trove of research on BGLOs. The facts were available to the brother if he would only … read. The problem is that he, like many BGLO members, wasn’t and probably still isn’t, the slightest bit interested in hard facts, data, and research on BGLOs. In our experience researching and writing about BGLOS since 2003, very few BGLO members want to know anything substantive about BGLOs beyond what they know from experience or learned from their organization’s history book. What’s the rationale behind why they don’t care to know? Some are confident that they know enough based on experience and reading their respective organization’s specific texts. Others are not interested in learning from people who are not members of their respective organization. Still others are not interested in the work of those with academic credentials, which reflects a kind of “philistinesque” logic. Let us be clear: Our point is not that BGLO members are not well-educated or even that they are not intelligent. Rather, our point is that few BGLO members are intellectually curious in a manner that would seek to obtain sources that use sound methodological devices and intellectual traditions that address the complexity of issues confronting BGLOs and the communities they serve. It isn’t so much that BGLO members seem uninterested in reading about BGLOs, it is that BGLO members seem uninterested in reading anything deemed “academic” that speaks to BGLO leadership, organizational politics, organizational identity, organizational economics, and the like—all areas rich with in-
formation about how to make good organizations better. In fact, one of these authors once reached out to all the BGLO members he knew who are professors in various areas of organizational behavior and asked them if their respective organizations had ever solicited their advice, feedback, a white paper, and the like, on how to make their organization better. The answer was a resounding “no.”
ever, must be willing to elect such leadership. Even before that, such potential-leadership must offer itself up to the membership to be elected. Similarly, while such a top-down approach to being fact/data-driven may be useful, a bottom-up process could work just as well, where membership are driven in their decisionmaking and behavior by facts and data. The main cautionary note is that facts and data are a duel-edged sword. BGLOs must be prepared to This is an issue because BGLOs and accept those findings that are laudathe communities they claim to up- tory as well as critical of BGLO. lift have real problems. It’s impossible to effectuate any real change We urge BGLO members to turn to in our communities unless BGLOs the research. Given that “scholarbecome what they were intended ship” is a literal principle of many to be and maximize their capacity. of the Divine Nine organizations, It’s difficult for an organization to this seems apropos. We earnestly maximize its capacity unless it re- believe that if solid research based solves internal issues. And it’s dif- on education, humanities, law, ficult for organization members to and social science becomes a part resolve internal organizational is- of members’ wheelhouse, then we sues until they come to grips with will creep away from our possesthe full range and depth of problems sive investment in treating our orvis-à-vis their organization and pos- ganizations as symbolic assets that sible solutions. This can’t be done credential and legitimate our persoon guesswork or intuition or idio- nas. Instead, we will begin the hard syncratic experience. It has to be work of: (1) truly recognizing our based on hard facts. Turning back strengths and weaknesses; (2) cultito research specifically on BGLOs, vating the volition to shore up those recent years have yielded a number strengths while revising our weakof solutions that have been specified nesses, and; (3) acting upon that or hinted at in the research, which newly found knowledge and collecBGLO members seem to ignore. tive will-power. The question as it pertains to a solution in this regard is a chicken and egg one. Maybe the best solution is for at least one BGLO to have a leader who will take a broad range of facts and data seriously, employ them, and urge the membership to consider those facts and data as they seek to move these organizations forward. Membership, how-
Dr. Matthew W. Hughey is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Mississippi State University. His website is available at: http://mwh163.sociology.msstate.edu/ Dr. Gregory S. Parks is Assistant Professor of Law at Wake Forest University. His website is available at: http://www.gregoryparks.net/
IMAGE | A TASTE OF BLU TUESDAYS Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Iota Nu Sigma Chapter held it’s annual “Taste of Blu Tuesdays” food tasting event at the chic Little Black Pearl Art Gallery in Chicago’s Kenwood neighborhood. Over 150 patrons sampled appetizers, entrees, desserts and drinks from various chefs, caterers as well as Chicago Public Schools students. Proceeds from the event will benefit the chapter’s community outreach and scholarships. Photography: Sigma Frater Kevin Davis | Crush Media Group
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DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC. MU IOTA CHAPTER
he Mu Iota Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated has established itself as a constant philanthropic force serving the University of Central Florida campus and the Orlando community for the last thirty six years. In the absence of any Divine Nine presence on their campus, eleven young women sought to establish what would become the first Black Greek lettered organization—the Mu Iota Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated—at then, Florida Technological University. After reviewing the founding principles of several organizations, the women determined that those of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority most closely aligned with their own beliefs and interests in social action, community service and scholarship. The women promptly met with university representatives to establish an undergraduate chapter representing the Sorority and on May 16,
1975 chartered the Mu Iota Chapter. During the chapter’s Delta Week 2011, The MIDST Adventures of Alexis Redd encouraged students to identify their inner superhero and join forces to defeat heart disease, prejudice and harmful health and sexual habits. Additionally, they also coordinated the Greater Orlando Heart Walk & Heart Reception 3K and raised over $1200. An interactive forum appropriately named “The Dark Side of the Reality” rounded out the week with a discussion on the secret fears college students harbor related to depression, homosexuality, abuse, promiscuity, abortion, and STDs.
ent—are exceeding the standards, leaving a legacy, and taking names. I may be biased, since I am also “Mu Iota Made,” however, as they say, the proof is in the pudding and Mu Iota has thirty-six years of evidence available for the tasting. For more information on the Mu Iota Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated visit: http://www.muiota-dst.org/ Toni Howard email@example.com
Recently, the Chapter’s own, Manica Pierrette, was voted in as the 22nd Southern Region Representative during the Sorority’s 2011 Southern Region Convention. In this role, Pierrette supports 83 collegiate chapters, 211 total chapters, and five states and the Bahamas. These young women—past and pres-
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(Mary Breaux Wright, Con’t from page 35...)
Her love for the Sorority has given her the desire to serve and share with the membership. Wright’s extenWhile Wright’s clearly communicates her future plans sive experience within Zeta has positioned her to be a for her administration, she believes knowing about leader to many. the past will promote success. Previously, Wright was instrumental in the production of Torch Bearers of a Wright highlights, “if you don’t know where you come Legacy, the Sorority’s history book. She worked with from, I can’t see how you can determine where you’re Dr. Lullelia Walker Harrison, the Sorority’s 12th Inter- going.” national Grand Basileus, in this endeavor. During this time, Wright obtained much knowledge obtaining So- Wright comes from a foundation of knowledge and aprority history and learning from Harrison. preciation. Knowing her past predicts a promising future. Wright proudly credits Harrison as her mentor and said that Harrison didn’t prepare her to be a good Grand -Chanel Ellis & Kevin Davis Basileus or a good Regional Director. Harrison prepared Wright to be a good Zeta. Wright’s motto is “a good Zeta is a well informed Zeta”.
ZETA PHI BETA SORORITY, INC. UPSILON PSI ZETA CHAPTER
hen it comes to understanding what makes a graduate chapter a success, Mia Johnson of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc, Upsilon Psi Zeta (Oak Park, MI) knows the formula. As a member of Upsilon Psi Zeta graduate chapter, Mia can talk for hours about her chapter. “Our chapter celebrated its 5th Anniversary on November 15th, 2011 and I was so excited”, Mia shares. With 36 members, the 3rd largest graduate chapter in the area, Upsilon Psi Zeta continues to make its mark. The graduate chapter is becoming well known within the sorority as well as the Greek community for its Black Male Empowerment Calendar which featured accomplished men of the Divine Nine, This upcoming year focuses on “Men of Service.”. Their annual Denim and White party for scholarship has become the “place to be”, and their adopted road (Greenfield Road) stays pristine because of the chapter’s diligence. “My chapter is not so much worried about Stepping and Partying, we focus on events like our annual “Trunk or Treat” Halloween event at the Oak Park Community Center
that attracts kids in a safe environment”, Mia shares. An exciting event Upsilon Psi Zeta hosted was “Meet the Candidate” for Zeta’s International Grand candidate Mary Wright which attracted much attention in the sisterhood with how well it was planned and the support they bestowed to their chosen candidate for the upcoming 2012 National Convention. Quite frankly, the formula of success contains a good amount of old-fashioned pride. Mia is very proud of her “I’m an Oak Part Zeta and I Love UPZ” buttons that chapter members wear while out and about. “We’re not afraid to be different, and I’m excited as a young Soror to be able to do so” Amber Pratcher Amber1920@progressivegreek.com
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SHOE GUYS Omega Fraters Shane and Shawn Ward want you to walk a mile in their shoes.
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hane and Shawn Ward always dreamed of success, and they sought every opportunity to ensure sure their dreams became a reality. The brothers knew they wanted to get out of the rough section of Detroit. Armed with a University of Michigan education, determination, strong business acumen, and the experience of designing shoes for Adidas, Fila & Converse, they were able to do just that. Today, the twins are the designers of Shane&Shawn Shoes, a collection of hip-hop fashion shoes built around the philosophy of creating the ultimate fusion of fashion and comfort. Shane and Shawn are members of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., initiated through Phi Chapter at the University of Michigan in 1994. When asked what attracted them to Omega, both say it was the focus on education which the Omega men demonstrated at the University. Having not been exposed to greek life prior to attending U of M, the twins were impressed by and admired the chapter’s strength and reputation for being good-natured and down-to-earth men. The brothers are especially grateful to their fraternity for its support of their growing enterprise. Although busy with the day-to-day operations of Shane&Shawn, the brothers are proud supporters of the charity foundation, V-Day, an international movement that raises funds and awareness to end violence against women and girls. “From our time at Michigan and being involved in a lot of community service with the fraternity, we have always wanted to continue giving back,” says Shawn. “Being in the fashion industry, there are lot of companies that support cancer and AIDS, so there was no
need for us to go there. After being exposed to acts of domestic abuse,” he continues, “we felt domestic violence was an area that was not getting enough attention from men. There are many organizations that speak directly to women, the victims, but none who really talked to men. We wanted to lend our status to speak to the men, the typical perpetrators of domestic violence, by saying that any abuse, be it verbal or physical, is wrong and should not be tolerated and women should be protected at all times.” Shawn and his brother encourage others to “report any abuse they encounter”. “Teach your sons, nephews, and brothers, to always respect women,” concludes Shawn. Shane and Shawn are not just lending their celebrity to this cause. For each item purchased through their website, shaneandshawn.com, a portion of the proceeds is donated to V-Day. So what’s next for this dynamic duo? The brothers want you to get hyped for 2012. “Outside of us now offering a full line of eye wear, scarves and apparel for men,” says Shane, “we will be launching the same products for women starting in the Fall of 2012.” “We are also collaborating with some really cool athletic and urban brands,” he continues, “that will further allow us to present our unique pointof-view shoes to the public.” Undoubtedly, we can expect great things from these Omega men in 2012. For more information about the Shane&Shawn brand, follow them on Twitter, like them on Facebook or visit their website at www.shaneandshawn. com. -Vera Smith-Winfree firstname.lastname@example.org
IMAGE | PHI BETA SIGMA CONCLAVE
hi Beta Sigma held it’s biennial Conclave in Atlanta, GA July 20-24. The Conclave marked the two year count down to the fraternity centennial. Thousands of Sigmas from domestic and international chapters came to Atlanta for week of brotherhood and business. Gospel singer, Sigma Frater Kurt Carr gave the crowd a soul stirring performance during one of the public meetings. Members of the Atlanta area Greek community came out
two on a mule to support Phi Beta Sigma and welcome them with a little southern hospitality. Members left the conference refreshed and on fire to serve the community. The next Conclave will be held in Philadelphia in 2013. Photography: Kappa Frater Paras Griffin
Bro. Wesley T. Carter was born on August 22, 1907 in Richmond, VA. He is the oldest living Sigma Brother – and he still has been known to attend chapter and state meetings as well as Conclave! On February 18, 1927, Bro. Wesley T. Carter was initiated into the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. via the Lambda Chapter (Virginia Union University). Today, at 104 years old, over 84 years after the then 19-year-old sophomore was initiated in Richmond, Bro. Carter still lives alone and is completely self-sufficient.
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The Cover Girl
Marisa Ross: Professional Makeup Artist PG: What is your favorite type of make up artistry? MR: Fashion is definitely my niche. I’m a color artist and absolutely love to work with vibrant colors to PG: When and where were you initiated into Sigma bring out women’s eyes and skin tones. A lot of people Gamma Rho? shy away from color because they think it makes them MR: Spring 2009 - Theta Alpha Sigma chapter, Hart- look clownish, but in reality it’s usually because they just ford, CT don’t know how to apply it. The brightest blue shadow can look good on any woman if applied properly. PG: When did you fall in love with make-up artistry? MR: I’ve always been really artistic. My mother is a PG: If you could make-up any celebrity, who would it painter and my grandmother is an interior decorator. I be and why? grew up painting and drawing detailed pictures of wom- MR: Kim Kardashian by far. Her facial structure is absoen’s faces and I’ve always been fascinated with color. As lutely symmetrical and her skin is beyond flawless. I got older I started to like makeup even though I was a tomboy growing up. Once I was in college I would do PG: What is your favorite brand of make-up to use? my friends’ makeup when we would all go out and that’s MR: I honestly cannot pick just one but my top choices how I started honing my skills. include Laura Mercier, Nars, MAC, and Makeup Forever. PG: Who are your industry influences? MR: Kevyn Aucoin, Laura Mercier and Francois Nars PG: How can people contact you and see your work? are my three favorite artists. Aucoin for his amazing MR: I’m a full time artist at Elizabeth Arden Red Door highlighting and contouring of the face, Mercier for her Spa in Washington, DC so I can be booked at the spa celebration of every woman’s natural beauty and Nars for all my work. Find us at RedDoorSpas.com. Become for his bold use of color. a fan at www.Facebook.com/MarisaRossBeauty and follow me on Twitter @ItsMarisaRoss. Sigma Gamma Rho Soror Marisa Ross shares her passion and profession in a chat with Progressive Greek.
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IMAGE | ALPHA PHI ALPHA NATIONAL CONVENTION
he 105th Anniversary Convention and 91st General Convention was held June 22-25 at the prestigious Hyatt Hotel in downtown Chicago. Alpha Men and their families from all over the globe traveled to Chicago for a week of brotherhood, service and strategic planning. The Chicago Greek community welcomed the members to the Windy City with open arms. The women of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., greeted convention-goers as they checked into the hotel with warm smiles. “My family now includes the Alpha Convention a part of the family vacation. Chicago Convention is something you will not want to miss. I am bringing the entire family to this convention.” -General President Herman “Skip” Mason, Jr. Photography: Sigma Frater Kevin Davis | Crush Media Group
Bernadette Stanis, of “Good Times” fame was on hand as a vendor and photos.
Members of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., served as greeters for the convention.
58 PROGRESSIVEGREEK |WI ‘12
Progressive Greek Magazine | Winter 2012