Phi Beta Sigma Announces Centennial Week Activities July 16-20, 2014

by LP Green, II

Jonathan A. Mason, International President of Phi Beta Sigma, one of the country’s largest African American men’s organizations, kicked off the organization’s Centennial Week activities with the unveiling of the organization’s “I Am My Brother’s Keeper,” a 2014-2015 program to address issues impacting men of color, inspired by President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, a White House initiative announced earlier this year.

The organization will be joining the President’s Call to Action for foundations, business leaders, as well as elected officials and public figures to come together around this important initiative, helping to build ladders of opportunity and unlocking the full potential of boys and young men of color.

Broderick Johnson, Chair, of the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force and Cabinet Secretary and Assistant to President Barack Obama, delivered remarks on the President’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative.  Other attendees included: Rev. Al Sharpton, President and Founder, National Action Network, and, George Selvie, NFL football player, Dallas Cowboys.

“This is a great day in the history of Phi Beta Sigma,” said Jonathan Mason.  “As one of the leading organizations to represent African American men, we wanted to be one of the organizations on the forefront of this initiative and develop a program with measurable results in response to President Obama’s Call to Action.”

 Through “I Am My Brother’s Keeper,” Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. will:

  • Unveil the Sigma Beta Club’s experiential learning curriculum, Rise and Thunder, during the Congressional Black Caucus. This program is designed to help African-American youth realize their full potential in life.
  • Increase the membership of participants in the youth auxiliary program, Sigma Beta, by 20% by 2015.
  • Educate 10,000 African American males on the essentials of being engaging and effective mentors to African-American youth, while successfully establishing relationships that will increase community awareness of the potential of our youth and the power of diversity.
  • Work with Congress to pass common sense legislation to reduce gun violence
  • Train and educate 5000 men in the March of Dimes curriculum Building Strong Fathers
  • Adopt at least 100 schools throughout the United States, with the purpose of building student literacy and encouraging the student population to work towards closing the academic & achievement gaps that currently exist.
  • Provide $1,000,000 in scholarships to men of color
  • Sponsor two job fairs throughout the country, providing employment opportunities and training to men of color.
  • Sponsor a Business Expo at Phi Beta Sigma’s 2015 Conclave in Little Rock, Arkansas, exposing small businesses and employers to at least 10,000 consumers and job seekers throughout the nation.
  • Secure state, federal, corporate and private funding and partnerships to support I Am My Brother’s Keeper, particularly in the following manners:
    • Entrepreneurial Development of African-American males
    • Alternative Sanction Programs for Juvenile Offenders
    • Sigma Beta Club Programming
    • Disparaging Drop-out rates of our young men of color
    • Technology for security in and around our schools to curb gun violence

“I am proud to be a part of the centennial as an honorary member of Phi Beta Sigma,” said Rev. Al Sharpton. “I am equally proud to stand with my fellow Sigmas as they put forth an agenda to uplift our community.”


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