Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Former Basileus Bro.Rodgers Addresses Regional Alpha Kappa Alpha Meeting; Anticipated Election to Fraternity's Top District Post on the Horizon

In just a few weeks, Brothers of Gamma Pi are anticipating a crowing achievement for the 37-year-old chapter when former three-term Basileus Bro. Kenneth Rodgers is expected to win election as the District Representative for Omega Psi Phi. If things continue on course, he would become the highest-ranking member of the Fraternity in the five-state Second District comprised of Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. To the uninitiated, that is the equivalent of serving as Governor of five separate states.

Already, Bro. Rodgers (at right in photo at left), currently number two in the Second District as the First Vice District Representative, is getting a taste of what higher leadership would be like. He was personally selected by Grand Basileus Bro. Warren Lee to represent Omega Psi Phi during the 79th North Atlantic Regional Conference of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority that was held in Prince George's County.

On Thursday evening, March 25, Bro. Rodgers addressed a full house of AKA's at the fabulous new Gaylord Hotel that anchors the new National Harbor development. He brought greetings on behalf of Brother Lee and the Supreme Council, complimenting the Ladies of Pink and Green on their history and contributions. His remarks drew rounds of applause and praise. Brother Rodgers did Omega proud. It was clearly a prelude to what is to come for Bro. Rodgers, the Fraternity and Gamma Pi chapter in the years ahead, beginning with the mid-April Second District Conference near Syracuse, New York where his election is expected to occur.

In true Gamma Pi fashion, Bro.Rodgers was supported in person by a huge contingent of chapter Brothers who joined him at the Gaylord. Brother Marcus Whitfield captured a short video clip of Bro. Rodgers' address. Take a look and listen below and send Bro. Rodgers a congratulatory e-mail:

Sunday, March 21, 2010

"Ques in Annapolis" Legislative Event Draws Large Audience

By Brother Earl Adams, Jr.

Brother Adams
On Thursday, March 11, the Brothers of Gamma Pi, Tau Pi, Pi Omega and Psi Nu traveled to Maryland’s capital to host members of the General Assembly at the annual “Ques in Annapolis” legislative reception. Over 50 Brothers participated in the event, which is a record for the annual “Ques in Annapolis”program. Brothers asked questions of and heard from more than 10 members of the Assembly, including Brother Delegate Frank Turner (Howard County) and Gamma Pi's own Brother Senator Ulysses Currie (Prince George’s County). Brothers representing the chapters of Mu Rho, Theta Mu Mu, Chi Delta,  Mu Nu, Tau Lambda Lambda, Kappa Psi and Alpha were at the reception.

As part of the reception, the members of the General Assembly were presented a list of the legislative priorities from each of the participating chapters. The various priorities focused on legislative bills which have been filed during the current legislative session. Each bill focused on building strong families, improving schools and expanding opportunities for businesses, all which are the building blocks of a strong community. In between the formal presentations by the legislators, Brothers enjoyed a light meal and fellowshipped with each other in true Omega fashion.

As fate would have it, in the room located next to our reception, the sisters of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc. were also having their night in Annapolis event. A highlight of the evening for both programs occurred when the partition separating the events was removed allowing for both receptions to be merged into one. Given the success of that development, perhaps next year a joint reception would be in order.

(In the group photo above from L to R: Bro. Luther Clark, Basileus-Tau Lambda Lambda; Bro. Chester Williams, Basileus-Tau Pi; Bro. Delegate Frank Turner; Bro. John Berkley, Basileus-Pi Omega; Bro. Maurice Calhoun, Basileus-Gamma Pi)

Brother State Sen. Currie

Brothers Mingle at Reception

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Gamma Pi Member Part of Local Quintet That Harmonizes to Sounds from "Back in the Day"

It's been said that Gamma Pi has enormous and diverse talent within the chapter. If you know many of the Brothers of Gamma Pi, you know that truer words have never been spoken. Brothers of The Super Chapter are plugged into society from many different angles, and some in multiple ways. One of those men of special talent is Brother Eddie Epps, who is Chairman of the chapter's Social Action Committee. When he is not leading Gamma Pi's effort to feed the hungry, work with the homeless, salute our local seniors or work to enrich the lives of the youth of Prince George's County as part of Omega Psi Phi's commitment to Uplift, he is tearing up the stage with the soulful sounds and strutful steps of Past Tense, one of the best-known "doo wop" musical groups around town here in metro Washington.

The five-man, five-part harmony singing aggregation is backed by a five-member instrumental ensemble. They perform at venues all over, ranging from traditional concerts to dances, banquets, dinners and even aboard cruises. Their forte is "good soul"and "R&B" music from "Back in the Day" -- the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. When you listen to Past Tense ( truly an appropo name), you hear living tributes to classic singing groups like The Temptations, The Dramatics, The Spinners, The Intruders (anybody remember that smooth classic, "Cowboys to Girls"?) and The Mighty O'Jays. Their vast repertoire includes such favorites as "Love Is Here," "FireFly," "How Could I Let You Get Away," "In the Rain," "Stop Look, and Listen," "I Can't Get Next to You," "Cloud Nine" and "Backstabbers."

Many Brothers will remember last summer when Brother Epps sang the national anthem at a Washington Nationals Major League Baseball home game. Get your smooth groove on with Brother Epps and Past Tense. For booking information contact them either by e-mail at Past_Tense@yahoo.com, or call 703.863.9260.

Hey, you can take a listen right now. Click here to download a short mp3 file and listen to part of a live Past Tense performance. Listen closely for Brother Epps' name being called out during the show, and then listen to him "wail" like another famous Eddie -- as in Eddie Kendricks! Before this audio clip is over with, you'll be dancing with yourself! In case you have not met Brother Epps, he is second from left in the photo below. These guys sound good AND they are sharp, too! Give Brother Epps an e-mail shout out and congratulations! And ask him for "free" tickets to the next show...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

One Week and Many Lives Touched: Gamma Pi Does a Two-Weekend "Man Up" On Service to Community

The New Year is well underway now and so is Gamma Pi's ambitious agenda of Social Action projects for 2010. For two weekends in a row, the chapter has been pulling the curtain closed on a tough winter and opening the door to the hopeful spirit of spring with two key community projects, one focusing on service to homeless families and the other on improving the academic performance of high school students.

On Saturday, February 27, a large contingent of chapter Brothers converged on the Shepherd's Cove homeless shelter in Capitol Heights in Prince George's County to host a Black History Month Fellowship Breakfast for the residents and show them that they are not forgotten in their circumstances. Arriving as early as 5:30 a.m., the men of Gamma Pi prepared the food and joined with the sisters of Delta Sigma Theta in feeding about 80 women and children of the shelter. This is a longstanding Gamma Pi Social Action project that uniquely personifies for each chapter member the critical importance of staying anchored in service to the local community.

Today, March 6, the chapter turned its attention to our future -- to young high schoolers looking ahead to college and productive careers -- through its highly regarded project ENRICH program that is held monthly at Bowie State University. Today's March session of Project ENRICH featured a guest speaker, University of Delaware Business Professor Tisa Silver, who led a special education session that included the parents of Project ENRICH students. In other words, students brought their parents to "school" today. Professor Silver is also a best-selling author ("The Time Value of Life") and stayed afterwards to sign her book for Project ENRICH families. She is a Prince George's County native. Professor Silver has been interviewed by the media on her expertise, including in this video clip.

Below are some photos and video clips from these two Social Action projects. Visit Gamma Pi's Video Channel for additional information on these and other community activities sponsored by The Super Chapter.

From Shepherd's Cove:

From Project ENRICH: