Monday, May 23, 2011

A Truly Humbling Experience -- Coming Face-to-Face with the Plight of Very Young Black Men Behind Bars

Brother Greg Crawley, new to Gamma Pi, organized a very successful mentoring visit to a local youth detention facility this past weekend and wrote this dispatch for the blog as a follow-up:

Brother Crawley
The Gamma Pi chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity participated in a united effort to impact the youth in our community. The Joint Fraternal Outreach Project took place this past Saturday, May 21, 8:30am – 2pm, at the Cheltenham Youth Facility (CYF) in Cheltenham, MD. Located in Prince George's County, MD. CYF serves young men awaiting trial or court disposition from Anne Arundel, Prince George's, Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties.

Other Greek Fraternities that participated in this event were Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Phi Beta Sigma, and Iota Phi Theta Fraternities, Inc. Unity in the Community” was the theme for this event. Gamma Pi’s mentoring topics were Safe Sex, STD’s, and Pregnancy Prevention. The fraternities organized themselves into 6 integrated teams and presented the various topics to all 130 plus of the young men in the facility.

Fraternity men reaching out
It was very humbling to see the number of youths that really did not understand the concept of family structure, and establishing yourself professionally before bringing children into this world so that you have adequate resources to provide for them. As we listened to a number of testimonials from the young men in the facility it became very evident that many of them have never had a positive male role model in their life to help them to stay on that path to success.

The Brothers of Gamma Pi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity hope that this is just the start of something bigger as we continue to try to reach out to the young black men of our society. They are our future.

                                                              --- by Brother Greg Crawley

Brother Crawley will be providing updated information in the coming days. Click here for updated information on a scheduled TV news report on the project from Prince George's Community TV. CTV sent a crew to cover the event. Click here to listen to Bro. Crawley describe the experience in an audio clip posted on the Gamma Pi web site.

The Men of Gamma Pi 

Different Colors, Different Fraternities, Singular Purpose

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gamma Pi Members Make News at Home and Halfway Around the World

Brother Ambassador Taylor
Former Gamma Pi Basileus and current U.S. Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu Teddy B. Taylor has been in the news in recent days and weeks over in the South Pacific along with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Brother Ambassador Taylor and the Secretary of State have been quoted in print and broadcast media about the location of a new U.S. Aid office in the region. Here is a link to one of those brief news reports Radio New Zealand International.

Brother Ambassador Taylor was also recently part of a very important ceremony in the Republic of Vanuatu that was captured on video. In the two videos below, he is an active participant in a "handing over" ceremony concerning a major road on the island nation. Watch Brother Taylor "at work" playing an official role representing the U.S. in the ceremony and then he gives a major speech recognizing the occasion also in behalf of the U.S.  The speech is carried in its entirety.

Brother Ambassador Taylor is very prominent in both videos. The top video is mainly of Brother Ambassador Taylor's official remarks. The second video shows the snake-like line of the official motorcade bringing him and other top officials in for the ceremony. The rest of the video shows various aspects of the ceremony. Brother Ambassador Taylor is very visible consistently throughout both videos. To learn more about Vanuatu and see more video and photos of Brother Ambassador Taylor's visit there, click here to visit the island nation's Facebook Page.

Brother County Executive Baker
 Closer to home, Brother County Executive Rushern Baker is the subject of a four-part video interview series about his first few months in office. The video interviews were posted in recent days on all Prince George's County editions of the Patch, a new local news online newsletter that features news and information tailored to individual communities. Part I of the video interview series is also posted on Gamma Pi's web site in the Multimedia section.

Speaking to County Residents
In the video interviews, Brother County Executive Baker addresses the transition, the county's image, employee pay and development in Prince George's  County.  Click on the links below to view each part of the series:

Part I (The Transition)
Part II (Development in the County)
Part III (County Employees and Pay)
Part IV (The County's Image)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mission Completed at the 63rd District Conference; Omega Centennial Up Ahead

Dinner at the 2D Conference
A week ago, a caravan of Brothers made their way to Cherry Hill, N.J.for the 63rd annual Second District Conference. It was a special time of pride for the chapter as one of its own, Brother Kenneth Rodgers, led his first District Conference as the 32nd Second District Representative.  Second District Chaplain Brother Dr. Gerald Folsom, also of Gamma Pi, led a worship service at the conference.

Gamma Pi represents ...
About 25 Brothers made the trip up the busy corridor known as I-95. Now, having taken care of District business and having polished off a slew of community service projects including Fraternity mandated programs, Gamma Pi is ready to roll into the upcoming historic Centennial celebration for Omega Psi Phi Fraternity,Inc. in Washington, D.C.
Bros. Keemer and Mays at Xmas in April 
So far in 2011, the Super Chapter has:
  • cooked and served food to  more than 100 occupants of two nearby shelters
  • conducted 4 weekend sessions of Project ENRICH, its program for college-aspiring high school students
  • helped rehabilitate a local home in disrepair as part of Christmas in April
  • helped educate local underprivileged children on nutrition and exercise through Que Kidz Dayz 
  • worked the local March of Dimes walk-a-thon
  • sponsored a communitywide talent hunt program
  • raised thousands of dollars for college scholarships with a sold-out Mardi Gras attended by Grand Basileus Bro. Dr. Andrew Ray
  • sponsored a meeting of Maryland State legislators and area members of the Fraternity to discuss legislative priorities of importance to the local African American community
  • reclaimed 84 Brothers back to the Omega Psi Phi fold, taking chapter membership beyond 200
Brothers Dr. Harrison Foy and Thaddeus Turner provided these photos from the District Conference and Brother David Sierra snapped Christmas in April photos.  An additional photo of a Line from Iota Gamma chapter, "The Mother Pearl of New Jersey," was provided by Brother Akima Rogers. Many more are forthcoming and will also make their way to the Gamma Pi website.

Bro. "DR" Rodgers (2nd, right)

Bros. Greg Gaines and Terry Rogers (2nd, 3rd left) with Line Bros.