Thanksgiving Donations at Gum Springs and Ft. Belvoir

As the nation and Brothers of PsiAA deal with coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) and prepared for the Thanksgiving Holiday, we committed to our annual uplifting of two important communities in Fairfax County.  The communities we supported were Gum Springs Community Center and the Chapel at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. For well over 25 years, PsiAA has provided Thanksgiving baskets in the form of gift cards to senior citizens selected by the South County Program Director, Neighborhood and Community Services, and Fort Belvoir families selected by the Chaplaincy.  This year’s project involved providing $240 in gift cards to Gum Springs Community Center and $300 in commissary gift cards to the Fort Belvoir Chapel – for a total donation of $540.

Thanksgiving Kennedy Shelter 2020

On November 23, 2020, Psi Alpha Alpha supporting New Hope Housing, Inc., and our Kennedy Shelter neighbors by preparing an array of home-made soul food. This was the our fourth year celebrating an early Thanksgiving with those in need. The meal consisted of ham, smoked brisket, fried turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, seasoned corn, green beans, collard greens, pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, pecan pie, and assorted bottled drinks.  The Brothers prepared their dishes in their homes and showed up at the shelter at the coordinated time. New Hope Housing, Inc. is one of our affiliate organizations that the chapter continues to support with board members, manpower to support projects when called upon, and many other opportunities to give back to Fairfax County. We join in on New Hope’s mission of eliminating homelessness in Fairfax County.

Achievement Week 2020

On November 21, 2020, from 2-4pm, the brothers of the Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) chapter in conjunction with the Bernie L. Bates Foundation gathered to celebrate the individual and collective accomplishments from the 2019 to 2020 Omega Year.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic this years’ celebration was conducted virtually, hosted on zoom and simulcasted on both Facebook and Instagram.  The virtual environment enabled in excess of four hundred brothers, family members, guests and friends to participate in and experience our 2020 Achievement Week program and celebration.  Brother Marvin Chisolm served as the Achievement Week Committee Chairman and deftly coordinated all Achievement Week events while simultaneously highlighting the chapters forty years of service to the Fairfax County community.  To appropriately celebrate forty years of service the committee established and accomplished the following ten goals:  1. Commemorate forty years of progressive community service in Fairfax County, 2. Honor the thirteen charter members and the spouses of this illustrious chapter, 3. Recognize and honor PsiAA chapter member widows, 4. Recognize all brothers who are celebrating 5-year anniversaries as acknowledged by IHQ, 5. Recognize the core group of Quettes for 87th 3rd District Meeting planning, 6. Recognize our 2020 National High School Essay Contest Winner, 7. Showcase and honor our 2020 Talent Hunt Winner, 8. Celebrate IHQ Retention & 3rd District Social Action and Large Chapter of the Year awards, 9. Recognize our Omega Year 19-20 AW Awardees - Omega Man of the Year, Superior Service, Founders, COL Charles Young Military Leadership and Citizen of the Year, 10. Conduct voter registration, education, and mobilization (VREM) activities to support voter awareness throughout Fairfax County.

              The Achievement Week Celebration started promptly at the scheduled time and superbly highlighted the excellence of the Fairfax county Ques.  The Immediate Past Basileus, Brother Eric W. Kelly Sr., hosted the celebration and thanked all members of the chapter and guests for the support throughout his entire tenure but more specifically during the most recent Omega Year.  Brother James W. Cherry II expertly served as the Master of Ceremonies and Brother Ricky L. Lewis, 1st Vice Grand Basileus treated the audience with inspiring words on the Achievement Week theme: “Omega Men Ushering in Social Change.”  As a special nod to forty years of service, the attendees were treated to greetings and reflections from the chapters very first Achievement Week Speaker from November 1981.  Former Virginia Governor and Brother L. Douglas Wilder, again addressed the chapter and reinforced the need for Omega Men to participate in the social justice movement, undergirding the social change needed across America.   Brother Willie J. Williams, Jr., current Basileus began his closing remarks by thanking the 3rd District Representative, Bro Conrado B. Morgan, for his attendance and continuous support of the chapter.  He then closed out the celebration with words of thanks and an empationed-plea for continued financial support of the Bernie L. Bates Foundation. 

                  The afternoon celebration gave all in attendance the opportunity to formally recognize and honor the following awardees:  Omega Man of the Year, Brother Chester B. Keller; the Superior Service Awardee, Brother Cornelius M. Beidleman; the Founders Lifetime Achievement Awardee (Posthumously) Brother Willard O. Jasper and the Citizen of the year, Fairfax County Department of Family Services Father Engagement Unit Lead facilitator, Mr. Bennie Herron.   Immediate Past Basileus, Brother Eric Kelly presented seven Basileus awards to Brothers Marion “Barney” Barnwell, Bradford M. Caldwell, Marvin Chisolm, Kenneth M. Younger, Tony A. Wells, Michael W. Frazier and Craig M. Spraggins.  Special recognition was also afforded to several brothers celebrating a fraternity service anniversary:

Sixty-Five Years                                       Sixty Years                                           Fifty-Five Years

Bro. Marion L. “Barney” Barnwell        Bro. Joseph Briggs                               Bro. Clarence D. Demory

Bro. Isaiah E. Barnwell                           Bro. Theodore Strange, Jr.                 Bro. Alcindor R. Rosier, Sr.

Bro. Charles E. Summers

Fifty Years                                                 Forty-Five Years                                   Forty Years

Bro. Oscar B. Dailey                                Bro. Phillip G. Benjamin II                   Bro. Timothy E. Lamb

Bro. Richard G. Morris                            Bro. JD Leverett                                     Bro. Keith Wilson

                                                                    Bro. Ronald E. Lofton, Sr.   

Thirty-Five Years                                     Thirty Years                                         Twenty-Five Years

Bro. Darryl E. Dennis                              Bro. Alex N. Beard                                 Bro. Ashley Elder

Bro. Gregory W. Packer, Sr.                  Bro. Marvin Chisolm

                                                                   Bro. Myron B. McDaniels

                                                                    Bro. Sheldon Schanck

                                                                    Bro. Eric M. Twiggs, Sr.

The Fairfax County Ques standard for our Achievement Week Celebration is to take this opportunity to highlight the youth in our community.  The attendees were treated to a piano performance from our 2020 Talent Hunt winner Miss Kayla S. Anthony and the reading of the thought-provoking essay by our high school essay contest winner Mr. Ian C. McDaniels.

The Widows and the Charter Members’ Spouses were cordially invited to attend our virtual 40th Achievement Week Program honoring our “Road to 40” and they learned about the many great deeds that PsiAA had experienced throughout this Omega year.  The goal of the invitation was to provide the Widows and Charter Members’ Spouses the opportunity to reconnect to our Psi AA Chapter support group and see and talk to old friends.  The ladies heard and observed the countless hours the Chapter has remained committed to performing towards our causes.  They also heard and observed our ability to engage with the community in meaningful ways, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic.  The ladies were also informed how PsiAA has continued to provide uplift to people of color in Fairfax County and the surrounding area. Roses were presented in advance of the virtual 40th Achievement Week Program to all the PsiAA Widows, Widowers, and Charter Members’ Spouses and this gesture of kindness was deeply appreciated.

Although constrained by the pandemic, on election day (Nov 3rd) the Fairfax County Ques were able to support the Fraternity’s voter registration, education and mobilization call to action at multiple polling sites across the county.   A majority of the chapter participated in the virtual IHQ rededication ceremony.  We concluded our Achievement Week activities with brothers worshiping together virtually at the weekly 3rd District Worship service hosted by the District Chaplain, Bro Courtenay Miller.  The 2020 PsiAA Chapter Achievement Week events and celebration were a resounding success due to the hard work and effort of the committee, but more important due to the participation from the Fairfax County Ques, their families, and friends. 

Election Polling Site Assistance 2020

When the call was sounded to engage in one of the most consequential elections in recent memory, the Voter Registration, Education, and Mobilization (VREM) Committee of the Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. responded.  Committee Chairman Anthony Britt, in partnership with the Fairfax County Board of Elections, identified Belle View Elementary School in Alexandria as a prime polling location to support voters and poll workers.

More than 25 brothers maintained a presence at Belle View from 6 am to 7 pm to providing snacks, coffee, PPE, and an assortment of beverages to voters and volunteers, and on-site assistance curbside voters.  Fairfax County Board Supervisor Dan Storck (Mount Vernon District) stopped visit to the location, encourage voters, and speak with the chapter on activity in the Fairfax County community.  The day was a success as the Psi Alpha Alpha VREM committee supported what turned out to be a presidential election boasting the highest turnout in over a century.