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.