ASALH 2020

 
PsiAA Chapter Brothers in Service at ASALH

On Saturday, February 22, 2020, the Brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter, along with other Third and Second District chapters, Executive Director, and Grand Officers of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. attended the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) 94th Annual Black History luncheon - a celebration and tribute to the legacy of the Honorable Brother Dr. Carter G. Woodson. The luncheon was held at the Washington Renaissance Hotel in Washington, DC. The theme was “African Americans and the Vote”. 

The PsiAA Brothers served in excellent and stellar fashion as greeters and host, as they do annually for this event. The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and Life Membership foundation presented a donation to the Smithsonian for $10,000 each for a total of $20,000. The 2020 Black Heritage stamp was unveiled presenting Mrs. Gwen Ifill, one of America’s most esteemed journalist, as the 43rd honoree of this prestigious award. The event speaker was Dr. Lonnie Bunch, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

The event provided several black authors and vendor the opportunity to display their artistic talents. The “Featured Author” panel discussion was exceptional as always. The panel discussion was moderated by Pero G. Dagbovie, Editor, The Journal of African American History with the panelist consisting of Karine Jean-Pierre, Author, and MSNBC Political Analyst, Martha Jones, Historian and author of Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote and Insisted on Equality for All, and Kaye Wise Whitehead, Associate Professor of African American Studies, Loyola University Maryland, Radio Host, Today with Dr. Kaye.  

PsiAA Daddy Daughter Dance 2020

  
Brother Tony Wells, Co-Chair of the Psi Alpha Alpha MANUP Program (left) and Bro. Freddie Fuller (right) enjoying an evening with their daughters.

On Saturday, February 8, 2020, Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter, Third District Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Brothers Tony Wells (PsiAA) and Freddie Fuller (PLL) participated in a phenomenal event at the Sharron Baucom Dale City Recreation Center. Brother Tony Wells, Co-Chair of the Psi Alpha Alpha MANUP Program and Brother Freddie Fuller had a memorable date night with their daughters at the Daddy Daughter Dance. Brothers Wells and Fuller spent the evening dressing up and dancing the night away. This is a superb event to celebrate our daughters as well as building and solidifying the valued relationship between fathers and daughters. 

    
Bro. Fuller was learning the latest dance moves from his daughter (left) and Bro. Wells and his daughter were posing with their tiara’s at this wonderful event. February marks a month of several father and daughter dances throughout Northern Virginia and the DC metropolitan area as part fatherhood initiative. Bro. Wells and Bro. Fuller are active participants and supporters of this annual event.

MANUP Banquet Jan 2020

   

On January 29, 2020, the Brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter, Third District Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc MANUP Mentoring Program presented awards to the Mount Vernon High School Football team in Fairfax Virginia. There were 23 students who completed the 10 week study hall course from September thru November. The students were presented with certificates and the top 5 students received a $50 dollar gift cards courtesy of Target. The MANUP Program has over 40 students in the program and executes a bi-monthly lecture series at Mount Vernon High School throughout the school year.

“The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.”
~Kobe Bryant

    Bro. W.J Williams Jr. (Vice Basileus), Bro. Michael Frazier, Jordan Reid (12th Grade), Bro. Cozy Bailey Jr., Bro Tony Wells

    Bro. W.J Williams Jr. (Vice Basileus), Bro. Michael Frazier, Mekhi Robinson (10th Grade), Bro. Cozy Bailey Jr, Bro. Tony Wells

    Bro. W.J Williams Jr. (Vice Basileus), Bro. Michael Frazier, Bro. Robert Overbey (11th Grade), Bro. Cozy Bailey Jr., Bro. Tony Wells

    Bro. W.J Williams Jr. (Vice Basileus), Ta’Mon Hendricks (10th Grade), Bro. Michael Frazier

Reading for Success Jan 2020

Brother Gourdine providing excellent illustration during the reading session | R4S | Jan 10, 2020

On January 10, 2020, the Brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter, Third District Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc conducts its second read aloud, of the “Reading for Success” program at Riverside Elementary School in Alexandria, Virginia, we were again welcomed by the Gifted Education Center Teacher, Third-Grade Teachers, and especially the Third-Grade Students.

The Second Read Aloud follows the Kickoff and First Read Aloud session on November 8, 2019. The Brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter known affectionately as “The Sirs,” supported six third-grade classes consisting of 125 eager students. Our reputation is well known, our services appreciated, and the chapter brothers excelled during the session.

The chapter’s Bernie L. Bates Foundation, Inc., provided a new book for their individual reading library. We chose “Buddy Ran Away” by Thea Feldman, as a twenty-seventh book for their individual library. The book tells the story of a boy name Sam and his dog named Buddy who ran away while visiting the countryside. Buddy returned home after being missing for a week using instinct. The students easily related to the story since many of them had pets.

Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter was represented by thirteen brothers who served as reading mentors. Brothers Warren Bacote; Bradford Caldwell; James George; Sidney Gourdine; Brandon Grooms; Jerry Hubbard, Sr.; Frank Matthews; Clarence Miller; Danny Watson, Jr.; and coordinating this program was the chapter’s Social Action Coordinator, Brother Kenneth M. Younger.

“The Sirs” are proud of the fact that we have supported this program for the sixth school year. The brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter will continue to do their part to inspire these young readers and we look forward to the third of our four Read Aloud sessions in March 2020.

PsiAA Christmas Food Basket Donation 2019

 (L-R) Basileus Emeritus Marion “Barney” Barnwell, Jacob Berenbroick, U.S. Army Chaplain (Colonel) Robert Hart, the Installation Chaplain, and Brother Kenneth Younger, Social Action Coordinator.  The Shoppers gift cards presentation | Christmas Food Basket Donation | December 19, 2019

For well over 25 years, Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter has provided Christmas baskets in the form of gift cards to deserving citizens selected by Gum Springs Community Center Director, Neighborhood and Community Services; and Fort Belvoir families selected by the Installation Chaplaincy.

This year’s project involved providing the community center $240 in gift cards for food from Shoppers Food Warehouse and the chaplaincy $300 in gift cards for food from the Fort Belvoir Commissary – for a total donation of $540.

Both donations were made on December 19, 2019, by our Basileus Emeritus Marion “Barney” Barnwell and Brother Kenneth Younger, Social Action Coordinator.  The Shoppers gift cards were presented to Jacob Berenbroick, Program Director, Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, at the Gum Springs Community Center and were won by a raffle at the senior citizens holiday luncheon held that day.

   (L-R) Basileus Emeritus Marion “Barney” Barnwell, Jacob Berenbroick, Program Director, Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, and Brother Kenneth Younger, Social Action Coordinator.  The Shoppers gift cards presentation | Christmas Food Basket Donation | December 19, 2019

The second presentation was made to U.S. Army Chaplain (Colonel) Robert Hart, the Installation Chaplain, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.  Chaplain Hart will ensure deserving military families receive the $300.00 in commissary gift cards through the chaplaincy so that they, too, can enjoy a more joyous Christmas season.

As the Brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in 2019, we are humbled as we “uplift” others this Christmas.

MANUP Donation to MVHS Youth Dec 18, 2019

The Psi Alpha Alpha MANUP Program of Fairfax Virginia donated $1000 to Mount Vernon High School in support of one of the students in need for the Christmas Holiday’s on December 18, 2019. (L-R; Monty Fritts III, Coach MVHS Football Team | Bro. Michael Frazier, MANUP Vice Chairman)

On December 18, 2019, the Brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. joined together to ensure a youth and his family has something for the holiday, since he lost his mother. The Brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha generously donated $1,000 to a worthy MVHS student and family in need of uplift. The MANUP Program services the MVHS Majors in conducting a speaking series throughout the scholastic year and sponsors a 10-week study hall program for 90+ students on the MVHS Football teams from freshman to varsity.

The MANUP Program mentorship program started its partnership with MVHS in January of 2019. The program has since provided over 20 series of speaking events and activities for the young students in Fairfax County to learn and establish friendships with college educated professionals while establishing a professional network. The MANUP Program has over 40 students currently within MVHS.

Quote:

It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding;
And to the open-handed the search for one who shall receive is joy greater than giving.
And is there aught you would withhold?
All you have shall someday be given;
Therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors'.

See first that you yourself deserve to be a giver, and an instrument of giving.
For in truth it is life that gives unto life while you, who deem yourself a giver, are but a witness.

Kahlil Gibran

Gum Springs Christmas Party 2019

        To view event photo Gallery

On December 14, 2019, the men of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. continued our 25+ years collaborating with Gum Springs Community Center to host their Annual Christmas Holiday Party.

This important project that supports those less fortunate along the Route 1 Corridor, brings the holiday experience to deserving families and children who might not otherwise have a traditional, joyous holiday.  The party is possible due to a tremendous partnership between Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services, Gum Springs Community Center, Gum Springs Community Center Advisory Board, Fairfax County Fire Department, and of course Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter.

So, what’s involved?  The brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter arrived early to prepare the snacks and then, assisted in the opening ceremony, helped as the children of all ages created Christmas crafts, received their gifts, and ended with a visit and photo with Santa.  And you guessed it, we provided the Santa.  In addition, the Chapter purchased and donated nearly $1,000 worth of toys that consisted of six bicycles, and 20 gifts for young girls and 20 gifts for young boys.  Our holiday gifts were made relevant since they were gift wrapped by the senior citizens who participate in the Seniors Outreach Program at the community center.

The Party started at 2:00 p.m., with the children and parents in the gym for the official program and where 22 bicycles were given away by a raffle.  Also, the program included a Christmas carol sing-along.   Following the raffle, the families were directed to four arts and crafts rooms by age, and during the arts and crafts activities, the children were escorted to have pictures taken with Santa Claus.

The finale was when the kids were called by age group and lined up and received a gift-wrapped toy from Santa Claus and his Elves in the Gift room.  The beaming smiles on the children’s faces with their new toy made this uplifting event worthwhile and extremely rewarding for the chapter brothers who participated.

This year’s effort was led by Mr. Jacob Berenbroick, Program Director, Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, Gum Springs Community Center, and our own Brother Marion “Barney” Barnwell.  As a bonus, Mrs. Jimi Barnwell, wife of Bro. Marion "Barney" Barnwell, birthday club donated 15 gifts in lieu of her usual birthday present.  Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter was an integral part of the program’s success and we were proud to touch the lives of so many as we celebrate the world’s greatest gift – the birth of Christ.  Merry Christmas!

Food Bank December 2019

Every month, on the second Saturday, the Brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. gather at the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB) in Lorton, VA (6233 Hill Park Dr., Lorton, VA 22079) to engage in a little fellowship while working to do our share to help the less fortunate in our area.

At the Food Bank, at the direction of the workers there, we pack donated food items into bags that are then sent out to those in our community who are in need. This month the men of PsiAA, along with numerous volunteers, between the hours of 8:15am – 11:15am packed 1,350 bags filled with cooking oil, lentils, and oatmeal meal.

The Lorton CAFB services individuals in Annandale (the Evergreen House), Arlington (Harvey Hall, the Shelton, Hunter’s Park at Cherry Dale, Lockwood/Elmwood House, Hunter’s Woods Fellowship House), and Fairfax (United Community Ministries, Bailey’s Senior Center, Yorkville Cooperative, Lake Ann Fellowship House, Winter Hills Apartments) Virginia.

The CAFB is the largest organization in the Washington Metro area that is working to solve hunger and a lack of nutrition.  Psi Alpha Alpha is one of the many community organizations that partners with them and we have been doing so for more than twenty years.  The CAFB is helping 540,000 people each year, to get access to good, healthy food.

Brother Barney Barnwell has been leading the efforts to work with the CAFB from the beginning.  Psi Alpha Alpha always has a strong turnout and more than twenty Brothers were again in attendance this month.

Of all the things that our chapter does, this is one of the most rewarding, as we know that our hard work will translate to providing a true necessity to those in our region who are most in need.

New Hope “Kennedy Shelter” Thanksgiving Dinner 2019

               To view event photo gallery

Thanksgiving is a time for families and friends to gather and celebrate the bounty of the season.  More pointedly toward the reader of this article (Omega Men), it is also a time of reflection of gratitude and thanks for God’s blessings, our family, home, careers, communities, daily comforts, and abilities to give back.

For those without a home or family, Thanksgiving can be very lonely. And for many in Fairfax County along the Route 1 corridor, the holiday is a stark reminder of their struggle with hunger.  Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated is an enduring community partner with New Hope Housing Inc. and is heavily involved in many of its volunteer programs.  The Chapter’s heartfelt act of service to New Hope Housing Inc is serving a homemade Thanksgiving meal to its homeless neighbors.  The Brothers get super excited about demonstrating compassion in action.

For a third year, on Monday, November 25, 2019, Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, INC. served over 70 dinners during “Thanksgiving Monday” at the Kennedy Shelter of New Hope Housing Inc.  Chapter Brothers played a massive role in making “Thanksgiving Monday” extra special for our homeless neighbors and staff.  The meal consisted of ham, roast beef, smoked brisket, fried turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, seasoned corn, green beans, collard greens, candied yams, pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, pecan pie, and assorted cakes.  Enough food remained to feed another 40 or more who would come in later after serving hours.

Brothers with lesser culinary skills rolled up their sleeves and got to work wherever needed, be it setting up tables and chairs in the dining area, washing dishes, emptying trash, or keeping the kitchen clean.  Brother Malcom Murray, our resident Dentist handed out dental packets.  Other Brothers gave spectator support to those frying the turkeys.

General feedback from our homeless neighbors and some staff was while the meal was excellent, it was the thoughtfulness and care of strangers who were volunteering their time, which made me feel loved. A lady came through the serving line said, “it was hard to believe they would give up time on their day to serve someone like me.”

Brother Antonio Coleman, Thanksgiving Committee Chairman, stated “when Brothers take time to serve a meal, offer a compassionate smile, and treat our homeless neighbors with grace and dignity, never expecting anything in return—it is a beautiful picture of how Christ loves each of us and thus, we, the men of Omega get the opportunity to love thy neighbor as thy self.”

After our homeless neighbors departed the dining area, the pots and pans were washed and put away and Brothers left the shelter, it was safe to say Thanksgiving Monday was a tremendous success.  In the spirit of Manhood, the first of four Beloved Fraternity’s Cardinal of Principals, Psi Alpha Alpha following the example of Jesus, the Chapter washed the feet of its homeless neighbors by sharing and serving a Thanksgiving meal of love.

Gum Springs Thanksgiving Dinner 2019

On November 21, 2019, the men of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. joined and was honored to answer the call for service to being invited by Gum Springs to participate in the Community Thanksgiving Dinner. The event was held at the Gum Springs Community Center in the gym. The men of PsiAA provided support to the event by preparing meal plates and delivery to the table for the guests, participating at the dessert serving station, and clean-up (rolling up table and stacking chairs, etc.).

The goal for this worthwhile event was to uplift, support the community, and allow the community to share and enjoy in a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Various community leaders were present to include but not limited to Debra Graves-Sanders (Gum Springs Community Advisory Board). The event was well attended by more than 100 community leaders, youth, and residents.

General feedback from the guests and some staff was while the meal was excellent, it was the thoughtfulness and care of strangers who were volunteering their time, which conveyed the true spirit of the season.