Community Health Fair 2021

On Saturday, June 19, 2021, the Brothers of the Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter, Third District of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.’s conducted their third annual community Health Fair. This year they continued their partnered with the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc-Omicron Theta Zeta chapter to expand the reach to the communities they serve. As a result of the current COVID-19 environment, the health fair was hosted VIRTUALLY. Health Initiatives is a primary area of focus for both of their organizations. It is designed to provide uplift to our communities by facilitating and coordinating activities that both inform and promote good health practices.

The Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter along with the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc-Omicron Theta Zeta chapter coordinated this event to provide relevant healthy informational topics, instructions on nutrition and healthier activities, and exercise. The event was a huge success demonstrated by the 300 plus people being reached during and post the event. The health fair was hosted via Zoom and shared via both the Psi Alpha Alpha and Omicron Theta Zeta chapters by streaming the event via Facebook live. The service organizations did an outstanding job at providing our community residents, families, and friends with valuable information they can use to empower themselves and becoming more knowledgeable regarding how to achieve and maintain a healthier lifestyle. Some of these Health services included but not limited to breast cancer, mental health, nutrition, healthier eating tips, diabetes, and Zumba. Additionally, they included a special informational insets on Juneteenth as it was declared a national holiday..

Both chapters pray everyone found this event to be uplifting and beneficial as it relates to improving your fitness goals, knowledge, and health. Special appreciation goes out to all our partners, service provides, volunteers, sponsors, and attendees, without you this event would not have been possible. We look forward to seeing you at future events.

PsiAA and BLB provide to our caregivers May 2021

On May 5, 2021, the Brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter, Third District, The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and the Bernie L. Bates Foundation, Inc., joined forces to make a positive impact on the caregivers in Fairfax, County, Virginia who are diligently working to ensure they manage the health and care or our residents who have been impacted, as a result of COVID-19. The Chapter’s Basileus (Brother Willie J. Willims, Jr.) and Brother Calvin Beidleman along with RX Catering owner (Ms. Cheron Burns) delivered meals to the staff at Mount Vernon Hospital. There were approximately 100 meals provided to the staff. The hospital administration and staff were very grateful for our support.

PsiAA Brother Fighting Trim Workout March-April 2021

During the months of March and April 2021, the Brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. conducted our second virtual health initiatives workout event, due to the current environment related to COVID-19 and the stay at home order and social distancing in Virginia. The event was for Brothers to continue participate and encourage each r Brothers to engage consistently in various healthy activities. The event was a tremendous success with 56-chapter Brothers participating. The activities included walk/run, biking, cardio, High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T.), weight training, abs/core workout, sit-ups/crunches, push-ups, pull-ups, and water intake. The Brothers exercised great ingenuity utilizing the tools at their disposal by walking their stairs at home and the neighborhood and biking the city. Outstanding work from the great Brothers of the Psi Alpha Alpha chapter.

The Supreme Basileus tells us in Ecclesiastics 30:15, "Health and good estate of body are above all gold, and a strong body above infinite wealth."

The totals for the month were as follows:
# Brothers Submitted Activity 56 / 141 total 40% of chapter Brothers
Run/Walk - 1,868 miles
Biking - 1,004 miles
Cardio - 947 hours
H.I.I.T. - 26 hours
Weight Training - 30 hours
Abs/Core workout - 46 hours
Sit-ups/Crunches - 14,898 reps
Push-ups - 22,794 reps
Pull-ups - 686 reps
Water Intake - 110 gallons

Fairfax County Volunteer and Partner Services Volunteer Appreciation Event 2021

Bro. James Cherry represented Psi Alpha Alpha at the Fairfax County  Volunteer and Partner Services Volunteer Appreciation Event sponsored by the Fairfax County Department of Family Services – Children, Youth and Families Division.  The audience of more than 80 volunteers was treated to violin selections by Fire Orne, an African American violin duo comprised of  16-year-old twins Ethan & Nathan Morlu. Remarks were given by Krissa Stone, Director of Volunteer and Partner Services, Michael Becketts, Director of DFS, and Oriane Eriksen, Director of Children, Youth, and Families Division.  They thanked everyone for their gift of time and resources that allow them to continue to provide services in the County:

  • 80 volunteers supported Children/Youth/Families in various ways.
  • Brought on one intern.
  • Adopt a family program has helped 1245 children this year.
  • Total donations - $440K
  • Volunteer hours = $367K in economic impact

 The volunteers were also treated to training around Emotional Intelligence from Robin Baker, Organizational Development Division Director with Fairfax County.  She discussed the factors that contribute to having a high level of emotional intelligence such as:

  • Stress management
    • Flexibility
    • Stress Tolerance
    • Optimism
  • Decision Making
    • Problem Solving
    • Reality Testing
    • Impulse Control
  • Interpersonal
    • Interpersonal Relationships
    • Empathy
    • Social Responsibility
  • Self-Expression
    • Emotional Expression
    • Assertiveness
    • Independence
  • Self-Perception
    • Self-Regard
    • Self-Actualization
    • Emotional Self-Awareness

The Volunteer Appreciation Event was an incredible event in celebration of all we do and what we do for our community!

Dad’s Parenting – Fatherhood Initiatives 2021

The Brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc, in collaboration with the Father Engagement Unit of Fairfax County Department of Family Services, completed another successful facilitation of the County’s Dad’s Parenting Program in the Spring of 2021.

From February to April of 2021, the brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha provided direction and insight on what it means to be a man and a father as well as expounded on their varied experiences as fathers.   In total, ten fathers graduated from the 13-session virtual program.  To supplement the financial burden caused by the pandemic, Psi Alpha Alpha donated gift cards totaling $500 to the participating fathers to provide support for some of the basic necessities such as food, gas, infant care, or anything else they may need in support of their families.

The Dad’s Parenting program serves to enhance fathers’ overall parenting and fathering skills as well as promote and celebrate the importance of fathers in Fairfax County.  The Chapter’s involvement has helped increase Fairfax County DFS’ capacity to meet the needs of fathers in Fairfax County, as well as educate fathers about the critical roles they play in the lives of their children.

Picture: Bro. James Cherry presenting gift cards to Dad’s Parenting facilitator Bennie Herron, PsiAA CItizen of the Year

Brother James Cherry

Chairman – Fatherhood Initiative Committee

PsiAA Virtual Social 2021

On April 17, 2021, the Bernie L. Bates Foundation, Inc sponsored the Virtual 80s QUE-Rantine Extravaganza. This progressive, virtual social event was hosted by the Brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. This was a first-of-its-kind Virtual Social Event that featured not only the now common awesome DJ in virtual space, but this event also featured six additional breakout rooms offering a variety of options for the participants.

“If we are bound to improve, we need not trouble to improve. The pure doctrine of progress is the best of all reasons for not being a progressive.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

The event was attended by more than 150 patrons. It was designed to appeal to a diverse clientele by providing a variety of activities in several breakout rooms. It also featured an exhibit hall with several vendors to display their goods and services and potentially make some sales and foster relationships.  The music in the main room was provided by DJ Rob Stacks, a brother of Omega, who pledged at Tau Lambda Chapter during the Spring of 2001. He played a mix of 80s and 90s hip hop and R&B tunes while providing excitement with his personal touch.  For a more mellow vibe, Brother Keith Wilson (Lambda Gamma, Spring 1980) from Kool K Entertainment provided his smooth jazz saxophone flavor in a separate breakout room.  Psi Alpha Alpha’s own in-house chef, Julian Gudger (Psi Alpha Alpha, 2000) provided an interactive cooking demonstration instructing patrons how to properly cook bacon-wrapped dates, chicken tenders with honey mustard sauce, and kettle popcorn.  To work off that delicious meal, patrons could switch to another breakout room for an energetic Zumba class, led by Rosa Seward from Brickhouse Fitness.  Bro. Ikey Staton (Gamma Pi, Fall 2004) from Southern Sticks & Smoke, and Dyane Johnson from Petworth Cigars, held separate “Cigar 101” sessions that showcased their knowledge of cigar brands and flavors, and accessories. This also included a tour of the Petworth Lounge and education on cigar etiquette, drink pairing, and basic cigar knowledge (selecting the right cigar, cutting vs. punching, lighting cigars, etc.).  Patrons had access to two Show Biz Production’s Casino game breakout rooms during the event, where they could try their hand at the Blackjack tables. The evening also featured two 50/50 Raffles that kept all on edge as the drawings were being announced. All event sponsors were prominently displayed throughout the night on our digital Sponsorship billboard. In addition, all Top sponsors were provided a 30 second advertisement video which was played during the event. Overall, the event was a great success that set the bar for virtual events where only Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter has ascended.

Adopt-A-Highway April 2021

On April 3, 2021, the men of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. met to perform our first Adopt-A-Highway event of the 2021 Omega year. Over the past several years, our chapter has collaborated with the Fairfax County Department of Transportation to help clean up litter along Richmond Highway Corridor in East Fairfax County, VA.

Each year, nearly 18,000 Adopt-a-Highway volunteers collect more than 25,600 bags of waste along Virginia’s highways. The state of Virginia estimates that our assistance contributes to saving the commonwealth over $1.3 M that would have otherwise gone to clean up Virginia’s roads.

The morning was a brisk and somewhat windy day, but the brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha persevered and saw it through. As with all things associated with the current COVID environment, we as a chapter ensured the health and welfare of all participants by compliance with social distancing, practicing good protective behaviors by wearing all appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  Eighteen brothers, as well as two family members, volunteered to come out in support of this important and impactful initiative. All told, we collected thirteen bags of trash and debris. Based on the county’s calculation methodology of (Hours X participants), this equated to 52.5 hours of community service. As we continue to operate in this arduous COVID environment, we as a chapter remain steadfast in our commitment to civic duty through our social action efforts.

Marion “Barney” Barnwell Memorial

Article from Mount Vernon Gazette written by Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck

Colonel Marion “Barney” Barnwell, a longtime resident and community activist in the Mount Vernon District, passed suddenly last week and will be missed by the many people that he connected with and whose lives he touched.

I was incredibly saddened to learn of Barney’s passing. Our community has lost a considerate, kind, and true gentleman. Barney was one of the best and finest among us, one that I am deeply honored to have known and had the pleasure to work with for many years. His long and deep history of community involvement, volunteering at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital, and served on the Fairfax County Human Services Council (to his last day) were well known, greatly valued, and appreciated by all of us.

Barney was a pillar in our community, volunteering at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital in the Joint Replacement Division, where he has also served as Past President of the Auxiliary Board and as Parliamentarian. For over thirty years, Barney volunteered with Rebuilding Together, formerly Christmas in April; and at Fort Belvoir’s Main Chapel, as a Sunday school teacher and usher. He also volunteered with the Capital Area Food Bank for over twenty years, and with New Hope Housing, where he served as a Board Member, Treasurer, and Trustee. Barney has continued to serve on the Fairfax County Human Services Council since 2003. He was a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. for over 60 years and was the Third District Representative (VA and DC Area) for four years.

Former Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland said: “What sad news — a more wonderful spirit would be hard to find. Such an unselfish person who showed his love for everyone in so many ways. Years ago, I appointed Colonel Barney to the Fairfax County Human Services Council where he served Mount Vernon conscientiously for many years. At Mount Vernon Hospital he was an extraordinary volunteer who always wore his heart on his sleeve and had a perpetual smile for every person he met. He was one of the gentlest and kindest persons I ever met. I will sorely miss him.”

In 2018, Barney was recognized as Lord Fairfax for his love of and dedication to our community. Barney had a “pay it forward” mentality every single day of his life. One example of this was the day he came into our office and said, “Every day I buy someone lunch, today it is your day,” smiling and handing one of our staffer's lunch money. Wherever Barney volunteered, he put people at ease with his familiar smile and kind face. His passion for helping others was unequivocal and inspiring. Barney’s beloved wife of many years, Jimmi, was a constant companion by his side, especially in later years.

Community leaders and selfless volunteers like Barney Barnwell are hard to come by and his passing has left an irreplaceable hole in our hearts and community. If you want to know more about Barney, see this 2018 Old Town Crier article highlighting his commitment to service and community: https://oldtowncrier.com/2017/11/01/barney-barnwell-is-passin-it-on/.

NAII Memorial Service 2021

FIRST VIRTUAL 3rd DISTRICT
MEMORIAL SERVICE

On March 12th, 2021, under the direction of our esteemed District Representative, Brother Conrado Morgan, the first ever Third District Virtual Memorial Service of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., was held. Approximately 386 Brothers, family members and friends participated in this virtual ceremony.

It was sponsored by the Northern Area II leadership council consisting of and under the guidance of Northern Area II Supervisor, Brother Earl Smith Jr., District Chaplain, Brother Pastor Courtenay Miller, and Northern Area II Chaplain and Automation Chairman, Brother Cornelius Beidleman.

The event was initiated and came to fruition through the efforts of the Northern Area II Chaplains and assistants, Brothers David Bonner, Tim Butler, Sanford Crenshaw, Eric Smith, Vince Smithers and Robert R. Smalls. Providing additional technical support with Automation was Brother Kevin Poplar. The event was hosted by the Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter of Fairfax, Va., Northern Area II, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. The ceremony provided the opportunity for all thirty-two chapters in the region to amalgamate and honor our Brothers who have transitioned to The Omega Chapter in the past year to date.

The event commenced at 6:45 p.m as all participants were able to access the link, which provided a musical interlude and pictorial images of our departed Brothers prior to the starting of the event. Promptly at 7:00 p.m., the welcome to all was extended by Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter Basileus, Willie J. “W.J.” Williams, Jr. The rejoinder to the welcome was graciously provided by District Representative Conrado B. Morgan, who recognized and acknowledged all dignitaries in attendance. His acknowledgment was followed by the opening prayer provided by Brother David Bonner( Sigma Mu Mu).

Inspiring renditions of the hymns “Holy, Holy, Holy” and “How Great Thou Art,” were performed by the exquisite second tenor voice of Brother Owen Nixon (Gamma Xi ). This was followed by biblical passages from Psalms 30, Romans 8:14-28, and Psalms 100 by Brothers Vince Smithers (Tau Rho) Brother Sanford Crenshaw (Omicron Kappa Kappa) and Brother Eric Smith (Psi Nu).

The introduction of our guest speaker, Brother Pastor Cozy Bailey, (Pi Iota 1988) was magnanimously provided by Brother Tim Butler (Pi Lambda Lambda). Brother Pastor Bailey spoke explicitly to the effectiveness of our organization to thrive during challenging times. The origin of our Memorial Service mandate and the honoring of others above ourselves, while referencing Romans 12:10 to solidify his point. Sacrifice, solemnity, and self-abnegation are all components of the fabric that are woven into the character of Omega men and paying homage to those who’ve come before us is the highest form of distinction and recognition.

Upon completion of his message Northern Area II Supervisor, Brother Earl Smith Jr. did the honor of presenting Brother Pastor Bailey with our token of appreciation for providing his services, as well as his inspirational delivery of the message. We were more than thankful for the participation of our Grand Basileus, Brother Dr. David Marion who provided us with words of inspiration and encouragement as a portion of his closing remarks.

As we prepared to initiate our service, District Chaplain Brother Pastor Courtenay Miller provided an invocation and call to worship prior to the Formal Memorial Service. Which was conducted by District Representative, Brother Conrado Morgan, District Keeper of Records and Seal, Brother Craig Spraggins and District Chaplain, Brother Courtenay Miller. As we honored nearly fifty Brothers for their distinguished contributions, bridge-building and friendship post their transition to The Omega Chapter. The service concluded with the playing of “Omega Dear” and a moment of reflection, as a simple image of soft clouds gave way to the memory of those gallant Brothers whose presence, in the physical life, has expired but whose legacy shall remain in the archives of Omega for an eternity.

A period for fellowship and reacquaintance was provided post the virtual event, with numerous mentions of well-deserved accolades bestowed upon those who labored for the success of the service. We thank all that attended as our success was contingent upon your participation, and pray that we gave due credence to our Brothers, who now reside in their eternal home, with the Supreme Basileus of the Universe.

For know that they have earned their wings.

Brother Robert R. Smalls,
Northern Area II Memorial
Service Committee Chairman
March 12th, 2021

MANUP Youth Leadership March 2021

 Youth Leadership Summit

During the month of March 2021, Psi Alpha Alpha | Fairfax Virginia – The MANUP Program executed on a 4-week virtual Youth Leadership Conference series that covered the topics of military readiness, financial strategies, pre-college initiatives, and teen mental health hygiene. The series titled “Under Construction,” exposed students to a comprehensive course series on strategies that will help them discover and build upon their current foundation.

The MANUP YLC partnered with Mount Vernon (MVHS) and John Lewis ( JLHS) high schools in Fairfax County Virginia to host and execute on offering the YLC workshop series to the combined school campuses with 80+ mentees. The YLC series was executed at MHVS from February thru March. The series starts in March and will conclude at JLHS on April 22, 2021.

The military readiness workshop was hosted by Bro. LTC Chester Kelly and Bro. Kenny Cain (Ret.) of the United States Army. They spoke in-depth about their personal military careers, inspiration, and the technical aspects on how to enlist into all branches of service out of high school.
The YLC series included a session on mental hygiene for young adults. This session was led by Bro. LTC Eric Kelly (Ret. USMC) and Bro. Cozy Bailey Jr. The workshop covered topics of bullying, recognizing signs of depression and anxiety, where to get help, who to communicate with, positive releases of stress, understanding the importance of good health, and creating/maintaining positive relationships and environments in your personal circle.

Two of the 4 session series included financial strategies and mental health awareness for teens. The financial strategies session was hosted by Bro. LTC Kevin Williams (Ret. USMC) and Bro. Michael Frazier. They discussed the importance of credit and personal credit scores, in addition, the workshop covered aspects of compound interest, interest rates, retirement strategies, depreciating vs appreciating assets, and the importance of paying your creditors on time. A good portion of the workshop was dedicated on how to establish good credit coming out of high school that included establishing banking accounts. The pre-college initiative workshop discussed SAT/ACT test-taking strategies, finding the right college, and evaluating if college is the right move for you out of high school.

  Mental Health

Fairfax County Virginia | Psi Alpha Alpha – The MANUP Mentoring Program for PsiAA concluded its four-week Youth Leadership Summit at Mount Vernon High School on March 22, 2021. The theme “Under Construction,” concluded with a workshop on teen mental health awareness. The event was hosted by Bro. Eric W. Kelly and Bro. Cozy Bailey Jr. The event covered aspects of normalizing professional therapy through trained and licensed professionals as well as knowing when to ask for help. Bro. Kelly’s takeaways for the 35 student participants from MVHS included asking for help, who to seek help from, and utilizing peer networking to promote a positive atmosphere.

Bro. Bailey Jr. shared important techniques on dealing with anxiety, processing negative feelings and emotions, and creating safe places to discuss feelings with proper and trusted persons. The Youth Summit for MVHS concluded with parting and encouraging words from PsiAA Leadership. Bro. W.J. Williams and Bro. Myron McDaniels gave praise to the MVHS student’s commitment in their attendance over the past four weeks during challenging times.
The MANUP Program is a proud sponsor of the MVHS Football Team. The program has provided pre-game meals for the 50+ youth on two separate occasions. The pre-game meals allowed students to fellowship and receive proper nutrients in preparation for their football games.