On August 3, 2019, the men of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. hosted our quarterly 5k Walk/Run at Robert E. Lee High School in Springfield, Va. The 5k was followed by the fellowship breakfast at Delia’s Pizzeria & Grill in Springfield, Va. This event was created to promote a healthy lifestyle for the brothers as well their families and friends.
Several brothers, to include their family and friends came out to participate, Everyone endured the heat and participated in several activities such as Flutter kicks, Push-ups, Jumping jacks, Bear crawl, high knees, and butt kicks (to name a few) and had great fellowship while improving their health. In total, over 30 miles were walked or ran by those participating in the event.
During the breakfast, everyone (brothers, family, and friends) enjoyed the fellowship as it gave them time to continue to develop, build, and strengthen their existing and budding new friendships. Behold how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.
On July 27, 2019, the men of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. hosted its annual “appreciation” cookout. The annual cookout is held to express appreciation for the chapter’s members event sponsors, partners, family, and friend for their dedication participation and support during the year in executing the fraternity’s mandatory programs including talent hunt, essay contest and Achievement Week, to name a few, as well as local community initiatives such as the “ManUp” program, blood drive and health fair, and Reading for Success – all designed to help improve the quality of life in Fairfax County, the chapter’s service area. The appreciation cookout allows the brothers of PsiAA to socialize among themselves, along with their families and friends.
Food and fun are the two most important consideration of each cookout. Therefore, an array of foods, both hot and cold, was provided to satisfy all tastes and pallets – including BBQ chicken and ribs, sliced beef, greens, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, as well as light fare such as potato chips, nuts, hot dogs and hamburgers. Beverages included bottle water, of course, and a wide assortment of juices and sodas. The men of PsiAA demonstrated their skill on the grill by grilling the burgers and hotdogs. The remaining entrées and side dishes were catered.
Attendees were at liberty to participate in any or all entertainment events such as basketball/softball batting cage, corn hole, table and card games. There were those willing to accept the challenge.
The cookout, as expected, was well attended because it allows brothers to relax and enjoy themselves in an atmosphere of brotherhood while at the same time, sharing time with their families and friends in spirit of friendship.
On July 11, 2019, the men of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. attended the Inaugural Brother Dr. Moses C. Norman, Sr. International Leadership Conference was held in Atlantic City, NJ at the Harrah’s Hotel, July 11 – 13, 2019. There was a reported 965 Brothers who were registered at the Conference. Psi Alpha Alpha (Pisa) was well represented with 11 Brothers registered and in attendance. One of the most surprising things that happened was that the registration process was quick and painless. There was literally hardly any wait time. Registration to get your badge and credentials didn’t take longer than 2 minutes for most Brothers.
On Saturday of the Conference, Senator Kamala Harris (2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate) addressed the Brotherhood and the public that were in attendance. Kamala discussed her platform and her connections to Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
List of Brothers that registered and attended the Leadership Conference.
|Bro. W.J. Williams, Jr. (VB)||Bro. Chester Keller (KRS)||Bro. Marion “Barney” Barnwell|
|Bro. Calvin Beidleman||Bro. Cornelius Beidleman||Bro. Philip Benjamin|
|Bro. Brad Caldwell||Bro. Antonio Coleman||Bro. Norris Middleton|
|Bro. Alcindor Rosier||Bro. Ken Younger|
Psi Alpha Alpha had Brothers who have reached Anniversary milestones that were acknowledged at the Leadership Conference. The highlighted row means the Brother attended and received award at Leadership Conference.
|Last Name||M.I.||First Name||Years|
Psi Alpha Alpha Brothers were thoroughly immersed in traditional training classes offered to include:
- Keeper of Records and Seal training,
- Keeper of Finance training,
- Membership Selection,
- Vice Basileus,
- Basileus training,
- Social event success/Fundraising
Other course offerings were made available for those in attendance and Psi Alpha Alpha chapter brothers made the most of their time taking an active role in each. It was an enlightening experience.
This year’s leadership conference while stoked in business always is embodied with a great sense of friendship as the men of Omega work and socialize alongside one another. Psi Alpha Alpha Brothers in attendance prospered from the information shared and the fellowship amongst the Brothers of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated.
Bro. Willie “W.J.” Williams, Jr.
Vice Basileus, Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter
Bro. WJ Williams Jr (After receiving award)
On July 11, 2019, the men of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. celebrated Bro. Willie "W.J." Williams, Jr., was awarded a "Top 40 under 40" Award by the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce at the United Way Worldwide building. The "40 under 40" program was established in 2016 by the Chamber to recognize top men and women, age 40 and under, engaged in a variety of fields including business, technology, nonprofit management, civic life, public service, education, and the arts, who are shaping Alexandria for the future. The Chamber recognized W.J as one of these such people.
W.J. is currently a Senior Systems Engineer with OGSystems in the Alexandria area. He is also the Founder & CEO of W2W Technologies, LLC, a small company he started that is a full-service technology, design, development and support company that provides clients/organizations of various sizes with quality work to help entrepreneurs establish their brands and support their companies. W.J. has worked in the aerospace and defense industry for over 14 years, supporting the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area. He is a 2004 graduate of Clemson University and a 2007 graduate of Boston University. W.J. has earned recognition at the IMPACT Awards, National Engineers Week, and received The Modern-Day Technology Leader Award at the Black Engineer of the Year Award Conference.
In addition to his passion professionally, he is also a strong community leader with a focus on serving under-represented communities and promoting STEM awareness and engagement. He is an active member and leader in the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Co-Founder and Board member for the Aspire 2 Inspire Foundation, and Board member for the Bernie L. Bates Foundation.
Bro. W.J. Williams, Jr. with his Mom Bro. W.J. Williams, Jr. posting for picture before the event.
Bro. W.J. Williams, Jr. with the city of Alexandria’s mayor, Justin Wilson
On June 29, 2019, the men of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. hosted our second annual Health Fair and Blood Drive in collaboration with the Gum Springs Community Center and the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Service Board. The Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter Brothers volunteered to assist with parking, vendor setup and breakdown, security, and crowd control. This event served as the Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter’s Charles Drew Memorial Blood Drive which gave residents the opportunity to give the gift of life by donating much needed blood plasma.
The success of the blood drive was evident in the 21 units of blood collected which ultimately can save up to 126 lives. Other featured service providers in attendance (but not limited to) were the Department of Family Services (SNAP), Foster Care & Adoption, Domestic Violence Action Center (DVAC), American Diabetes Association, Community Service Board Wellness, Health Promotion, and Prevention; Unit Healthcare, Bethlehem Baptist Church (Blood Pressure checks), PsiAA Voter Registration, Mount Vernon Police Department, Mt. Vernon Hospital (Wound Healing, Inova Rehab, and Joint Replacement), and Aging, Disability, and Caregivers Resources.
On-site health screenings consisted of Dental, Blood Pressure, HIV/STD, Glucose, Cholesterol, Body Mass Index (BMI), Hearing, and Sight. The learning sessions consisted of Mental Health in the African American Community, Prostate Cancer, and CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation). The Children’s Virginia Blood Donor society was also present and taking blood donations.
The Health Fair is very important to the Gum Springs community, as attendees were able to receive valuable information related to various health and community topics. The services were provided free of charge and was open to the public. The PsiAA Brothers also participated in the various health forums provided. Both medical and certified professionals discussed issues that afflict African American men, brought awareness to preventive medicine techniques, and informed the audience of mental health issues in the African American community. The presenters were well informed and well versed in the topic areas posed by the audience.
There were 30 plus PsiAA Brothers who supported this event. All the service providers and guests expressed their appreciation and look forward to participating or attending in future events.
On June 5, 2019, the men of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. conducted the fourth and final “Reading for Success” program at Riverside Elementary School was conducted on June 5, 2019 and it was a huge success. The brothers, known affectionately as “The Sirs,” once again, supported six third-grade classes with a total of 223 students. We chose “What a Day” by Rena Korb. The book tells the story of a young girl who volunteered at an animal shelter during a winter blizzard and how she helped calm the shelter dogs and rescued a lost dog. Eight chapter brothers supported this effort and enjoyed the mentoring session as much as the students. The highlight of this session was the appreciation personally expressed by the Principle Mr. Paul Basdekis. He thanked us for our continued support and stated how important is for “The Sirs” to make a presence and impact the young readers. With today’s book donation, the program has provided 4,044 age appropriate books to the third-grade students at Riverside Elementary School this school year. We look forward to supporting this program in the coming school year this fall as we will enter our sixth year of supporting Riverside Elementary School.
On June 1, 2019, the men of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. held the fifth annual Scholarship and Community Recognition Breakfast; the event was underwritten by the Bernie L. Bates Foundation, Inc.—a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization.
Brother Eric Kelly, President of the Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter, and Brother Richard Morris, President of Bernie L. Bates Foundation, Inc, long other chapter and foundation members greeted nearly 120 attendees.
The Foundation/Psi Alpha Alpha awarded $22,950 to 21 scholars for the 2019 Scholarship and Community Recognition Programs. The awards were presented in three groups of honorees and community recognitions: Students who apply to the Bernie L. Bates Foundation’s Scholarship Program are selected based on the scholarship committee’s selection criteria; the community recognitions are selected by the Foundation’s Board of Directors.
In 2019, the selections were Scholarship Honorees ($18,000), University Recognitions ($2250), High School Recognitions ($200), and a Special Perseverance Award ($2,500). Of special note, the five highest awards were given in the names of prominent Omega men whom devoted their lives to the service of their communities and set the example of a selfless servant. Each had family members present to witness the honoring of their selflessness through scholarship
In addition to the mellow sounds of DJ Kool K, the Chapter’s first-place Talent Hunt contestant performed a rhythmic dance to the sounds of “Rise Up” by performing artist, Andra Day. The second-place contestant, Mr. Nicholas McCatty provided his wonderful vocals to the soulful classic “Everything Must Change” by Quincy Jones. Both artist received standing ovations for their brilliant performances. In true Psi Alpha Alpha fashion, the chapter utilizes every opportunity to highlight the skills of our Talent Hunt winners and participants.
The event was highlighted with strong words of wisdom from the dynamic speaking of Brother Barrye Price, a retired Major General of the United States Army. His charge reminded the students that while in college, they must always remember what they came there for, not to lose sight of their own stuff, seek help before finding yourself underwater, and that there are no shortcuts, so do the work!
Mr. Shamaal Sheppard, a 2019 graduate of Columbia University with a Masters in Health Policy and Management; provided an excellent charge to the honorees. His final and most powerful point was to challenge the scholars to find the “why” in what they are doing. He described it as the passion that gets them up each morning. This is what keeps the fire burning and brings purpose to your being.
Over the past thirteen years, the Foundation and Psi Alpha Alpha have provided over $400,000 in support of the Fairfax County community; our programs include, but are not limited to- the Youth Aviation Program, Reading for Success Program, Gum Springs Community Center, New Hope Housing, Northern Virginia Urban League, Capital Area Food Bank, Boys & Girls Club and a myriad of other community support activities.
Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter and the Bernie L. Bates Foundation will continue to support the community through the cardinal principles of Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance, and Uplift.
On the weekend of June 7, 2009, the men of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. returned to the “Celebrate Fairfax” event as a vendor, offering a wide variety of adult beverages to the event patrons. As a non-profit partner to the “Celebrate Fairfax” organization, the Chapter donates man-hours at a designated sales station, and in turn receives a portion of the profits from those sales as a fundraiser. Celebrate Fairfax is a “county fair” activity hosted by the Fairfax County Government and its sponsors, and is the largest community wide celebration in Northern Virginia. The annual event hosts tens of thousands of visitors during its three-day run. The site hosts twenty-five acres of exhibitors, food vendors, interactive activities, and carnival rides, with continuous live entertainment. Psi Alpha Alpha was one of nonprofit groups to host an unlimited craft beer tasting event on June 9, 2019. This year, Psi Alpha Alpha raised over $5,073 in total fund-raising, supporting Chapter activities as well as scholarships via the Chapter’s associated charitable (501(c)(3)) organization, the Bernie L. Bates Foundation, Inc. Although this activity represents a substantial amount of labor on the part of the Chapter, brothers always enjoy participating in this excellent fundraiser because it offers them an opportunity for brothers to directly interact with our constituent county. As the event chair, I wish to thank all the Brothers who volunteered their time to work a shift, and we look forward to next year’s event.