Upsilon Nu Omega Academy Mentoring

Richmond, Virginia Saturday February 2, 2019, Upsilon Nu chapter came out to support and serve as judges for the Delta’s 29th Annual Oratory Contest. The competition drew over two hundred students who participated in the competition. With the supporters and family members the gym was standing room only. Since its inception, thousands of students have competed. The theme this year was Listen: To a New Generation: Our Future Speaks.

Submitted by Bro. Michael Edwards                                     Pictures by Brother Michael Edwards

Upsilon Nu Chapter High School Support Deltas Oratory Contest

Richmond, Virginia Saturday February 2, 2019, Upsilon Nu chapter came out to support and serve as judges for the Delta’s 29th Annual Oratory Contest. The competition drew over two hundred students who participated in the competition. With the supporters and family members the gym was standing room only. Since its inception, thousands of students have competed. The theme this year was Listen: To a New Generation: Our Future Speaks.

This annual contest provided students with an opportunity to develop and receive recognition for their public speaking skills. Contestants were judged based on a set of criteria that measured their creativity, demonstration of intellectual thinking, and positive expression in an original written and oral presentation of the annual theme. Upsilon Nu has become a supporter of the annual event. It is a part of the Social Action Committees programming. Ms. Vanessa Evans, Vice President for Membership Services, worked with Brother Michael Edwards to outline the nature of the partnership. The Annual Oratorical Contest was presented to Social Action Chairman, Brother James Hunter, and his committee for approval.

It was wonderful to watch these young people as they lined up in the hallways practicing their presentations. There was a buzz throughout Franklin Military Academy, as the classrooms filled up with excited contestants. I was really impressed by the numbers of schools that attended the event and the enthusiasm shown by the contestants. “We look forward to supporting this event and extending our relationship with this effort,” stated Brother George Goldsborough.

The contestants are judged on several categories, such as Originality of the body of work, Delivery, Poise, Interpretation and Eye Contact, to name a few. “This year I was one of the judges for the 11th through 12th grade students from the various schools. I must say, the students came prepared and ready to compete. “You can tell that someone has been putting in long hours with these students; their performances were at a very high level,” stated Brother. Michael Edwards.

Submitted by Bro. Michael Edwards                                                            Pictures by Brother Michael Edwards

Upsilon Nu Omega Man of the Year Salute

The different dimensions of Bro. Freager Sanders living his creed during an outstanding year of service

Richmond, Virginia, November 17,2018. Upsilon Nu Chapter Achievement Week Program. Brother Freager Sanders was the recipient of Upsilon Nu’s Omega Man of the Year award. Brother Sanders not only exemplified the spirit of our four cardinal principles, Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance and Uplift, he backed it up with service to the chapter and to the community. Brother Sanders was the driving force behind the successful Relay for Life campaign, his effort was the main reason Upsilon Nu was a leader in fundraising for the event. He was recognized by the Relay for Life coordinator for his fundraising skills. Omega says, the Brother who has made significant contributions to his Chapter, his District and on the International level of the Fraternity. He should also be one who has made significant contributions to his community. Additionally, he must have served in a manner above and beyond the ordinary participation levels necessary to implement programs and projects. He should be involved in leadership roles regarding the organization, planning and implementation of programs and projects. For one shining year Brother Freager Sanders, checked all the boxes. Congratulations our Brother from Upsilon Nu.

Article and Pictures by Bro. Michael Edwards

Upsilon Nu Supports Sportable Spooktacular Tournament

RICHMOND, Virginia, Saturday and Sunday, October 27- 28, 2018, Upsilon Nu Chapter partnered with Sportable - Richmond Adaptive Sports & Recreation of Richmond for the 1st Annual Sportable Spooktacular wheelchair basketball tournament.  The tournament is a junior wheelchair basketball tournament sanctioned by the National Wheelchair Basketball Association.  It featured 6 Varsity Teams (ages 14-21) and 4 Prep Teams (ages 13 & under) from around the country including Richmond's own Sportable Spokes!

Some of the biggest take aways from this event included helping participants get out into their communities, be active and make friends regardless of their disabilities.  This event also kicks off the beginning of the team’s seasons.  Members of the Upsilon Nu Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, served as volunteers, assisting with the breaking down equipment, cleanup of the facility and helping participating athletes with loading equipment into vehicles.

 "I want to thank you and the rest of the Upsilon Nu Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity so much for volunteering for the Sportable Spooktacular Wheelchair Basketball Tournament! This tournament is the kick-off event to most wheelchair basketball teams' seasons and it is very important”, stated Kelli Buhrdorf, Program Associate. Alecia McConnell, Athletic Director stated, “I did not know that fraternities continued to be involved in community activities after college.  We appreciate your help I think it’s so cool that you guys do that”.

Sportable is a non-profit in Richmond, Virginia, dedicated to providing adaptive sport and recreation opportunities, events, & competitions. Helping to break down barriers one sport at a time!!

The game brings out the competitiveness in all the players, the play is physical and constant movement back and forth at a very fast pace, the players are bumping, shooting and blocking shots.

Submitted by Brothers Michael Edwards and James Hunter                         Pictures by Bro. James Hunter

Upsilon Nu Supports Get Out the Vote Rally

RICHMOND, Virginia, Sunday October 28, 2018, Upsilon Nu Chapter partnered with the Richmond chapter of the NAACP to be a sponsor in the “Crab and Que”, Get Out the Vote Rally and Motorcade. The event is dubbed “JJ’s Crab & Q” for the branch president, James E. “J.J.” Minor III. The purpose of the rally is to rev up interest in the Southside section of the City of Richmond to get out and vote in the November 6, 2018 election. Members of Upsilon Nu and other sponsors of the event met at the Southside Plaza to line up in the motorcade, which then preceded to several neighborhoods in Richmond. There was horn blowing and interaction as the motorcade made its way through the city. Members of the community came out of their homes and apartments and screamed and shouted words of encouragement to the steady chant from the drivers “Vote, Vote, Vote”.

The motorcade ended its parade in Church Hill where the rally was held. The scores in attendance were served crab and bbq along with hotdogs and hamburgers, music and speeches from dignitaries such as the Mayor of the City of Richmond, members of the Richmond Council,  the President of the Board of Education, and the President of the Richmond NAACP. The resounding theme was Get Out and Vote and take someone with you, don’t vote alone.

“Miss Community Clovia”, Clovia Lawrence lead the motorcade a long-time partner of Upsilon Nu commended Upsilon Nu for its continued support of voter registration and active civic involvement.

Bro. Theodore Braggs Jr. the VREM Chairman/Third District Subcommittee, organized the Upsilon Nu involvement with the event. As part of his duties Bro. Braggs has organize several voter registration efforts during the year, most recently at the National Night Out event.

Submitted by Bro. Michael Edwards                                       Pictures by Bro. Jerome Jackson

Charles W. Finley Memorial Training Retreat


Glen Allen, VA – Saturday, August 4, 2018, the Upsilon Nu Scholarship and Social Action (UNSSAF) facilitated the Charles W. Finley Memorial Training. The session was designed to provide learning opportunities to the members of the Upsilon Nu Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

The genesis of the train is circa 2012 when Basileus Franklin Dunn surveyed the Chapter and found that the top opportunity identified to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the chapter was to provide training. Based on this defined need, Brother Freager Sanders pulled together resources and held the first Chapter Retreat.  This is now an annual event and was named “Charles W. Finley Memorial Training” in memory of a founding father of the Chapter that had a passion for education and uplift.

Topics covered a broad spectrum that included fraternal knowledge, personal health, personal life management, emergency preparedness, effective committee leadership and spiritual enhancement. Over 30 Brothers attended the interactive session.

Brother Freager Sanders, UNSSAF Chairman and overall coordinator of the session relayed, “Knowledge is key to success in your life.  We developed the training agenda to give the Chapter an opportunity to learn about multiple topics and to highlight the areas of expertise that Brothers in the Chapter possess.  We consider ourselves the “best of the best” and the only way to maintain that position is to always be in position to share and receive knowledge”.

Post the training; the attendees attended a Fellowship Cookout at the home of Brother Darryl Exum. Food, paraphernalia swap, discussions about the current state of affairs in the Fraternity and the community, as well as stories from years gone by were shared.

Brother Jeffery Tarpley said, “This was excellent.  We are getting better every year”!

Submitted by Bro. Freager R. Sanders, III

Upsilon Nu Social Action – Proclamation

Richmond, Virginia, Friday October 12, 2018, office of the Mayor of Richmond, Virginia. Upsilon Nu Chapter received one of its greatest recognitions for a year of community service in the Richmond area.

Mayor Levar M. Stoney hosted Upsilon Nu for a photo-op and Proclamation signing to express his gratitude and that of the Richmond community for Upsilon Nu’s community service.

Mayor Stoney recalled that during the “National Night Out”, he attended and gave a speech, how impressed he was to see so many members of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. in attendance and not only supporting the event but actively engaging with many of those in attendance.

“I appreciate that Mayor Stoney took time out of his busy schedule to give the chapter the opportunity to meet with him as he signed the Proclamation for “Upsilon Nu Day October 12, 2018”. Mayor Stoney was very cordial and appreciated the community service Upsilon Nu continues to provide to the community” stated Basileus

Michael Swain. Members of the mayor’s executive team were also present to help honor Upsilon Nu at this special award ceremony. Ms. Laura M. Harrison, Senior Assistant to the Mayor's Office thanked Bro. Edwards for working with her to gather all the information required to make the event a successful affair and looked forward to continuing the relationship between Upsilon Nu chapter and the city of Richmond.

Article by Bro. Michael Edwards                                  Pictures by Mayor’s Staff

Upsilon Nu Supports “Meet the Candidates Forum”

RICHMOND, Virginia, Sunday September 16, 2018, Upsilon Nu Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., came out to participant in the “Meet the Candidates” forum, held on the campus of Virginia Union University.

Panel included: Corey Stewart - Republican vying for Senator Tim Kaine - incumbent Senator, sent surrogate Matt Waters - Libertarian for US Senate Ryan McAdams - Republican for US Congress, sent surrogate, Bishop Benjamin Donald McEachin - Democrat, US Representative, 4th District Abigail Spanberger - Democrat, vying for US Representative, 7th District Joseph Walton - Libertarian, running for US Representative, 7th District Pete Wells - Libertarian, running for US Representative

Each candidate was giving 3-minutes for opening comments, 2 minutes to respond to questions, and 1 minute for closing comments. The moderator asked 8 questions and allowed any or all panel members to answers. The questions ranged from “What’s the role of civility in politics?” to “Do you believe Equal Rights Amendment should be ratified?” to “How do you plan to improve the Cradled to Prison phenomenon?” None of the candidates strayed too far from party lines, for example when questioned about the solvency of Social Security and Medicaid/care, the Republican response was cut spending, Democrats response was increase taxes, and Libertarians’ answered with privatizing.

While the audience was mixed, it would be safe to conclude the majority were democrats based on the rare and unpredicted catcalling and occasional boos at the Republican responses. The blunt of these were directed towards Corey Stewart, especially when he tried to assert Senator Tim Kaine took the Democratic black vote for granted, which he concluded was Sen. Kaine’s reason for missing the forum. The unfiltered exchanges allowed for deeper insight into the candidates’ positions on issues and their passions. The Libertarians expressed their gratitude to be invited, because they generally do not have a seat at the table, even though they are on the ballot.

Attendees were asked to check their voter registration status, on the website and also to encourage their networks and associates to also check their status and share the website during their voter registration, education and mobilization efforts.

“Events like this are so important for the community to have a chance to see and hear from those who say they want to represent us in Congress. The opportunity to meet and question their views is crucial. I am especially happy that this event is being held on the campus of a fine HBCU institution. It is import that the students here and members of the community at-large can participate,” stated Brother Ted Braggs - Chairman of the Upsilon Nu’s Voter Registration Education and Mobilization (VREM) Committee.

Submitted by Bro. Miguel Johnson                            Pictures by Bro. Miguel Johnson

Upsilon Nu Supports Habitat for Humanity Restore

RICHMOND, Virginia, Saturday August 18, 2018, Upsilon Nu Chapter came out to support the Richmond Habitat ReStore. Upsilon has partnered with ReStore and comes out quarterly to offer support. Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories, building materials and more to the public at a fraction of the retail price.

Fourteen homes have been built in the Richmond, Virginia area in 2017, using supplies purchased and donated to the Richmond, Virginia Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  Based on the current building pace, that number will be higher this year. One would be amazed by the size of the facility in Richmond, Virginia. Countless shelves and isles of goods needing to be cataloged and inventory stored. During the course of the day the Brothers of Upsilon Nu moved pallets and unloaded trucks.

In the past we have been on-site to assist in building homes, but we have found that our efforts go a lot further and provide more value when we work with ReStore, that does not preclude Brothers from working at home building sites if they elected to do so.

Many times, the community thinks only of the home building component when they hear Habitat for Humanity. Working in the ReStore gave some of us a new reality about the other components of this tremendous program.

Last year the efforts of Upsilon Nu and the total hours provided greatly assisted the Brown family to gain a home of their own. “These donations of hours toward helping families realize their dreams of home ownership is something we take pride in doing. I am very proud of the participation from the chapter in this program and we look forward to our continued partnership,” stated Chapter Basileus Michael Swain.


Submitted by Bro. Michael Edwards                                                             Pictures by Bro. Michael Swain

Kavansa B. Smith Memorial Scholarship Recipients

RICHMOND, Virginia, Thursday June 7, 2018, this was a banner year for Upsilon Nu’s Kavansa B. Smith Memorial Scholarship. We had tremendous interest from students for our annual scholarship. We received scholarship applications from seniors across the Greater Richmond area. The Upsilon Nu Scholarship and Social Action Foundation Upsilon Nu Scholarship Committee are proud to announce that in April 2018 they awarded $12,000 in scholarships to high school seniors who are college bound in the fall of 2018 academic year on behalf of the Kavansa B. Smith Memorial Scholarship program.

“This year we had 38 recipients apply for our scholarship. 24 girls and 14 boys in 2017, we continue to try and work our relationships with high schools counselors to encourage more students to apply. These funds will help reduce some of the financial burden of pursuing higher education and assist in the dreams of these young people”, stated Scholarship Committee Chairman Bro. Stephen Wilson. The increase in the number of young men is noteworthy.

Upsilon Nu laid out the red carpet for its 2018 Scholarship recipients, the recipients were recognized by members of the chapter. They were welcomed by Basileus Michael Swain whom gave them words of encouragement and thanks. Scholarship Chairman Bro. Stephen Wilson welcomed the recipients and their parents to the program and thanked them for their participation. Bro. Wilson recognized Ms. Kendra Johnson, a scholarship recipient in  2008-09, whom attended Hampton University and is now pursuing her Doctorate in Education at Virginia Common Wealth University. He also recognized Ms. Keisha Smith, the daughter of Bro. Kavansa B. Smith for whom the scholarship is named. Ms. Smith gave a very heartfelt thanks and congratulated the recipients of this year’s scholarship awards.

Bro. Fred Shuford provided a seminar on “Time Management, Preparing for College and Tips” on the adjustments to college life. He stressed to the recipients, they should plan on studying at least 25 hours a week.

“We wanted to recognize and celebrate the 2018 scholarship winners' academic achievements and community service, a reception was held to formally introduce the awardees to the chapter. This allows us to publicly display our fraternity's cardinal principle of scholarship. In addition we wanted the awardees to meet one another and begin an academic network”, stated Bro. Wilson. We wanted to emphasize to them the importance of scholarship and that their hard work, perseverance and commitment to service was being rewarded.

The following Colleges and Universities will enroll our scholars in the fall.



Name                                    High School                        College Attending

Parker Watts                         James River                          Barnard College at Columbia University

Lauren Taylor Parker           Henrico High                       University of Virginia

Drew Acquaye                     Trinity Episcopal                  University of North Carolina

Nyla Jones                           Richmond Community         Clarke Atlanta University

Jordan Anderson Murray     Highland Springs                 North Carolina A&T

Tyrone Nelson Jr                 Highland Springs                 VCU Integrated marketing Cinema

Jordyn Walters                     Meadowbrook                      James Madison University

Marlin L Osborne Jr            Richmond Community         Randolph Macon College

Milleena McNeil                  Midlothian                            Virginia Tech

Ria Holloman                       Hermitage                             North Carolina A&T

Article by Bro. Michael Edwards                                     Pictures by Bro. Daren Exum