Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia

Richmond, Virginia September 10, 2019, Upsilon Nu donated $1, 000.00 to the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia. The donation was a further demonstration of Upsilon Nu’s support of Social organizations. This donation was a result of a partnership with the Richmond Pan Hellenic organization. Under this arrangement each member organization will donate $1,000.00 over the next two years.

In the spring of 2016, the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia adopted a new location—the Leigh Street Armory. The Leigh Street Armory was built by skilled black craftsmen and laborers in 1894-95, providing Virginia’s black soldiers with an armory to call their own. In 1899, just four years after the armory opened, the city converted the armory into a school for African American children. Closed after decades of service as a Richmond school, the armory was reopened once again to serve black servicemen during World War II. In 1942, the building became the Monroe Center, a recreation center for black troops. In 1945, it became an annex and a gym for local schools, then home to the Colored Special School from 1952-54.

Prior to becoming the new home of the Museum, the Leigh Street Armory had endured a fire and decades of neglect and abandonment. In 1981, the city declared the armory as surplus property. As a result, the building remained padlocked until 2002. However, a grant from Save America’s Treasures, a national historical site preservation program, agreed to fund the armory’s rehabilitation.

The Black History Museum’s permanent collection is a gateway to the rich history, heritage and significant accomplishments of African Americans in Virginia. The collection includes art, artifacts, textiles, photographs, rare books, music and other items. The Museum also hosts traveling exhibitions, literary talks, and special events throughout the year. Many thanks to Brother Daren Exum, for coordinating this worthy effort to support one of our jewels of the community. When I heard bout this initiative, I just thought it was very important that we participate. I took it to the chapter and there was overwhelming support, form there we just executed our next steps, stated Brother Exum.

Upsilon Nu and Phi Delta Achievement Week

Richmond, Virginia, Saturday, November 16, 2019, Upsilon Nu Chapter, Third District of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. held its Achievement Week Luncheon. We were especially honored that Governor Ralph Shearer Northam, signed a proclamation recognizing Upsilon Nu Achievement Week, throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. During the Achievement Week observance, Upsilon Nu held multiple events to show our compliance to the fraternities mandated programs. Mandated programs that were addressed were, Social Action, Scholarship, High School Essay Contest, Reclamation and Retention and the Achievement Week program itself.

The program is held to recognize those individuals at the local and international levels who have contributed to community uplift and the High School Essay Contest was held in conjunction with the Achievement Week Program.

The theme for the contest was: “The U.S. Census projects that the United States will become a majority-minority country by the year 2045. How can we combat, prevent and/or reduce prejudice, discrimination and violence in a new, more diverse America? “

We were especially fortunate to be address by Bro. James Clark as our Keynote Speaker, a past Basileus of Upsilon Nu. Keeping the link was a resounding theme. With Family and Friends and God. the keynote address on this year’s theme. "Omega – Now is the Time for Serious Thinking and Impact." Bro. Clark took the listeners on a special journey as he wove this year’s theme. The audience were very excited about the program with its content featuring articles displaying just some of the work performed by the chapter. We were also very happy to jointly have Phi Delta participate in this year’s program. Phi Delta Basileus recited the history of the Fraternity and spoke on their participation in the achievement Week program.

Upsilon Nu High School Essay Contest Winner

Richmond, Virginia, Saturday November, 16, 2019. Upsilon Nu announced its recipients of their National High School Essay Contest at their Achievement Week Program.

This year voting was the closest voting we have ever had, stated Brother Michael Edwards, the Achievement Week Committee Chairman. This year’s theme:

“The U.S. Census projects that the United States will become a majority-minority country by the year 2045. How can we combat, prevent and/or reduce prejudice, discrimination and violence in a new, more diverse America? “This year’s topic really challenged the contestant’s abilities to research and consolidate their ideas. Upsilon Nu announced the winner and runner-up recipient. The winner was Danna Taber, senior from Henrico High School, in Henrico, Virginia. Runner up was Mr. Darius Gray at student at Franklin Military Academy. Ms. Taber read her essay to those in attendance at the Achievement Week Program.

Upsilon Nu Supports “Stop Diabetes Walk”

Glen Allen, Virginia, Saturday, October 12, 2019, the Upsilon Nu came out to support the Stop Diabetes Walk, by volunteering to perform event set up activities. Members of Upsilon Nu showed up at 6:30 am to unload and set up the tables, signs and walking trail signs.

As we talked with other organizers of the event, they shared that, when you register for the Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes you become a part of the American Diabetes Association's team. Walking together with family, friends and coworkers shows your community you want a cure. Walking is a great way to get out and get healthy all while celebrating those living with diabetes.

We shared that our Fraternity has mandated health initiatives that focus on many of the same issues that effect community. And that was why we come out so strong to support these types of events. Brother James Hunter the Upsilon Nu Social Action Chairman organized the chapters participation. We want the community to know the following:

Diabetes is 60% more common in black Americans than in white Americans. Blacks are up to 2.5 times more likely to suffer a limb amputation and up to 5.6 times more likely to suffer kidney disease than other people with diabetes. Genetic traits, the prevalence of obesity, and insulin resistance all contribute to the risk of diabetes in the African American community. African Americans have a high rate of diabetic complications, because of poor glycemic control and racial disparities in health care.

Submitted by Bro. Michael Edwards Pictures by Bro. Miguel Johnson

Upsilon Nu Day Proclaimed in Richmond, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia, Friday October 11, 2019, office of the Mayor of Richmond, Virginia. Upsilon Nu, Third District 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 11, 2019”, stated Brother Michael Edwards. 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 Patrick Patrong

Upsilon Nu Welcomes Students Back to School

Richmond, Virginia, Tuesday, September 3, 2019, Upsilon Nu came out to support the Welcome Back to School event throughout the Greater Richmond area. The purpose of the First Day of School event was is to provide encouragement to the kids returning back to school. This was done in several states. In some schools we were asked to participate and wear attend in either shirt and tie, or omega casual attire. This was to provide kids with images of African Americans in professional attire and not Urban wear. Several of the schools are recipients of the book bags and school supplies donated by these organizations. “I remember going to Henderson Middle to give out backpacks for the students,” stated Brother Christian.

We received multiple opportunities to welcome young students back to school on Tuesday - September 3rd Schools asking for our assistance:
• Highland Springs Elementary School -600 Pleasant St, Highland Springs - 7:30 a.m. - requested attire = Omega Casual
• Martin Luther King. Jr. Middle School - 1000 Mosby St. Richmond, - 7:30 a.m. - requested attire = Jacket and tie
• Henderson Middle School - 7:45 a.m. - 4319 Old Brook Rd. - 7:45 a.m. - requested attire - Omega Casual

Submitted by Bro. Michael Edwards                                        Pictures by Bro. J.C. Christian

Charles W. Finley Memorial Training Retreat: 2019

Glen Allen, Virginia, Saturday, August 3, 2019, 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 Upsilon Nu.

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.

The purpose of the retreat since its inception is to provide an opportunity for training and development for brothers in the Upsilon Nu Chapter. Topics range from Fraternity history, protocol, health and wellness, financial acumen, insurance, estate planning and spiritual enrichment. All training is facilitated by brothers from the Chapter. Brother Freager Sanders, Chairman of UNSSAF and facilitator of the event commented “The purpose of the event is twofold. Primarily, the intent is to expand each brother’s knowledge on a broad range of topics. Secondarily, identify brothers that have expertise in areas that can be beneficial to both brothers of the chapter and the fraternity”.

Brother Jeffery Tarpley, who has attended all of the retreats said “Every year we get better! Everyone did a good job!” Twenty-Four brothers attended the training, ranging from Brother Ed West (Rho ‘67) to Brother Madrice Hamn (YN 2018). All brothers left with a positive learning experience and a renewed commitment to continue the journey of Omega.

One of the most rewarding parts of the Retreat is the presentations from brothers on various topics that provide focus. Brother Sanders and those in attendance thanks the presenters for all the effort and thought they put into those presentations. The variety of topics were economics, relationships, business protocol and spirituality.

Opening Prayer                                                                                               Brother P.  Patrong

Ground Rules                                                                                                  Brother F.  Sanders

Greeting / State of the Fraternity / Protocol                                                     Brother M.  Swain

Upsilon Nu History                                                                                        Brother M. Hamm

Fraternal Relationships Matter                                                                        Brother G. Parham

Planning for Retirement                                                                                  Brother R. Walker

Life Insurance 101                                                                                          Brother I. Fortenberry

Upsilon Nu & UNSSAF Relationship                                                            Brother F.  Sanders

Importance of Professionalism in Business                                                    Brother W. Curtis

Spiritual Leadership                                                                                        Brother P. Patrong

The 3rd District Strategic Plan has been a key resource as we focus to be not a Chapter of success but a Chapter of value.

“We want to hold ourselves accountable to metrics and we are willing to look in the mirror and ask are we making a difference. We have to continue taking steps, build on where we can get better, pushing ourselves to recognize where we can get better,” stated Brother Edwards

The Retreat allows us to come together and learn and gain new ways of focusing our efforts and actions.

Submitted by Bro. Freager R. Sanders, III                                    Pictures by Bro. Jeffery Tarpley

Upsilon Nu Supports District Social Action Project

Richmond, Virginia, Thursday April 4th, 2019. Each year the 3rd District sponsors a District wide Social Action project based on the recommendation of the Hosting chapters. For the 86th District meeting Mobile Hope of Loudoun was selected. In response to this request from support from the chapters in the 3rd District, Upsilon Nu Social Action committee chairman Bro. James Hunter rallied his team.

Each chapter was asked to provide backpack containing personal toiletries to help young homeless persons. The items are to be delivered to the District Meeting headquarters site on April 11th, 2019 in Herndon, Virginia.

 I want to thank the members of my committee as well as the Brothers of the chapter at large for their great support of this event. The Fraternity helps so many groups and here in the 3rd District especially. So when these types of events occur it also enlightens us about the work being done by the chapters across the district. I had never heard of the Mobile Hope of Loudoun, but Brothers in that community had and were working to support their community activism which is very much in line with ours.  Some of the supplies were brought to our monthly chapter meeting and the majority was dropped off at designated locations. We look forward to meeting the leadership of Mobile Hope of Loudoun during our meeting later this month.

Mobile Hope of Loudoun is the only organization in that community that supported the needs of homeless young people. It became apparent that a much broader array of services would be required to address the needs of these homeless and precariously housed children and young adults, stated CEO and founder, Donna Fortier,

Mobile Hope…….

The young people served by Mobile Hope of Loudoun include those: 1) living in conditions that are not stable, 2) living without healthy eating options, 3) living without stable medical alternatives 4) living in an atmosphere of stress, distrust and despair 5) living without the needed tools to perform well in school 6) living in an atmosphere which is influenced by violence and crime, 7) living in an atmosphere where illiteracy is a prevalent 8) living with little knowledge about what it takes to manage daily life.