Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., (www.phibetasigma1914.org) through its Sigma Beta Clubs (www.sigmabetaclub.org), has been at the forefront of providing mentorship and leadership development to primarily, but not exclusively, African-American young men between the ages of 8-18 years old. President Barack Obama’s recent statement, “And for us to be able to gather together business leaders and local elected officials and clergy and celebrities and athletes, and figure out how are we doing a better job helping young African American men feel that they’re a full part of this society and that they’ve got pathways and avenues to succeed,” made during his July 19, 2013 White House Briefing regarding the Trayvon Martin killing, sparked Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. to rally its stakeholders and join President Obama in his quest to help young African American boys.
“Phi Beta Sigma men worldwide embrace President Obama’s call to provide mentorship to our next generation of leaders. Through our Sigma Beta Clubs we answer the challenge set forth,” intimated Jonathan A. Mason, 34th International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. “In cities across the country, our clubs are producing thousands of success stories. We are anxious to partner with the Obama administration in an effort to increase outreach and effectiveness,” he added.
Since 1950, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., one of the nine African-American Greek-lettered fraternal organizations, has been proactive in youth development activities. Throughout the United States and abroad, its Alumni chapters have organized Sigma Beta Clubs to implement their four national program initiatives: 1) Bigger and Better Business through “Investment, Savings and Job Shadowing Program;” 2) the Education Program involving “Academic and Scholastic Achievement;” 3) Social Action Program involving “Sigma Against Teenage Pregnancy Plus (SATAPP)” and “Health and Wellness” and 4) Childhood Obesity Initiative “Stepping Out Childhood Obesity.”
Through the National Sigma Beta Club Foundation’s recently adopted curriculum, “Rise and Thunder,” a framework has been created for the members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. to implement a standardized curriculum which provides incentives to Sigma Beta Club members. The curriculum also contains a common language that describes the characters of a young man affiliated with the Sigma Beta Clubs. The “Rise and Thunder” curriculum addresses specific issues impacting young men in their communities and clubs. This is accomplished through five (5) benchmarks, “Member,” “Rise,” “Command,” “Lightening” and “Thunder” which are connected to nine (9) core competencies – Leadership, Teamwork, Vision, Service, Learning, Culture, Advocacy, Equity and Ethics.
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and its Sigma Beta Club Foundation are in partnership with Leadership At Its Best, LLC (www.LeadershipAIB.com) in the development and delivery of healthier life style programs, leadership development, life skills training and career preparation. These programs over the years addressed the many issues African-American boys and young men face from elementary school to college. Carter D Womack, 27th and 29th International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Founder and CEO of Leadership At Its Best states, “We must come together to address the issues our boys are facing, because these are human and civil rights issues.” He furthered remarked, “John H. Jackson, president and CEO of the Schott Foundation, reported in The Black Boys Report that ‘this battle is critical to ensuring the health of America’s communities, democracy, and economy’.”
Attorney Arthur R. Thomas, President of the National Sigma Beta Club Foundation and 31st International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., states, “If we are to make a real and positive difference in the lives of young African American males, we must be leaders by example and be supportive of any and all initiatives espoused by President Obama. We can do this through the Sigma Beta Clubs which ensures that our young men become ‘The Next Generation of Leaders Accepting the Responsibility and Loving the Challenge’.”
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity established in 1914 on Howard University is a global organization with over 450 chapters and 150,000 members. To learn more visit www.phibetasigma1914.org