Phoenix: Ques, SGR Sorority and Iota’s Join Forces to Benefit the Phoenix Homeless Population

By DL White

The weekend of June 17-19, 2022, was celebratory from the perspective it was the National Juneteenth Celebration Weekend and it was Father’s Day (Sunday, June 19). However for a few member organizations of the Devine Nine, it was a weekend that began with a call to service.

It was a time of celebration and rightfully so, from the Whitehouse to small townships across the US and around the world, individuals were gathering to celebrate Juneteenth, the day 157 years ago, individuals in bondage in the state of Texas learned of their freedom June 19, 1865.

From the Oval Office, across the greater Phoenix metroplex, South to Pinal County, Tucson, Sierra Vista, and west to Glendale, Avondale, Yuma and many townships in-between hundreds, literally thousands of Americans joined President Joseph Biden and states west to east in celebrating the symbolic day of Freedom.For a few Black Greek Letter Organizations, the weekend began by rising early (5:30 am) and proceeding to downtown Phoenix area and the Central Arizona Shelter Society (CASS), to participate in ASU Project Humanities “Service Saturday” outreach to the unsheltered and homeless.Distributing “gently worn clothing, shoes, and hygiene items as well as backpacks, caps and water bottles was the order of the early morning, from 6:30 am – 8:45 or until the items are gone.

“Our primary goal and mission is distribute clothing and shoes but that begins by showing kindness and just being friendly,” noted the Project Humanities founder Dr. Neal Lester.

“During the summer months I’m not always sure who or how many of our regular volunteers will come out as there are vacations, and short stay-cations, to get away from the summer heat. I completely understand,” Lester stated, adding, “So having the brothers and sisters come out in full strength was a pleasant surprise.”

 Members of Beta Mu Sigma, the Phoenix Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc,  along with the brothers of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc, Phi Iota, and Xi Nu Nu the recently chartered graduate chapter serving the West Valley, were joined by the brothers of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, on the bright, crisp and warm Saturday morning.

“We are here to support our Soror (Sophia C) who has been an active member of Project Humanities. She is battling back and we are with our sister 122 percent,” shared Jackie Williams, President of Phoenix Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho, a service sorority founded Nov 12, 1922 at Butler University, in Indiana.

“We are new yet we are well aware of Project Humanities,” noted Terry Williams, Basileus of Xi Nu Nu, the recently chartered Graduate Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, serving Phoenix Westside. Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc, was founded on Nov 17, 1911, on the campus of Howard University, becoming the first Black Greek Letter Organization to have been founded on a predominately Black College Campus.

The Brothers of Xi Nu Nu did not come empty handed they came with over 200 cases of bottled water which was donated to the CASS Campus.

“I am here!” noted TR Badger, representing for the Iota’s. Badger also arrived with several bags of clothing and needed shoes for the growing homeless population. Iota Phi Theta is a service organization founded on Sept 13, 1963 at Morgan University in Baltimore.

The distribution moved quickly and close to 200 men and women were provided with (6) items i.e., pants, shirts, shoes, underwear, t-shirts, and hygienic items. 

“I would say this was a good day,” noted Dr. Lester, adding most of them are, a bit of kindness can go a long way in making someone’s day.”

Notable: Project Humanities is an award-winning initiative implemented at Arizona State University that leads local and national critical conversations around some of society’s most pressing challenges politically, socially, and historically; all within the context of addressing the fundamental question to all that happens in the world: “Are we losing our humanity?” Project Humanities’ focus on Humanity 101 programming that promotes these seven non-faith-based values: compassion, integrity, respect, forgiveness, empathy, kindness and self-reflection.

Guest columnist D.L. White can be followed on Twitter @dwhiteQ2.

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