Monday, June 15, 2009

America's Largest Black Fraternities Unite with Big Brothers Big Sisters to Help Boys with Absent Fathers Succeed

Announcement of Unprecedented Collaborative Action Comes a Week Before Father's Day

Via Press Release: Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi, the nation's largest African-American Fraternities, have joined forces in an unprecedented union with Big Brothers Big Sisters to help black boys -- often referred to the organization by single mothers -- succeed. The fraternities -- which represent 250,000 college educated-men, many who are among prominent African American business and community leaders -- are not attempting to replace missing fathers. Rather, they expect their involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters as mentors, advocates, fundraisers and influencers, to help African American boys and other children break negative cycles.

The collaborative effort will expand Big Brothers Big Sisters' near 20-year national partnership with Alpha Phi Alpha. Together, the fraternities will work with the organization to develop programs to encourage members and friends in their large professional, personal and social networks to also support the nation's largest donor-supported network of volunteer mentors for youth. The men will urge those in their networks to become Big Brothers; donate and raise funds for the top-rated charity; serve on boards of directors for local agencies in their communities; create sponsorship partnerships with their employers; host recruiting and other engagement events, and provide enrichment programs for Little Brothers and boys who are ready to be matched.

"This landmark partnership greatly strengthens our engagement in African American communities and will be significant in helping us serve many more children, particularly growing numbers of boys whose moms are seeking our help," said Judy Vredenburgh, President and Chief Executive Officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

In addition to joining forces with Big Brothers Big Sisters to develop new national initiatives, the fraternities will expand successful programs launched in recent years by individual local agencies and fraternity chapters.

Existing Big Brothers Big Sisters engagements with the Alphas, Kappas and Omegas include:

Alpha Phi Alpha: The fraternity partners with Big Brothers Big Sisters in Dallas and Cleveland for successful barbershop recruitment drives, an idea launched in Dallas several years ago.

Omega Psi Phi: Through Operation Lamp Light the fraternity is working with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit to adopt a Detroit high school and build a relationship with a core group of 13- to 14-year-old boys... Some Omegas are spending one-on-one time with boys while the larger fraternity supports bimonthly workshops or field trips to museums and sporting events.

In Louisville the Theta Omega chapter created its Men of Quality program, which mentors youth based on the fraternity's four cardinal principles - Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance and Uplift through a Lifestyles Choices Forum.

Kappa Alpha Psi: Kappa Alpha Psi member, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri board member Johnny Furr, has led efforts to mobilize the community to mentor.

Learn how you can change how children grow up in America by going to BigBrothersBigSisters.org.

Source: PRNewswire/BigBrothersBigSisters

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