Quentin Hart stood on the Fourth Street Bridge and gazed down at the Cedar River that swirled beneath him and flowed south on its way to the Delta. This is where he lingered the night of Dec. 1 when he got the phone call from his campaign manager telling him that he had won the run-off election to become his hometown’s first African-American mayor. He wanted to be in the middle of the bridge — a deeply symbolic spot in this city, as if suspended between two worlds — when he first heard the election results. He had kept this same vigil on at least three previous election nights. Fifty years after the Voting Rights Act and seven years after President Barack Obama won the White House, it may strike some as overblown to note how a Midwestern city of fewer than 70,000 residents, like many others before it, finally reflects modern demographics in its top job and has shed old prejudice at the ballot box. But election of its first black mayor bears special meaning in a city that arguably more than any other in Iowa, has been bitterly divided by race. As a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Hart, 44, aims to transcend Waterloo’s historical boundaries and unify his city, which in recent years also has seen a growing number of Latino, Burmese and Bosnian residents. Hart takes over the mayor’s office at a time when our national debate on race has gotten hotter. The last two years of headlines about black Americans killed by police and other racially charged flash points — from the Ferguson, Mo., riots to the University of Missouri student protests — has intensified these issues for all public officials. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff, so far [...]
Posted 6:02 pm, February 25, 2015, by Anthony Kiekow, Updated at 03:59pm, February 25, 2015 ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – Black males filled the Omega Center in St. Louis Wednesday. It was all the result of a youth leadership summit hosted by the men of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. More than 300 middle and high school students from across St. Louis and St. Louis County were present. The events in Ferguson pushed the fraternity to organize the summit. The goal is to teach the young males crucial lessons and remind them that they are not alone. “How to interact with law enforcement and we are attempting this year to send a clear message that they have a support system,” Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. John Bowman said. …..Read More and Watch the Video
Omega Youth Leadership Summit and Voter Registration Outreach Program The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., will sponsor a youth leadership conference and voter registration drive on Oct. 3 and 4 in Ferguson, a St. Louis, Missouri suburb, where an unarmed black 18-year-old was fatally shot by a white police officer. The youth leadership conference, which targets African-American boys, ages 13 to 25, will be held from 4 to 9 p.m., on Oct. 3 at the Omega Center, located at 3900 Goodfellow Blvd in St. Louis. The event is free. The sessions will be facilitated by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity members and will focus on self-esteem, goal setting and academic success, health, sexual awareness, social and personal responsibility and conflict resolution. Experts from industries ranging from law to health care will facilitate the workshops. “Considering the enormous challenges this community and others like it face; these two complimentary events provide much needed support to the youth and residents of Ferguson,” said Antonio F. Knox Sr. the Fraternity’s 40th Grand Basileus. “Our plan is to embolden the youth and empower the residents to initiate the personal and civic change they need and have long sought.” The voter registration effort takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 4 at the Canfield Green Apartments located in Ferguson, Missouri. Upsilon Omega and Omicron Sigma chapters in the Eighth District and Nu Chi and Tau Gamma chapters in the adjacent Tenth District are coordinating the two events. Brown’s death fueled nearly two weeks of sometimes-violent street protests and social unrest in Ferguson. Roughly, two-thirds of Ferguson residents are African-American but has mostly white elected leaders. Only 12 percent of registered voters took part in the last municipal election. [...]
St. Louis, MO – On June 7, 2013, the Brothers of Upsilon Omega Chapter presented and honored 4 high school scholarship recipients at the Rhapsody in Black XVIII Scholarship Concert Fundraiser. The recipients and the Bro. William Ray Brown, PhD, 32nd Eighth District Representative in photo.