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In 2014, CSR’s President’s Award was presented to the members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. for their long-time volunteer service to our families within the Behavioral Health Department and our Emergency Shelter, two of the largest divisions at the agency.

Both chapters of the fraternity have made an outstanding contribution that has transformed the lives of many. These attributes are core to the service that these men have delivered to individuals and families through their care and concern to Children’s Services of Roxbury. They are leading examples in their efforts to build community, dignity and character those served by the shelter. We are honored to highlight the work of these amazing men.

Zeta Kappa Sigma Alumni Chapter
Zeta Kappa Sigma, Alumni Chapter

Omicron Chi Sigma Alumni Chapter
Omicron Chi Sigma, Alumni Chapter

The History of Phi Beta Sigma

Phi Beta Sigma logoThe Most Honorable Founder, A. Langston Taylor, on Saturday, October 8, 1913, presented to the Most Honorable Founder, Leonard F. Morse the proposition of establishing a new fraternity. The Most Honorable Founder, Charles I. Brown, another student at Howard University in Washington, D.C., was invited to aid the movement.

Hence, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. was founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C., January 9, 1914. The founders, Honorable A. Langston Taylor, Honorable Leonard F. Morse and Honorable Leonard F. Morse, and Honorable Charles I. Brown wanted to organize a Greek letter fraternity that would truly exemplify the ideals of brotherhood, scholarship and service. The founders deeply wished to create an organization that viewed itself as “a part of” the general community rather than “apart from” the general community.

They believed that each potential member should be judged on his own merits rather than his family background or affluence without regard of race, nationality, color, skin tone or texture of hair. They wished and wanted their fraternity to exist as part of an even greater brotherhood –sisterhood which would be devoted to the “inclusive we” rather than the “exclusive we”.

From its inception, the founders also conceived Phi Beta Sigma as a mechanism to deliver services to the general community. Rather than gaining skills to be utilized exclusively for themselves and their immediate families, the founders of Phi Beta Sigma held the deep conviction that they should return their newly acquired skills to the communities from which they had come.

The deep conviction was mirrored in the fraternity motto, “Culture For Service and Service for Humanity.” In order for our brotherhood to remain relevant to our nation’s communities, we strongly believe the quality of our giving must make a significant impact on the lives we have been entrusted to serve. We further believe that what we do speaks volumes about who we are.

As a social and service organization, Phi Beta Sigma has many programs. The three National Programs of Bigger and Better Business, Social Action, and Education, help focus the fraternity on delivering to the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s world. Sigma Wellness has become the Fraternity’s over-arching banner, combining our three-pronged programmatic thrusts of Bigger, & Better Business, Education and Social Action, with the intention of providing a holistic outreach program to the communities in which we live and serve.

Four years ago, the members of Zeta Kappa Sigma chapter, the oldest existing chapter in Boston, were introduced to Children’s Services of Roxbury through a friend, who worked as a relief worker at the Millennium Shelter. Their first level of engagement was a holiday party for the families and kids who lived there.

The relationship quickly evolved from there with a Halloween party and more activities that engaged the kids and families with the fraternity. Impressed by the real potential to make impact, the group decided to adopt the shelter. The chapter continued to develop the relationship and really embraced the shelter working to hold consistent and meaningful holiday and service events.

In 2013, the Sigmas expanded in Boston by starting the Omnicron chapter. They began to develop an understanding of the needs of the children and families supported by the Behavioral Health Department at Children’s Services of Roxbury. They planned a number of events that ranged from a summer party to fun holiday friendraisers and fundraisers. This chapter eventually adopted the families supported by the Behavioral Health Department of the agency and have continuously given back to them.