During February, Pasadena Public Libraries will continue to host an exhibit depicting the involvement of Men of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc who have helped shaped the value system of the United States.
According to Disraeli Ellison, Curator of the Fraternity's exhibit, "The exhibit gives a peek into the accomplishments of African American Men who have enhanced all of our lives." The exhibit is housed in the Centennial and Humanities rooms on the first floor of the Central Library in two sealed lighted display cases.
New this year, exhibits are also on display in two branch libraries, the La Pintoresca Branch 1355 North Raymond Avenue and the Santa Catalina Branch, 999 East Washington Boulevard, Pasadena, CA.
The exhibits, according to Ellison, put on display more than a hundred year history of excellence and achievement, without boundaries. "Think of what life must have been like for these men as they were trying to make a respectable life for themselves and their families. Many of them had nothing in the beginning but raw undeveloped talent and intelligence. But they overcame adversity and life's challenges to excel."
There are photographs of some of the great men of Omega, such as Dr. Carter G. Woodson, founder of Black history week, Dr. Charles Drew, founder of the national blood bank, Dr. Benjamin Hooks, who succeeded Omega man Roy Wilkins, as Executive Director of the NAACP as well as star professional athletes including Michael Jordon and John Sally. Altadena track star Jerome Walker, who won the 1500 meter race in the AAU championship track meet with a time of 3:47.6, is shown in a 1956 issue of Life Magazine in the Centennial room of the Central Library.
"As servant leaders, Omega Men pray that their recognized efforts will encourage and empower others, from all walks of life, to be the best person humanely possible by any means necessary." Ellison continues, "We often hear about 'the struggle' but what we do not realize is that struggle takes place by those who love to see the growth and prospering of a culture, an American culture."
This exhibit, he said, "allows us to recall that we have all seen and been part of struggle." In 2011, the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. celebrated 100 years of service to communities' worldwide. This years' display gives an overview of the many diverse components that make the Fraternity a great fraternal organization.
One can see a display of Omega Men, such as Count Basis, Langston Hughes and Dr. Percy Julian who have been honored by having their photographs placed on U.S. Postage Stamps. The exhibit also recognizes the Fraternity's involvement in President Obama's Fatherhood initiative calling on fathers to become more involved in the life of their children, especially young males.
The fraternity in conjunction with the Inland Valley Uplift Foundation is sponsoring a Youth Leadership Conference for male students in grades 9 – 12 at the University of La Verne, March 2, 2013. Applications may be picked up at the four public schools in Pasadena as well as churches.