Social Action

Phi Beta Sigma has from its very beginning concerned itself with improving the general well-being of minority groups. In 1934, a well-defined program of Social Action was formulated and put into action. Bro. Elmo M. Anderson, then president of Epsilon Sigma Chapter (New York) formulated this program calling for the reconstruction of social order. It was a tremendous success. It fit in with the social thinking of the American public in those New Deal years. In the winter of 1934 Brother Elmo Anderson, James W. Johnson, Emmett May and Bob Jiggets came down to the Conclave in Washington, DC and presented their Social Action proposition, and just the birth of Social Action as a National Program.

Phi Beta Sigma partners with the March of Dimes. Through this partnership, the two organizations will work together to prevent premature births and build strong fathers and male role modes in the African American community through sponsoring Strong Fathers seminars and Stepping To Save Babies. Our members are committed to take the following actions:

Sigma’s volunteering for local March of Dimes chapters, committees and boards. Chapters co-sponsoring and leading with the March of Dimes Strong Fathersseminars in our communities. Sigma’s Stepping To Save Babies initiative: Our goal is to raise $75,000 with each chapter contributing a minimum of $200 for March For Babies.

Chapters are encouraged to continuously register and educate citizens to participate in the democratic process. We will work jointly with Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. to make a positive impact in our communities by registering new voters. The priorities of Project Vote are voter registration, voter education, voter participation and getting out the vote.Blacks constitute between 10 and 19 percent of all eligible voters. What a powerful force if properly harnessed. In 2004, only 38 percent of eligible Black voters registered. Every Sigma Brother should show proof to his chapter that he is registered to vote. Check friends and family members to ensure their registration as well.

Voter Registration Events

  1. Check with your local registrar on rules and requirements.
  2. Obtain registration materials.
  3. Contact shopping centers regarding permission/requirements.
  4. Investigate local sources of funding.
  5. Involve local politicians or celebrities.
  6. Pick a convenient date.
  7. Advertise to the public
  8. Have a back-up plan for date, Brothers, site, etc.
  9. Make it a learning experience
  10. Involve Sigma Beta Club members.
  11. Coordinate with Zetas.
  12. Collaborate with local groups.
  13. Make it fun.

Educational Events

  1. Contact all candidates: Do not endorse any candidate (remember Sigma is non-partisan).
  2. Contact all political parties: Utilize their resources, materials, and expertise.
  3. Organize a meet the candidates forum or a discussion of vital issues workshop.
  4. Have a breakfast at your Fraternity house or local church. Invite other organizations.
  5. Check local funding sources. Local non-partisan organizations.
  6. Involve Sigma Beta Clubs: Excellent learning opportunity.
  7. Follow-up and follow through. Registration, education and demonstrations are for naught without the vote.
  8. Establish a reminder phone bank. Organized car pools. Have knock-on door patrols.
  9. Get them to the polls on time!

Political Empowerment

Meaningful and lasting changes can best be brought about through the political process. If men of Sigma are to fulfill our mission of “Service to Humanity” in the political arena, and become positive agents of change, we must:

  1. Stay informed (Keep up with current events).
  2. Join political organizations.
  3. Donate time, money, services.
  4. Develop a proposed platform for candidates which deals with pressing community problems and concerns.
  5. Run for office.
  6. Screen and select candidates for the public.
  7. Promote and encourage positive exposure for candidates.
  8. Volunteer as campaign workers.
  9. Obtain list of committees in Congress, State Legislatures, County Governments, and City Councils.
  10. Get names, telephone numbers, fax numbers, email addresses and addresses of Chairpersons.
  11. Write, call or visit officials to voice opinions, obtain advice, and get clarification.
  12. Lobby and meet with elected and appointed officials to develop meaningful dialogue on and solutions to community concerns.
  13. Attend legislative sessions/hearings (a great field trip for the chapter and Sigma Beta Clubs).
  14. Hold elected officials accountable. Expose and/or oppose candidates and public officials who have not been true to their platforms or who have not performed adequately.
  15. Send letters to the editors of newspapers and periodicals.
  16. Share knowledge and information (with local groups, national organizations within Sigma).

Thank you for your interest in the Sigma Wellness: Living Well Brother-to-Brother Initiative. We are excited about Sigma’s leadership role in eliminating health disparities in men of color. Please take a moment and read below prior to conducting a workshop.

  • Living Well is a men’s health initiative designed to educate and inform the community about key health issues facing men of color. This initiative is meant to engage the community in a dialogue about our health and solutions to improve our well-being.
  • The Program Guide is designed around five health modules. Each module has one or more sessions and should be completed in its entirety before moving on to the next module.
  • Each module has a series of slides. The slides and manual are designed to work together to provide consistency and simplicity. All may be downloaded under Members > Initiatives Forms.
  • You may supplement the slides with relevant and audience friendly audio or visual materials of your own choosing or with guest speakers.
  • It is best to plan out the workshop a few weeks ahead of time. Preferably, the workshops can coincide with the Sigma Social Action Calendar.
  • Brothers are advised to practice the slides a day or two before your workshop presentation. This allows you to become familiar with the language, topics and the transition of the slides.
  • Take attendance, take pictures, provide a pre-test and post-test for attendees (materials included in the guide). This will help us better understand our effectiveness in the community, as well as provide us key information for building future programming.
  • Brothers should first train each other on the modules so that every active Brother in the Chapter is familiar with the topics, and then prepare to conduct the workshops in the community.
  • We encourage Brothers that when appropriate co-host the event with our sisters Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Conducting the Living Well workshops provides an excellent opportunity for professional development, strengthened public speaking skills and enhanced organizational know-how.
  • Report, Report, Report! The hosting Brother must build a workshop portfolio and report activities.
  • Get the media involved. Save newspaper clippings; contact the local health department and let them know of your work. Engage health educators on your campus; organize health fairs. Record and keep the pre-tests and post-tests (send the Social Action Director copies).
  • Complete the assessments at the end and mail with your workshop portfolios.

Here are some other ideas on how to implement Social Action programs.

  1. Form a social action committee composed of no fewer than five men chosen on the basis of interest and sincerity in social action.
  2. At the beginning of each year this committee should prepare a list of critical areas in the community, city, state and nation.
  3. Assign each area to a member of the committee for investigation to determine the facts and issues involved
  4. The committee should meet and discuss the findings of the members and prepare a report giving recommendations to the chapter for specific actions to be taken in each area.
  5. The chapter should adopt these recommendations with such changes as it deems desirable.
  6. The social action committee should prepare a list of local organizations in the community that concern themselves with social action problems and get chapter approval for the organizations with which the committee will work.
  7. A public social action program should be sponsored at least once each year. It may be either a cooperative venture with an approved organization or strictly a chapter function.
  8. Full publicity should be given to the chapter program.