By Stephanie R. Jones
Each year the Beta Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. recognizes members of its organization who have carried fourth the fraternity’s mission of service to the community and Mississippians who have exhibited service to community and otherwise.
This year, the Aspire Community Uplift Foundation, along with Beta Alpha Chapter and Upsilon Epsilon Chapter, presented awards of recognition during the annual David C. Bass Sr. Achievement Week Gala Saturday at the Capital Club in downtown Jackson.
The theme of the gala was “We Are 1.”
The speaker for the event was Antonio Knox Sr., 40th Grand Basileus of the fraternity. Knox is the deputy administrator at the North Carolina Credit Union Division. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University.
Beta Alpha Chapter named George W. Jamison, II the the Omega Man of the Year.
The Founder’s Award was presented to Billy A. Roby and the Superior Service Award went to Darrell K. Stubbs.
Dexter M. Brookins received the Colonel Charles Young Military Leadership Award.
Chris Hamler presented the Humanitarian Award to Alonzo Hamilton.
Also lauded was Jackson State University President Carolyn Myers for advancements made at JSU during her tenure, including enrollments at the university and advancing academic programs.
The fraternity also recognized Dr. Larry Nixon and wife, Demetrica “Dee” Bookert-Nixon, for the work they do with a foundation they started to combat sickle cell anemia. They are co-founders of the Cure Sickle Cell Foundation.
Omega brother Antonio Knox Jr. introduced his father. “My dad, to me, is the epitome of an Omega man,” Knox Jr. said. “He has lived his life unselfishly and as a giving person.”
Antonio Knox Sr. has been a fraternity member for 37 years. He was a charter member of the Kappa Lambda Chapter at North Carolina State in 1978.
Knox Sr. spoke of topics in the forefront of the black community today, one in particular being black-on-black crime and issues with public school systems.
“We have to recognize it and call it as it is,” Knox said of crime. “The scales of public justice have to be balance and we have to see it as it is. It’s our obligation.”
Knox Sr. said the public school system is a concern because it affects black children most and it’s a regurgitation and “you have to follow the moment.”
It’s time for Omega men to make use of the least of what is available to create opportunities, he said. “It’s time for fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man to come together” to have a positive effect on our children, Knox Sr. said.
Overseeing the gala was Louis P. Wright, chairman of Aspire Community Foundation.
The foundation presented a $1,000 scholarship to graduating senior Lauren Porter, an aspiring model who walked the runway recently during the 50th anniversary of the Ebony Fashion Fair. Porter is the granddaughter of the late Dr. Aaron Shirley.
Beta Alpha Vice Basileus Femi Daramola stood in for Basileus Lucius Lewis Jr., who was out of town, bringing greetings and a welcome to the gathering.
Brittany Nobel-Jones, new co-anchor for WJTV News Channel 12 served as hostess. Entertainment was provided by keyboardist Michael Minor and vocalist Sonja Powe.
Stephanie R. Jones can be reached at email@example.com or (601) 454-0372.