Omega Psi Phi celebrates Achievement Week at the Charles H. Wright Museum

In celebration of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.’s Achievement Week, members of the Omega Psi Phi-Nu Omega Chapter of Detroit hosted a panel discussion about leadership and the importance of Black male voices in civic life, at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. The theme of the event was: “What we can do to serve.”

National Achievement Week is a mandated program of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., that was originally designed to promote the study of African American life and history. It’s beginnings date back to the 1920 Grand Conclave in Nashville, where Carter G. Woodson inspired the overall idea. In 1927, at his urging, the fraternity made National Negro Achievement Week an annual observance.

Moderated by Robert Thornton, a former Senior Program Officer at the Skillman Foundation, the panel touched on a variety of topics, including strategies to cultivate Black male leaders in the communities. The panelists of Omega men included Judge Ulysses Boykin, 3rd Circuit Court of Wayne County; Dr. Ken Harris, president and CEO National Business League; Dr. Delorean Griffin, plastic and reconstructive surgeon St. Joseph’s Hospital; Senator Marshall Bullock, District 4 Michigan State Senate; Steven McGhee, Superintendent Harper Woods Schools, and Rev. Dr. Robert Brumfield, Pastor Oak Grove AME Church.

With entrepreneurship booming in the City of Detroit and so many feeling African Americans in the city are being left out, Harris said now is the perfect time for Black business owners to take advantage of the digital age and become a part of the city’s “comeback.”

“I would say to all Black business owners, that entrepreneurship is an opportunity to tap into their passions, and for urban America to develop itself in a way that represents minority and black populations,” Harris. “Entrepreneurship has grown tremendously. African Americans have a huge opportunity to successfully participate in the economic mainstream in Detroit and also to create sustainable businesses to help their local communities revitalize.”

In the crowd inside the theater at the Charles H. Wright Museum were a number of students from the Detroit Public Schools District who came seeking a mentor. A number of the panelists faced the same issue, including Griffin, who did not have doctors to look up to when he was a child growing up in Detroit.

“I didn’t have any mentors growing up and when I graduated from Florida A&M University, I said I was going to return home and give back to my community in any way,” said Griffin. “Real men show up and I wanted to make sure that we get more Black men in white coats, because less than three percent of doctors in America are African American and I hope the next one is in this room.”

With over 3,500 churches in the City of Detroit, many feel the church has to do a better job of leading, urging pastors to come out of the pulpit to help cease the violence and spearhead economic development.

“The faith community in Detroit is significant,” said Rev. Brumfield. “There are a lot of buildings where people gather for worship, sadly, the outreach ends right there in the church building. We all have to exercise the gift that God has placed in each of us and make Detroit a better place within the Black community.”





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