The Iota Iota Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity held their Annual New Year’s Eve Benefit Gala on Dec. 31 at the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley. With the theme “Community Service with Lasting Results,” the event was attended by over 600 members and their guests. Proceeds from the Gala will be used for the Chapter’s programs and initiatives.
The Iota Iota Annual New Year’s Eve Benefit Gala was selected as the Spectacular Spot of the week. Spectacular Spot = The Hottest Places To Be & To Be Seen
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Omega Psi Phi
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. is the first international fraternal organization to be founded on the campus of a historically black college.
Omega Psi Phi was founded on November 17, 1911, at Howard University in Washington, D.C. The founders were three Howard University undergraduates, — Edgar Amos Love, Oscar James Cooper and Frank Coleman. Joining them was their faculty adviser, Dr. Ernest Everett Just.
Raleigh, NC’s Antonio F. Knox Sr. was elected the fraternity’s 40th Grand Basileus during the Grand Conclave in Philadelphia in 2014 and re-elected in 2016. Under Knox, the fraternity championed a number of civil rights initiatives. Omega became a strong voice against police brutality, efforts to suppress voting rights and other social ills. The fraternity sought plausible solutions to civil unrest that erupted in urban communities following fatal police shootings of several unarmed African-Americans. Today, Omega Psi Phi has over 700 chapters throughout the United States, Bermuda, Bahamas, Virgin Islands, Korea, Japan, Liberia, Germany, and Kuwait.
Iota Iota’s four founding members, Brothers Cecil H. Flagg, Dr. Nelson Harris, C. A. Toole and William Hurdle, chartered Iota Iota on May 31, 1944. All of the founders have entered Omega Chapter (deceased). Formerly an extension of the Beta Phi Chapter of Durham, NC, Iota Iota was formed when the Omega men of Raleigh and Omega men of Durham became two separate and distinct entities. On that date, sources believe the Dr. Nelson Harris was presiding Basileus and the chapter’s only members were its four founders. Early on, Iota Iota quickly positioned itself as a viable, visible team of community service leaders and role models within the city. This role would gain the chapter recognition not only with the city of Raleigh, but also throughout the state of North Carolina and beyond.
Within the first ten years of its history, Iota Iota made history during the Martin Luther King, Jr. era. The chapter played a significant role in the desegregation of public accommodations in the city of Raleigh. A landmark civil rights judgment was won against the city of Raleigh covering all types of segregation, and featured a planning architect, Brother Dr. Carl DeVane (Omega Chapter), who was a member of Iota Iota. Bro. DeVane was quoted by Harry Reasoner of the CBS evening news during the thrust of the controversial case and Reasoner returned to the city of Raleigh to cover the actual trial which was so heavily attended that it was held at the Raleigh Auditorium.
Also within the first ten years, the chapter established a political presence in the city of Raleigh. Several people and issues supported by the fraternity, eventually gained recognition in the political process during this time.
Continuing in the political arena, Iota Iota went on to add to its list of accomplishments in 1980 with appointment of another member of the chapter. Brother Harold W. Webb was appointed as director of State Personnel where he served four years. Also, in the early 2000’s, Bro. Webb serves as a Wake County Commissioner. In 1990, Brother Geoffrey H. Simmons became the first African-American elected to head the Wake County Bar Association. On November 4, 1992, Brother Ralph Campbell became the first African-American elected as State Auditor. In 1994, Brother Michael R. Morgan became the first Omega man to serve as a judge in the General Court of Justice in Wake County and later in the 2000’s serves on the Superior Court of NC. In 1993, Brother Bradford Thompson was elected and served as the only African-American on the Raleigh City Council.
Giving credence to its cardinal principle “uplift,” Iota Iota has, in the past 65 years, been instrumental in assisting the establishment of some of the city’s historically African-American landmarks by advising the efforts of aspiring local businessmen.
The accomplishments of Iota Iota collectively and of its individual members have been many and among those consistent with the fraternity since its early years, include the fraternity’s serving as advisor to three undergraduate chapters of Omega Psi Phi located on the campuses of Shaw University, St. Augustine’s College and North Carolina State University. The advisory program encourages the younger brothers to maintain academic excellence as well as to pursue education beyond their undergraduate degrees.
The chapter has a scholarship program designed to help fund the aspirations of high school seniors and undergraduate fraternity brothers in pursuit of higher education. The chapter currently holds two annual fundraisers dedicated solely for the scholarship program.
There are many notable Omega Men recognized as leaders in the arts, the sciences, academics, athletics, business, civil rights, education, government, and science sectors at the local, national and international level.
Omega continues to flourish, largely because founders — Cooper, Coleman, Love and Just — were men of the highest ideals and intellect. The founders selected and attracted men of similar ideals and characteristics. It is not an accident that many of America’s great black men are or were Omega Men.
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By every measure, North Carolina is exploding with growth. And with that growth comes more “spots” to enjoy a night out. Spectacular Magazine photographers will be out and about, here and there, near and far to photograph trendsetters, fashionistas, mover and shakers, grown and sexy…the people in the popular nightlife areas. We will hit live music “spots”…the “spots” where they dance until dawn. We will also be at the “spot” with theater goers and those who enjoy a live production. We could visit the “spot” with the best martinis, the best art, the best spoken word, the best wine, craft beer and/or spirits…to photograph those that enjoy those things. Spectacular Magazine will highlight those at the “spot” that will make you definitely make plans to be there next time! If you’re hot in a Hot Spot, don’t be surprised to see Spectacular Magazine.
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