Lifting as we Climb
-Mary Church Terrell
The Sixities (60s)
THE HISTORY OF OMEGA PSI PHI FRATERNITY, INC.
The struggle for social justice shifted into high gear. Omega men throughout the United States were active participants in the “sit-ins” and other civil rights demonstrations. Moreover, undergraduate brothers were especially involved in the demonstrations of the civil rights struggle.
In 1961, the Washington, D.C. Grand Conclave highlighted Omega’s first 50 years of accomplishments. Founders — Love, Cooper, and Coleman were present. Thirteen of 23 former Grand Basilei also attended this historic gathering. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young brothers to mingle with some of the greatest black men that America ever produced.
The Golden Anniversary Conclave authorized a $150,000 investment towards the construction of a new national headquarters building in Washington, D.C.
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom occurred in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963. Brother Bayard Rustin, an activist and adviser to Martin Luther King Jr., is one of the event’s primary organizers. King delivers his “I Have a Dream,” speech. In 1964, the new national headquarters was dedicated. It was a dream come true and was the first building of its type to be built by a black fraternity. Founders — Love, Cooper and Coleman participated in the ceremonies. The name was later changed to the International Headquarters and was located at 2714 Georgia Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.
In January 1966, Brother Dr. Robert C. Weaver was appointed the first Secretary of Housing and Urban Development as well as the first black person appointed to a cabinet-level position in the United States. Founder Frank Coleman entered Omega Chapter in 1967.
The Charlotte Grand Conclave in 1968 mandated a constitutional convention for the revision of the fraternity’s constitution and by-laws as well as the Ritual. That convention was held in Atlanta in 1969.