Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., an international organization comprised of 150,000 college- educated men, focuses on issues that impact the youth and our communities. Through our national mentoring program for males ages 8-18, the organization provides opportunities for the development of young men as they prepare for college and the workforce. The organization’s partnerships with the American Cancer Society, March of Dimes, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Boy Scouts of America and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund speak to its mission to address societal ills including health disparities and educational and developmental challenges for young males.
The Phi Beta Sigma programs of Bigger and Better Business, Education and Social Action are realized through the Fraternity’s overarching program, Sigma Wellness. Sigma Wellness is a Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated signature community initiative adopted at Conclave 2007 and has the following objectives:
- To support Sigma’s vision of ensuring programs are focused and committed to serving our communities and serving young males through mentoring and scholarships.
- To ensure symmetry among all of our organizational and community initiatives.
- To develop a sense of pride and commitment in the community toward healthy living that will reduce the incidences of health conditions that adversely affect men of color.
Bigger and Better Business
The Bigger and Better Negro Business idea was first tested in 1924 with an imposing exhibition in Philadelphia. This was held in connection with the Conclave. Twenty-five leading Negro Businesses sent statements and over fifty sent exhibits. The whole show took place in the lobby of the YMCA. Several thousand visitors seemed to have been impressed. The response was so great that the 1925 Conclave in Richmond, Virginia voted unanimously to make Bigger and Better Negro Business the public program of the Fraternity, and it has been so ever since."
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., believes that the improvement and economic conditions of minorities is a major fact in the improvement of the general welfare of society. It is upon this conviction that the Bigger and Better Business Program rests. Since 1926, the Bigger and Better Business Program has been sponsored on a national scale by Phi Beta Sigma as a way of supporting, fostering, and promoting minority owned businesses and services.
During the 20th anniversary of Sigma, the Committee on Public Policy urged that the fraternity come forth with a broadly-based program that would be addressed to the problems of the great masses of the Negro people. This new departure, in large measure, grew out of the experiences of the New York group. These men from Manhattan brought with them a new idea, 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 Deaal 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.
The founder’s of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., were all educators in their own right. The genesis of the Education Program lies in the traditional emphasis that the Fraternity places on Education. During the 1945 Conclave in St. Louis, Missouri, the fraternity underwent a constitution restructuring after World War II, and this lead to the birth of the Education as a National Program.
The National Program of Education focuses on programming and services to graduate and undergraduates in the fraternity. Programs such as scholarships, lectures, college fairs, mentoring, and tutoring enhance this program on local, regional and national levels.