Our History

     


     

    Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated was founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C., January 9, 1914, by three young African-American male students. The founders, Honorable A. Langston Taylor, Honorable Leonard F. Morse, and Honorable Charles I. Brown, wanted to organize a Greek letter fraternity that would truly exemplify the ideals of brotherhood, scholarship, and service.

     

    The founders deeply wished to create an organization that viewed itself as "a part of" the general community rather than "apart from" the general community. They believed that each potential member should be judged by his own merits rather than his family background or affluence…without regard of race, nationality, skin tone or texture of hair. They wished and wanted their fraternity to exist as part of even a greater brotherhood which would be devoted to the "inclusive we" rather than the "exclusive we."

     

    From its inception, the Founders also conceived Phi Beta Sigma as a mechanism to deliver services to the general community. Rather than gaining skills to be utilized exclusively for themselves and their immediate families, the founders of Phi Beta Sigma held a deep conviction that they should return their newly acquired skills to the communities from which they had come. This deep conviction was mirrored in the Fraternity's motto, "Culture for Service and Service for Humanity."

     

    Today Phi Beta Sigma has blossomed into an international organization of leaders. No longer a single entity, the Fraternity has now established the Phi Beta Sigma Educational Foundation, the Phi Beta Sigma Housing Foundation, the Phi Beta Sigma Federal Credit Union, and the Phi Beta Sigma Charitable Outreach Foundation. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, founded in 1920 with the assistance of Phi Beta Sigma, is the sister organization of the Fraternity. No other fraternity and sorority are constitutionally bound as Sigma and Zeta. We both enjoy and foster a mutually supportive relationship.

     

    Phi Beta Sigma National Programs

     

    Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity aims its focuse on issues that greatly impact the African American community and the youth of the nation. The Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity national programs of Bigger and Better Business, Education and Social Action are realized through the Fraternity's overarching program, Sigma Wellness, adopted in 2007. Through its national mentoring program, Sigma Beta Club, 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 speaks to its mission to address societal ills including health disparities and educational and developmental opportunities for young males.

     

    Bigger and Better Business

     

    The Bigger and Better Business serves as the an umbrella for other national initiatives involving business. The program's goals include supporting minority businesses, increasing communication with sigma brothers involved with business, and instilling sound business principals and practices to members of the community. Project S.E.E.D. (Sigma Economic Empowerment Development) is the foremost Bigger and Better Business Program. The program was developed to help the membership focus on two important areas: Financial Management and Home ownership.

     

    Education

     

    The founders of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity 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 which led 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. Project S.E.T. (Sigma Education Time) s focused on increasing grade point averages and graduation rates of collegiates throughout the nation. The program aims to help with job readiness, choosing a career path {3-5 year outlook}, interviewing techniques, negotiating and entrepreneurship.

     

    The Sigma Beta Club provides mentoring, guidance, educational tutorial assistance and advise to young men between ages 6 to 18. Created in 1950, it was the first youth auxiliary group of any of the National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations.

     

    Social Action

     

    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 of Social Action.

     

    The fraternity's five main social action programs are Project Vote, Sigma Wellness, Sigma Presence on Capitol Hill, and projects S.W.W.A.C. & S.A.T.A.P.P. Project S.W.W.A.C. (Sigmas Waging War Against Cancer) is a concentrated and coordinated effort to reduce the incidence of cancer in the African American community. Through a partnership with the American Cancer Society.