Omega Phi Beta
|Omega Phi Beta|
|Founded||March 15, 1989
University at Albany, SUNY
|Motto||"Sirviendo y Educando a Través de Nuestra Diversidad"
("Serving and Educating Through Our Diversity")
|Colors||Black, Forest Green and Gold|
|Philanthropy||Raising Awareness of Violence against Women|
Omega Phi Beta (ΩΦΒ) sorority was founded on March 15, 1989 at the State University of New York in Albany, New York. It was founded by seventeen women of diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Omega Phi Beta is a member organization of National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO).
The organization’s goal, as its motto ("Serving and Educating Through Our Diversity") implies, is to create an outlet for all women through its emphasis on multiculturalism. The organization also prides itself on its dedication to both community service and sisterhood. A distinguishing feature of the sorority is that while it is Latina-oriented, it is not Latina-based, further emphasizing its dedication to diversity.
The sorority has undergraduate and alumnae chapters and colonies predominantly based on the East Coast. The organization has expanded into the Midwest, California, and South East in the recent years.
While it is a relatively young organization, it has helped to raise over ten thousand dollars towards AIDS research and Domestic Violence Awareness initiatives, created youth mentoring groups such as S.O.U.L. (Steppin’ Off to Unite Latinas) and the Madrinas Program, created various scholarships such as the Reach For the Gold book scholarship, and has made history as the first Latina sorority to participate in and win Step Correct, a traditionally NPHC competition (January 1, 2007).
On March 15, 1989, seventeen (17) women founded Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated as the first Latina oriented organization at SUNY Albany. The founders of Omega Phi Beta came from various cultural and ethnic backgrounds and this combined with their passion and commitment to service was the foundation of the sorority's motto: "Serving and Educating through our Diversity".
The historical marginalization of women, particularly women of color, has had a significant impact on the process by which multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-racial women ascertain educational, economic, social, and the political capital in American society. In response to this reality, seventeen women from various racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds synthesized their passion, commitment and motivation. They formed an organization that would unify women of color who were dedicated to correcting the injustices that have and that continue today to affect our communities.
The organization has continued to grow through a plethora of professional, successful, and educated women inducted as members over the years. This has attributed to the organizations ability to not only sustain itself but to stand at the forefront of the their Community.
History of Organizational National Leadership
In a short five years following its inception, Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated (OPBSI) had rapidly grown to include seven undergraduate chapters and an Alumnae chapter located in New York City. Realizing a need to oversee the operation of these chapters and to establish a set of organizational policies and protocols, the general membership ratified the creation and elected the first National Board of Omega Phi Beta in March 1994. For the next six years, the National Board of Omega Phi Beta served as the central governing body of the organization and became responsible for identifying the need, enforcing, and communicating organizational policies, protocols and initiatives throughout the Sorority.
In 1999, the National Board realized that the scope of its responsibilities had shifted and expanded. A Re-Organization Committee was established in February 1999 to explore several issues and develop a proposal to significantly change the organization. Part of this exploration required the Reorganization Committee to revisit the organizational structure of the Sorority and the roles and responsibilities of the National Board. Some of the highlights from the proposal included establishing a partnership with the newly named Alumni Association of New York City; and the renaming of the National Board to the National Board of Directors which was instated in the summer of 2000.
After a second restructuring under the Quality and Assurance Committee (formerly known as the Re-Organization Committee) The need for further development brought about a second restructuring under the Quality and Assurance Committee (formerly known as Re-Organization). The committee worked diligently, which resulted in a written proposal that was presented to and adopted by the general membership in 2006 changing the national structure to include a Board of Trustees and a National Council of Officers.
The role of the Board of Trustees is to create and maintain the long-term vision for the Sorority and establish appropriate goals and milestones toward fulfilling the Sorority’s vision. In short, the BOT is the ultimate governing body of OPBSI and oversees the progress of the National Council, Alumnae Association, and all relevant committees.
The National Council of Officers on the other hand, focuses on the day-to-day operations of OPBSI, and has full and final administrative authority over activities and operations, as well as the power to do what is in the best interest of OPBSI.
As we grow into the next millennium, we can not ignore the future challenges and obstacles our communities will have to overcome. This reality is what prompts us to revisit our own structure and “re-organized” - so that we are prepared and capable of serving out our mission and commitment to serve and educate through our diversity.
Philanthropy of Omega Phi Beta
The national philanthropy subject of Omega Phi Beta is Raising Awareness of Violence Against Women.
Omega Phi Beta struggles to overcome the injustices and oppression of women in society. It celebrates the success of the women of our past, recognize the accomplishments of women today, and promote to uplift future generations. Recognizing that violence against women hinders progression, it has broadened the scope of its National Philanthropy to include all forms of violence affecting women, including but not limited to: domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual mutilation, stalking and human trafficking.
Through its broadened National Philanthropy, Raising Awareness of Violence Against Women, Omega Phi Beta will continue to dedicate themselves to community while making a profound commitment to women's rights. Through its partnership with Amnesty International (established June 2005), it believes that as a united front, we will have the power to achieve this mission.
Caridad de la Luz, a.k.a La Bruja, was initiated at the Delta Chapter, SUNY Binghamton. Writer, Actress, Singer, and Activist, she has long been regarded as one of the leading American spoken word poets.
Eve Torres is a Chartering Member of the Phi Chapter at the University of Southern California. As a member of the chapter she held the position of Vice President. Torres is now a WWE Diva, appearing on WWE Raw.
Jessica REMO Saul was initiated at the Alpha Chapter, University at Albany (SUNY). She has served as the Executive Director of the National Board of Directors and Founder/Choreographer of the Soul Steppin' Divas, National Step/Stroll Team. Through her leadership she has been at the forefront of Latino Stepping where she became the Founder of the Art of Stepping, which is a trademarked/copyrighted curriculum based program that teaches stepping through the use of mathematical formulas utilizing Leonardo da Vinci's - The Vitruvian Man as a symbolic base. She can been seen on MTV True Life, MTV Tr3's or in music videos such as Sony BMG Artist CHELO - Un Corazon.