SACRAMENTO – African American professionals from six states are set to converge on the State Capitol next week as the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity hosts its 2013 Pacific Regional Boule 17th Annual Biennial Convention October 3-6.
The local chapter, Gamma Epsilon Boulé hosts. This year’s conference carries the theme of “Collaborating To Develop Sound Public Policy” and will be held at the Hyatt Regency at Capitol Park. The four-day conference will feature a wide range of activities as well as business meetings focused on current public policy. Representatives of the business community as well as local and state officials, including the Mayor Kevin Johnson are among those scheduled to participate.
Sigma Pi Phi is recognized as the first African American Greek-lettered organization in the country. The fraternity was founded on May 15, 1904 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The local Gamma Epsilon Boulé is active in the community supporting a wide of array of causes and social action programs. Member boulés throughout the region are developing innovative strategies for increasing support for social, educational and economic assistance for African American youth. Those strategies range from scholarship programs in many of the boulés to mentoring programs for “at risk youth.”
The local boule is led by its sire archon, or president, Kevin Mitchell. The Regional Conference Co-Chairs are Julius Cherry and Nathan Cox.
The conference is highlighted by a community forum on Saturday, October 5 titled, Exploration of the Legacies of Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin: What Next Steps Should Be Taken To Protect and Defend Young Black Males?” The forum is set to run 2:00-3:30 p.m. in Room 4202 of the State Capitol and will be facilitated by local attorney and Gamma Epsilon Boulé member Mark T. Harris.
Speakers include Judge Gary Ransom, City Council member Allen Warren, renown attorney John Burris, “Fruitvale Station” filmmaker Ryan Coogler, former Oakland mayor Elihu Harris and
Robert Harris, Former National Bar Association President.
Other activities include a golf tournament at Whitney Oaks Golf Course, a spa day at Thunder Valley Casino and a visit to the new Kara Walker exhibit at the Crocker Art Museum. Cost to register is $475 for members and $425 for guests. For more information, contact Glenda Lombard at (916) 231-9851.
By Genoa Barrow
OBSERVER Senior Staff Writer