Alamo City Ques at 80: Our Story
Written By: Jeremy Neal & Scott L. Earle, Sr.
November 1, 2020, will mark 80 years of service to the Alamo City by Psi Alpha Chapter. In 1940, eight professional men from varied careers ranging from four educators, a dentist, a civil servant, a physician, and a businessman who had become members of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated during their college years, decided that the time was right to form a Graduate Chapter here in the City of San Antonio. They were as young as 24 years of age to 49 years of age. They all had attended Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) due to segregation in the United States at that time in history. Some were raised in the city, some from the state of Texas, one from Georgia, and one from Virginia. After compiling all of the necessary information and paperwork and complying with the National Body’s Guidelines, the Local Chapter was chartered by the Supreme Council of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated on November 1, 1940, and given the name Psi Alpha. The Charter members were: Brothers Dr. W. V. Hurd DDS, S. D. Kane, Dr. M. L. Preacher, Joseph Paul Chretien, Ernest M. Foxx, Valmo Charles Bellinger, Dr. Richard Kidd, and G. P. Inge, Jr. Brother S.D. Kane was our first Basileus (president).
These men were influential in the community and were known more for just bringing Omega Psi Phi to the Alamo City. All eight men did a great deal in the City but three had a substantial impact. Brother Dr. Hurd, a WWI veteran, was much respected in his field and at the time as the only individual to serve as President of the Gulf State Dental Association of Texas twice, once in the 1940s and again in the late 1950s. He served as the past president of the Lone Star State Medical, Dental, and Pharmaceutical Association, and a former board member of the National Dentist Association. He also, chaired and was a member of various boards at the National Dentist Association.
Brother G.P. Inge, Jr., a WWI veteran, was a believer in the philosophy of progressive education and served as principal of Phillis Wheatley High School from 1941 to 1963. During the 22 years as the leader of one of the largest segregated schools in the state, he graduated record numbers of students, and their sports teams dominated the states segregated schools in the Prairie View Interscholastic League, and they all knew they could compete with predominantly Anglo institutions. Brother Inge Jr. instituted the “No Pass No Play” rule for athletes during his tenure at the school before it was passed at the state level.
Brother Valmo Charles Bellinger was a prominent businessman and political party boss who also was the editor of the San Antonio Register. Founded by Valmo, the paper began printing in 1931, running without interruption for 47 years. Though its initial goal was preserving the political influence of Bellinger’s father, the paper later focused on local, state, and national news of specific concern to San Antonio’s African-American community. Valmo hired his future wife Josephine who assisted him in making the newspaper a success. Valmo donated an archive of the San Antonio Register to the University of Texas at San Antonio’s John Peace Library in 1979. The archive consisted of 22,000 issues and offered an almost complete run of issues from 1945 to 1978. If you ever have a chance to look over these archives, the Psi Alpha History coupled with the Black History of South Texas is remarkable. There are virtually no complete collections of black newspapers in the southwest and only two or three in the entire United States. Many of the articles written were published in Jet and Ebony magazines along with major newspapers reprinting the stories originating in the Register.
Currently, Psi Alpha Chapter has a total of 170 members. Psi Alpha Chapter’s Basileus, Brother Jimmie E. McMillion, has held this role for the past three years. “The Psi Alpha Chapter has been a pillar in the San Antonio community for 80 years. The Omega Men of Psi Alpha in San Antonio have been leaders in various occupations such as business, engineering, education, law, and medicine for many years,” McMillon stated. Our Psi Alpha Chapter historical note to mention is that in the late 1960s, Bro. Warren Eusan, WWII Army Air Corp and Tuskegee Airman Veteran, Theta Chapter ’39, was the driving force that brought the IHQ 47th Conclave to San Antonio which was the key focal point to break down discrimination in the San Antonio Area, becoming the first southern city to fully integrate. In the past years, the Psi Alpha Chapter has brought back a lot of IHQ recognition:
Brother Greg Thompson (Chairman of the Alamo City Black Chamber of Commerce): International Omega Man of the Year in the early 2000s
Brother Brandon Logan (Former President of the Rotary Club of San Antonio): IHQ Citizen of the Year in 2015
Brother Lionel Lyde: IHQ Colonel Charles Young Award Winner in 2017
Ms. Breanna Toney (Represented by Psi Alpha): Winner of the IHQ International Essay Contest in 2016
The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated has 10 International Mandated Programs: Achievement Week, Scholarship, Social Action, Talent Hunt Program, Memorial Service, Reclamation and Retention, College Endowment Fund, Health Initiatives, Voter Registration Education & Mobilization, and NAACP. In the Omega Year, which runs from November-October; several of these programs have been key highlights in Psi Alpha Chapter for the 2019-2020 year.
Scholarship: The Psi Alpha Scholarship Foundation awarded a total of $32,300 in scholarships and grants. A total of 20 seniors in the San Antonio Area were awarded scholarships totaling $30,000.
Talent Hunt Program: Psi Alpha Chapter awarded $1500 in scholarships as Ms. Zora Dickson, a junior and Bexar County Home School Student with a 4.0 GPA, walked away with winning honors.
Reclamation and Retention: Psi Alpha Chapter was awarded the Mighty 9th District Reclamation Large Graduate Chapter of the Year.
Fatherhood Initiative: Psi Alpha Chapter was announced as the winner of the best Fatherhood Initiative in the Mighty 9th District. For this mention, President Dr. David Marion awarded the chapter a $5000 award.
These programs were led by our Vice President, Brother George Mayers, who will transition into the role of President on November 5th as Brother McMillion’s award-winning 3-year term is up.
Psi Alpha Chapter will celebrate their 80th year serving the city on Sunday, November 1st. The day will begin with Brothers visiting the gravesites of the Charter Members who are laid to the rest in the city from 12 PM – 3 PM. The effort will be split into teams of 3 to maintain social distancing. From 5 PM – 7 PM, a Virtual Celebration over Zoom will be held where Brothers will be able to have a meal and socialize as we go through the program. During the program, Brothers from the 40s to the present will discuss the Charter members’ influence on them and any experiences they may have had with the Charter line.
Psi Alpha Chapter recently celebrated our beloved Godfather, Brother Earl Campbell, on October 25th with a drive-by celebration where over 45 vehicles lined up beeping our horns and watching him smile and wave to us as he celebrated 95 years of life. Brother Campbell, a 1944 initiate of the Epsilon Sigma Chapter at Tillotson College which is now Huston-Tillotson University, also celebrated 76 years of serving Omega on October 17, 2020. He was recently interviewed by the Psi Alpha Fatherhood Initiative Committee, where he provided a toolbox of knowledge in speaking on the importance of fatherhood. A point in the interview was when Brother Campbell was asked, “Out of the 4 F’s Faith, Family, Fellowship, and Friendship, which was most important and why? Brother Campbell replied, “Faith is the most important. All of us must have faith in God. He is our creator, having that faith means that fellowship, friendship, and loyalty will follow. In life, whatever we encounter, our faith is the most important thing that we have. Love your neighbor as yourself! (Mark 12:31) If you live by that creed alone…you will certainly live a great life and our lives will be so much better.”
Joe Webb Sr. passes away
Joe Webb Sr. Longest serving SATX politician D2 Councilman passes away
On Saturday, September 17, 2021 Joe Webb Sr passed away at Metropolitan Methodist Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. Born in Beeville Texas in in 1935. It was in Beeville that Mr. Webb learned the value of community. He graduated from High School in 1952 and married Frances Dee Toliver in 1953. In 1955 Joe Webb Sr moved back to San Antonio. He began his work at the YMCA in 1957. During these years Joe Webb began to understand the power of higher education and what it could mean for his family financially. He attended San Antonio College and St. Mary’s University.
In the late 1960’s Joe Webb Sr. began his career with HEB. Charles Butt traveled from Corpus Christi Texas to personally hire Joe Webb Sr. In 1969 he entered the HEB Managerial program. He then became the manager of several HEB grocery stores. Most notably the first African American to manager HEB store #1 and the East Side flagship HEB on N. New Braunfels.
Joe Webb’s relationship with San Antonio’s East Side began with his employment at the YMCA. There he met and networked with many of the city’s movers and shakers. They were impressed with his ability to effectively communicate and express the needs of the people within his neighborhood. It was here that he was encouraged to use his gift to seek greater employment opportunities and political office. Joe Webb’s campaign began as all grass roots campaigns do. The use of family and friends to make phone calls and knock on doors, he spoke at various Church’s and public gathering. Soon his idea of a bigger and more dynamic East Side caught on and in 1977 the East Side cast their ballots for Joe Webb Sr as their representative City Councilman for District 2. Mr. Webb would retain this seat through many elections, finally ending his City Council career in 1991. Those years between 1977 and 1991 were years of great change not just for the East Side but for the City of San Antonio at large. Joe Webb served on the City Council with names are we are still familiar with today. His contemporaries included former San Antonio Mayor and United States HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, former TX St. Representative, Senator, Mayor and currently Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff as well as former Mayor and Author Lila Cockrell.
PRIDE IN THE EAST SIDE
While in and out of office, Joe Webb used his name and clout to support and encourage many East Side causes. He owned and operated his own grocery store on the East Side. He was an early supporter of the MLK celebration, and he helped to secure the Alamodome. He has been awarded numerous times for his contributions to San Antonio. In 1992 The City of San Antonio renamed Durango Bridge the Joe Webb Bridge. In 1995 Ruth Jones McClendon read into the City Council minutes a proclamation honoring Joe Webb Sr. for his service to the community. 2016 saw then Councilman Alan Warrick II award Joe Webb Sr. the Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2017 the Bexar County Historical Society interviewed and entered his biography into their official database. Joe Webb Sr. was a Minister of the Gospel, a lifetime member of the NAACP as well as a Grand Master of the Masonic Masons.
In 1999 Frances Webb passed away and Joe Webb Sr, became a widow. He later married current wife, Mrs. Barbara Webb. The couple remained an active part of the community and Joe Webb Sr. continued to engage in East Side politics through speaking engagements and support of various District 2 candidates and Councilpersons.
Johnson & Johnson Vision Announces New Collaboration to Eliminate Inequities
− New collaboration with Black EyeCare Perspective sets sights to drive more equity among eye care professionals in optometry
− First major eye health company to sign 13% Promis
Johnson & Johnson Vision*, a global leader in eye health and part of the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies**, today announced a collaboration with Black EyeCare Perspective, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to redefining the color of the eyecare industry 1% at a time. As part of the collaboration, Johnson & Johnson Vision signed the 13% Promise, an initiative to increase equity and representation in the eye care industry and in optometry schools by increasing the number of Black students to mirror the 13% of Black people in the U.S. population.
According to data from Black EyeCare Perspective, only 3.2% of students and 3.8% of faculty in optometry colleges are Black or African American, and this number drops to only 1.8% among practicing optometrists. Johnson & Johnson Vision is the first major eye health company to sign the 13% Promise, furthering a long-standing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion through awareness, education, and empowerment in collaboration with associations, public and community organizations.
Johnson & Johnson Vision will contribute to the 13% Promise by continuing to:
- Support sponsorships and new programs to improve representation of people of color in optometry.
- Bring more diversity and equity into the eye care industry.
- Create more culturally relevant information and eye health education materials.
“As one of the largest eye health companies, we have an opportunity to drive change and bring more diversity, equity and inclusion in our industry for the greater good of the many patients and doctors we serve,” said Thomas Swinnen, President, North America, Johnson & Johnson Vision***. “Our partnership with Black EyeCare Perspective is one of the many ways we can further support the future of optometry and work together to create quality, equitable experiences along with healthier outcomes across communities.”
To learn more about Johnson & Johnson Vision visit www.jjvision.com.
About Johnson & Johnson Vision*
At Johnson & Johnson Vision, part of Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, we have a bold ambition: to change the trajectory of eye health around the world. Through our operating companies, we deliver innovation that enables eye care professionals to create better outcomes for patients throughout their lives, with products and technologies that address unmet needs including refractive error, cataracts and dry eye. In communities with greatest need, we work in collaboration to expand access to quality eye care, and we are committed to helping people see better, connect better and live better. Visit us at www.jjvision.com. Follow @JNJVision on Twitter and Johnson & Johnson Vision on LinkedIn.
About Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies**
At Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, we are helping people live their best lives. Building on more than a century of expertise, we tackle pressing healthcare challenges, and take bold steps that lead to new standards of care while improving people’s healthcare experiences. In surgery, orthopedics, vision and interventional solutions, we are helping to save lives and paving the way to a healthier future for everyone, everywhere.
Claris Launches Entrepreneur Training Program
Claris Launches Entrepreneur Training Program with First Partner EonXI, Focused on Improving Tech Diversity Through Low Code
Claris International Inc., an Apple company, today announced a groundbreaking initiative with Venture Fund and Startup Studio, EonXI – combining the power of low-code software development, business training, mentorship, and community networking with one unified goal: expand diversity in technology and business ownership.
The lack of diversity in technology and Black-owned startups is well-documented and long-standing. According to Pew Research, Black workers comprise 11% of all employed adults, but just 5% of engineers and architects, and 7% of workers in computer occupations. Entrepreneurship within the Black community also struggled this past year – 40% of businesses that closed due to the pandemic were Black-owned, compared to just 20% of all active U.S. businesses. Finally, data released by McKinsey also shows that 42% of Black workers currently hold jobs that could be subject to automation by 2030.
“The need to invest and increase diversity in tech broadly, and in Black entrepreneurs specifically, has never been greater,” said Claris CEO Brad Freitag. “At the same time, the massive growth and tremendous power of low-code technologies represent some of the most significant opportunities to close this gap that we’ve seen in generations. This partnership with EonXI affirms a deep commitment on the part of both companies to not just talk about or study these problems, but to give Black entrepreneurs what they need to be successful, both as business owners and software developers.”
Gartner forecasts that, by 2024, 75% of large enterprises will be using at least four low-code development tools for IT application development. In part, this is due to the fact that current U.S. demand for IT workers stands at roughly 500,000 open positions, but with only 50,000 computer science graduates per year. This translates to a significant gap not only in tech diversity, but pure IT talent – a gap which can be filled with a more diverse workforce educated in low code.
“Narrowing the racial wealth gap starts with access to technology and resources, hence why we are building communities of diverse developers and diverse entrepreneurs,” said Aaron Wilson, General Partner at EonXI.
The Low Code Accelerator program from EonXI and Claris will provide graduates with the operational expertise and mentorship to form and scale a business as well as technical training on the Claris low-code development platform. Mentorship, both business and technical, will be provided by a large network of program partners, including Cris Ippolite, a 25-year Claris developer and President of iSolutions, as well as Cathy House, 15-year entrepreneurship Adjunct Professor in the Executive MBA program at Howard University.
“Every day, I work with brilliant Black entrepreneurs who have industry-changing ideas, but no technical training to bring those ideas to life through software,” said Cathy House. “While we must invest in closing the educational gaps that led us to this point, I see tremendous opportunity in low-code software development to empower these entrepreneurs today. The team at EonXI is world-class not only in the companies they help build, but in the partnerships they forge that help them accomplish their mission. Working with an organization that has the pedigree and history of Claris to lift up Black entrepreneurs is a tremendous win, and I’m proud to be a part of this program.”
With today’s launch, The Low Code Accelerator program is accepting applications for the program’s first class. Applications are due by October 15, 2021, and individuals interested in learning more about the program can visit the Claris website.
About Claris International Inc.
Claris International Inc. is the creator of the world’s leading low-code development platform, offering a suite of services that drives digital transformation in companies from every business sector. Best known for its FileMaker app development solution, the company has more than one million active users globally across SMBs and the Fortune 500. Claris, an Apple company, has an unmatched record of business success for more than 20 profitable years. Claris is headquartered in California with operations worldwide, including London, Paris, Munich, Tokyo, Beijing, and Sydney.
EonXI Ventures is a venture capital firm focused on investing in innovative founders and disruptive Web 3.0 companies. EonXI’s domain expertise includes but is not limited to, blockchain, gaming, interactive media & artificial intelligence. The EonXI portfolio consists of early-stage companies with a focus on underlying technology. With access to a robust limited partner network consisting of illustrious executives, family offices, and top-tier influencers, strategic partners & consumers can be reached in a matter of seconds. EonXI Ventures is the true definition of going beyond the traditional venture check.
The EonXI Startup Studio is the incubation engine of EonXI, where concepts are created, developed, and scaled into disruptive businesses in the Web 3.0 ecosystem. With a robust developer community and access to top resources, the company helps elevate the best ideas from pre-seed to market and beyond. Upon finding product-market fit, the team at EonXI Studio then activates a deep network of other founders, influencers, advisors, investors, and talent to continue to support founding teams throughout the life of the business.
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