By Luis A Gonzalez
A wave of unrest has manifested itself across America after the brutal murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the hands of four police officers. One officer knelt on Mr. Floyd’s neck which ultimately resulted in his death. A cell phone camera was on hand to document the horrific murder and the video quickly garnered outrage and repudiation from the country and eventually, across the globe.
The Black Lives Matter movement took center stage again as communities across the United States demonstrated their disgust with the police department in Minneapolis but also a look into a much larger systemic issue that had been brewing for decades.
The Knights of Omega Delta Phi around the country have been supporting their fellow American’s right to free speech and assemble in many ways. They have rallied in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in solidarity with the Black community in America that is visibly in pain and demanding change.
The Chi Chapter at the University of Texas at Austin put their solidarity in action by collecting donations to be able to provide water and snacks, at no cost, to the protestors of the Justice for All march in Austin, TX. In the end, the protest was cancelled but the brothers were out there handing out their donated goods to demonstrators and Austinites who were still protesting.
Through their fundraising efforts, the Chi Chapter was able to collect $1,600 on top of all monies raised for the water and snacks. The brotherhood decided to donate the funds to local organizations such as Black Lives Matter, Reclaim the Block, Faith in Texas Dallas Bail Fund, The Texas Civil Rights Project, and the Black Visions Collective.
The University of North Texas’ Alpha Chi chapter also led similar efforts for the protests in Downtown Denton. Brothers were on hand to support the movement and to support protestors by providing water, fruit, snacks, and first aid and sanitizing equipment. Undergraduate members and alumni from the Alpha Chi chapter were present as well as brothers from the Delta Chapter at Texas A&M University and the Tau Chapter at University of Texas at Arlington who came to support and provide added manpower to the UNT chapter.
The UNT chapter donated their funds to organizations such as Black Lives Matter and the Houston and Dallas bail fund established by a local chapter of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc.
In Houston, a “rivalry” was put on the backburner as Omega Delta Phi and Sigma Lambda Beta joined forces to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter and the In Defense of Black Lives efforts being led across the nation. The chapters at the University of Houston-Downtown, including Beta Sigma Chapter, led the efforts but were joined by the Pi Chapter at the University of Houston as well as other Multicultural Greek chapters from UHD.
“Each organization has their differences and that’s what makes each one unique. However, at the end of the day we are all people and in order for us to bring change to the world, our differences must be put aside and we must all work together to bring that change” expressed Luis Cabrera of the Beta Sigma chapter.
The Pi Chapter donated to the Minnesota Freedom Fund and rounded this out by helping distribute almost 2,000 water bottles and other supplies such as facemasks at the protest that took place in Houston on June 2nd. The Beta Sigma chapter joined forces with the UHD Chapter of Sigma Lambda Beta to jumpstart the efforts in the fourth largest city in America in collaboration with their brothers at the University of Houston main campus.
Like in other times of great need and controversy, the Honorable Knights have once again answered the call to serve. In solidarity with Black brothers part of our organization and the Black community throughout, members of our brotherhood have joined the demonstrations against the murder of civilians by the police forces of our cities and local and state governments.
Whether it was brothers attending these protests to support the In Defense of Black Lives and Black Lives Matter movements or just supporting their right to protest and peacefully assemble, the Knights coordinated quickly to ensure that demonstrators were provided with the basic necessities, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In keeping in line with our founder’s vision to disavow racism, discrimination, and to stand against it at every opportunity, the ODPhi Knights continue living that legacy and responsibility that has been passed on to them, in hopes of continuing to provide, TO ANY MAN, a diverse fraternal experience coinciding with higher education.