The men in the Spring 1990 line of the Rho Theta Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. staged their 31st-year reunion in Memphis over the weekend. And residents at Room In The Inn are glad they did.
“Volunteers are the heart of Room In The Inn, and we appreciate these guys for remembering us,” said the Rev. Lisa Anderson, Room In The Inn (RITI) executive director.
The Spring 1990 line became part of the fraternity at Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas. Chas Harris, director of business development, hosted the Memphis reunion.
“Last year was our 30th anniversary, but we couldn’t celebrate because of the pandemic,” Harris said. “Of course, I lobbied hard for our reunion to take place in Memphis. … (T)he brothers agreed because of the city’s rich history and abundance of volunteer opportunities.”
Volunteering at Room In The Inn was a great way to positively impact the lives of others, said Harris.
“We were able to lend a hand and an ear to people experiencing the ravages of homelessness and poverty. You might even say that the experience was life-changing for us. We left there more grateful for all the blessings we enjoy.”
Anderson views the fraternity members as a “wonderful example” to others who might be able to stop by and help.
“Individuals and groups who offer themselves through hours of service often experience a new awareness of how families are affected by poverty and homelessness,” Anderson said. “Lives of both the residents and the volunteers are changed through the awesome relationship-building that takes place. ”
The Prairie View “Ques” also visited the National Civil Rights Museum.
“There is a kind of reverence you feel when visiting the National Civil Rights Museum,” said Harris. “Our weekend reunion was enhanced with the depth of cultural awareness reflected in the exhibitions and interactive, historical displays. I am always personally moved, and I know the brothers were as well. And the balcony, you can almost see Dr. King standing there.”
Prairie View A&M University, the first state-supported college in Texas for African Americans, was established during the Reconstruction Period after the Civil War. The University had its beginnings in the Texas Constitution of 1876. The school welcomed its first students in 1878.