In 1978 Bob Law, then Director of Community Affairs for radio station WWRL, began the Respect Yourself Youth Crusade as a community project of the station. The crusades or rallies held that year were such a success that the requests became too numerous for the station’s limited staff. As a result, in January 1979 the Respect Yourself Youth Organization was founded.
The Organization was mandated to provide extensive outreach programs to redirect the energies of Black youth into more positive avenues. The Respect Yourself Youth Organization will act as a catalyst in the community with a concept similar to Jesse Jackson’s Operation PUSH.
The key that opens the door to this concept is Self Respect. Respect for one’s self, respect for family, respect for community. The implementation of the program is two fold:
- Part one: uses conscience raising, motivational techniques, peer group pressure and rewards to increase the awareness and involvement of the youth.
- Part two: channels the awareness and involvement into structured workshops, seminars and classes that stress respect, mutual assistance and cooperation, black history and leadership development.
The motivation behind the organization is to charge our young people, no matter what the odds against them, to assume, now, some responsibility for the shape of the future, and to take control of their lives. The organization will attempt to assist youth to develop self-discipline, to make the correct and intelligent choices at home, in school and in the streets.
For information: Respect Yourself Youth Organization, 275 Kingston Ave., Bklyn, N.Y.11213, 771-1821
The Epsilon Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity continues to promote scholarship and culture. Under the direction of Basileus Butler Dowery, President of the Chapter, the fraternity introduced the Staten Island Repertory Ensemble in NC Davidson’s forceful drama entitled El Hajj Malik: The Life of Malcolm X. The success of their efforts prompted the fraternity to engage the same company for the presentation of Soyinka’s The Trials of Brother Jero at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center.
Educationally, the fraternity — in a joint venture with the Vanguard Youth Council — is organizing trips to black institutions of higher learning in the South. The project is designed to introduce urban students to the college environments of North Carolina A & T, Winston Salem State University and Bennett College. It is hoped by Ronald Ivey— Social Action Chairman of the Epsilon Chapter — that the trips will give these students as many options as possible to continue their educational aspirations.
On the lighter side, Omega Psi Phi will sponsor a boat ride up the Hudson in August. For further information on all the doings at Omega Psi Phi, contact them at 2714 Georgia Ave., NW Washington, DC 20001.
The Boys Choir of Harlem’s unusual first fund-raising affair, entitled A Dramatic Change, took place on May 27. Unlike other such events, this one provided much food for thought, heavily seasoned with practical advice, on how to improve one’s physical appearance. For this special occasion, designer Camille Howard brought together such experts in the cosmetics field as Alfred Fornay of Revlon’s Polished Ambers division, Katrina Puitt of Fashion Fair Cosmetics, and Tommy Biles of Flori Roberts.
Demonstrations were given by such talented hairstylists as Arthur Rivers, Donald Scott and Stanley James of Studio International; Conrad Symister of Antoine Felipe and Michael Weeks, who will be traveling with the show Ain’t Misbehavin’, unveiled their trade secrets as well. Commentary on the entire exhibition was delivered by Jacqueline Booker, editor of Blac Tress Magazine. Beautiful ebony, bronze and mahogany ladies, several from the Ford and Elite model agencies, paraded about in a myriad of multi-colored garments. Among the many participating manufacturers and retailers were Austin Zuur, Charles Jourdan Shoes, Emilio Gucci Furs, Forgotten Woman, Kevin & Robert, Le Mans and Oquendo. However, the spirited singing of the Boys Choir of Harlem proved to be the true show-stopper of the evening.