DBEAF Host Panel” The State of Police -Community Relations


2016 has been a year of astound enlightenment for many Americans. With the emergence of video camera technology and social media’s contagion, we have witnessed the irresponsible tragedies of many Black and Brown bodies at the expense of our community allies, policemen. The use of these mediums has had a swirly effect on many, forcing the injustice that has been a staple of modern history right in the face of Americans and people across the world. With the political season in full swing, police and civilian relations has been a prominent discussion point amongst candidates. PBS Newshour reported in an recent article that 25 percent of police killings were African-Americans, while 16 percent were Latinos, combing the fatalities for nearly half of the killings committed by law enforcement this year. Now, one would argue that Whites are killed more as 49 percent of police killings were Whites, but they do account for 62 percent of the American population. On the other hand, Blacks account for 13% and Latinos 17.6 percent. Certainly a disproportionate number when you look at the demographics. As difficult as this topic may be for many— White people in particular— to discuss, you cannot ignore the fact that young, unarmed black and brown women and men are being gunned down or killed at the hand of law enforcement at an alarming rate.


As of July 2016


img_9252On Thursday, October 13th The Delta Beta Executive Alumni Foundation organization gathered in Harlem, New York to move the conversation forward and come up with concrete solutions to push community and police relations forward in a positive manner. The DBEAF hosted a panel discussion called, “The State of Police & Community Relations: Let’s Come up with Solutions”. The panel was free and open to the public and sought to move the narrative from anger in the community for law enforcement towards specific ideas to move better relations between police and communities of color. There were about fifty community members in attendance for the event and a dynamic group of individuals on the panel to shed light on the issues of the evening. Panelists included Charlene Wyands, retired deputy inspector for the NYPD; Nigel L. Farinha, Chief of Gang Prosecution in New York City; Royce Russell, Defense and Civil Rights Attorney in New York City; and Guy Mitchell, a NY County Criminal Court Judge. The panel was moderated by Lamond Williams of WBLS.


img_9259Williams opened the panel by offering the panelists an opportunity to talk about the current state of police and community relations from each of their unique perspectives. All the panelists agreed that there were issues that plagued communities of color, but also acknowledged the tough roles of law enforcement. “It’s not as easy as most people think, “ Wyands said. “No cops wants to use their weapon, and in fact, most don’t discharge their gun their entire career.” The conversation moved to how each of the panelists wants the community to understand the plight of both sides and think about how we can work better together if we understand one another. “Put yourself in the place of a cop going into some of these communities,” Farinha said. “They are doing the best job they can do. We need to call out those not doing their job in the right manner.”

Accountability of officers was a reoccurring motif from the crowd. Baby Boomer attendees reminisced of how policemen were more community based and were individuals who resided in their neighborhoods. This then shifted the conversation to who should patrol what neighborhoods and what kind of qualifications an officer should posses. The later part of the discussion hinged upon what police are doing now to improve relations.


The night ended with a Q&A from a number of those in the audience. Williams summed up the group’s collection of how we can come together as a community to move forward. The biggest takeaway of the night was—as cliche as it may sound—get involved on all fronts. “Many people don’t even know who their council member is or state commissioner. These are elected officials who make the decisions!”, said Mitchell. He then continued to plead with the audience to get out, vote, and research not only Presidential candidates, but state and local candidates as well. Another solution presented was amplifying small and minority owned businesses to come together to provide opportunities and events for the community to become more engaged. In general, the ideas that formed were collectively tied to building foundation and solidarity with law enforcement.

By the panel’s conclusion it was evident that this conversation just began to address the wide-ranging issues of the community. It was an amazing program put together to talk about real issues and the DBEAF ensures this was just the beginning.


Delta Beta Celebrates 65 Years!


This past April the Delta Beta Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated celebrated 65 years on the campus of Syracuse University. The chapter was chartered on April 27th, 1951 by six determined Syracuse students. The chapter commemorated the milestone in “Executive” fashion with a week full of events including: church fellowship at People AME Zion in downtown Syracuse, an ad2a4043educational women’s forum for the greater campus community, and the fraternities signature dance competition, “Shimmy Like A Nupe”. The zenith of the week-long celebration was the chapters Diamond Kabaret. The night was commemorated by students, friends, and family of Brothers who traveled from near and far to honor the chapters 65 years of achievement and continued success.

ad2a4115The evening was celebrated in classic upscale fashion. Students were shuttled from campus in luxurious limousines and ushered over to the the Crowne Plaza for hors d’oeuvres and dinner. The Master of Ceremony, Marquise Francis CO’13, hosted the night with fun antidotes from his most fond recollections of his time on campus and being a brother of the fraternity. The program was filled with memories from the gamut of brothers who were inducted into the chapter decades past; from the 1970s to present. Guests were treated to a number of performances including: the Black Celestial Choral Ensemble, Outlaws Dance Crew and One World Africa Troupe. The most touching moment of the evening came when a scholarship was awarded in honor of one of Delta Beta’s chapter invisible brothers, the late Phil Romain. We loss Brother Romain earlier this year to prostate cancer, but he will forever be remembered for his dedication to Syracuse University, his Brooklyn community and young people’s professional development. Brother Romain’s daughter, Felicia Romain CO’16, presented the award on her father’s behalf. A teary-eyed Felicia awarded Architecture student Austin Adams CO’18, The 2016 Phil Romain Book Scholarship. Brother Adams gave heartwarming remarks about what the scholarship meant to him and how he would use it. “Brother Romain was a brother who put the chapter and school before everything else,” he said. “I hope to use this scholarship to build upon the foundation he and so many other great men did for me.” 



Following the presentation guest were served a gourmet meal and enjoyed each other’s company over the latest tunes. The night was capped with the entire room breaking into a dance frenzy, falling into formation with line dances and attendees watching the younger brothers of the fraternity doing their signature strolls. “We really wanted brothers to come up and live out their time here from the past sixty years,” said chapter president Marlon McLauren CO’16. “We also wanted to show the campus why we love our chapter so much as well.”



From start to finish the 65th celebration of Delta Beta on Syracuse campus was an all-encompassing time capsule for all those familiar and unfamiliar with what Delta Beta is all about. By the end of the week there was no one that didn’t understand the legacy of Delta Beta. The celebration was not only a commemoration of the chapters 65 years at SU, but a toast to the next 65.


An Evening with Brother Mark Tatum


On Thursday November 5th, the Delta Beta Executive Alumni Chapter Foundation hosted its inaugural speaker series featuring Mark Tatum, Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer of the National Basketball Association. Tatum is a Spring 1988 initiate of the Iota Phi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., one of the Devine Nine historically Black Greek letter organizations (BGLOs) that make up the National Pan-Hellenic Council. The Iota Phi chapter was chartered in the Spring of 1978 on the campus of Cornell University with the help of brothers from the Delta Beta chapter of Syracuse University. With a distance of no more than fifty-five miles apart, the two chapters h13958062_10154580026871844_6122499591082363457_oave spent decades supporting and collaborating amongst one another. At the heart of this close-knit bond has always been achievement and Tatum is one of the many shining stars of this union. As of 2014, he’s the highest-ranking executive of color in a professional sports league, according to The Root.

Tatum’s resume includes several top Fortune 500 companies: Clorox, Pepsi-Cola, Procter & Gamble and another preeminent sports organization, Major League Baseball. It’s a mouthful to say, but it just begins to skim the surface for all the success he has had in his career. In 16 years with the NBA Tatum has transformed the league inside and out. He has expanded the NBA’s relationships with long-time partners like Nike and Gatorade, and has been a key driver of new partnerships. Tatum was also responsible for the NBA’s media sales, including sales of NBA TV, NBA.com, and other NBA-controlled media. On a daily basis Mark embodies the Kappa motto, Achievement in every field of human endeavor, and this is what drew the board of the Delta Beta Executive Alumni Foundation to invite Tatum as the inaugural speaker of the series. “We chose Mark to speak at the first event because of his relationship with both chapters,” said Maurice Etheredge, one of the event’s lead organizers. “Also, his success on the NBA level is undeniable, he was a perfect fit.”


On the evening of Mark’s keynote speech brothers packed the “Kappa Kastle” in Harlem, NY–home to the New York Alumni chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi– to fellowship over food and libations. The room was filled with stories of brothers as they reminisced of their golden days as college students in the fold, and brothers were elated to reconnect with other brothers they had not seen in years.

Mark’s address began with praise for brothers packing the house to support the DBEAF’s first event supporting collegiate scholarship. He continued by explaining the strong-rooted relationship between Iota Phi and Delta Beta, recalling the time he first met brothers from Delta Beta. Tatum touched upon stories of his undergraduate career at Cornell and his time as an MBA student at Harvard. Each experience shaped him into a young man and diligent worker. He met influential people along the way, including one man who became a mentor for him who worked at the NBA. It was this mentor that opened Tatum’s eyes up to the possibilities of what his future could look like.

Tatum went on to discuss the highs and lows of climbing the ranks at one of the most successful companies in the world as a man of color. He also shared what the league is doing now to support player health, the NBA’s current initiatives in the United States and globally, and how local non-profits can engage and collaborate with their local teams. One motif throughout the night was how the lessons Tatum learned through the bond of Kappa helped him conquer the success he has earned in his career. “It’s the lessons I learned through Kappa at Cornell that continue to help me in my career today,” Tatum said. The main takeaway from his speech was through hard work and consistent relationship building Tatum has been able to see an enormous amount of success. “Nothing has been handed to me,” he said. “But I am sure to remember each and every one of the people along the way who have helped me get to where I am right now.”