News Article - 3 minute read

Sigma Mu Mu Chapter Supports Black History Month Loudoun County Teach-In

Loudoun County, VA – In February 2023, Sigma Mu Mu Chapter, Third District of Omega Psi
Phi Fraternity, Inc., participated in the Black History Month (BHM) Teach-In event in Ashburn,
VA. During the BHM Teach-in, the history and achievements of African Americans at the local,
state, and national levels were celebrated. Throughout this 28-day Black History Month
celebration, our children had several opportunities to hear about well-known national heroes,
such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ms. Rosa Parks, as well as many heroes previously
uncovered, such as the NASA mathematician and Virginian, Ms. Katherine Johnson. Local
Loudoun County Black history was also shared during the teach-in sessions.
Like the civil rights sit-ins decades ago, the teach-ins were conceived in an effort to influence
policy change in favor of African Americans. In the 1950s and 1960s, sit-ins were held to
oppose segregation and discriminatory practices. Similarly, Sigma Mu Mu and the Loudoun
County community participated in Black History Month teach-ins during the February 14 and
February 28 Loudoun County School Board meetings to oppose exclusion of selected African
American history facts from U.S. history teachings of Loudoun County schools. The teach-ins
provided an opportunity during public comments of the school board meetings for Loudoun
County citizens to share Black history facts and advocate for their inclusion in classroom
instruction. Approximately 20 residents, including virtual and in-person attendees, participated
in each teach-in.  Consequently, our young people were heard during these events, positively
impacting student participants and the community. In general, the experience helps develop
students’ public speaking skills and affords opportunities that otherwise might not be available.
For example, last year Ms. Phyllis Randall, Chair at-Large of the Loudoun County Board of
Supervisors, met with a 2022 teach-in student participant for a one-on-one interview after
hearing that the student shared their admiration of Ms. Randall at a school board meeting.
Moreover, the student and her family were later invited to attend Ms. Randall’s State of Loudoun
County address as the Chair at-Large’s special guests.

The FACT IS that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a direct result of the aforementioned sit-ins.
Sigma Mu Mu hopes that the BHM teach-ins also result in change. The events are live-streamed,
recorded, and shared nationally, so they can potentially impact a broad audience beyond
Loudoun County, Va. The men of Sigma Mu Mu thank the ladies of Loudoun County Alumni
Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. for creating this event and opportunity. Huge kudos
to Brother Jerome Smith (Chairman, Sigma Mu Mu Chapter Civic & Community Affairs
Committee), Brother Leroy Ross (Co-Chairman, Sigma Mu Mu Chapter Civic & Community
Affairs Committee), and Brother Reginald Parker (Sigma Mu Mu Chapter member and
Chairman, Third District Reclamation and Retention Committee), who felt the need to not only
provide a Black male presence, but to speak about the historic accomplishments and
contributions of our people in this country. Special thanks to Brother Parker who attended the
teach-ins throughout February and brought this event to Sigma Mu Mu’s attention. Due to
Brother Parker’s efforts, the Loudoun community is reminded each year about African American
knowledge and historic contributions to the United States. Moreover, the community is made
aware that Omega men hold Black American values near and dear to their hearts in Loudoun
County, Virginia.