I greet you in full recognition that “we have come this far by faith”. This has been an unbelievably challenging year for all of us as we’ve had to once again witness the shooting deaths of Black men by law enforcement officers. Most recently, Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota were shot by police officers. Both American citizens were shot by public officials whose job was to protect and serve. I’m sure that each of you was as disgusted as I, to watch what was played out on television news programs and social media. It is extremely difficult to make sense of these senseless deaths. The number of Black lives taken nationwide by police shootings this year alone is disturbing.
There are numerous social issues that contribute to the current state that we find ourselves in as Americans today. However, when the reaction to these events by individuals is the shooting death of police officers, the wounding of officers, and civilians, Groove Phi Groove Social Fellowship Inc. must offer responsible alternatives. The Fellowship extends a heartfelt sympathy to the families and friends of all those who lost someone in these incidents. It is our prayer that justice is equally levied against all those who are at fault in these deaths. Our organization denounces all acts of violence of any kind.
As college educated men, each of us have pledged to uphold our stated purpose to “promote academic awareness and good ethical standards, to promote unity and fellowship among college men, to create intelligent and effective leadership, and to study and help alleviate the social and economic problems concerning boys and men in order to improve the stature of mankind.”
As we struggle with these senseless events, we must turn our attention to what we can do as an organization to make meaningful and relevant differences in the communities that we live. The current state of our country requires that we step up and truly commit to our purpose. I urge each chapter and member to come together and collaborate on developing meaningful, impactful and relevant ways to effectuate positive change. I look forward to seeing and discussing the plans and results of your efforts.
I pray that each of you and your families is in good health and is at peace with the Creator.
In the spirit of Brotherhood, I remain committed,
Dennis K. Thomas
11th National President