Social Action

The History of Social Action

Excerpts from Our Cause Speeds On and The Crescent 1949 (35th Anniversary Edition)

During the 20th anniversary of Sigma, the Committee on Public Policy urged that the fraternity come forth with a broadly-based program that would be addressed to the problems of the great masses of the Negro people. This new departure, in large measure, grew out of the experiences of the New York group. These men from Manhattan brought with them a new idea, SOCIAL ACTION.

Phi Beta Sigma has from its very beginning concerned itself with improving the general well-being of minority groups. In 1934, a well-defined program of Social Action was formulated and put into action. Bro. Elmo M. Anderson, then president of Epsilon Sigma Chapter (New York) formulated this program calling for the reconstruction of social order. It was a tremendous success. It fit in with the social thinking of the American public in those New Deal years.

In the winter of 1934 Brother Elmo Anderson, James W. Johnson, Emmett May and Bob Jiggets came down to the Conclave in Washington, DC and presented their Social Action proposition, and just the birth of Social Action as a National Program.

A. Phillip Randolph

Bro. A. Philip Randolph meeting with President LBJ.
Bro. Randolph was the Architect of the March on Washington on August 28, 1963
**In addition, Bro. Anderson is known in Sigma as “The Father of Social Action”.

1997/1998 National Social Action Award Winners Bro. Jonathan A. Mason-Regional Social Action Program Director of the Year


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