In an effort to highlight the people who are leading graduate chapters across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to the brothers of the Epsilon Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma in New York, NY and did an interview with Kevin “K.B.” Bracey the president of the chapter.
The position of president of a Black fraternity chapter is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes. Bracey, who is the Chief of Events for PLUSH Vodka, has served as the president of the chapter for 2 years.
We interviewed Bracey and talked to him about his position, goals, future and what it means to hold this type of leadership position in the digital age.
Read the full interview below.
What does it mean to be a chapter president to you?
To be a chapter president means responsibility and leadership. The chapter brothers elected me because they believed in my vision and I have a proven track record of doing work within the fraternity, chapter and community.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the surrounding community?
Specific initiatives our chapter is heading up this year are our School Supply Drive/Fish Fry. With your donations of school supplies you can enjoy fried fish plates as well as food from the grill. We are also the lead chapter for the 50th Annual African American Day Parade in Harlem, NY September 15th. This will be the first time the parade will be televised and the Sigmas/Zetas of NY will have a float. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving our chapter will be cooking meals at Paradise Baptist Church in Washington Heights, NY to feed the surrounding community for Thanksgiving. We are also planning our chapter’s Centennial Celebration happening on May 2nd, 2020, celebrating 100 years of serving the Harlem community.
What made you want to pledge Phi Beta Sigma?
What made me want to join Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. was the commitment to serve the community. I’ve always been a community person since I was a youngster and I naturally gravitated to Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity because of it. My interest started at WSSU, but couldn’t start the process due to having to move back to NYC. 20 years later I became a member on the Alumni level.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
My chapter is unique because we are the oldest chapter in NYC and we have had many famous leaders/activist and movers and shakers during the Harlem Renaissance as members. James Weldon Johnson (Life Every Voice and Sing, Executive Secretary of the NAACP ), A. Phillip Randolph ( Helped start the Brotherhood of the Sleeping Car Porters union and MLK’s March on Washington), James “Billboard” Jackson (one of the first Blacks in the Boardroom of the Standard Oil Co).
We now live in a digital world, what do you think alumni chapters across all orgs need to do to represent themselves online in 2019?
Since we are living in a digital world all orgs need to represent themselves in a positive manner at ALL times. If you are engaging in activities that you shouldn’t be…don’t wear PARA!! It will go viral!
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership means respect and the only way to keep that respect is to earn it. A good leader needs to listen and respect the views of others in your chapter. You may feel differently about a situation, but if the majority of the chapter votes yay, you have to put those feelings aside and go with it. As a President, I only get to vote if it’s a tiebreaker.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
Watch The Yard is important to black greekdom because it’s a platform where greeks young and old can see what is going on. It’s a great source of information.
What does brotherhood mean to you?
Brotherhood to me means bond and a network of resources. We do have to understand that all brothers may not be brotherly!
How is your chapter providing for the undergraduate chapters you support?
Our chapter is providing support to undergrads in NYC by giving them access to career resources within our chapter as well as mentorship.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Kevin “K.B.” Bracey for his work as the president of the Epsilon Sigma Chapter which has a legacy that spans back to 1920.