National Bar Association, 1225 11th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
July 19, 2008
A New Leader For The Nation's Oldest Greek Letter Organization Of Primarily African
Atlanta, GA -- At its biennial convention in Denver, Colorado, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity,
commonly known as the Boulé, installed Robert L. Harris of Oakland, California as
its 44th Grand Sire Archon (National President).
Harris is no stranger to leadership. This retired Vice President of the Pacific Gas
and Electric Company in San Francisco has led a number of America's most important
African American organizations including being President of the National Bar Association
and Grand Polemarch (National President) of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.
Harris views his election as a mandate for action. He said, "the 21st Century' with
its numerous challenges and opportunities places the spotlight on African American
men, especially those in the Boule, to use their talents and considerable influence
to impact more directly the lives of our communities especially those that are most
severely handicapped by social inequity, inadequate schools and crime and violence."
Harris admits that historically Sigma Pi Phi has shunned publicity. "We have chosen
to become more public now," said Harris, "so we can more effectively influence the
public policy agenda that will strengthen the economic and social plight of African
Harris says the Boule is uniquely positioned to make a difference because its members
consist of some of the most accomplished, affluent and influential men in this country;
men who are already making significant contributions to their communities, society
and the world.
Founded in 1904, Sigma Pi Phi is America's oldest Greek-letter organization of primarily
African American men. It has 119 member boulés (chapters) throughout the United States
and in the Caribbean. For more than a century boule men such as W.E.B. DuBois, James
Weldon Johnson, Martin Luther King, Whitney Young, Vernon Jordan, Ken Chenault and
numerous others have played key roles in changing the American landscape.
Harris said, "We have no plans to become a typical activist organization, but we
do plan to hold public officials accountable when it comes to policies affecting