Jonathan Mason, International president of Phi Beta Sigma, Fraternity, Inc. and chairman of Camp New Joy, recently announced that Camp New Joy has raised nearly $100,000 towards the completion of the first building at Camp New Joy, a retreat for at-risk boys and teens. The announcement comes following Phi Beta Sigma’s annual conclave and during the first on-site visit at the camp for youth, which took place this past weekend, July 24-26, 2015.
During Phi Beta Sigma’s 2015 conclave, held in Little Rock Arkansas recently, members of the Divine Nine came together to support the mission of Camp New Joy and to raise funds to help support the developmental retreat for young boys and teens. The groups included, Phi Beta Sigma, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sigma Gamma Rho, Zeta Phi Beta, Omega Psi Phi, Delta Sigma Theta and Iota Phi Theta. Their combined efforts netted nearly $100,000, getting the group closer to its $300,000 goal and the completion of the Camp’s first house. Since, October 2013, $500,000 has been raised for Camp New Joy.
“The need for an environment such as Camp New Joy has never been greater,” said Jonathan Mason, Chairman, Camp New Joy and International President, Phi Beta Sigma. ”This Camp will be a teaching and nurturing environment to help our young Black men better navigate the challenges they are faced with each and every day in our society. While many occurrences can easily land them in jail or even worse, Camp New Joy provides them with an environment that helps them focus on becoming better men, ultimately understanding the greater results they can get in life.”
The brainchild of Mason, Camp New Joy is the response to the growing need for community restoration in light of the rising tensions surrounding the recent killings of an alarming number of Black men, teens and boys including Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, John Crawford III, Akai Gurley and others. Mason, an established sales executive in the advertising industry, stepped down from his position this year to make a full-time commitment to helping the future of our young men by focusing on the development of this one-of-a-kind life-changing retreat.
Camp New Joy’s mission also aligns with Phi Beta Sigma’s commitment to empower young Black men. Last year, the organization partnered with the White House’s landmark initiative, My Brother’s Keeper. The fraternity has pledged to raise millions of dollars to fund a series of programs designed to train 10,000 mentors for Black youth; train 5,000 men to become strong fathers; adopt 100 schools; and give out more than $1 million in scholarships.
For more information on Camp New Joy or to donate, visit www.campnewjoy.org