In commemoration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Domestic Violence Awareness month, ODPhi chapters around the nation have tasked themselves with the challenge of shedding light on these two causes. The Eta Chapter at Sam Houston State University and the Alpha Lambda Chapter at Stephen F. Austin State University focused their efforts on raising awareness on breast cancer, one of the leading causes of death for women in America and around the world. The Beta Kappa Chapter at Western Oregon University decided to focus their awareness raising efforts on another leading cause of death for women: domestic violence.

The Eta Chapter at Sam Houston State University held their 2nd Annual Tacos for Tatas even in observation of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The chapter partnered up with several other organizations at SHSU such as Sigma Sigma Sigma, Phi Beta Sigma, Delta Xi Nu, Kappa Alpha Order, Student Government Association, the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice at SHSU, the Talented Tenth, Pi Kappa Alpha and the National Organization of Hispanics in Criminal Justice.

The community event consisted of games, live music, free food, and culminating with a pink balloon release in memory of all those who lost their battle with breast cancer. The brothers also hosted a cookie giveaway with the women of the Zeta Beta chapter of Sigma Lambda Gamma in an effort to increase their awareness raising initiatives and to promote the Tacos for Tatas event.

The Alpha Lambda Chapter at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX planned two events for Breast Cancer Awareness on their respective campus. The Kindness Rocks project made its debut in Nacogdoches as the brothers invited their campus community to join them in uplifting SFASU with positive messages and kindness. Lumberjacks were invited to create their own kindness rocks with inspirational messages and then to strategically place them around their campus. The Kindness Rocks project has proven a success around the country and the Nacogdoches version of this reaffirmed that. The Alpha Lambda chapter was aware of the importance of staying positive during treatment for breast cancer and the Kindness Rocks project highlights the importance of this. During their second event, the Alpha Lambda chapter hosted a rally to fight back cancer in the student union free speech area. Donations were taken during the events held on campus and all proceeds will be donated to the Ross Breast Center. According to its website, The Ross Breast Center was established in 1997 as one of the first comprehensive programs in the region designed specifically for breast health and care.

In an effort to showcase the shocking statistics and incidence of gender and partner based violence, the Beta Kappa Chapter took on the challenge of educating their campus by exploring the facts of domestic violence.

The Beta Kappa Chapter at Western Oregon University hosted an informative discussion on Domestic Violence in partnership with Abby’s House, the official name of the WOU Center for Equity and Gender Justice. This event was the chapter’s first effort in bringing light to the issue of Domestic Violence at WOU. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. The organization also estimates that 10 million people are physically abused by an intimate partner every year.

Beta Kappa teamed up with Abby’s House to host this event; Abby’s House is a resource and referral center and their main goal is to embrace a feminist model and empower those being oppressed or marginalized through gender violence or inequality.  During the event, the Center for Hope and Safety staff presented on domestic violence and ranging on topics from myths on Domestic Violence as well as the incidence and phenomenon of victim blaming. The Center for Hope and Safety is a  a resource center and domestic violence shelter in Salem, Oregon which serves women and men from all walks of life and who fall victim to domestic violence, sexual abuse, human trafficking, and stalking.

Domestic violence and breast cancer are two of the leading causes of death for women, in America and worldwide. As an organization comprised of men, it is imperative that we educate each other on issues that could possibly affect the women in our lives: our mothers, sisters, daughters, friends, girlfriends, wives. It must also be resoundingly clear that we reject and stand against any and all forms of gender based violence and domestic abuse.

Omega Delta Phi continues its efforts to educate their respective communities about these two causes.

“I personally feel like as men of Omega Delta Phi, we should stand up against all forms of violence and create the change we need” said Daniel Villegas, a brother from Western Oregon University.