OAKLAND, CA – Members of the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, also known as the Boulé, donated $100,000 to Yes on Proposition 16—a California ballot measure that would end the ban on affirmative action in the state, working to dismantle the structural racism that is holding people of color and women behind in hiring, promotions and state university admissions decisions.  

Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity is the nation’s oldest Black Greek-letter Fraternity. Founded in 1904 in an era defined by Jim Crow laws and pervasive segregation, Sigma Pi Phi sought to expand professional and social opportunities for its members and their communities. Known as an organization of the “Talented Tenth” of accomplished Black men—a term coined by William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, prominent sociologist, scholar and member of Sigma Pi Phi—the Fraternity has a long and distinguished history of social action, civil rights advocacy, and development and support within Black communities and in the broader nation. Support for Prop 16, along with other public policy initiatives across the country, is in keeping with that legacy and the fraternity’s continuing commitment to improve the social and economic health and wellbeing of our communities.  

“It has always been a guiding principle of Sigma Pi Phi to do good through concerted action” said Michael Keeley, co-chairman of the initiative. “There are few more pressing fights than repealing the ban on affirmative action and combating systemic racism and sexism in California. Prop 16 is our chance to right the wrongs of the past, and I’m proud of our Boulé members who’ve joined with thousands of equality activists across the state to advocate for Prop 16 and make equal opportunity for Black Californians the law.” 

Structural racism in education, hiring and wages continues to hold Black people and communities back. The median net worth of white high school dropouts is 70 percent higher than that of Black adults with some college education; and for every $100 in white male wealth, a Black woman has 83 cents. Proposition 16 would help to combat these inequities, level the playing field and ensure that all Californians enjoy an equal opportunity to succeed.  

As recent polling shows a surge of support for Proposition 16 across California, Sigma Pi Phi’s major financial contribution—which will be used to communicate to voters who have yet to cast a ballot in this year’s election—could make all the difference. 

Prop 16 is endorsed by everyone from Senator Kamala Harris, Governor Gavin Newsom, the California NAACP, founders of Black Lives Matter, Dr. Bernice King, the ACLU, the California Black Chamber of Commerce, teachers, nurses, firefighters and more than 400 organizations.