Re:Dream Project

“To engage, inspire and challenge.” Nathaniel Bozarth, a 2009 initiate of Alpha Upsilon at Kansas State, is launching Re:Dream. We caught up with him prior to the first video, which will air February 29. Check out our Q&A below.


For more information on Re:Dream, be sure to visit their website!
ReDreamProject.org


DSP: What’s the purpose behind the Re:Dream Project?

NB: It’s a 40-part documentary series about the American Dream. We introduce a variety of folks and look at their “version” of the American Dream, and the opportunity obstacles that might prevent those dreams from becoming a reality. Our aim is to create a neutral conversation around what opportunity looks like today, to help jump-start that conversation.

DSP: Cool. How did Re:Dream come about?

NB: I met a guy named Christopher Cook through mutual friends. He did a documentary feature called We are Superman and when I saw it, I thought “damn, this is really good.” So I offered to help him with future projects, because I was passionate about what he was doing. Christopher had started a video production company, Brainroot, and I came on board shortly before KCPT (the PBS station in Kansas City) contracted us to work on Re:Dream. KCPT was fortunate enough to receive a grant from ThinkShift, an initiative of the DeBruce Foundation.

DSP: What motivated you to join Brainroot and help develop Re:Dream?

NB: The goal for Brainroot is to create videos that engage, inspire and challenge. What really gets me going about building story-based documentaries, we bring together folks from diverse backgrounds, diverse political views, etc. I feel that it’s so important, because there just aren’t that many spaces where people can have those conversations anymore. We’re talking about the American Dream, about success, about things that–traditionally–most everyone can agree on. When casting the documentary, we took a sheet of paper and thought of as many schisms as possible, finding those things that separates us. Then we sought out 40 people to fall into those different categories or subsections. We also wanted to draw focus to the simple, common threads that connect us all, showing the core similarities from one American Dream to the next.

DSP: Did your membership in Delta Sig affect the project in any way?

NB: My experience as a Delta Sig helped galvanize me for this project. Delta Sig was a place where we had all different types of people. I remember so many times where people would say, ‘I can’t put my thumb on who Delta Sig is. They have no stereotype.’ That experience boosted interest in a project like this. The sense of inclusion I’ve developed, because of the fraternity, is now a point of pride.

DSP: What networks can people watch your videos on?

NB: This is primarily an online series, so the best place to see the videos is our website, redreamproject.org. We’re contracted by KCPT, so they lead the series. There will be 15 total public media networks, all the way from LA to Rochester, New York, who will promote the series on their digital platforms.

DSP: What’s the time-frame for the project?

NB: Our first video will air February 29, with a new release every week day, for 8 weeks. So with 40 episodes, the series will wrap up on April 22.

DSP: Thanks for your time, and good luck, Nathaniel! We can’t wait to watch.

NB: No problem! We’re also looking to partner with universities and host physical conversations as well. If readers have a school they’d like to recommend or want to help host an event, definitely get in touch.

 

Delta Sigma Phi National President Tom Cycyota Honored

Delta Sigma Phi alumnus and National President, Tom Cycyota, was recognized by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with the 2015 LAS Alumni Humanitarian Award for his work in human tissue donation and transplantation.

Cycyota serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of AlloSource, one of the nation’s largest non-profit providers of cartilage, cellular, bone, skin and soft-tissue allografts for use in spine, sports medicine, foot and ankle, orthopedic, reconstructive, trauma and wound care applications. The company is inspired by its donors to develop innovations that advance the potential of tissue for use in healing patents. In 2014, AlloSource was named Company of the Year by the Colorado BioScience Association.

A 1977 initiate of the Alpha Alpha Chapter of Delta Sigma Phi at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Cycyota graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. As an undergraduate, he served in a number of chapter leadership positions and after graduation went on to work at Delta Sigma Phi as a member of the national headquarters staff.

Serving as National President of Delta Sigma Phi since 2013, Cycyota has worked closely with Delta Sigma Phi leadership to continue laser focus on Vision 2025, the Fraternity’s strategic plan. During his time as National President, Delta Sigma Phi has experienced increased growth, improved financial stability, and a renewed dedication to communications and transparency.

“Tom’s leadership and guidance has been paramount to the success we have achieved in recent years”, said Patrick Jessee, Executive Director and CEO of Delta Sigma Phi. “His passion for our mission of Building Better Men can be seen in all of the work he does for Delta Sig. He truly is one of our biggest champions.”

In 2013, Cycyota and his wife, Cyndy, made a charitable contribution to the Delta Sigma Phi Foundation to fund the next 10 years of the annual Delta Sigma Phi Leadership Institute, a brick-and-mortar program aligned with achieving the organization’s mission of Building Better Men, based on the central values of Courage, Action and Excellence.

A Founders’ Day Message from Yesterday, for Today

Founders’ Day is a time-honored tradition for Delta Sigma Phi. Each year on December 10, Brothers are invited to pause and reflect on the legacy and values established by the founders of Delta Sig.

In 2011, Brother Marco Henry Negrete, San Jose University, ’10, wrote a powerful take on the importance of Founders’ Day and what the Delta Sigma Phi Brotherhood represents. In recognition of Founders’ Days both past and present, we are sharing his story here at DeltaSig.org:

Dear Meyer Boskey and Charles Tonsor,

When I woke up today I had this feeling in my heart and in my mind. It’s a feeling that I’ve had every morning for over four years now. I woke and I wanted to be better than I was yesterday, a better brother, leader, friend, student, and man. When I look at the challenges I have in front of me, I reflect the lives you lived for inspiration.

I still find it hard to believe that you guys had the strength and determination to build our fraternity as just teenagers. How were you able to create the ritual, in which I try to live my everyday life by, at such a young age? I look at the obstacles that stood in your way and bravery you had to display in order to get our organization off the ground. I can’t imagine the amounts of discrimination and pure hatred others showed to you just for wanting to be be different, for wanting to be better. The pride in me tells me that I could have done it, too! I could have done what you guys did. I could have endured all of that for the sake of our letters. As much as I want to believe that, and as hard as try to convince myself, I don’t think I could have.

I know what it’s like to wear our letters and not fit in. I know what it’s like for others to reject you because of your beliefs. I’ve felt a taste of what you lived through to create a fraternity that refused to be typical,and when I think about my experience and how I overcame it, my thoughts leads back to you. When I did it, I was doing it at one university with a group of strong brothers, alumni, and supporters. When you did it, it was you against the world. You against a world that was so eager to hate, and so unwilling to accept those who saw things differently.

I often wonder what was going through your minds. I wonder how many times you felt like quitting? How many times others ridiculed you and rejected your desire to build a fraternity where culture, harmony, and friendship can build better men? How many times others said you didn’t belong? What did it feel like when some of the early chapters turned their backs and betrayed the oaths they had taken? It would have been easy for you to quit like the others. It would have been been easy to combat the scrutiny with anger of your own, but that would not have been the Delta Sig way. That is not what the lessons from the almighty Sphinx taught you. You saw the need for a better world and believed you could improve it by challenging yourselves to be better.

Its been 112 years since you met in that library at the College of the City of New York to create Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity. Our world has changed a lot since then and so have fraternities. The standards you created in 1899 are now shared by many organizations. What’s even more impressive, is that your strong hopes for our fraternity have grown in your absence, and in your honor. The beliefs you had to create a brotherhood free of segregation now extends to areas deeper than just religion or race. Your belief in basing membership on character still exists, and we still ignore the factors that don’t involve one’s desire to be a better man. Our fraternity now represents men of all colors, classes, religions, and lifestyles. Don’t worry though, we have not forgotten your humble beginnings and strong values.

I want to thank you for challenging generations of men to be better. I want to thank you for inspiring some of the men who inspire me, and for allowing me to inspire others. I want to thank you for helping me continue to grow into the man I always knew I could become. I want to thank you for creating a fraternity with men like me in mind. I’m not just talking about my skin color or my religion, I’m talking about men who want to be better and refuse to be typical. The world deserved better then and it still does now.

I don’t know what your response would be to this letter, and I don’t know what you would say about our fraternity now, 112 years later…

But I hope you’d be proud. Because I am.
YITBOS,
Marco Henry Negrete Jr.

See his original post here.

He Went to Play

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