Gamma Xi Phi is a predominately African American organization of men and women in the arts, including literature, visual art, music, theater, and dance.

GXP was established at Ramapo College in Mahwah, New Jersey on October 7, 2010, on the principles of Philanthropy, Sodality, and Elevation.

The purpose of Gamma Xi Phi is to honor the achievements of artists through fellowship, philanthropy, social justice, and service.

Gamma Xi Phi promotes philanthropy and service to the arts, brotherhood among all artists, and leadership development in artistic professions through collegiate and community outreach to people of color across the world.

Our purpose and mission are exemplified through our National Program, which is themed The Design of a Decade: Art, Society, & Justice. This theme celebrates our tenth anniversary as an organization while promoting the intersections in which we live and serve. Gamma Xi Phi believes in art as a means of advancing and enriching society as well as a means of advancing issues of justice within our communities.

The National Program
The Design of a Decade: Art, Society, and Justice
The Young Artisans Awards

This program honors artists enrolled in traditional (K12) or alternative schools (16-24) as a way to encourage future artistic achievements in their chosen fields.

Renaissance Conversations

Chapters of Gamma Xi Phi conduct interviews and panel discussions with artists who are impacting society and culture. Each chapter shall, through a format of their choosing, introduce a working artist to their communities and facilitate the sharing of their knowledge to all assembled.

Odeon

Odeon is any showcase by which members of Gamma Xi Phi display their crafts in a festive environment for families, friends, and the community.

Check On Me

Recognizing high incidences of depression and suicide among artists and creative people, Gamma Xi Phi continues to promote participation in World Suicide Prevention Day and in other activities highlighting awareness of mental health and wellness.

Art For All

Chapters initiate local projects that directly benefit artists of limited means and special needs, including elderly artists, under-resourced art classrooms, and artists with disabilities.

African Heritage Protection

Gamma Xi Phi promotes the protection of cultural and artistic artifacts in Africa. Chapters and members shall raise funds in support of organizations which halt the illicit trafficking of cultural property, promote the restitution of cultural property, protect endangered heritage sites and objects, and otherwise protect the artistic and cultural legacies of African nations and communities.

Our Heritage

In the foothills of the Ramapo Mountains where New Jersey meets New York is a young, public college established in 1969.  It was here at Ramapo College of New Jersey that Gamma Xi Phi was established amid an already vibrant fraternal community on October 7, 2010.

Among these students, the desire to be an arts-centered organization arose early on, though it was not clear whether Gamma should be a social fraternity for artists or a professional fraternity.  After much thought and soul-searching among the founding members, it became apparent that being a professional fraternity was best for the organization.  Ramapo College had no other professional fraternities on campus, so the road before them would be challenging.  Nationally, Gamma would have to lead the way as a pioneer among all professional fraternities.  Locally, the founding members would have to navigate a complex campus culture, which at times was as skeptical as it was curious about the new fraternity for men and women in the purple, black, and gray letters.

By following the established process of organization recognition at Ramapo, Alpha Chapter became a recognized entity in April of 2011.

The Coat of Arms of Gamma Xi Phi, designed by Brother Ernest Perry.

The National Constitution, the first governing document of Gamma Xi Phi, was adopted on May 22, 2011.  The original purpose of the fraternity is drawn directly from the Constitution.

Through networking on the part of founder Malcolm Minor, a second group of interested members was identified in Washington, DC.  This group became the Beta Chapter of Gamma Xi Phi and is the first professional chapter of the organization.  It was formally established on October 3, 2011.  Eta Chapter and honorary membership was also established on October 3, 2011.

Finally, the same meeting saw the election of the interim national board of trustees:  Storme Gray, National President; Malcolm Minor, National Vice President; Sharnell Bryan, National Secretary; and Nadia Blaine Fisher, National Treasurer.

Philanthropy, Sodality, and Elevation were adopted as the cardinal principles of the fraternity on March 12, 2012.  Gamma Xi Phi was incorporated exactly one month later on April 12.  The incorporators were Sharnell Bryan, Rashid Darden, and Storme Gray.  By the end of the Spring of 2012, Alpha Chapter had initiated its first line, consisting of Brigette Ramos, while Beta Chapter made preparations to recruit and select new members of its own.

The Greek letters Gamma Xi Phi, descending from upper left to lower right. They are metallic silver with nine black and purple stones in the Xi..

The Badge of Gamma Xi Phi, designed by Brother Ernest Perry.

On June 30, 2012, Gamma Weekend was held in Washington, DC.  It was a weekend of fellowship as well as important business for the members of the fraternity.  At the Greater Tried Stone Baptist Church in the Columbia Heights section of DC, the national board of directors convened and made several important decisions, including the chartering of Alpha Lambda Chapter, a nationally-oriented, at-large chapter for prospective members residing outside of the service area of an existing chapter.  Now that the fourth chapter was chartered, the fraternity was obligated to call its first national convention.  The host city was decided to be Newark, New Jersey, the home of several founding members.

A purple carnation.

The purple carnation, an official symbol of Gamma Xi Phi.

Over the next five years, Gamma Xi Phi added additional members and chapters to its network of artists.  National Presidents included Malcolm Minor, elected in 2013 in Newark; Rashid Darden, elected in 2015 in Philadelphia; and Sharnell Bryan, elected in 2017 in New Orleans; and Rashid Darden again in 2019’s convention in the District of Columbia.  Over the years, the constitution, bylaws, policies, and ritual were amended and enhanced to meet the needs of the organization.

In 2017, Gamma Xi Phi experienced several important changes to insure its perpetuity and allow room for growth.  Chief among those changes was the decision to be unclassifiable; that is, “Professional Arts Fraternity” was officially dropped from our name.  Now known simply as Gamma Xi Phi, the fraternity could now more flexibly exist in spaces where it sought to expand.  Additionally, the organization evolved into an organization more like an academy than a professional fraternity, with the aim to honor artists with membership.  While the core mission and program of the fraternity would remain the same, it’s raison d’etre was modified to reflect and enhance its existing successes.

The fraternity was saddened by the loss of Brother Bruce Hawkins in late 2016.  He is considered the charter member of Omega Omega Chapter, the chapter of deceased Brothers and Sisters.  The fraternity was further grieved by the loss of Brother Christopher Brient in 2020.

The fraternity continues to adjust to the new realities imposed by the novel coronavirus pandemic.  Virtual programming and technology has helped the fraternity keep its committments to the community and to one another, while aggressive engagement has brough inactive members back to the fold.

A black leopard

The black leopard, a symbol of Gamma Xi Phi.

Although the world has seen professional fraternities and societies for artists, the earliest members of Gamma Xi Phi knew that the world had not seen an organization quite like theirs.  They forged ahead with an unrelenting zeal, ready to perform the important work of uniting the world through the uplift of artists.

The most important chapter in the history of Gamma Xi Phi is the next chapter.  Will you be a leading role in the next part of our story?