The Ray of Hope Walk to End Violence Against Women (ROHW) was established by Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated in direct response to its national philanthropy, Raising Awareness of Violence Against Women. The goal of the ROHW is to educate, bring awareness, empower, and mobilize our communities. The ROHW focuses on challenging women and men alike to be a part of the movement to end this global epidemic– in an effort to create a safe and equitable society for all.
We are guided by the belief that every Woman has a RIGHT to:
live free of intimidation,
freely express her ideas or opinions,
make her own choices,
receive justice and tell her story without prejudice
Every year the ROHW partners with local and national agencies working towards ending gender-based violence. We select as our beneficiary an organization that provides services, operates at a grassroots level, and is actively engaged in eliminating violence against women. Our past beneficiaries serve as great resources to the community. The Ray of Hope Walk has donated almost $45,000 to some of the nation's most impactful organizations working at both national and local levels to empower women.
In 2009 Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated (OPBSI) celebrated its 20th Anniversary. As members of the National Leadership team reflected on the organization's mission, vision, and philanthropy they became acutely aware of the fact that in order to truly make an impact in their national philanthropy, Raising the Awareness of Violence Against Women, they needed to think big.OPBSI had taken a big role in the New York City Domestic Violence Walk held in 2002, 2003, and 2004; from designing the walk's website to serving on the steering committee as co-chairs of the walk. However over time the initiative lost momentum and disbanded.
Using these experiences as a catalyst, OPBSI launched the Ray of Hope Initiative (ROHI) in 2010 with the goal to expand it to a nation-wide walk that strengthens our communities and brings various forms of Violence Against Women to light. The first ROHI was held in New York City on October 22, 2011 as a Benefit Concert featuring activists, musicians, poets, dancers, and speakers. The energy brought about from the event was so motivating that the performance format became a defining feature of the first Ray of Hope Walk (ROHW) the following year.
In 2014, the ROHW achieved its dream of expansion and added "the Second City", Chicago, as its second city with a competitive Run/Walk component. Today the ROHW continues to hold fast to its traditions of mobilizing and energizing the community through partnership with grassroots organizations, activists and artists, students and families, and by spreading awareness through our stories, our shared experiences, and celebrating the hope for a world free of gender-based violence and oppression.
The Ray of Hope Walk is owned and operated by Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated and sponsored by Omega Phi Beta Foundation.
Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated is the nation’s premier Greek-lettered organization committed to ending violence against women. The purpose of Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. is to serve and educate people of diverse backgrounds through sisterhood, leadership, and mentorship. Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. develops leaders who promote the unity of all cultures, focus on the empowerment of women, and raise the standards of excellence in academic, professional and personal endeavors. For more information visit: www.OmegaPhiBeta.org
Omega Phi Beta Foundation (OPBF) is a 501C3 national, philanthropic organization committed to providing leadership, academic and community development opportunities, through educational and grant-making initiatives, that support individuals and organizations dedicated to advancing women’s rights.