Upcoming Events


BIG-DOL Redskins Football Game Raffle to Benefit Chapter Programs and Activities


Raffle Prize

Two (2) Tickets for Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins Football Game

Date & Time of Game

Sunday, December 30, 2018

1 PM

Location of Game

FedEx Field - Landover, Maryland

Costs of Raffle Tickets

1 Ticket for $5

5 Tickets for $20

Date of Raffle Drawing

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Contacts for Raffle Tickets

See the Event Flyer





Recent Events



BIG-DOL Supported the 2017 BIG Region XI Holiday Awards Gala


On Friday, December 1, 2017, six (6) members of the Blacks In Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL) attended the BIG Region XI Evening of Elegance James E. Wood Holiday Awards Gala held at The Waterford in Springfield, Virginia. Robin Matthews, BIG-DOL President, attended as the chapter's official representative. Charles Young and Dr. Jimmie Jackson were the winners of two Gala tickets sponsored by the chapter and determined by random drawings. Chapter members Barbara Johnson Cox and Patricia Martin, both BIG-DOL Region XI Council representatives, enjoyed the event. Christopher Brown, BIG-DOL Recording Secretary and Photographer, captured the special moments and fun at the event on his camera. See the link to some of his pictures below.






BIG-DOL Holiday Gift Stockings for Senior Citizens Project


On Thursday, December 14, 2017, Blacks In Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL) provided seventy (70) fully-stuffed holiday gift stockings to the seniors and staff of the Downtown Cluster's Geriatric Day Care Center (DCGDCC) - the adopted senior citizens center of the chapter. Each of the stockings contained a variety of toiletries (lotion, soap, shampoos and conditioners, pocket tissues, hand sanitizer, etc.) and snacks. BIG-DOL members Robin Matthews, Dr. Sidney Samuel, Lisa Hawkins, Veronica Shipman, and Christopher Brown distributed the stockings to the seniors at the DCGDCC while expressing season greetings. The seniors truly appreciated BIG-DOL's demonstrations of thoughtfulness and holiday kindness! BIG-DOL thanks Lisa Hawkins for coordinating the project, chapter members and supporters who generously donated toiletries and/or stuffed the stockings, and the members who presented the stockings.






BIG-DOL Annual Thanksgiving Basket Food Drive


On Monday, November 20, 2017, Blacks In Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL) provided fifteen (15) bountiful Thanksgiving baskets to needy families in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area. Each basket included a turkey, other meats, fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, butter, cheese, pasta, canned goods, dessert items, and other food items. Food items in the baskets were collected and purchased during the chapter's food drive conducted from October 23rd to November 20th. Nonperishable items were contributed by Department of Labor employees and others who placed items in the chapter's collection boxes positioned in the Frances Perkins Building and Postal Square Building. A chapter member who works in the DOL Mine Safety Health Administration (MSHA) building and her co-workers also collected and donated food items. Furthermore, monetary donations from BIG-DOL members and supporters also supported the drive. A BIG-DOL member generously donated the turkeys and sweet potatoes. Items contributed by the chapter included food packages purchased from the SHARE Food Network as well as food purchased by BIG-DOL Thanksgiving Basket Food Drive committee members. BIG-DOL commends Dr. Sidney Samuel and Robin Matthews, chairperson and co-chairperson of the drive, respectively, and their committee for the successful implementation of this annual community service project. BIG-DOL thanks all who contributed to the food drive's success, ensuring that the project, whose genesis dates back to November 1984, continued to bless others for the Thanksgiving holiday!






BIG-DOL Scholarship Program Participated in Sisters 4 Sisters Network 1st Scholarship Conference


On Saturday, November 4, 2017, 9 am - 2 pm, at Bowie State University, members of the Blacks In Government Department of Labor (BIG-DOL) Scholarship Program Committee participated in the Sisters 4 Sisters Network, Inc. 1st Annual Scholarship Conference. Sisters 4 Sisters Network, Inc. is a 501c3 nonprofit organization located in Prince Georges County, Maryland. The main goal of its conference was to connect students and their parents in the Washington, DC metropolitan area to organizations that provide scholarships and grants and/or that can help them save for college. The following five (5) BIG-DOL Scholarship Program Committee members conversed with conference attendees as well as distributed materials about the chapter's program at an information table: Sheila Alexander; Sandra Ingram; Michael Parrish; Cheryl Sims; and Sandra Swinson. Furthermore, Cheryl Sims, BIG-DOL Scholarship Program Committee Chairperson, participated in a panel discussion, where representatives from organizations provided overviews of their scholarship programs. Kudos to the BIG-DOL members for promoting the chapters impactful scholarship program out in the community!






BIG-DOL Co-sponsored Afro-Latinos Panel Discussion for 2017 Hispanic Heritage Month


In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, Blacks In Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL) and the Association of Latin Americans Serving DOL (ALAS) co-sponsored an "Afro-Latinos Shaping America" panel discussion on Tuesday, October 3, 2017, at the DOL Frances Perkins Building. Before the panel discussion portion of the event, the audience viewed a segment of the documentary "Black in Latin America: Cuba". Yaniris Perez of ALAS served as the moderator of the panel discussion. Three (3) distinguished experts served as panelists: Mr. Julio Guity-Guevara, Deputy Director of the DC Mayor's Office on Latino Affairs; Dr. Clarence Lusane, Chair of the Political Science Department and Professor of International Relations at Howard University; and Ms. Naomi Barry-Perez, Director of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Labor. The panelists discussed their views on the documentary, the diversity of Afro-Latinos, issues that Afro-Latinos confront in today's society; and how Afro-Latinos have and continue to shape the bright future of America. After an audience question-and-answer period, Ms. Vicky Leyva, a local Afro-Peruvian songstress, rendered two well received musical selections. Indeed, BIG-DOL and ALAS--two DOL affinity groups--worked very well together to plan and present a very informative event!






Department of Labor Agency Forum at 2017 BIG National Training Institute


The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Agency Forum was held on Tuesday, August 22, 2017, during the BIG National Training Institute at the Harrah's Waterfront Conference Center in the Harrah's Resort of Atlantic City, New Jersey. The theme of the forum was "Making Every Moment Count." The keynote speaker was Ms. Kristin McNally, Director of the DOL Office of Employee Engagement. Ms. McNally discussed why engagement matters as well as DOL's employee engagement initiatives. She also encouraged attendees to provide their oral and written input (via flipchart paper) regarding employee engagement that she planned to share with Departmental officials. Blacks In Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL) planned the forum and chapter members served as program participants: Dr. Sidney W. Samuel (Master of Ceremonies; BIG-DOL First Vice President); Nathaniel Howard (presenter of an icebreaker activity; Past BIG-DOL Second Vice President); Lisa Hawkins (introduction of keynote speaker; BIG-DOL Second Vice President); and Robin Matthews (rendered closing remarks; BIG-DOL President).







BIG-DOL Representation at 2017 BIG National Delegates Assembly


Blacks In Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL) was well represented at the BIG National Delegates Assembly held on Sunday, August 20, 2017 at the Harrah's Waterfront Conference Center in the Harrah's Resort of Atlantic City, New Jersey. The BIG National Delegates Assembly serves as the operating arm of the organization, where delegates from chapters throughout the country conduct crucial organizational business once a year, including the election of National officers, voting on BIG National Constitutional amendments and resolutions, and handling other business. The following eight (8) BIG-DOL delegates are to be commended for contributing to the decision-making of the organization while representing the interests of the chapter: Christopher Brown; Lisa Hawkins; Nathaniel Howard; Dr. Jimmie Jackson; Robin Matthews; Dr. Sidney Samuel; Sheila Stevens; and Charles Young.






Darryl Haley of WHUR Interviewed BIG-DOL About Its "Wellness Wednesdays"


Darryl Haley, host of WHUR's "Fitness Fridays" radio segments, visited the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 to interview the Blacks in Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL) for a potential segment about its "Wellness Wednesdays" exercise sessions. During the interview, Adrienne Shaw, BIG-DOL Health and Wellness Committee Chairperson, spoke on the importance of physical movement, including during the workday, as well as good eating habits. She also provided an overview of the chapter's "Wellness Wednesdays" exercise sessions. After the interview, chapter members and supporters demonstrated the movements that are used during the exercise sessions. Darryl Haley joined the fun and took group pictures with the participants. Kudos to BIG-DOL for promoting health and wellness!






BIG-DOL "Wellness Wednesdays" Exercise Sessions


Since May 2017, Blacks In Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL) has conducted 30-minutes exercise sessions, titled "Wellness Wednesdays," every Wednesday, from 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Interested BIG-DOL members and supporters walk from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Postal Square Building (across the street from Union Station) to an area near the U.S. Capitol, perform stretching and breathing exercises at that area, and then walk back to the building. The sessions are led by Adrienne Shaw, BIG-DOL Health and Wellness Committee Chairperson, and truly promote physical and mental wellbeing!






BIG-DOL Twenty-fifth Annual Scholarship Program Awards Ceremony


Blacks In Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL) held its Twenty-fifth Scholarship Program Awards Ceremony on Thursday, June 8, 2017, at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The theme of the awards ceremony was "Life Is About the Journey and the Destination". Khary Cook, BIG-DOL member, served as the Master of Ceremonies. After an invocation provided by Dr. Sidney W. Samuel, BIG-DOL First Vice President and Chaplain, the following officials rendered greetings: William Wiatrowski, Acting Commissioner, BLS; Alexander Bastani, President, American Federation of Government Employees-Local 12; and Dr. Contress Braxton, BIG National Executive Vice President. Imani Miner, a 2008 BIG-DOL Scholarship Program award recipient, delivered a poetry selection. Johnathan Medlock, Commissioner for the City of District Heights, Maryland and Board Chairman of Braveheart Entrepreneurial Youth Camp, delivered an inspiring keynote address, providing encouraging words to the students in attendance. Cheryl Sims, BIG-DOL Scholarship Program Committee Chairperson, and Michael Parrish, Jr., Scholarship Program Committee member, served as the award presenters, recognizing the following outstanding graduating high school students as the chapter's 2017 scholarship award recipients (the name of their awards and corresponding amounts are also listed):


Karis Barnett

Chapter Award


Deborah Epps

Relative Chapter Award


Tyson Byrd

Designated Chapter Award


Kyshira Simmons

Larry C. Hackett Memorial Scholarship Award



Catherine Hackett, wife of the late Larry Hackett and scholarship sponsor, participated in the presentation of his memorial scholarship award. Robin Matthews, BIG-DOL President, recognized the following Scholarship Program committee members who have contributed to the program's success during its 25 years: Cheryl Sims; Shirley Ashton; Hallie Glascoe; Catherine M. Hackett; Lisa Hawkins; and Dr. Sidney Samuel. Ms. Matthews then provided closing remarks. Following benediction and grace delivered by chapter member Derrick Nash, attendees fellowshipped with and congratulated the students during a reception. BIG-DOL thanks all who contributed to the success of this year's ceremony as well as the Scholarship Program!





2017 BIG-DOL Open House at the Postal Square Building


The Blacks In Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL) Open House held on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 in the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Postal Square Building First Street Lobby produced noteworthy results. Two (2) attendees joined the chapter at the event. One of these on-site new members won a BIG-DOL denim shirt (a membership incentive) via a random drawing, About fifteen (15) attendees completed BIG-DOL quiz sheets during the event, learning some basic facts about BIG and the chapter. Of the sheets with all correct responses, three (3) names were randomly drawn, with each selected person winning a $10 Starbucks gift card. Furthermore, those who attended the event were treated to a bag of fresh popcorn from the chapter's popcorn machine. After the Open House, three (3) people who had attended the event joined BIG-DOL and one former member rejoined the chapter. Hence, this membership activity was a great success!






Murder Mystery Dinner to Benefit BIG-DOL Scholarship Program


On Saturday, May 6, 2017, Blacks In Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL) sponsored a Murder Mystery Dinner titled "The Family Reunion" at the Forest Height Municipal Building in Oxon Hill, Maryland. This fundraiser event was held to benefit the BIG-DOL Scholarship Program. The dinner theater was based on a family reunion, where there was good food, good times, and a good place for murder! This interactive and humorous production was presented by Sleuth Ink, a company founded and operated by Dr. Ladel Lewis, a BIG-DOL Scholarship Committee member. Attendees had fun interacting with a variety of cast members and partaking of a meal catered by Jarobi Murray, while also trying to figure out who committed the murder, or in order words, "who done it"!






BIG-DOL Supported the BLS Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Henna Event


On Monday, May 1, 2017, Blacks In Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL) assisted the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) with its kickoff observance in celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPIHM). The event, held in the BLS Postal Square Building First Street Lobby, included a Henna station where attendees received designs on their hands. Henna body painting is an ancient art, commonly seen in India and other South East Asian countries, that it is used for medical purposes and to accentuate the beauty of ones hands, feet, and hair. BIG-DOL supported the event by providing fresh popcorn from its popcorn machine to the attendees. Again, the chapter enhanced another BLS event!






BIG-DOL Participation in 2017 DOL Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day


On Thursday, April 27, 2017, Blacks In Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL) participated in a DOL Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day session held in the Great Hall of the Frances Perkins Building. From 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., DOL affinity groups engaged the youth attendees, ranging in ages from 9 to 16, in a variety of activities to inform them about their groups. BIG-DOL conducted two activities which the youth enjoyed: completing the "BIG - Did You Know" (fill in the blanks) exercise and writing uplifting notes to the seniors of the Downtown Cluster's Geriatric Day Care Center (DCGDCC) - the adopted senior citizens center of the chapter. Participants in these activities even received prizes! Rachelle Coleman, who coordinated BIG-DOL's participation in the event, and Stella Godbolt promoted the goals and objectives of BIG as well as shared the accomplishments of the chapter, including its community service at the DCGDCC and its scholarships provided to deserving high school students. These two women and the youth truly had a great time connecting. BIG-DOL commends these ladies for ensuring the chapter's successful participation in another DOL program!



2017 BLS Women's History Month Events - Kudos to BIG-DOL Members


Blacks In Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL) members contributed to the success of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Women's History Month (WHM) events held during March 2017. BIG-DOL President Robin Matthews and Second Vice President Lisa Hawkins served as members of the BLS WHM planning committee. These two women helped to execute the WHM promotional event on March 1st; the keynote speaker program on March 8th; the business and labor leaders' panel discussion on March 15th; movie showings on March 22nd and March 23rd; the communication workshop on March 28th; and a book discussion on March 30th. Lisa Hawkins coordinated the room setup for the events. Ms. Matthews and Ms. Hawkins operated the chapter's popcorn machine at the promotional event and movie showings, providing tasty popcorn to attendees. Chapter member Ursula Oliver served as the moderator of the panel discussion. Christopher Brown, BIG-DOL Recording Secretary and photographer, rendered his photography services at two of the events. BIG-DOL member Dr. Ladel Lewis was the well-received presenter of the communication workshop "Speak Those Things: Effective Communication for Every Situation." Indeed, these members are to be commended for making a "BIG" impact for Women's History Month!






BIG-DOL Participation in BLS OCWC Information Session on DOL Affinity Groups


On March 8, 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Office of Compensation and Working Conditions (OCWC) held an information session at BLS to bring awareness to OCWC staff on the importance of DOL affinity groups and the work they do. Representatives from many of the affinity groups provided presentations. Among these presenters was Tom Burke, Blacks In Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL) Communication and Public Relations Committee Chairperson and an OCWC employee, who highlighted the mission of BIG as well as the history, programs, and activities of the chapter. Dr. Sidney Samuel, OCWC employee and BIG-DOL First Vice President, coordinated the event as well as served as the host. Kudos to these gentlemen for their promotion of DOL affinity groups and BIG-DOL!






BIG-DOL African American History Month Program


Blacks In Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL) presented a program on February 8, 2017 at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in recognition of African American History Month (AAHM). BIG-DOL member Marina Akers-Epps welcomed attendees and introduced the guest speaker. The guest speaker was Dr. Mary E. Dilworth, a nationally recognized education expert and Chair of the District of Columbia Higher Education Licensure Commission. Dr. Dilworth spoke on the 2017 National AAHM theme "Crisis in Black Education." She highlighted some issues with school curricula for today's young generation, minority student and teacher representation at the different type of schools, school safety, and limited access to educational opportunities and funding resources. Furthermore, she advocated the following goals: "establish a qualified racially, ethnically and linguistically diverse teaching force in all communities that represents the nation's population; revisit current programs and policies with a keen understanding of this generation's career interests and preferences; establish clear and universal standards and guidelines for what constitutes teacher diversity and cultural competence; and provide necessary resources and support to advance these goals." After a question and answer (Q & A) period, Dr. Sidney Samuel, BIG-DOL First Vice President, presented Dr. Dilworth with a plaque of appreciation and a token from the chapter as well as rendered closing remarks. BIG-DOL commends the BIG-DOL AAHM planning committee, chaired by Catherine Hackett, for the success of this informative event.