Our History

Blacks In Government® (BIG) was established in 1975 and incorporated in 1976 by a small group of African Americans at the Public Health Services which is a part of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare in the Parklawn building in Rockville, Maryland. The organization was viewed as essential to the Black civil service employee, based on a wide assortment of racially motivated problems faced by the HEW Black employees in Rockville. Initially, it was thought that the umbrella organization would address only the problems at the Federal level. However, it was soon determined that State, County, and Municipal Black employees were faced with the same general type of employment problems.

Nonetheless, Blacks In Government® was organized in 1975 and incorporated as a non-profit organization under the District of Columbia jurisdiction in 1976. BIG has been a national response to the need for African Americans in public service to organize around issues of mutual concern and use their collective strength to confront workplace and community issues. BIG’s goals are to promote EQUITY in all aspects of American life, EXCELLENCE in public service, and OPPORTUNITY for all Americans.

In 1984, a group of Pentagon employees headed by Qwendolyn Jefferson, Sylvia Pate, Sheryl Goffer and several others considered establishing a BIG Pentagon Chapter of Blacks In Government®. The chapter was formally chartered by the National Organization in 1985. Sheryl Goffer was the first President and Sylvia Pate was the Vice President. Midway into her term, Ms. Goffer resigned because of personal reasons. Sylvia Pate became the interim President and Margaret Wilson became the interim Vice President finishing out the term.

The BIG Pentagon Chapter of Blacks In Government® functions as a nonprofit, nonpartisan group. We’re an employee support group, an advocacy group and resource group for Black Civil Servants at the federal, state and local level. Our chapter meetings are every third Thursday of the month from 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm at the Pentagon Library and Conference Center (PLC2) across the Corridor 8 bridge (near North Parking).

BIG Pentagon Chapter Presidents

The following is a listing of the BIG Pentagon Chapter Presidents (1985 – Present):

  • Frank Q. Williams
    2021 – Present
  • Hon. Mary K. Thomas
    2014 – 2020
  • Hon. Dr. Hezekiah Braxton, III
    2008 – 2013

  • Delores M. Richards
    2004 – 2007
  • Hon. Farnese J. Hicks
    2003 – 2003

  • Hon. Mary K. Thomas
    2000 – 2002

  • Carol A. Williams
    1998 – 1999
  • Otis W. Langford
    1996 – 1997
  • Mamie E. Dorris
    1994 – 1995
  • Gerald R. Reed
    1992 – 1993
  • Brenda J. Moore
    1991 – 1991
  • Howard B. Ervin
    1989 – 1990
  • Margaret J. Wilson
    1987 – 1988
  • Sylvia Pate
    1986 – 1986
  • Sheryl S. Goffer
    1985 – 1985

BIG Pentagon Chapter Leadership

Frank Q. Williams


Michael A. Wilson

1st Vice President

Hon. Mary K. Thomas

2nd Vice President
Immediate Past President

Hon. Farnese J. Hicks




Hon. Gerald R. Reed

Regional Representative

James C. Paylor




Vincent C. Allen


Tangie Phair


Hon. Dr. Hezekiah Braxton, III


Curtis L. Banks

Community Outreach

Pamela B. Evans

Community Outreach

Latoya S. Marble


Dr. Amy L. Franklin



Scholarship & Communications

BIG Pentagon Chapter of Blacks In Government®

Standing Committees, Special Committees, and Appointments

Standing Committees
Standing Committees Members
Affirmative Employment/ Equal Employment Opportunity Dr. Amy Franklin
Communication and Public Relations Vacant
Finance Committee Hon. Farnese J. Hicks
Legislative Review Vacant
Membership Hon. Mary K. Thomas
Program and Planning Michael Wilson
Special Committees
Special Committees Members
By-Laws Tangie Phair
Community Outreach Curtis Banks

Pamela Evans

Fund Raising Vacant
Hospitality Hon. Farnese J. Hicks
Annette Jennings
Military Liaison Vacant
Scholarship Michael Wilson

Keith Yancey

Hon. Farnese J. Hicks

Tangie Phair

Appointments Members
Parliamentarian Tangie Phair
Sergeant of Arms Vacant
Web Administrator Hon. Dr. Hezekiah Braxton III,