SPHINX Winter 2017/2018
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
ALPHA TRANSCENDS AGAIN AT KENNEDY CENTER HONORS 94th General Convention Highlights | Alpha Sets Strategic Initiatives | Trumpism In 21st Century
SAVE THE DATE ALPHA COLLEGIATE LEADERS SYMPOSIUM Wednesday, June 20 to Sunday, June 24, 2018 Morehouse College Atlanta, GA
in this issue
Lionel Richie Receives Kennedy Center Honor
94th General Convention
General President Ward's State of the Fraternity Address
First of All, We Vote
Alpha's Newly Elected and Re-Elected Public Officials
America's Response to the Obama Presidency. Trumpism in the 21st Century
Education | Training The Alpha Leadership Academy: A 20‑Year Journey in Leadership
Health | Advocacy What’s at Stake for African Americans with the Affordable Care Act
History Bro. Cornelius Langston Henderson “The Bridge Builder Without Help”
History The Untold History of the A. Charles Haston Brother’s Keeper National Program
Brothers on the Move Brother Alex Wood and Dale Long
Membership Matters The Fraternity Transitions to a Digital Membership Application
71 Lifestyle | Fashion Ways to Remain Crisp...
73 Chapter News Alpha Eta Lambda Zeta Sigma Omicron Lambda Alpha Zeta Phi Lambda
76 Omega Chapter
81 Alpha Leadership Directory
Arts | Entertainment | Opinion When Staying Silent Isn’t an Option: Alpha’s Artist Activists, and How I Became One of Them
Official Publication of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity WINTER 2017/2018 | Volume 11, No. 1 www.apa1906.net EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Henry A. Stewart email@example.com MANAGING EDITOR Eric Christopher Webb firstname.lastname@example.org LAYOUT EDITOR AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR Malik Whatley
COPY EDITORS Susie Mouri CONTRIBUTORS Vic Carter, Everett B. Ward, Eric Christopher Webb, David Jackson, Jr., Okey K. Enyia, Rashid Faisal, Ronald Anthony Mills, Charles Curtis, Marvin L. Venay, Duane C. Jubert, James Wright, Jr., Jordan Broiles, Ramon Peralta PHOTOGRAPHERS Ricky Brown, Bryan J. A. Kelly, Gideon Knife, Jeff J. Lewis, Jamal A. Wiggins PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE Ramon E. Peralta, Jr., L.H.D., Chair Paul E. Brown, Lawrence Buirse, Ricardo P. Deveaux, Wendel Eckford, LaMarcus Hall, Aaron Jones, Steven Misher, Donald Ross, Jeffrey E. Sterling, Marvin Venay
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SPHINX Winter 2018
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
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ON THE COVER
© 2018 Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. | All Rights Reserved
Grammy Award-winning R&B legend Brother Lionel Richie is second Alpha man to receive the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors.
FROM THE GENERAL PRESIDENT
Letter from the General President My Brothers of Alpha: Let me begin by thanking you for your ongoing support of our administration. Since taking office, I have heard from many of your via email, text messages, phone calls, and letters as you have shared your appreciation of our work. This was reflected by your attendance at our 94th General Convention held in Baltimore last year.
Everett B. Ward, Ph.D. General President Twitter: @AlphasforWARD
With all that is going on in the world around us, the Urgency of Now in Alpha requires us to put our feet to the fire and work to make a difference in our communities. I applaud and stand with our Brothers across the country who are daring to make a difference in our communities. This includes those who have run, and continue to seek, elected offices at all levels. It is even more critical that, in these uncertain times, with uncertain outcomes for our people, that we support these Brothers’ efforts to stand up and lead. The list of Alpha Brothers who have successfully won elected office or who are running is just what the Urgency of Now requires. Our Brothers are making a difference on a local, state and federal level. I would like to congratulate Brother Justin Fairfax, who became the second African American to be elected Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia; Brother Randall Woodfin, who at age 36, became the youngest mayor in the City of Birmingham, Al. On the same ballot in Birmingham were Brothers Jay Roberson, Steven Hoyt, and Justin Hillard, who were also elected and re-elected to the city council. In July 2017, several of our international Brothers won offices. Brother David Burt was elected the youngest Premier of the Bahamas at just 36 years old. Other elected as Members of Parliament on that ballot include Brothers Diallo Rabain, Wayne Michael Caines, and Laurence Scott. Congratulations to these Alpha leaders – Onward and Upward! Last fall, we put our Alpha Advocacy into action and co-hosted, along with Alpha Brother Congressman Al Green (D-TX), a session during the Congressional Black Caucus’ Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. The session titled “Politics or Protest in the Post Obama Era,” was successful and well-attended. This session was facilitated by Brother Roland Martin and included panelists Brother Michael Blake (NY State Assembly) Symone Sanders (CNN Political Analyst), Brittany Packnett (Teach For America). I’d like to thank Congressman Al Green for his steadfast support of our Alpha Advocacy and Action and believing in our initiative. The success of our Fraternity relies on the collective willingness and action of Brothers from all across Alpha to engage our community and embrace the fraternity’s mission. To that end, I stand firmly with all our Brothers who realize that the Urgency of Now is now upon us. Onward and Upward. S
4 4 SPHINX THE SPHINX
FROM THE EDITOR
Letter from the Editor-In-Chief Dear Brothers: I am humbled and honored to serve you as your Editor-in-Chief. Since my initiation into this illustrious Brotherhood, the Sphinx has always been a beacon of inspiration and information. This publication has served as a historical record of the stalwart work of the men of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. The pages of this magazine have provided tangible examples of the scholarship, service, and creativity that typifies this august body of brilliant men.
Henry A. Stewart Editor-In-Chief firstname.lastname@example.org
This issue will take a look back at our most recent convention in the summer of 2017 where we emphasized the Urgency of Now. The convention was a time where the men of Alpha came together to discuss and deliberate about how we could best develop sustainable change through civic engagement for our communities and how we could train ourselves to be of the greatest usefulness to aid downtrodden humanity. We find ourselves at a crossroad in our sojourn as men of color. Our current sociopolitical environment has been aptly characterized as unstable with threats to international diplomacy, the abandoning of civility and decency, and the erosion of racial equality. The viability of our world will undoubtedly depend on our ability to offer deliberate and strategic resistance to all the forces that seek to destroy our access to freedom and justice. The innovations of technology have catapulted our society into a space where we are more connected however the politics of fear, the effects of reckless capitalism, and institutional racism have made us more divided than ever. The Urgency of Now calls for us to protest, continually educate ourselves and lead with grace. As we move into the next era of the Sphinx we turn our attention toward the Urgency of Now as it relates to the current state of our world. We intend to use this vehicle as a rallying platform for Alpha Men to provide vigilant voices and solutions to many of the pervasive threats to our communities. We will continue to showcase the best that Alpha has to offer while also telling compelling thought-provoking stories that lead to system change and positive outcomes. S
FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Letter from the Executive Director Dear Brothers: As I approach the end of my first year as your executive director, I am sincerely grateful for this experience thus far. Our recent convention in Baltimore was tremendous event where we conducted very important business while still finding time to engage, inspire, and inform each other under the bond of Brotherhood. The convention gave us a clear opportunity to define who we are, where we are headed as a fraternity, and how we intend to get there.
Jamie R. Riley, Ph. D. Executive Director/COO Twitter: @jrriley03
In the months since the convention it has become even more clear that our General Presidentâ€™s call for our Brotherhood to respond to the Urgency of Now is even more critical as we look at the threats to the viability of the communities we serve. We have seen many of the vestiges of Americaâ€™s racist past resurge as white supremacy has taken center stage in national conversations. It is no longer sufficient for us to identify and discuss the challenges to our communities but it is now time for us to organize ourselves to do the important work of strategic and systemic resistance. We live in a multifaceted society where technology and media innovation have offered us vivid images of the turmoil that exist in America. It is time that we approach these problems with deliberate and thoughtful action. The dismantling of healthcare access, the unlawful of murder of Black men and women, the systematic attack on HBCUs, and the erosion of equity and justice serve as clarion calls for us to RESIST! Resistance is not and cannot be a monolithic exercise that is confined only to marches and boycotts. We must look at multiple methods for civic engagement using all the talent and resources that is yielded from the brilliance of our great Brotherhood. S
ON THE DREAMS OF MY FATHER Lionel Richie Receives Kennedy Center Honor By Brother Vic Carter
t almost every moment of every day, in some part of the world, people are listening to Lionel Richie. They may not all know him by name or where he is from, but they do know the creative genius he brings to music—how he transforms individual notes and words into melodies that evoke a feeling, recall a moment or generate something new in the listener.
His music is infectious and he literally brings people together in song—whether it’s the radio playing in the background of a home—or when he rallies celebrities to bring attention to the wrongs of children dying of starvation. Richie made us all realize, “We Are The World,” and that is why this Brother of Alpha Phi Alpha has been recognized with entertainment’s highest honor—The Kennedy THE SPHINX
Brother Richie pictured with childhood friend and 29th General President Milton C. Davis.
Center Award.” He is the second man of Alpha to receive such an honor behind jazz great Brother Lionel Hampton who received the honor in 1992. Presenters of this prestigious award describe Lionel Richie like this: “His music is part of the fabric of pop music; in fact, Richie is one of only two songwriters in history to WINTER 2017/2018
achieve the honor of having #1 records for nine consecutive years. With more than 100 million albums sold worldwide, an Oscar®, a Golden Globe®, four Grammy Awards®, and the distinction of MusicCares person of the year in 2016, the Tuskegee, Alabama native is a true music icon.”
For Richie and legions of sons of the South, success is not uncommon, instead it is expected and when it is achieved, it is celebrated, not just by the receiver—but also by those around him—the people who were a part of his journey. There are many elements of Richie's life that served as the bedrock for his success. For most, the dusty red fields of Tuskegee, Alabama seem an unlikely place for greatness to be born. That notion, however, is not wasted on the people who truly know this southern town and the many success stories that were born here. The home for one of the premier historically Black colleges and universities, Tuskegee has the distinction of being the place where minds were molded and gentile southern African American men and women quietly endured the ravages of racism, all the while living and learning and preparing a better life for themselves and their children. It was on this backdrop that Lionel Brockman Richie Jr. was born on June 20, 1949. His parents, Lionel and Alberta, were fixtures in Tuskegee and both had strong ties to Tuskegee Institute. In raising their son, they were sure to expose him to a life where seeing Black excellence was commonplace. That also meant that excellence was required of him and all his friends, including Milton Carver Davis, who would become the 29th General President of Alpha. These two men met as boys in Boy Scout Troop 70. Their bond grew through the years and along the way, they followed in the footsteps and walked in the shadows of true greatness. Brother Davis recalls life in Alabama. “We grew up in Tuskegee as very privileged people. We were not rich people at all. My mother was a public school teacher. So money was not something any of us had. We were not poor people. We were rich in culture and we were 10
rich in education because we were growing up literally on the campus of the university because that was the hub, it was the center of life in Tuskegee.” It was during those early years that Richie was introduced to Alpha Phi Alpha through his father who was very active in the Alpha Nu Lambda Chapter. Lionel Richie Sr. was quite an Alpha man having been initiated into the Beta Delta Chapter at South Carolina State University on December 12, 1934. He became Life Member #2328 and often hosted Alpha meetings in their home. It was here that a certain teenager remained in his upstairs bedroom and could feel the vibrations of baritone voices belting out the Alpha Hymn. Richie said, “When you grow up in Tuskegee, they would have Alpha meetings at various Brothers houses and you would hear the Alpha song and I could tell you the words to the first verse when I was twelve years old because I would hear them singing it downstairs.” As the dulcet tones meandered through the house, Lionel Jr. knew one day, he too would be among ‘all the noble, the true and courageous.’ But Alpha would have to wait. While in college, Richie embarked on a music career that now has spanned more than 40 years. That of course interrupted his education, but he maintained his promise to his parents and eventually completed his degree. In short order “The Commodores,” comprised of other Tuskegee students, became a household name and it was clear that one of the performers developed a connection with audiences when he sang about love and loss and love again. Even in his early years as an international performer, his father and mother THE SPHINX
I think the whole world is dying to hear someone say, ‘I love you.’ I think that if I can leave the legacy of love and passion in the world, then I think I’ve done my job in a world that’s getting colder and colder by the day.
- Lionel Richie were as near as a phone call or a frequent visit. While navigating the sometimes difficult world of entertainment, Richie never gave in to the intoxicating lure of stardom in a such a way that he would forget or abandon his roots or his friends. That has been an element of his life that has endeared him to the greatest performers in the world. That is why he is called upon again and again to not only perform, but also to write songs and melodies for other mega stars. Kenny Rogers says, “Lionel Richie developed the ability to write simple melodies that everyone wanted to sing and no one could forget.” His music is kind and infectious. Milton Davis says, “One thing you can say about Lionel Richie and his music, it has become a part of the fabric of the nation, a part of the fabric of the world. He is a citizen of the world. He is welcomed on every continent at the very highest levels and throughout the demographics of the country. Everyone loves him. His music can be played anywhere. You can play his songs anywhere. There is a not a vulgar lyric in any of them. There is no profanity about it. There is nothing degrading.” That demeanor put Richie on the world stage—even performing for the opening of the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 that drew a world audience of 2.6 billion viewers. But through all the fame and recognition, there was something missing in Richie’s life. WINTER 2017/2018
It was a connection to the man who was his inspiration, the man who was a strict disciplinarian, and whose words and lectures followed him wherever he went. It was the dream of his father that his only son would one day wear the crest and shield of the first collegiate fraternity founded for African American men. The missing link was the fraternal bond of Alpha Phi Alpha. “When I began to travel,” Richie says, “I truly learned the influence and the reach of Alpha Phi Alpha—from Brother Dinkins in New York and Martin Luther King Jr., not to mention some of the Tuskegee Airmen and you look at the history of Black Achievement in America and you start looking at the trail of service—as time went on, history has been made through Alpha Phi Alpha—not only American history but world history.” Richie Sr. became ill and for three years, Richie Jr. cared for him and did not perform. His time with his father was growing short and eventually came to a heartbreaking end. “I lost dad on October 31, 1990. It was pretty devastating to me. My dad used to say to me that there is going to come a time when you are going to remember more of what I said than you listening to me now.” Up until this point the father was preparing the son for a future without him. This was something that would follow Richie and a number of 11
reminders would constantly appear and prod him to make the move to become an Alpha man. Even his childhood friend admonished him at a public program at the General Convention. Richie was presented with the Alpha Award of Honor, but before he received it, Milton Carver Davis reminded him of his legacy. “I talked about his world renown exploits including ‘We Are the World’ and all of his songs.” Davis said, “I indicated that he had accomplished everything except becoming an Alpha. I told him, your father was a life
member of Alpha and we hope to have that missing part of your resume accomplished before the national body meets again.” This was in 1993. Soon thereafter General President Davis received a letter from Richie saying it was time for him to cross the burning sands in the footsteps of his father and the legions of Alpha men who had influenced and guided him to this point in his life. Richie prepared himself and began studying the History of Alpha Phi Alpha, A Development in College Life. He was quizzed by close friends and according to then Executive Director and later General President Darryl R. Matthews, he called on his music director to help him to properly learn the Alpha Hymn. Brother Matthews says, “Lionel had his father’s Membership shingle and life member certificate hanging on the wall and said if I make it, this is where I will put my shingle and life membership. We administered the test and he scored a 98.” Matthews also emphasized that Richie went through the same process as every other initiate of Alpha. At the time of his initiation, Richie paid for his Life Membership and for 10 years of dues to his beloved Alpha Nu Lambda.
Brother Richie pictured with other 2017 Kennedy Center Honorees.
This was more than the mere making of another Alpha Brother. THE SPHINX
While each of us has a specific story about our journey, Richie’s induction into Alpha filled a hole that had existed in his life for far too long. He was finally able to seal the bond with his father.
“I remember when the man said, ‘And the Oscar goes to Lionel Richie!’ I remember looking over at my mother and saying, Mom, Lionel Richie won and she said, you better go up there before they change their mind.”
Richie said, “It wasn’t until I got involved with Alpha that it closed the gap and gave me the total understanding of who my father was, what he stood for—so all those speeches—I should say lectures, all started to make sense because it fell under what Alpha is all about. So not realizing that he was growing me under our (Alpha’s) philosophy. Now I really get the full measure of my father.” He goes on to say, “At the time I was so busy with the Commodores that I didn’t quite see the true picture of Alpha because I was discovering my path. When I decided it was time to pursue Alpha—it was a time in my life when I was trying to discover roots, meaning…what was the meaning of my life so Alpha was the perfect destination for me.”
With all Richie's awards and achievements, he remains humbled and honored, and displays the charm of a seasoned southern gentleman.
Richie goes on to say, “I am actually getting a little teary eyed talking because my dad was my hero. I was so in awe of his life. When he died I said, up until my father’s death I had a very easy thing to do. All I had to do was copy what he said and repeat. From now on I have to be original, but it’s not really original. I am taking the Lionel Richie Sr. that I saw, the way he carried himself, the way he spoke, the way he represented himself to me and the community, I am taking that forward because it represents to me the legacy of my father.” On so many levels, Richie’s life is now complete. As an entertainer there are no more major awards to win, fewer honors to be made. This road to mega stardom has been punctuated with one victory after the other.
“But the icing on the cake—the Kennedy Center honor which is basically a recognition of my life’s work and when you think about when I started out in Tuskegee, Alabama as a kid with a dream and a group of guys with enough afros to last forever, and to now look at the body of work and the lifetime achievement of trying to be the example for the community and to be the example for American and how I represent myself around the world and of course to receive this award—I consider this the crown jewel because other than Nobel Peace prize and the Purple heart—I don’t know what else you can do. “ S Brother Vic Carter, a 1978 Xi Alpha Chapter initiate and member of Kappa Phi Lambda Chapter, is a television news anchor for WJZ-TV in Baltimore with more than 30 years of experience. Over his career, he has interviewed six Presidents of the United States and other notables in contemporary history, including Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, Colin Powell, Roslyn Carter, Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan, Muhammad Ali and tennis legend Arthur Ashe to name a few. He now serves on the board of trustees for the MSU Foundation and has been a visiting lecturer and Black Scholar in Residence. An awardwinning journalist, at the age of 23, he received broadcasting’s highest honor, the George Foster Peabody Award and has been named Journalist of the Year by The School of Journalism at the University of Georgia and was inducted into the National Association for Black Journalists Hall of Fame.
WHEN ANYONE IMPACTS ONE ALPHA, THEY IMPACT ALL ALPHAS.
Brothers listen intently during College Brothers Caucus.
The Honorable Catherine Pugh, Mayor of Baltimore, shares greetings with Brothers and guests at the Public Program
Brothers Jeff Johnson, Congressman Al Green, and Roland Martin enjoy Public Program reception WINTER 2017/2018
Public Program Panel discussion featured leaders from NPHC Organizations.
Miss Black and Gold Pageant Contestants strike a pose.
National Chaplain Rev. Bro. Johnathan Augustine and National Parliamentarian Brother John Williams on stage at Opening Plenary Session. 16
Brothers competed in the National Step Show. THE SPHINX
2017 GENERAL CONVENTION WINNERS College Brother of the Year Brother Nhat H. Le - Gamma - East Region College Chapter of the Year Theta Sigma - Southern Region Alumni Brother of the Year Reverend Brother Jonathan C. Augustine Sigma Lambda - Southwest Region Alumni Chapter of the Year Eta Lambda - Southern Region Charles H. Wesley Award Beta Iota Lambda and Beta Sigma - Southwest Region College Brother with the Highest Grade Point Average Brother Nhat Le - Gamma Chapter - Virginia Union University College Chapter with the Highest Grade Point Average Beta Phi - Dillard University Hobart S. Jarrett Debate Competition Hobart S. Jarrett Debate Competition Omicron Tau – Colorado State University – Western Region
Brothers of the Beta Phi Chapter celebrating winning College Chapter with the highest GPA at College Brothers Luncheon
Belford V. Lawson Oratorical Contest • Winner – Brother Anthony L. Williams Epsilon Phi (Illinois) Midwest Region • Runner-Up – Brother Ohimai Ojeikere - Eta Psi (Texas) Southwest Region
Spirit Award Winners:
John Hope Franklin Collegiate Scholars Bowl • Winner - Beta Phi - Dillard University Southwest Region • Runner-Up - Xi Delta - James Madison University - East Region
Most Registered Brothers Within the Region • College - Iota Rho • Alumni - Delta Lambda
Step Competition • Winner - Beta Sigma - (Southern University) Southwest Region • Runner-Up - Xi Omicron - (University of Delaware) East Region Miss Black & Gold Pageant • Miss Black and Gold 2017 - Sabrina Victor, Brockton, Mass. • First Runner-Up - Andronica M. Klaas, Huntersville, N.C. • Second Runner-Up - Elonay Yehualashet, Plano, Texas • Third Runner Up - Elizabeth Folasade Oshakuade, Benton, Kan. • Fourth Runner-Up - Kamry Mingus, Tempe Ariz.
Most Registered Brothers Outside the Region • College - Gamma Xi and Nu Rho • Alumni - Nu Mu Lambda
Oldest Registered Brother and Longest Membership • Brother Samuel Meyers, Sr. - 98 years-old – Initiated, November 1938 Brother Who Traveled the Farthest • Brother Bryson Palmer - Zeta Epsilon Lambda - Dubai Alumni Chapter That Traveled the Farthest • Mu Beta Lambda - Hawaii College Chapter That Traveled the Farthest • Pi Gamma - Sacramento, Calif.
OUTSTANDING COLLEGE BROTHER OF THE YEAR Brother Nhat H. Le Gamma ’15
Virginia Union University Brother Nhat H. Le, who was the co-valedictorian of his 2017 Virginia Union University graduating class with a 4.0 GPA, received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, mathematics and biology. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in chemistry and chemical engineering from the University of Michigan.
Why did you become a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.? “I became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. because I wanted to enjoy the Brotherhood, better myself, and serve others.” What has been the most gratifying part of your experience as an Alpha man? “As an Alpha man, I was embraced by the Brotherhood at the Gamma chapter. My Line Brothers respect, love, and appreciate me for being who I am. I am blessed with the companionship of 11 Line Brothers, and I am extremely honored to be the first Asian Brother initiated in my chapter.” Describe how you regularly live out ‘Manly Deeds, Scholarship, and Love For All Mankind?’ “I am currently a first-year graduate student at University of Michigan. I am pursuing my Ph.D. in chemistry and chemical engineering. 18
As a curious and self-driven individual, I enjoy doing research, volunteering at Bon Secours Children’s Hospital, and giving back to the community. I have collaborated with the March of Dimes several times. As part of Project Alpha, I have volunteered at Richmond Alternative High School program to mentor students, and held several events on campus, for example, ‘HIV Awareness Know Your Status’ and ‘No Glove, No Love Program.’ As part of ‘Go To High School, Go To College,’ I volunteered at Carver Elementary School for College Day, at Miles Jones Elementary School for its Math Carnival, and at John Hopkins as a high school student assistant. As part of ‘A Voteless People Is A Hopeless People,’ I volunteered at voter registration drives for Richmond City, Virginia Union University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and National Night Out. For Brother’s Keeper, I was part of Wyatt Tee Walker Bridging the Gap Community Worship Service and Wyatt Tee THE SPHINX
Walker Scholarship Luncheon to honor his accomplishments within the Fraternity. I am also hopeful that my biomedical research will lead to the improvement of human health in the future.” Who or what inspires you to continue to march onward and upward toward the light? “There are several people who inspired me to march onward and upward toward the light. The first person was Brother Lewis Farmer (Gamma ’07 and its current advisor). The second person is Brother Karl Jackson (Rho Iota Lambda ’06), one of my professors at Virginia Union University. Lastly, Brother James Wright (Gamma ’67), who is my mentor as well as another professor at the university. The General President has encouraged the Fraternity to respond to the Urgency of Now. What do you believe are some of the most urgent issues facing our communities? “Some of the most urgent issues facing our communities are the racial injustice and educational inequality (and the need to impeach President Donald Trump).”
Brother Le receiving the College Brother of the Year award.
What role should College Brothers play in Alpha’s resistance against the current political and racial environment? “It is College Brothers’ role to educate their peers about the importance of the current political and racial environment, and to prevent the hate from spreading across college campuses.” What do you envision for the future of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.? “I envision the future of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. to be the best fraternity for people of all colors. I envision an organization where I can meet Brothers from every continent around the globe and where we welcome the diversity of our members. Our Fraternity will also be at the forefront in advocacy for social justice and educational inequality nationally and globally. As we grow, more members from different backgrounds as well as various talents will join our Fraternity. We will appreciate the new change, but at the same time, we also embrace our roots as the Fraternity that has been and always will be, ‘First of All, Servants of All, We Shall Transcend All.” S
Brother Le gives co-valedictorian speech during Virginia Union University commencement.
OUTSTANDING ALUMNI BROTHER OF THE YEAR REVEREND BROTHER JONATHAN C. “JAY” AUGUSTINE, JD, MDiv. Beta ’91, Sigma Lambda Louisiana
Revered Brother Jonathan C. “Jay” Augustine is the National Chaplain of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the 46th senior pastor of historic St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC) in downtown New Orleans, the oldest AME church in the Deep South, as well as an adjunct professor of law at Southern University Law Center. A Life Member of the Fraternity, he is also an author and a community activist. Why did you become a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.? “Growing up in the 1970s in New Orleans, as a son of the Deep South, I witnessed much of the transformative leadership that 20
sought political, educational, and economic empowerment in the African American community. I was in awe of the pioneering political and civil leadership of Brother Ernest N. “Dutch” Morial (Beta Tau ’46), New Orleans’ first Black mayor, and Brother Antoine L. Joseph, Jr., my uncle and a thenterritorial court judge in the U.S. Virgin Islands. I also greatly benefited from a close personal relationship with one of my best friend’s father, Brother John O. Brown Sr. (Xi Epsilon ’56), then head men’s basketball coach at Dillard University, who was also my church member. I talked with Coach Brown about the fraternity in great detail when I was a teenager. After learning more about Alpha’s storied history and community activities, and realizing that most of the men I admired were Alphas, including Brother Dr. Norman C. Francis THE SPHINX
(Sigma Lambda ’67), then-president of Xavier University, and the 27th General President Brother Charles C. Teamer, Sr. (Sigma Lambda ’51), with those already mentioned, I was interested in Alpha, too. As someone who loves history, when I enrolled at Howard University during the fall 1989 semester, I learned about Beta Chapter, arguably the fraternity’s most historic chapter, and developed relationships with several campus leaders who were Beta Brothers. As a sophomore, during the spring 1991 semester, I was blessed to become a Brother of Alpha, through my beloved Beta Chapter.” What has been the most gratifying part of your experience as an Alpha man? “The most gratifying part of my membership in Alpha has been personal relationships with Brothers. I have benefited from mentoring and had doors opened and opportunities extended because of relationships. For example, as a college Brother, I met the 29th General President Brother Milton Carver Davis (Gamma Phi ’68), when Mu Lambda and Beta Chapters hosted a debate for the Brothers seeking to serve as the 29th general president. I wanted to be a lawyer and my eyes were fixed on Bro. Davis. When the debate was over, I introduced myself and shared my interest in following his career path. When I wrote Bro. Davis, during my military service and studies at Tulane Law School (this was long before email), he always responded. He offered encouragement and great advice, as we developed a very close personal relationship. When I completed law school, in offering congratulations, Bro. Davis shared a limited edition envelope and stamp of Booker T. Washington, a pioneer who journeyed from agricultural fields to the White House as a presidential advisor, telling me, ‘It’s Amazing What Hard Work Can Do!’ I had it framed WINTER 2017/2018
and have kept it in eyesight in any office I’ve ever occupied. When I was admitted to the Bar of the United States Supreme Court, Bro. Davis offered the motion for admission. It was also Bro. Davis who named me to the 2006 Centennial Committee, during his chairmanship. We remain close to this day. This is the best example of my life being enriched by Alpha relationships.” Describe how you regularly live out ‘Manly Deeds, Scholarship, and Love For All Mankind?’ “Alpha has always pushed me to excellence, because the fraternity encourages excellence in every facet of life. I am a pastor, a professor, an author, and an advocate seeking “Alpha excellence” in all endeavors. As the senior pastor of Historic St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church, I carry a denominational torch of excellence, serving the oldest AME Church in the Deep South and the oldest predominately Black, Protestant church in New Orleans. While teaching and preaching a sound theology of Black and feminist Liberation, I promote active community service, civic engagement, and feeding the homeless. I firmly believe the congregation must leave the building and work in the community. As a professor, I taught History
Brother Augustine poses with his wife and children.
of World Religions and Christian Ethics at Jarvis Christian College, and Constitutional Law at Southern University Law Center. I push my students for excellence and try to set an example by frequently publishing interdisciplinary, academic articles. I have provided subject matter expertise to a number of books including The Keys Are Being Passed: Race, Law, Religion & the Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement (2014). Moreover, I also try to set the example of scholarly excellence. After accepting the call to ministry, I earned a Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary (Dayton), and currently travel to Durham, North Carolina, pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree at Duke University. My devotion to and sacrifice for family shows ‘manly deeds.’ My academic career as a professor, student, and author, show ‘scholarship,’ and my pastoral service exemplifies ‘love for all mankind.’ Who or what inspires you to continue to march onward and upward towards the light? “My continued march is inspired by the heartfelt understanding that others sacrificed themselves so I could carry the torch of leadership and service, and sacrifice for others, too. I graduated from Howard in May 1994, with the support of Brothers from Beta and Mu Lambda Chapters, as the Eastern Region’s representative to the Belford V. Lawson National Oratorical Contest, at the 1994 General Convention in Chicago. Alpha Brothers C.C. Jones, Esq., one of my professors at Howard, the late Bro. Morris Hawkins, Ph.D. (Beta Iota Lambda ’67), a professor at Howard Medical School, and Brother Ambassador Horace G. Dawson (Nu ’46), director of Howard’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for International Affairs, spent countless hours mentoring and working with me on speech content and delivery, selflessly pouring of themselves into me and investing in Brotherhood. I 22
always complimented Bro. Hawkins for his bow-ties. As a newly commissioned officer in the United States Army, I wore it during the completion in Chicago and was blessed to win. As much as I was happy, I was also indebted. To repay my debt, in a way befitting those three Brothers, I vowed to always be an active member of the fraternity and be there for other Brothers, the way those Brothers were there for me. The fraternity gave me a $1,000 scholarship at the 1994 convention. I promptly endorsed the check, brought it to the business office, and became Life Member #7940. I am currently celebrating 26 years of continued service.” The General President has encouraged the Fraternity to respond to the Urgency of Now—what do you believe are some of the most urgent issues facing our communities? “As a fellow southerner, 35th General President Brother Everett Ward (Phi Lambda ’85) well remembers a time when publically elected officials seemingly did everything possible to limit political participation by minorities, refusing to embrace the egalitarianism of humanity, as one people embracing different cultures and religions is key to the mission. In facing continued attempts to limit civil rights and social advancements, particularly after two terms as President, a considerable segment of Americans seem enraged by progress, fueled THE SPHINX
by neatly packaged slogans like, “Make America Great Again” and determined to roll back the clock. Just as Alpha was at the forefront of advancement leadership in the past, we must be at the forefront of resistance leadership now. There are three issues I believe must be at the forefront of our advocacy. First, climate change is real. We recently witnessed its devastation in places like South Texas, the Caribbean, and Florida. The White House’s representation that “climate change is a hoax” is an affront to the environmental justice movement and the many people harmed by global warming. Second, advocating education reform must continue. I believe Black families continue to disproportionately miss opportunities for social and educational advancement because of underperforming schools. Accordingly, education reform is arguably the most important civil rights issue of our time. Finally, political participation advocacy must continue. As the Voting Rights Act lives on life support, statistics show our communities have become apathetic. Incidents like the Las Vegas massacre and Texas church shootings must prompt political participation focused on, among other things, gun control legislation.” In the current political and racial environment, what resistance strategies should Alpha employ? “I am a fan of and have written in support of civil disobedience as a resistance strategy, provided it is based on a moral imperative. Similarly, I have endorsed and often participated in public demonstrations, where personal risk and/or sacrifice might be necessary, to bring widespread attention to communal disparities. Just as sacrificial resistance was the basis for the infamous 1965 ‘Bloody Sunday’ march across the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Alabama, it was also the impetus for a nationally publicized 2017 prayer vigil led by the Brothers of WINTER 2017/2018
Sigma Lambda Chapter at a Jefferson Davis Confederate statute in New Orleans. That example of peaceful resistance, where human sacrifice was very possible, led to the removal of four Confederate Monuments in public spaces throughout New Orleans. The same sort of sacrificial resistance that was the basis of the Black Lives Matter Movement, successfully brought international attention to racial disparities in places like Charlottesville, Virginia and Durham, North Carolina, in 2017. As we mark the 50th anniversary of the Reverend Bro. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘Letter From Birmingham Jail,’ in April 2018, I believe Alpha must again return to civil disobedience and sacrificial demonstrations as resistance strategies in response to the current political and racial environment.” What do you envision for the future of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.? “As the old saying goes, ‘The more things change, the more they stay the same.’ Accordingly, I believe Alpha must return, as it has, to its public roles of political participation and advocacy, funding and underwriting educational opportunities, and training for potential community leaders, as well as providing the mentoring and Black male presence necessary to combat the social reality that Black males are disproportionately absent from homes and not raising young Black boys. I believe our conventions must offer more than hospitality suites. In addition to the fraternal fellowship we enjoy, we must continue with advocacy training that prepares Alpha Brothers to seek leadership roles in their respective communities. There is indeed a ‘fierce Urgency of Now!’ Alpha’s future must focus on responding to human need.” S
General President Everett B. Ward, Ph.D.
State of the Fraternity Address 94th General Convention and 111th Anniversary Convention Baltimore, Maryland
y Brothers of Alpha, as your General President, itâ€™s my honor to report to this noble Brotherhood of leaders that the state of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated is well.
Throughout all of Alphadom from Seattle, Washington to Johannesburg, South Africa, Alpha men are holding high the name as renowned scholars, uncompromising leaders, and committed servants. Scholarship, Leadership, and Service remains our defining motto. Alpha men are truly first of all and we transcend all.
Brothers, as we convene in the City of Baltimore for the 94th General Convention and 111th Anniversary Convention, I want to pause and pay special tribute to the life and legacy of Brother Thurgood Marshall. Without reservations, I believe that it’s appropriate, in this period in America history that we would assemble in the hometown of Brother Marshall. I’m confident that in the face of voter suppression, educational reform, and racial hatred, Brother Marshall, as the preeminent Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and legal social engineer, would demand his Alpha Brothers fight against injustice and discrimination in 2017 and beyond. Brother Marshall stated, “History teaches us that grave threats to liberty often comes in times of urgency, when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure.” Brothers with examples of leadership such Brothers as Thurgood Marshall, Martin Luther King Jr., Frederick Douglas, and Ozell Sutton as our guidepost, this convention has been designed to empower Brothers with relevant knowledge, educate Brothers on the internal affairs of the fraternity, and engage our massive Alpha network in strategic opposition to injustice. During my first six months as your General President, I’ve witnessed firsthand Alpha men walk in the rain against violence in the streets of Chicago. When hundreds of other people retreated to shelter from the rain our Alpha Brothers march onward and upward chatting “Alpha in streets” and rallied in support of the parents that continue to seek an end to the street violence. I will never forget one mother thanking the men of Alpha for remembering her son. With tears in her eyes she stood with the men of Alpha against violence.
When Brother Joseph Shepard, a student government leader on the campus of Wichita State University was publicly called a “nigger” by a white parent, this administration stood in total solidarity with Brother Shepard. The tenacious courage of Brother Shepard is symbolic of a new generation of Alpha men who will never take backward steps and will always stand for justice and equality against bigotry and hatred. I want to commend Brother Kiel Barton, Assistant Midwestern Vice President, for leading the forum, “We Marched . . . Now What?” strategy initiative. Uncompromising resolve describes the Brothers of Sigma Lambda as they stood in the confederate square in New Orleans to publicly support Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s courageous decision to remove symbolic vestiges of racial hatred in American society that celebrates individuals who were determined to continue the enslavement of our ancestors. Courageous leadership remains a defining characteristic for men of Alpha. In our nation’s capital when cowardly individuals, engulfed with racial hatred, in the dark of the night on the campus of American University hung a banana with the Greek letters AKA the Brothers of Nu Beta Chapter galvanized in support of Taylor Dumpson as the first African American Student Government President and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. This resurgence of racial hatred targeted toward African American students and other students of color is on rise throughout university campuses has been documented by Brother Lawrence Ross in his latest book Black Balled: The Black and White Politics of Race on Campus.
My College Brothers, it’s imperative that you firmly stand in the spirit of Brother Thurgood Marshall, against discrimination and stereotypical portrayals of our people each and every day. Know that when you stand on your university campuses against injustice you will have your entire general organization standing with you. When anyone attacks one Alpha, they impact all Alphas. Brothers, American citizens around the country and citizens of the world witnessed an Alpha man stand strong in the face of danger. Alpha Brother and State Capital police officer, Special Agent David Bailey exemplified the act of holding high the name of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
BROTHER BAILEY: Brothers, I’m pleased to report that in all regions of the nation Alpha Brothers are seeking public office to provide service to their communities. These Brothers should be applauded for the willingness to seek public office. • Brother Justin Fairfax serves as the 41st Lt. Governor of Virginia (Eastern Region). • Brother George Ramsey is a candidate for the United States House of Representatives in Iowa (Midwestern Region). Alpha men are leading around the world.
I have known Brother Bailey since his initiation into Gamma Beta chapter and I am proud of him and all his accomplishments. He may be Maryland born, but when he crossed the burning sands of Alpha in North Carolina at NCCU, he will forever be my Brother of ANCA! Brothers, please join me in welcoming Brother David Bailey to the podium. 26
• In July, Brother Diallo Rabain was re-elected to the House of Assembly in Bermuda. In the spring, The Bahamas held its General Elections and a new Government was elected.
• The Brothers of Iota Epsilon Lambda chapter (Nassau, Bahamas) are pleased to note that a second Alpha Brother has been appointed to the Cabinet of The Bahamas. • In May, our Brother, the Honorable Marvin Dames, Member of Parliament Elect who was sworn in as Minister of National Security. The Urgency of Now demands that we employ strategic actions to protect and defend our communities with intensified leadership and advocacy. Subsequently, I’m calling on all Alpha men to implement the following Alpha Plan of Action (APA).
The APA Plan is a strategic plan designed to have an impact locally and nationally. 1. Educate yourself on the issues. As local, state, regional, and national leaders, it’s critical that we are empowered with accurate information impacting the community. Listed below are key informational resources. The Public Policy Committee and The Commission on Racial Justice will serve as resource for this initiative. In the Sphinx, you will see the Alpha Advocacy issues that the public policy committee, led by Brother Yvesner Zamar, have developed for Alpha to use as a guide in our communities. Health, Education, Criminal/Social Justice, and Anti-Poverty are the issues we will focus on. These issues are topics we can champion
across the nation and in our local communities. Of course, they should be tailored to the specific needs of your community. This morning, we heard from Brother Gregory Vincent, Chairman of the Commisssion on Racial Justice. The National Urban League, led by Bro. Marc Morial, issued its annual State of Black America this past May. The report highlights inequities among Black and Hispanic Americans compared to white Americans. I was there to support Bro. Morial and attended the taping of the State of Black America hosted by Bro. Roland Martin that aired on May 30, 2017 and was impressed by the breadth and depth of the issues covered by the National Urban League. 2. Sponsor voter registration drives and voter education forums. First of All, We Vote! In the period of resurgence to intimidate and suppress voters, especially African American voters and other people of color we must intensify our "A Voteless
People Is A Hopeless People" campaigns throughout the nation. The Fraternity is asking all chapters to sponsor voter education and registration events in your local community. The Fraternity's "A Voteless People is a Hopeless People" will serve as the premiere resource for the effort in collaboration with our corporate staff. 3. Organize Legislative Days/State Capitol Lobby Days in districts throughout Alphadom. Several Alpha Districts currently sponsor Legislative Days to meet with state elected officials concerning critical issues impacting their respective communities. The APA Plan will seek to expand our efforts by reaching more districts and sharing 'best practices' and universal strategies to address common legislative trends. 4. Invite public and elected officials to chapter meetings, district conferences, and regional conventions to address critical issues confronting our communities.
5. Support and encourage Alpha Brothers to seek public office. We must encourage Brothers to serve on various boards and commissions. The governance of this nation must include all citizens and the men of Alpha are uniquely prepared for unprecedented leadership. 6. Support and mentor the next generation. Brothers, within the House of Alpha this administration, with your assistance, will focus on training the next generation of Alpha leaders for fraternal and external service. Alpha University, implemented under the leadership of 30th General President Adrian Wallace, will serve as the fraternity’s training platform. 7. Invest in economic development. Economic development and the revitalizing our communities will serve as another key focus area. In the City of Baltimore, the location of our corporate headquarters, there is enormous potential for economic development through redevelopment opportunities.
8. Preserve HBCUs. The continued sustainability of one of the nation’s greatest American treasures—Historically Black Colleges and Universities—is critical for all of us. In the coming months, this administration will unveil a nationwide effort to support HBCUs. "Onward HBCUs" is a nationwide effort to strengthen HBCUs. This initiative will include: strengthening access to HBCUs through mentoring, strategic recruitment, and scholarship efforts; securing assets to help raise critical funds for HBCUs, and engage in strategic advocacy to support HBCUs. Until that time I’m asking Alpha Brothers to financial, support your HBCU, alma mater immediately and if you didn’t attend an HBCU adopt an HBCU and send a donation as soon as possible. All donations are welcomed and greatly appreciated. Brothers, to achieve these goals, we need all Alpha men on board and working to protect our communities and the House of Alpha. I’m pleased to announce that Brother Mark Tillman, our Immediate Past General President, has agreed to chair a Special Reclamation Task Force to reclaim our Alpha Brothers. S 29
FIRST OF ALL, WE VOTE: MOVING FORWARD: A VOTELESS PEOPLE IS A HOPELESS PEOPLE CALL TO ACTION
uring the 111th Anniversary Convention, 94th General Convention in Baltimore, 35th General President Everett Ward presented an aggressive advocacy agenda that focused the Fraternity’s efforts in addressing several critical areas impacting our community. He encouraged our Brotherhood to continue to plan voter education, registration, and engagement programs, while also standing vigilantly against suppression. The Fraternity has been constantly reminded of the importance of this priority by the ongoing healthcare debate, the continued presence of police brutality, the re-emergence of white supremacy, and fervent attacks against funding for HBCUs. In this nation’s past, times like these demand strong minds, great hearts, true faith, and ready hands.
Community Organizing • Plan and host issue forums or moderated community discussions; • Distribute petitions to garner support for relevant issues. S
EVERY V OT
Voter Education/Engagement • Create and distribute informational materials regarding pertinent issues in your communities (Education, Infrastructure, Human Services, etc.); • Plan and subsequently host candidate forums and town hall meetings in your respective communities.
As part of this initiative, President Ward instituted a call to action for all chapters to organize, engage in coordinating, and hosting at least one community-based voter
Voter Registration • Conduct a local voter registration drive to ensure that our constituents are prepared to vote in the upcoming midterm elections; • Set up registrations stations in heavily traveled areas.
As we continue to respond to the Urgency of Now, we move deliberately toward changing the political landscape of our communities with “First of All, We Vote.” This initiative is an extension of our "A Voteless People is a Hopeless People" national program and will extend our civic engagement work beyond voter registration to include enhanced opportunities for political and civic engagement, voter education and grassroots community organizing.
engagement activity. Examples of these activities include:
ECTION THE SPHINX
BY BROTHER ERIC CHRISTOPHER WEBB
ALPHA'S NEWLY ELECTED AND RE-ELECTED PUBLIC OFFICIALS
he recent U.S and international elections saw more than a dozen Alpha men secure or retain public office with at least two Brothers securing their place in history as the first African American elected
statewide in Virginia since Douglas Wilder in 1989 and the first African American Mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota. Among others, four Alpha men, total, were elected as mayor; one as municipal court judge; five to city council; and at least four International offices.
BRO. JUSTIN FAIRFAX Lieutenant Governor Commonwealth of Virginia Kappa Omicron '97
Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Bro. Justin Fairfax (Kappa Omicron, '97) is the first African American elected statewide in Virginia since Douglas Wilder in 1989. He first ran for public office in 2013, seeking the Democratic nomination for state attorney general. Though he lost, he offered a strong performance in the primary. An attorney with the law firm of Venable LLP in the firm's Tysons, Virginia office, he graduated from Duke University in 2000 with a degree in public policy and later attended Columbia Law School where he was a member of the Columbia Law Review. He then served as law clerk to Judge Gerald Bruce Lee of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in 2005. He also worked in the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm WilmerHale before joining the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia in 2010. For two years, Brother Fairfax worked as a federal prosecutor
in Alexandria, Virginia, also serving as deputy coordinator of the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force during this time. Prior to law school, he was a briefing coordinator for Tipper Gore during the 2000 presidential campaign of Al Gore in the campaign's Nashville office and worked as a staffer for Senator John Edwards of North Carolina in the senator’s Washington office. In addition, he served on the staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee for two years. Since the lieutenant governor’s position is part time, he will continue his law practice while in office.
Bro. Scott Benson City Councilman, Detroit, Michigan
Gamma Lambda '95 Bro. Scott Benson was first elected to the Detroit City Council in 2014, representing the Third Distrct. The son of two public school teachers, Benson was born and raised in a working-class neighborhood of Los Angeles. He attended public schools and embraced the importance of self-reliance and education early, putting himself through college at Hampton University with student loans, part-time work, and a U.S. Coast Guard scholarship. He later obtained his Masters of Urban Planning degree from Wayne State University. In addition, he is a graduate of the National Naval War College and holds a certificate in finance from the University of Pennsylvaniaâ€™s Wharton School of Business. A longtime Osborn resident, he has worked tirelessly to improve public safety and bring jobs into the community. With more than 17 years of community development experience, he has sought to revitalize his community. During his tenure, he helped to create or has received commitments on close to 1,000 jobs for the district. His efforts against blight led to the demolition of over 10,000 residential and commercial properties and helped to reestablish the citywide street sweeping program. Benson also helped to shut down non-compliant and ultra-violent strip clubs through an ordinance he wrote and implemented, and worked successfully to close over 165 illegal marijuana facilities. Ultimately, these legislative efforts helped to increase neighborhood property values, removed blight, and improved public safety. In addition, he was also an early supporter of using modern data collection methods to reduce crime, via Shot-putter. With more than 20 years of experience as a Coast Guard officer and later Commander, in addition to his role 32
as the Small Business Director with Midtown Detroit, Inc., his professional experience has helped to create the necessary conditions to attract more business investment to the commercial corridors of East McNichols, East Seven Mile Rd., E. Eight Mile Rd., Kelly Rd., and Gratiot Ave. Additionally, as a former real estate developer in Southeast Michigan, he helped create hundreds of jobs.
Bro. Corey Branch City Councilman, Raleigh, North Carolina Phi Lambda â€™00
Bro. Corey Branch is a Raleigh native and represents District C. He currently serves on the Economic Development and Innovation and the Transportation and Transit committees, where he is particularly passionate about reliable bus service and adequate coverage in District C. He works toward that goal as well as a member of the Raleigh Transit Authority. Branch is a member of the Board of Directors for WakeUp Wake County and serves as Chairman for the Marrkens Development Group, which focuses on education and partnerships. In addition, he serves his church as a Sound Engineer on the Audio-Visual Team at Baptist Grove Church. Within the Fraternity, he has been appointed to and served in numerous leadership positions on the local, state, and regional levels. For the past four years, Corey has been the Regional Leadership Chair for a summer Leadership Institute hosting high school students from seven states and organizes a Legislative Day for the Association of North Carolina Alphamen with the general Assembly. A Senior Technical Director for AT&T, he received a degree in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University. He and his wife, Chanda, a teacher with Wake County Public THE SPHINX
Schools and avid supporter of the Arts, have been married since 2013.
Bro. David Burt
Premier of Bermuda Nu Beta ‘98
Bro. David Burt was sworn in by Governor Mayor of Buffalo, John Rankin as New York Bermuda’s youngest Delta Epsilon '80 Bro. Byron Brown, who premier. The 38 year old, who is president of was elected to his fourth GMD Consulting Limited, an IT and small business consulting firm focusing on project four-year term of the state’s second largest city, management he founded in 2004, began his is Buffalo’s first African American mayor. Since political career in November 2010 when he was appointed to the Senate; sequentially he taking office, Mayor Brown has championed was given the titles: junior minster for finance the economic renaissance throughout Buffalo. and junior minister of environment, planning, During his tenure, the following companies and infrastructure strategy. He also served as relocated their corporate headquarters to chief of staff to Premier Paula Cox. Prior to downtown Buffalo: New Era Cap Company; serving in the Senate, he was chairman of the Labatt USA; BlueCross BlueShield of Western Progressive Labour Party from October 2006 New York; and First Niagara Bank. Other until October 2009. In 2012, he was elected signs of Buffalo’s growth and revival include to represent Constituency 18 – Pembroke the completion of the new $140 million West Central. He also served as deputy leader federal courthouse; University of Buffalo’s from October 2014 prior to his election as $375 million medical school relocation to downtown Buffalo; Catholic Health’s new $46 leader of the Progressive Labour Party in 2016. Premier Burt graduated from Florida Air million Administrative Facility and Regional Training Center, the continued redevelopment Academy in Melbourne, Florida, in 1996. He went on to attend The George Washington of Statler City, Hotel Lafayette, Tishman Building, Larkin District, Richardson Olmsted University in Washington, D.C., where he received his bachelor’s degree in business Complex, ECMC Medical Campus, and the administration with a double major in finance continued investment in Buffalo’s waterfront. and information systems in 2001. He was In September of 2014, construction began on the $750 million SolarCity facility at Riverbend awarded The George Washington University Presidential Administrative Fellowship and on the former Republic Steel brownfield site. received his master’s degree in information This project will create 3,000 jobs in Buffalo. systems development in 2003. He has served Under the direction of Mayor Brown, the on the Tourism Board, National Training city prepared for this opportunity in 2008 by purchasing the site for $4.6 million. Previously, Board, and as a director of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce. He is also a director he served five years in the New York State of the Bermuda Small Business Development Senate. Sworn in January 1, 2001, he also Corporation. became the first African American elected to the State Senate outside of New York City. In 1995, Mayor Brown was first elected to represent the Masten District on the Buffalo City Council.
Bro. Byron Brown
Bro. Wayne Michael Caine Member of Parliament Rho Chi ’93
Bro. Wayne Michael Caines, was elected to the House of Assembly for Constituency #14 - Devonshire North West. Caines is the former CEO of Digicel Bermuda and is now the CEO of SENIAC Consulting, a Telecommunications and Organizational Consulting Firm. Over the years, he has served as a former Captain in the Bermuda Regiment and for seven years as Crown Counsel at the Department of Public Prosecutions. He also served as the Senior Counsel at the Drug Court. Previously, Caines served as the Chief of Staff in the Office of the Premier and as a Progressive Labour Party Senator with responsibilities as the Junior Minister of Tourism, Transport, Environment and Sport. In addition, he is a highly sought-after guest speaker with many appearances in Bermuda and overseas. In 2012, he was the Commencement Speaker at the Oakwood University in Huntsville, Ala. An Oakwood alumnus, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and a minor in political science. He is a graduate of the University of Kent, School of Law and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Caines also serves on several government and private sector boards including Stevedoring Services Ltd., the Bermuda Business Development Board. He is also a member of the Young Presidents Organization, CANTO (Caribbean Telecommunications Body) Regulatory and Emerging Technologies Committee and a member of the International Association of Business Leaders.
Bro. Melvin Carter Mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota, Beta Nu '99
The first African American Mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota, Bro. Melvin Carter, had served as executive director of the Minnesota Children’s Cabinet, advising Governor Mark Dayton on early childhood policy and advocating for critical investments in all-day kindergarten, universally accessible Pre-K, home visiting, and more inclusive, culturally competent classrooms to make sure every Minnesota child has access to the same foundational education opportunities regardless of race, gender, background, or income. From 2008 to 2013, he served on the Saint Paul City Council serving as the vice chair of the Council for most of that time. As city councilmember and champion of policies that address some of the city’s most pressing issues: he fought for additional Green Line stops in Frogtown to make sure the line worked for the neighborhood and its residents; founded the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood, a community collaboration to level the playing field for low-income children and families; formed the city’s Department of Human Rights & Equal Economic Opportunity; rewrote the city’s guidelines on use of force for tasers; helped pass statewide Ban the Box legislation to eliminate employment discrimination against people with criminal backgrounds; required landlords to notify tenants of a pending foreclosure; and created the city’s affordable housing trust fund. Mayor Brown holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Florida A&M University and a master of public policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.
Bro. Anthony Ford Mayor of Stockbridge, Georgia Iota Xi '77
Mayor of Stockbridge, Georgia, Bro. Anthony Ford, who had served as Mayor Pro Tem, is a retired United States Army Colonel with more than 30 years of logistical and operational experience at various management levels. He endeavors to make Stockbridge an inclusive community that is economically sound, small business friendly and truly a familyoriented environment that will make each citizen proud. Since his military retirement in May 2010, Mayor Ford has been actively involved with several community organizations and boards, including as president of the Board of Directors for the Monarch Village Community Association, Inc; member of the Dutchtown High School School Council from 2010 to 2014 as well as the Economics & Education Alliance. He also has served as a citizen volunteer on the City of Stockbridge’s Sign Ordinance Committee and Community Partnership Grant Committee. He is a recipient of numerous awards and accolades and completed several advanced military courses while performing his duties for our country. He received his bachelor’s degree from Northeast Missouri State University, which is now known as Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri.
Bro. Dr. Justin Harlow
City Councilman, Charlotte, North Carolina Mu Alpha '07
Bro. Dr. Justin Harlow is serving his first term on the council, having been elected in 2017 as the District 2 WINTER 2017/2018
representative. Dr. Harlow, who is a family and cosmetic dentist, owns Harlow Dental at Steele Creek, a full service general and cosmetic practice in Southwest Charlotte and is also the immediate past president of the BiddlevilleSmallwood Community Organization, a member of the West End Advisory Committee for Charlotte Center City Partners. In addition, he was a founding director of the Five Points Community Collaborative – a group dedicated to promoting growth and development in the Five Points district of Charlotte’s west side. Harlow attended Emory University, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in anthropology and human biology. He received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry at Chapel Hill.
Bro. Basheer Jones
City Councilman, Cleveland, Ohio Delta Alpha Lambda ’08
Bro. Basheer Jones, who represents Ward 7, defeated Incumbent Councilman T.J. Dow, who held the seat for a decade. Ward 7 includes areas in the Hough, Asia Town, Midtown, and St. Clair-Superior neighborhoods on the East Side. Four years earlier, Jones lost to Dow. Jones is also the city’s first Muslim council representative and currently serves on four Council committees, including Development Planning & Sustainability; Health, Safety and Workforce; and Community Benefits. The 33-year-old Brooklyn, N.Y. native moved to Cleveland when he was a child. In 2006, he graduated Cum laude from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga., where he earned a degree in African American studies. Over the years, he has been been recognized nationally for his grass-roots activism relating to issues of 35
social justice and empowering those who have been blocked from achieving the American Dream. During the 2008 presidential election, Jones, a member of the NAACP, hosted rallies in Cleveland for Barack Obama and organized a youth voter registration drive in the city. He also received various awards for his work, including the “Emerging Leader” award from U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge and the Urban League’s “Distinguished Men” award. Until 2010, he also was the youngest news talk radio show host when he was on "Basheer Jones and Company" on WERE AM/1490 News Talk Radio and Street Soldiers on WENZ FM/107.9. In addition, he has been a guest correspondent on CNN, MSNBC, and CSPAN, wrote a book titled, “I’ll Speak for Change,” and is the creator of the Be the Change Leadership Series, in which he holds leadership and character development workshops within various school systems throughout the state of Ohio.
Bro. Diallo Rabain Member of Parliament
Epsilon Theta Lambda ’02 (District Deputy, IAAC - International) Bro. Diallo Rabain is the current Minister of Education and Workforce Development and a member of the Bermuda Progressive Labour Party. Rabain attended Florida A&M University, where he earned a degree in Electronic Engineering Technology in 1995. Initially, Rabain was appointed to the Senate in November 2011 by the-then Premier of Bermuda, Paula Cox. He served as the Junior Minister of Education and the Junior Minister of Youth, Families and Sports. In 2012, he was unsuccessful as a Candidate for election to the House of Assembly in Bermuda. In December 2012, he was reappointed to the Senate as the 36
Opposition Leader in the Senate. While in the Senate, he served as the Shadow Minister of Environment & Planning and was the Senate Spokesman for Public Works, Community/ Cultural Development, and Education. In February 2016, Rabain was elected to the House of Assembly via a By-Election to constituency 13, Devonshire North Central. Then, in July 2017, he was elected to the House of Assembly again for Constituency 13, Devonshire North Central and was appointed to the Cabinet post of Minister of Education and Workforce Development by Premier of Bermuda, Edward David Burt. In addition, he serves the Fraternity as the International District Director for the East Region, in which he oversees Alpha Chapters in Bermuda, London, Germany, Liberia, and South Africa.
Bro. Fanon A. Rucker
Hamilton County, Ohio, Municipal Court Judge Gamma Iota '92
Bro. Fanon A. Rucker, whose father was a former Indiana Supreme Court Justice, has served continuously as a municipal court judge since 2007. Judge Rucker has written several hundred criminal and civil decisions during his tenure and received consistently high ratings from local and state bar associations for his service on the Court. Before assuming a seat on the bench, Judge Rucker represented both plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal courts in class action lawsuits and individual litigation. He served as the law director for the Village of Lincoln Heights for several years, as the prosecutor for four municipalities, and provided legal advice for small businesses and nonprofit corporations. Initially, he served as assistant prosecutor with the City of Cincinnati after graduation from law THE SPHINX
school and then joined a law firm to represent plaintiffs in civil rights and employment discrimination cases. Off the bench, Judge Rucker is an active member of the legal and service communities. He also serves, and has served, in elected and appointed leadership positions on many boards and organizations.
Bro. W. Laurence Scott Member of Parliament
Epsilon Theta Lambda ’09 Bro. W. Laurence Scott was first elected to the House of Assembly in 2012. He is the son of former Premier, the Hon. William Alexander Scott and Olga May Scott (nee Lawrence), OBE. His grandfather Willard Alexander Scott was the Warwick Parish Police Sergeant; his great, great grandfather, John H.T. Jackson, was the second Black member of the House of Assembly; his great uncle Albert Jackson was the president of the Bermuda Senate and his cousin, Stanley Lowe, was the Speaker of the House for 14 years. Scott attended both the Gilbert Institute and the Bermuda Institute, and is a graduate of the Florida Air Academy High School (FAA). During his time at FAA, he held the post of Ranking Officer in Charge of Supplies. Upon graduating from FAA in 1997, he attended Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and Lynn University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Aviation Management and Flight Training in 2004. During his tenure at Lynn University, he was a member of the University Student Government and served one year as president of the University Judicial Board. In 2004, he returned home to Bermuda where he worked as an Operations Officer with Aircraft Services Bermuda. In 2005, he was chief executive WINTER 2017/2018
officer of his company Airborne Management, which specialized in luxury concierge services. In 2006, he assumed the role of supervisor of JetBlue Airlines at the L.F. Wade International Airport in Bermuda.
Bro. James Tate, Jr. City Councilman, Detroit, Michigan
Gamma Lambda ‘14 Bro. James Tate, Jr. is a lifetime District 1 resident and has served on the Detroit City Council since 2009. A former Second Deputy Chief for the Detroit Police Department and an Emmy-award winning assignment editor at WXYZ-TV (Channel 7), he is a graduate of Benedictine High School and Wayne State University. Tate believes in accessible government, hosting monthly meetings in District 1 as well as bi-weekly Satellite Hours at the Motor City Java and Tea House. He is also credited with the creation of City of Detroit's only district-wide comprehensive online business directory that can be found at DiscoverD1.com. In addition to his Council efforts, he serves on the boards of Detroit Zoological Society and Authority Health. He is also the chair of the Task Force on Black Male Engagement and co-chair of the My Brother’s Keeper Challenge. Additionally, he is a member of Triumph Church where he serves on the Men’s Choir (Men of Valor). He is married to Dr. Nutrena Watts Tate. Continued on page 42
BY: BROTHER DAVID H. JACKSON, JR., PH.D.
AMERICA’S RESPONSE TO THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY: TRUMPISM IN THE 21ST CENTURY
received a startling phone at about three o’clock in the morning of November 9, 2016. It was my son, Brother David H. Jackson, III, with the sound of despair in his voice, calling from his Florida A&M University residence hall. “Mom and dad, Trump won!” We had fallen asleep before the final election results were reported, but attempted to calm his fears even though we were flabbergasted and disappointed. We would be okay. As a historian, I could not help but reflect on history as I tried to go back to sleep and process what this meant for us in 2016 America. So, what is history? The late master teacher, Dr. John Henrik Clarke, taught that “history is a clock that people use to tell their political and cultural time of day. It is a compass that people use, to locate themselves on the map of human geography. History tells a people where they have been and what they have been. Where they are and what they are. But most important, history tells a people where they still must go and what they still must be.” Within this framework, I analyze the historicity of the matter. The election of Donald J. Trump was white America’s response to the country’s first non-white-male president, Barack Hussein Obama, an African American. Since the era
of Reconstruction, ostentatious advancements of the Black race have often been followed by what historians call a “white backlash.” We are in the midst of another white backlash where many of our fellow citizens have felt for the last eight years a need to remind non-whites that they have a proscribed “place” in American society, and it takes only a few historical examples to solidify this point. During the holocaust of African enslavement, Black people had very little control over their minds and bodies. The rapes, sadistic beatings, separating and selling of families, along with other features of the system worked to dehumanize African people and break their spirit. The notion of Black people one day controlling their own lives economically, socially, spiritually, and politically, became an idea that many whites could not fathom. At the time, Black people had no influence in terms of decision-making in Congress because they were excluded from the political system. However, after the Civil War, which lasted only a few years, white southerners’ reality was turned upside down. Many things they never imagined they would see in their lifetimes concerning Black people happened right before their very eyes. During the years of Reconstruction (18651877), the country witnessed the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, which freed four million enslaved Africans in America. Congress also passed the Fourteenth Amendment granting Black folks citizenship THE SPHINX
on paper. Reconstruction saw the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1869 granting Black men the right to vote, and the passage of the Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1875, which provided Black people with full and equal accommodations, access to hotels, public transportation, theaters, and other places of public amusement. The public education system also came out of Reconstruction. Indeed, that era set the tone of race relations in the country for years to come. During Reconstruction, Black people participated in America’s political system impressively and with much vigor. The political arena became the most immediate avenue Black people took to exercise their citizenship. African Americans all over the south won elected office with calculated Republican support. In Mississippi, for instance, Blanche K. Bruce and Hiram Revels were elected to the United States Senate, an accomplishment that would not be repeated for more than 80 years. P.B.S. Pinchback served as governor of Louisiana, and all told, over 1,500 Blacks held office throughout the South during Reconstruction. However, southern whites quickly became repulsed by the notion of Black people demonstrating any semblance of authority. Early on, they rejected the notion of “All Lives Matter” and became fixated on maintaining white supremacy at any cost and keeping African Americans in a subordinate position. The gains of Reconstruction all culminated with the Compromise of 1877 when white southerners agreed to let Rutherford B. Hayes take office as president, if the South was given what they wanted most of all—“home rule.” In other words, “they wanted to take their country back!” And so began a white backlash against African Americans that amounted
to nearly one hundred years of Jim Crow oppression. The case of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) established the legal principle of “separate, but equal.” To the absolute horror of Black people in this nation, members of the Ku Klux Klan and other southern white terrorist groups murdered Black and white Republicans, destroyed their crops, and burned their homes and schools. During post-Reconstruction, southern whites systematically started disenfranchising Blacks through numerous methods including literacy tests, poll taxes, gerrymandering, grandfather clauses, and stuffing ballot boxes. Between 1889 and 1932, nearly 4,000 African Americans were lynched, averaging about three each week for 30 years. More often, small groups of whites would hunt down African Americans and shoot or hang them after a minor disagreement or argument, and these murders went either unrecorded or under recorded. These conditions continued for decades leading to the modern Civil Rights Movement (CRM), what some have called the Second Reconstruction. During the course of the CRM, white terrorists brutalized Black Americans for attempting to exercise their right to vote. African Americans were denied their right to sit wherever they wanted on public transportation leading Rosa Parks in 1955 to refuse to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. This effort led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. There was also the 1963 church bombing at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham that killed four little Black girls: Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley. In Jackson, Mississippi, white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith shot Medgar Evers in the back on June 12, 1963, outside of his home for trying to advance Black rights. The murder of Malcom X and 39
Martin Luther King Jr., whose deaths were fomented by J. Edgar Hoover, through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), an agency he directed, cannot be forgotten. White racists were able to utilize the resources of the federal government, including the FBI, led by J. Edgar Hoover, to oppress, suppress, and repress Black citizens for attempting to exercise their rights. As with the gains achieved during the first Reconstruction, the CRM earned Blacks passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, outlawing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, and the CRM led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibited racial discrimination in voting. Among other gains, these were monumental achievements that improved the lives of minorities in this nation and set the stage for many of the freedoms we enjoy today. However, as with the first Reconstruction, these advances were quickly followed by a white backlash. On the heels of these civil rights advances, President Richard Nixon took every opportunity to exploit the emotions of race. His administration urged Congress to impose a moratorium on court-ordered school busing, lobbied to defeat both the fair-housing enforcement program, and the extension of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. President Gerald Ford maintained Nixon’s budgetary freezes and rigorous opposition to school busing. He shelved virtually every bill Congress passed that would have assisted poor Blacks. Severe economic problems during the years of President Jimmy Carter led to complete regression and culminated with the election of Ronald Reagan.
Mississippi, just miles from Philadelphia, Mississippi, where the 1964 murder of civil rights workers Michael Swerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney had occurred, to announce his bid for the presidency. This is only one example of the dog whistle politics employed by the former Hollywood actor. As president, Reagan made clear his continued opposition to busing as a means to achieve racial integration in the schools, to affirmative action, and to the varied programs designed to aid the poor and unemployed. Despite many advances over the decades, minorities continued to face challenges in America. Thus, when Barack Obama became president of the United States of America in 2008, it became a day many people never thought they would live to see. The feelings of jubilation across the country led some to believe that America was becoming a postracial society. Indeed, while Obama inherited the Great Recession, his policies bailed out the banking industry, stimulated the stock market, and saved the automobile industry in the United States. Unemployment had reached 8.9 percent at the time of his election; however, by the time he left office it hovered below 5 percent. He passed a healthcare bill that extended insurance coverage to millions of uninsured Americans. The country was losing 700,000 jobs per month when Obama took office. By the time his term ended, the economy was adding 250,000 jobs per month. America’s enemy number one, Osama Bin Laden, was alive when he took office, but U.S. forces killed Bin Laden by the time he left. Gas prices also fell from nearly $4 per gallon to less than $2 per gallon under his administration. These are just a few of the highlights of Obama’s administration that improved the lives of all Americans.
Although he was from California, Reagan traveled all the way to Neshoba County, 40
However, all Americans were not excited about Obama’s election. Before he could settle into the White House, disillusioned Republicans made an agreement to “just say no” to the measures advanced by his administration even if they had supported them in the past (e.g., like infrastructure development). The Tea Party began after Obama’s election and angrily proclaimed “We Want Our Country Back!” A number of politicians rode into fame and into political office on feelings of anti-Obama hatred. Joe Wilson, for instance, representing the Second District of South Carolina, infamously yelled out to President Obama, “You lie,” during his speech to a joint session of Congress in September 2009 in his first year in office. Even though Congress reprimanded him for this act, in 2010 Wilson won reelection by a 9 percent margin over his closest competitor, and in 2012, he garnered 96 percent of the vote when he ran unopposed. This clearly signaled the level of support he maintained in his district. Donald J. Trump contributed to the environment of disrespect by raising questions over Obama’s citizenship; whether or not he was born in the United States. Trump was attempting to delegitimize Obama’s presidency with his “birther movement.” Pressure on Obama became so intense behind this effort that he felt compelled in 2011 to produce his long form birth certificate to prove his citizenship. Even though Obama did not champion Black rights during his two terms in office and generally avoided issues dealing with race, the response to his presidency is designed to remind people of color that we still have a proscribed “place” in American society and there are still some positions to which we should never aspire. In 2016 Trump’s presidential campaign mantra was to “make America great again.” WINTER 2017/2018
A master of dog whistle politics like Reagan, Trump’s rhetoric and behavior has continued to indicate that he really wants to make America “white” again. Before his election, Trump received an open endorsement from the Ku Klux Klansman, David Duke, and instead of disavowing his endorsement, he stated that he did not know Duke or the Klan proclaiming: “I don’t know that group.” However, like many of his predecessors including George Wallace, Bull Connor, James K. Vardaman, and Benjamin Tillman, he has demonstrated that he knows how to bring out the worst in white people by appealing to their deepest racial fears. Thus, in a very calculated manner, Trump proudly rode the country’s anti-Obama, anti-Black leader, sentiment into the White House, with benefits from the Republican Party’s ongoing voter suppression and intimidation efforts. Since his election, Trump has continued to demonstrate racist behavior and a lack of regard for humanity. Not only did he call Mexican immigrants “rapists,” he equivocated on white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, by asserting that there were “good people” in the racist group. He also hired Steve Bannon, a noted white supremacist of the alt-right, to serve in his Cabinet. Since Charlottesville, in an ongoing saga accentuating race, Trump reportedly called Africa a “shithole country,” proclaimed that all Haitians have AIDS, asserted that if Nigerians come to America, they will never want to leave to “go back to their huts,” and among other things, recognized Dr. King’s holiday in 2018 by playing golf at his country club at Maralago, in Palm Beach, Florida. Based on clear historical patterns from Reconstruction until today, for many people in this country’s electorate, Donald J. Trump became their best answer to an Obama 41
presidency. Apparently, the same feelings/ fears among white Americans that surfaced after Reconstruction and after the CRM, have resurfaced after Obama’s presidency – African Americans and other minorities find themselves in the midst of a white backlash and are being reminded not to step of their “place.” While these patterns are disconcerting, what is even more alarming is that in 2018 so many others have remained silent partners of Trump. As Brother King once said, it gets to a point where “silence is betrayal.” Thus, in the Alpha tradition, we are obligated to do what our ancestors have done in the past and not cower to our fears, but rise to the challenge of this generation, be intellectually honest, and make sure we not only provide for our survival as a people, but for our ability to thrive as members of a global society. We must also declare that no matter who is in the White House, or in Congress, we “ain’t gonna let nobody turn us around.” S
References 1) See, for example, Olaudah Equiano, Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (Reprint, Boston: Bedford Books, 1995), 93-100; John Blassingame, The Slave Community: Plantation Life in the Antebellum South (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979); David B. Davis, Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), 31, 37, 93, 95-96, 179-180, 201, 255; Peter Kolchin, American Slavery 1619-1877 (New York: Hill and Wang, 1993), 7, 10, 13, 20, 57-59, 121-122; Kenneth M. Stampp, The Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South (New York: Vintage Books, 1989); John Henrik Clarke, Critical Lessons In Slavery and the Slave Trade (Richomnd, VA: Native Sun Publishers, 1996); Hugh Thomas, The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade: 1440-1870 (New York: Touchstone, 1997). 2) Darlene Clark Hine, William C. Hine, and Stanley Harrold, The African American Odyssey (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, 2003), 285-288; George M. Fredrickson, The Black Image in the White Mind: The Debate on Afro-American Character and Destiny, 1817-1914 (Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press, 1987), 186. 3) Ibid., 187; David H. Jackson, Jr., A Chief Lieutenant of the Tuskegee Machine: Charles Banks of Mississippi (Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2002), 2-3. 4) Hine, Hine and Harrold, African American Odyssey, 318; For more extensive studies on white violence against Blacks see Philip Dray, At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America (New York: Random House, 2002), and Leon F. Litwack, Trouble in Mind: Black Southerners in the Age of Jim Crow (New York: Vintage Books, 1999).
Continued from page 37
Bro. Randall Woodfin
Mayor of Birmingham, Alabama Alpha Rho ’02
Mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, Bro. Randall Woodfin, a relative political newcomer, is Birmingham’s youngest mayor since David Fox took office in 1893. Mayor Woodfin has vowed to revitalize and make neighborhoods safe and secure. He has also pledged to support the city’s minority and women-owned businesses. In addition, he also supports raising the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour and plans to do the same for city employees. The 36-yearold former school board president and city 42
prosecutor obtained a bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College and a law degree from Samford University, Cumberland School of Law. S Eric Christopher Webb, a 1989 Nu Chapter initiate and member of Rho Tau Lambda Chapter, is the Assistant Director for Public Relations and Community Engagement and the Managing Editor of the Sphinx for the Fraternity’s corporate headquarters. Bro. Webb, a former award-winning journalist and National Black Authors Tour bestselling author, is the author of five books. Visit WordsbyWebb.com
uring HBCU Week in September 2017, General president Everett Ward publicly announced Onward HBCU in Washington, D.C. The announcement was hosted by the Brothers of Mu Lambda chapter with several area chapters in attendance.
Alpha Phi Alpha now responds with the following Strategic Actions:
STRATEGIC ACTION I
Strengthen Access ✤✤ Provide strategies and initiatives that will secure an equitable educational journey of African American males “to and through”
The Urgency of Now recognizes that access to success in higher education for African Americans and other minorities is indelibly linked to the survival of the nation’s HBCUs. Further, it issues a call to action for Alpha College Administrators, Alpha Brothers, and the Alpha Phi Alpha Support Network to engage deeply and intentionally in the work of supporting and sustaining the nation’s HBCUs.
college; ✤✤ Establish strategic recruitment and retention initiatives for African American males; ✤✤ Go To High School, Go To College (Offer K-12 Mentoring/Tutoring Programs); ✤✤ Award College/University scholarship(s) with a special emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) majors;
STRATEGIC ACTION II
Secure Assets ✤✤ Provide strategies and initiatives that will assist HBCUs in securing human capital and financial resources needed to be competitive and remain relevant in the
✤✤ Facilitate research and position papers on critical issues effecting HBCUs for public consumption and engagement.
CONCLUSION—PROPEL OUR AFRICAN AMERICAN MALES “TO AND THROUGH COLLEGE”
changing landscape of higher education; ✤✤ Secure and cultivate a pipeline of Alpha leaders who are prepared to work in faculty and administrative positions at HBCUs; ✤✤ launch a campaign for HBCUs that is focused on providing critically needed unrestricted resources and endowment
Onward HBCU addresses one of the most critical and urgent needs of the African American Community today—ensuring that youth (especially African American males) have an equitable and sustainable pathway to get them “to and through college.”
funds; and ✤✤ Adopt an HBCU by providing financial support.
STRATEGIC ACTION III
Engage in Strategic Advocacy Work ✤✤ Provide political and community-based
It also provides access to success in the following ways: ✤✤ Securing a pipeline of young African American males to be educated beyond high school; ✤✤ Ensuring the sustainability of HBCUs. These educational resources have been a
advocacy platforms for HBCUs at the local,
pillar of the African American Community
state, and federal levels.
for over a century;
✤✤ Develop a local, state, and federal HBCU
✤✤ Providing a leadership development
Policy Agenda at state and national Alpha
platform for African American males to
become leaders, scholars, community
✤✤ Advance an HBCU Policy Agenda during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Forum; and
change agents, and advocates for justice; and ✤✤ Contributing scholarships, programs, and initiatives that support the educational aspirations for African American males. S
EDUCATION | TRAINING
BY BROTHER RONALD ANTHONY MILLS
The Alpha Leadership Academy: A 20‑Year Journey in Leadership Development
ome 20 years ago, on the campus of
entrepreneur, abolitionist, and philanthropist
Johns Hopkins University, nestled in the
who provided a 8.7 million bequest to fund
Homewood neighborhood (in Baltimore
the university and the Hopkins hospital. Such
City), a journey in leadership development was
a history might suggest the stars aligned five
born – the “Alpha” class of the Alpha Leadership
scores and one year later to bring about a
Academy for College Brothers began its
program to ensure that the cornerstone of
journey. The significance of the Academy’s
Alpha Phi Alpha’s mission was allowed to take
location is rather curious when one takes into
in the rigorous academic environment of what
consideration the host campus was named
is considered the first research university in the
for its first benefactor – Johns Hopkins – an
EDUCATION | TRAINING
During the course of our 110-year history, Alpha Phi
Parker, Bro. Rev. William Calhoun, D.Min., Sr., Bro.
Alpha has focused on and implemented several efforts
William Douglas Lyle, Bro. Jame’l Hodges, Ed.D., Bro.
to “…stimulate the mind, body, and spirit of each
Gregory S. Parks, Ph.D., and Bro. Trevor Buford.
Brother through purposeful, personal, and professional development training in initiatives that are embedded
Aside from the breadth of experience and depth of
in our fraternal culture,” as noted in the Alpha University
teaching from the faculty, the underpinning of the
Officer and Development Guide. The Academy, serving
Academy is the student development foundation on
as one of the most contemporary renditions of such, is
which it is based. In preparing the program’s curriculum,
a seven-day experience intended to provide a thorough,
the staff used several student development theories as
intense experience for College Brothers who have been
the framework within which to operate. Such theories
elected to a leadership role at the various levels of the
include Arthur Chickering’s theory of development
and his seven vectors, the Student Wellness Model for holistic development, involvement theory, Lawrence
Realized as the result of a proposal from Bro. Ralph
Kohlberg’s theory of moral development, and service
E. Johnson, Ph.D. (with the assistance of Bro. Walter
learning among many others. The Wellness Model is of
Kimbrough, Ph.D.) to the Board of Directors of the
particular importance because it permits facilitators to
Alpha Phi Alpha Education Foundation, the Academy
tap the cognitive, social, spiritual, physical, and cultural
welcomed its inaugural class of seven participants in
dimensions of the College Brothers’ development.
1997 and as of 2017 has amassed approximately 612 alumni. Bro. Johnson’s “brain child” has proved that our
The theoretical becomes practical when the week’s
Brothers are the Fraternity’s most valued competitive
activities are taken into account. A typical schedule for
advantage and preparing them for our collective future
the Academy includes a focus on spiritual development,
is our best advantage.
parliamentary procedures, an in-depth review of the ritual, attendance at the Delta Lambda chapter meeting,
Considering the recent increase in the number of
a session on Capitol Hill with Brothers in Congress and
Regional Assistant Vice Presidents (AVP) in attendance,
staffers working in multiple Congressional offices, a
the advantages have become more prevalent. In 20
community service project, a case study competition,
years, 52.8 percent of the AVPs have participated
and the closing banquet. Each of the activities is
compared to 66 percent over the past 10 years and 72.4
designed to provide a robust and well-rounded
percent over the past five years. Moreover, an integral
experience that will facilitate the participants’ growth in
part of the preparation is the countless hours dedicated
all developmental dimensions.
by the Academy’s faculty—comprised of several Alumni Brothers who are outstanding student affairs
Ultimately, participation in the Alpha Leadership
practitioners who work daily with college students,
Academy prepares College Brothers to perform their
as well as training and development specialists. Such
duties and responsibilities to best of his ability in service
expertise only adds to the breadth and depth of the
and leadership, not only to the Fraternity but the culture
as well. Given the social milieu of today, it seems only proper and fitting Alpha Phi Alpha ensures its lasting
Faculty members have included Bro. Walter Kimbrough,
influence on future of leaders of our communities. S
Ph.D., Bro. Robert E. Bedford, Bro. Creston C. Lynch, Bro. Reginald R. Lane, Bro. Wesley Weston, Bro. R. Anthony Mills, Bro. Ryle A. Bell, Bro. Ernest Jeffries, D.Min; Bro. John Nelson, Bro. Kenneth I. Clarke Sr., Bro. Rodney
The Alpha Phi Alpha Education Foundation, Inc. – the non-proﬁt charitable arm of the Fraternity – focuses on scholarship, programs, and training & development of the fraternity’s membership. The Education Foundation is the home to the fraternity’s national programs and special projects – Go-to-High School, Go-to-College, Project Alpha, A Voteless People is A Hopeless People, The Alpha Leadership Academy, APAEF ScholarshipAlpha University, The Belford V. Lawson Oratorical Contest, The John Hope Franklin Collegiate Scholars Bowl, The Hobart Jarrett Debate All applicants must be Alpha men in good standing, currently enrolled as a full-time, degree seeking undergraduates ( Competition, Leadership Development Institutes and most professional and personal development thrusts.
Distinguished Collegian Application All applicants must be Alpha2017-18 men in good standing, currently enrolled as full-time, Belford V. Lawson Oratorical Contest Theme degree-seeking undergraduates. Minim "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community, 50 Years after the Death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." 2017-18 Hobart S. Jarrett Debate Competition Theme "Grassroots student activism is the most eﬀective strategy for achieving social change on today's college and university campuses."
For information on scholarships and donating visit APA1906.net/education-foundation
HEALTH | ADVOCACY
BY BROTHER OKEY K. ENYIA, MPH
What’s at Stake for African Americans with the Affordable Care Act
n October 12, 2017, the Trump Administration signed an Executive Order instructing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Treasury, and the Department of Labor to rewrite federal rules for association health plans — a type of insurance in which small businesses of a similar type band together through an association to negotiate health benefits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This Executive Order would have a disproportionate impact on low-income and communities of color by eliminating subsidies to health insurance companies that help pay out-of-pocket costs for working families. Under the ACA, people of color experienced historic increases in coverage; and between 2013 and 2015 alone, the uninsured rate for the African American population declined by 5 percent points. Further, people of color make up 58 percent of Medicaid enrollees and suffer disproportionately from a range of health disorders, including asthma, diabetes, and heart disease. Here’s more of what we know about this health insurance Executive Order. It could: • Destabilize insurance markets where millions get their coverage • Undermine protections for people with preexisting conditions • Raise premiums for comprehensive coverage Further, Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) Chairman Lamar Alexander and ranking
member Sen. Patty Murray have been working on a bipartisan deal to fund the subsidies in exchange for changes to the ACA. The Administration’s recent decision puts new pressure on the senators to reach a deal that would stabilize the market. While recent legislative attempts to repeal and replace the ACA have stalled, we must remain vigilant in order to protect the progress that has been made. Federal agencies are required to publish a “Regulatory Plan” once a year in the fall and an “Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions” in the spring and fall. The Regulatory Plan and the Regulatory Agenda are often referred to as the “Unified Agenda.” The Unified Agenda is how agencies announce future rulemaking activities and update the public on pending and completed regulatory actions. Since this Executive Order triggers the federal rule-making process, here are a few steps that the general public can take to make sure their voices are heard: 1. Sign up for email alerts and submit your comments at Regulations.gov when taking the federal rule-making route. 2. Find your local, state, and federal elected officials, their official websites, and their office contact information. 3. Sign up on their websites to receive regular email updates and invitations to local events. 4. Find out when the next public town hall will be taking place and plan to attend with prepared questions to ask. 5. Set up a Google News Alert — for example for “Rep. Bob Smith” — to receive an email whenever your elected officials are in the news. 6. Coordinate regular and “hot topic” local, state, and congressional office visits. Build meaningful relationships with staff in the respective offices with strategic follow up in mind. Prepare highlevel materials to present and have an “ask” ready to propose. 7. Coordinate phone calls to local, state, and congressional office visits. Constituents should all agree to call in on one specific issue that day. The question should be about a live issue — e.g., a vote that is coming up, a chance to take a stand, or some other time-sensitive opportunity. The next day or week, pick another issue, and call
Just like you, we stand for something bigger. The connections you make in college help you move forward with your life. Our connections make us more than just a business, but rather a company that cares.
Learn more about our partnership.
Nationwide Insurance has made a financial contribution to this organization in return for the opportunity to market products and services to its members or customers. Products underwritten by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Affiliated Companies. Home Office: Columbus, OH 43215. Subject to underwriting guidelines, review, and approval. Products and discounts not available to all persons in all states. Nationwide and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. ÂŠ 2017 Nationwide AFC-0284AO (02/17)
BY BROTHER RASHID FAISAL, M.ED., ED. M.
Bro. Cornelius Langston Henderson “The Bridge Builder Without Help” (DECEMBER 11, 1887 – JULY 23, 1976)
n 1911, Cornelius Langston Henderson
proscriptions and anti-Black violence, many
became the second African American to
educated African Americans found it difficult
earn an engineering degree at the University
to secure employment. The central idea behind
of Michigan. After graduating, Henderson was
white supremacy and Jim Crow segregation
unable to find work as engineer owing to the
was that African Americans were genetically
pervasiveness of racism. During Henderson’s
and culturally inferior. Henderson's legacy
matriculation, the United States was engulfed
as the second African American to graduate
in the worst period of American race relations
from the University and his future career as a
after the Civil War. Bro. Rayford Logan used the
pioneering engineer is best understood within
word “nadir” to describe the period from 1877 through 1901 when the status of African Americans reached its lowest point in American society. Brother John Hope Franklin extended the “nadir” to 1920 as the imposition of rigid segregation was solidified in the nation’s consciousness as a result of President Woodrow Wilson’s decision on April 11, 1914 to segregate federal government departments. The imposition of white supremacy and racial violence between 1890 and 1920, according to Jewel Henry Arthur Callis, resulted in widespread lynching and overt discrimination against African Americans. For example, between 1911 to 1919, there was an average of 62 lynchings per year. Faced with racial 50
Cornelius Langston Henderson from the 1911 Michiganensian year‑ book of the University of Michigan. (Courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan)
this context of white supremacy, segregation,
When Henderson enrolled at the University of
discrimination, and anti-Black propaganda and
Michigan in 1906 there were very few African
American students enrolled. Although Ann Arbor’s population of African Americans
Henderson was born in Detroit on December
had increased by nearly 50 percent between
11, 1887 to Rev. James Monroe Henderson
1900 and 1911, their connection to the
and Cornelia Loraine Henderson. Rev. James
University was almost entirely as laborers
Henderson was considered one of the most
and domestic servants. Henderson and other
scholarly men of his era having earned a B.A.
African American students spread out in the
(1881) and M. A. (1885) from Oberlin, M. A.
various departments at the University, were
(1886) from Wilberforce University, Doctors
the exception. During Henderson’s junior
of Laws (1897) from the Detroit College
year the Epsilon Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha
of Law, and Doctor of Divinity (1897) from
Fraternity, Inc. was founded at the University
Payne University. He served as president of
of Michigan. Established at Cornell University
two historically Black colleges, Morris Brown
on December 4, 1906, America’s first Black
University (1896-1904) and Payne University
Greek-lettered fraternity spread to Howard
(1904-1909). Rev. Henderson was exceptionally
University (1907), Virginia Union University
educated by any racial standard – Black or
(1908), University of Toronto (1908), and then
white. He bestowed his legacy of superior
the University of Michigan on April 10, 1909.
academic attainment on Cornelius Henderson
Given the racial proscriptions African American
who graduated from Payne University’s pre-
college men faced at predominately white
college program and normal school in 1906
colleges and universities, they were eager to
— the same year Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity was
seek membership in an organization that would
founded at Cornell University.
provide Brotherhood, social outlet, academic support, and housing.
For instance, finding housing proved to be a
Black residents or in housing set-aside by
major obstacle for Henderson and other African
the university to accommodate its “colored
American students attending the University
population.” Once dormitories were built
of Michigan. Boarding and rooming houses,
at Michigan, Blacks students were barred
dormitories, fraternity houses, and private
from residential housing. The ban on African
family residencies provided housing options
Americans residing in university dormitories
for white students. African American students,
at Michigan lasted until the 1940s. Racism
on the other hand, faced racism from boarding
and anti-Black prejudice prevented Black
and room houses, and white families refused
students from pledging or joining the white
to board African American students. As a
Greek-lettered fraternity system and, as such,
result, African Americans students were forced
they could not take advantage of the housing
to find lodging wherever they could find it.
options these organizations made available
For example, Black male students worked as
to its members. One of the most momentous
waiters in White fraternity houses in exchange
steps made by the Epsilon Chapter of Alpha
for room and board. This was the case for
Phi Alpha at the University of Michigan was
many of the early members of the Alpha Phi
securing its first fraternity house at 1017
Alpha Fraternity at the University of Michigan.
Catherine Street in 1910.
According to the Ann Arbor, Michigan City Directory of 1911, Henderson worked as a porter
At the time of Henderson’s enrollment at
for the Sigma Nu Fraternity in all likelihood to
Michigan, there were widespread negative
defray the cost of room and board.
views about the intellectual ability of African Americans. Scientific racism was at its height
Other African American students at the
with white Americans adopting theories of
university secured lodging with local Black
racial hierarchies to justify African American
families, oftentimes at great distance from the
subordination. Politicians and higher education
university. African Americans students also
leaders questioned the fitness of African
secured lodging in the homes of Ann Arbors
American for college and, thus, advocated industrial training as best suited for an inferior race. Sustaining the South’s agricultural economy and to discourage the production of college educated African Americans who, in most cases, were the leaders of political and social agitation, appears to be the primary reason for discouraging African American higher education. It is within this context that Henderson entered the University of Michigan to study engineering at a time when graduating from high school was considered a remarkable feat for African Americans. From 1906 to 1911, Henderson was the only African American student in the engineering department. One of Henderson’s professors remarked that he possessed a much better
knowledge of the subject of architectural
Canada. The Canadian Bridge Company was
design and engineering than did the other 34
willing to do what American engineering firms
graduating seniors because “Henderson had
were unwilling to do: hire an African American
to learn his work without help.” Henderson,
working alone, isolated and grappling with complex mathematical and engineering
Henderson was first hired in an entry-level
problems, did not receive the benefit of working
position as a draftsman. After demonstrating
with a partner or from participation in study
a high degree of technical competence,
groups. Racism, segregation, and anti-Black
Henderson eventually advanced to other
prejudice forced him to work alone, “work
positions that better utilized his civil
without help.” Yet, in spite of these obstacles,
engineering background. By 1928 Henderson
Henderson graduated with a degree in civil
was promoted to structural design engineer.
When the Canadian Bridge Company won two lucrative contracts in the 1920s to commercially
Despite his impressive academic credentials,
link the cities of Detroit and Windsor,
Henderson experienced trouble finding work
Henderson was appointed the company’s new
as an engineer because of the racial barriers in
structural design engineer. Henderson was
the field. He contemplated taking a teaching
selected to play a major role in both projects.
position at the famed Tuskegee Institute
He contributed his engineering expertise and
because teaching represented one of the
knowledge of architectural design to two of the
few job options open to educated Blacks.
most outstanding Great Lakes Regions major
Having faced numerous rejections from white
engineering feats: the Ambassador Bridge and
engineering firms in Detroit, Henderson decided
the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.
to travel south to join the teaching faculty at Tuskegee Institute led by Hampton-educated
As chief structural steel design engineer,
Booker T. Washington. Henderson would have
Henderson designed the Canadian approach
taken the opportunity to teach at Tuskegee had
to the Ambassador Bridge and supervised
not his mother persuaded him against moving
the installation of bridge’s steel sections.
south because of it being rift with oppressive
Henderson is given credit for designing the park
segregation laws and extreme racial violence.
and river-walk that provides an unobstructed view of the bridge from the Canadian side. The
While literally walking the streets of Detroit in
Ambassador Bridge, spanning two countries,
search of employment in his field, Henderson
opened for business on November 12, 1929 to
ran into one of the few classmates at the
great fanfare. At the time of its construction, the
University of Michigan that would talk to him.
Ambassador Bridge was the largest suspension
B. K. Bash, a 1909 graduate of the school’s
bridge in the world.
department, remembered the young, talented, lone African American engineering student
Henderson also contributed his engineering
who was forced by racial prejudice to study in
expertise for the construction of the Detroit-
isolation from the rest of his white classmates.
Windsor Tunnel, the first vehicular subway
Bash encouraged Henderson to apply to the
ever built between two nations. Completed in
company where he worked, the Canadian
1930, Henderson was responsible for the design
Bridge Company. Located across the Detroit
and installation of the tunnels, massive steel
River in the Walkerville section of Ontario,
tubes. Construction of the river section of the
tunnel was considered an engineering feat, as
inferior intellectual capacity. DuBois argued that
it involved sinking nine steel tubes into a trench
white supremacy and racial discrimination is
dug across the bottom of the river, stretching
based on un-scientific and illogical assumptions
from Detroit to Windsor. The Detroit-Windsor
interpreted by biased researchers. These
Tunnel was formally dedicated on November 1,
assumptions were widely communicated to the
1930. Bro. President Herbert Hoover turned a
masses by biased and racist individuals and
“golden key” located in Washington that rang
groups, including most politicians from all levels
bells in both Detroit and Windsor to mark the
of government and law enforcement agencies.
opening of the tunnel.
White supremacy and racial discrimination, from DuBois’ perspective, attempted to
The building of the Ambassador Bridge and
denigrate the entire race as intellectually
the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel owe much to
inferior, while also conveniently ignoring or
Henderson’s engineering expertise and skills in
downgrading the intellectual accomplishments
architectural design. His accomplishments are
of men and women like Henderson.
even more impressive given they took place
during a period in American history when the
The story of Henderson is best understood
intellectual inferiority of African Americans
within the context of American racism,
was taken as the norm, not the exception.
African American agency, W. E. B. DuBois’
For example, the year the Ambassador
Talented Tenth theory, and the white backlash
Bridge opened for traffic, Bro. W.E.B. DuBois
experienced by all African Americans as a
challenged the scientific racism of the day by
result of the academic success, political gains,
debating Harvard historian and philosopher,
and socioeconomic progress of Blacks made
Theodore Lothrop Stoddard on the question,
in the aftermath of the American Civil War
“Should the Negro Be Encouraged to Cultural
and Reconstruction. Between 1877 and the
Equality.” Stoddard, author of "The Rising Tide
Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s
of Color Against White Supremacy", argued
African Americans engaged in various forms
that Blacks have an inherent and immutable
of Black protest to counter and resist the
argument for the inherent intellectual inferiority
owned and operated cemetery in the state of
of African Americans. The Black college
fraternal movement, started first by members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. in 1906,
Prior to 1925, African Americans in Detroit
represent one of the Black protest movements
suffered unspeakable indignities at the hands of
aimed at resisting white supremacy and racial
white-operated cemeteries. For instance, burials
discrimination. Jewel Henry Arthur Callis,
of African Americans could only occur on
reflecting on the historical context that gave
certain days, called “Black Days" at inconvenient
birth to Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, stated:
hours. African Americans could enter the cemetery only through side entrances where
In 1906 disenfranchisement and
they were treated as unwelcomed guest. Added
the stigma of segregation was
to this were the extortionate fees for burial in
large in one-third of the nation.
the least desirable areas of the cemetery.
In the remaining two-thirds, discrimination was overly supported
In 1925, Henderson helped found Detroit
and habitually practiced … Separate
Memorial Park Cemetery at 13 Mile Road and
but equal had become enriched in
Ryan in Warren Michigan. He was responsible
practice throughout the nation. …
for the cemetery’s design, including the platted
Only a few who are active in any
acreage, road system, and grave arrangements.
of these societies [Black-Greek-
Henderson served on the board of directors
lettered fraternities] are familiar
from 1926 until his death on July 23, 1976. He
with the period out of which these
is buried at Detroit Memorial Park Cemetery,
organizations grew. This period is
which he designed. S
significant, verifiable history. I fear that in another generation, the relationship of the years 1890-1920 in the establishment and growth of Alpha and the subsequent Greek letter societies will be lost entirely. When that occurs our usefulness will be over
Rashid Faisal, 2006 Epsilon Upsilon Lambda chapter initiate, is a doctoral candidate at University of MichiganDearborn and director of the University of Michigan Bicentennial Student Exhibition, “Without Help: The Story of Cornelius L. Henderson and the Ambassador Bridge.
… As one of the founding members of the Gamma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity established in Detroit in 1919, Henderson was actively engaged in civil rights for African American Detroiters. During the 1920s the majority of African Americans in Detroit were struggling for adequate housing, health care, wages, jobs, quality education, and equal treatment from white business owners. In 1925, Henderson joined a cadre of educated and civic-minded African Americans in the establishment of the first African American WINTER 2017/2018
BY BROTHER RON "PEPPER" PETERS
The Untold History of the A. Charles Haston Brother’s Keeper National Program A PROGRAM INSPIRED BY THE INFINITE LOVE OF THE ALPHA WIFE
n September 2, 1997, Brother Dr. Ronald
He was overwhelmed and brought to tears. And
“Pepper” Peters, Jr. (Theta Rho, 1987), a
through his loving experience with his future wife, he
27-year-old doctoral student and national
became more empathetic. Bro. Peters reflected more
chairman of national programs, was diagnosed by his
on how sick, disabled, and senior citizens are often
primary care physician with hypertension and referred
treated poorly and forgotten, and, although he was
to have a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of
strong, he felt he had a limited time before society
would forget him, too.
After the imaging, he asked the radiologist, “Am I
On November 7, 1999, he attended a chapter meeting at
the Alpha Eta Lambda house in Houston, Texas, where a senior Brother would later ignite a transformation in
The radiologist stated, “No, you have numerous large
the programming of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
abnormal cysts throughout your kidneys that are
Earlier, Brother A. Charles Haston (Beta Kappa, 1934),
impeding your kidney function, and I need to refer you
85, at the time, told his wife, Sister Doris Haston, a
to a nephrologist.”
member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., that he wanted to drive his car to that fraternity meeting.
Hearing the words, Bro. Peters was numb. His father and grandfather died at early ages from this same
She encouraged him to enjoy the Brotherhood, but
condition. He immediately left the office and called
cautioned him to return prior to nightfall due to his
his fiancée, Dr. LeCresha (Blanks) Peters, a member of
vision challenges. As the meeting continued into the
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., for comfort.
evening, Bro. Haston, attempted to keep his promise. He left the meeting and walked to his car, but found it
“LeCresha, I just found out that I have polycystic kidney
blocked in by another Brother’s car.
disease,” he said, sitting on a bench near the hospital entrance. “If we get married, there is a great possibility
Growing anxious, he returned to the fraternity house
that our children will inherit it, and I will be a sick man
at a very young age. That would not be fair to you. I will give you a few days to think about the future of our
“Can you help me?” he politely asked the younger
Brothers in the halls. “My car is blocked in. Please help me.”
She responded firmly. But no one responded. Eventually, he became “Ron, you listen to me,” she said. “I don’t need another
increasingly more agitated and angry as he marched
minute or second. I am with you no matter what. Just
the halls. It was nightfall and he realized he had broken
promise me that you will do whatever it takes for us to
a promise to his wife of 73 years.
live together as long as we can.”
The charming senior Brother's disposition suddenly
simply because he had followed his Line Brothers, who
pursued careers in nursing home administration.
“I want that car moved now!” he roared. “You guys
Why did he have to suffer in his early 20s with the
don’t care about the disabled, seniors, and widows.
melancholy of his own mortality and morbidity? He
Once somebody gets old or sick, you forget about
questioned God for allowing him to be stricken with
disease. Why did Brother 30th General President Adrian Wallace (Beta Sigma, 1969) trust him as
Stunned at his outburst, the Brothers immediately
chairman of the national program? He was young, with
stopped the meeting to move vehicles and even though
meager national-level experience.
it was dark, Haston hastily drove home. Most importantly, why did God allow him to marry That night, Bro. Peters could not sleep. Bro. Haston
a loving woman like LeCresha? He realized that she
had left in such a rush that he inadvertently dropped a
was an angel from God who had not only changed his
“glass message” with which Bro. Peters couldn’t stop
life, but his spirit. Then, it hit him. The appearance of
coincidence was merely an illusion. God was beside him during his nebulous journey, preparing him to do
As he sat on his couch, he reflected on the
his will, and Bro. Peters felt that Bro. Haston was God’s
synchronicity of Bro. Haston’s message with what he
had previously viewed as random events in his life. Why did he complete a master’s degree in gerontology
The epiphany kept him awake until 9 a.m. as he drafted
and adult education? He had selected this major
the framework of a service program with the mission
Brother Peters with his wife after surgery.
of advocating for and improving the quality of life for
conduct needs assessments. They followed up by
disabled, senior, and ailing fraternity Brothers and their
offering comprehensive services to senior or disabled
spouses, widows, and community members.
Brothers as well as their widows in the Houston area. Services ranged from yard work, minor home repairs
When his wife awoke, she asked why he was awake all
and painting, but also included visits, fellowship,
and conversations. Alpha wives also participated by accompanying the Brothers as they visited some of the
“A great senior Brother just inspired me to develop
Alpha widows and learned from them.
a national program for seniors and disabled people through Alpha,” he responded. “What do you think
One of the Brothers at the first Brother’s Keeper
I should call it? I was thinking the Serve the Servants
program was the president of the Texas Council of
Alpha Chapters (TCAC), Brother Captain Donald Davis (Theta Xi, 1986). Bro. Capt. Davis was so overwhelmed
She looked over the program and thoughtfully replied.
by the urgent needs hindering seniors’ and disabled Houstonians’ quality of life that he charged Bro. Peters
“That is nice, but I like calling it the Brother’s Keeper
to present the program to the TCAC Senior Brothers
Affairs Committee and promoted the program to all chapters across the district.
He agreed. In 2002, Brother Herman “Tex” Moten (Xi Lambda, On December 11, 1999, Bro. Peters organized members
1951), who served as chairman of the Southwestern
from the Houston-area chapters of Alpha Eta Lambda,
Region Senior Brothers Affairs Committee, allowed
Delta Theta (Texas Southern University), Eta Mu
Bro. Peters to present the program to his committee.
(University of Houston), and Xi Kappa Lambda to
Because of Brother Peters’s sociopolitical inexperience,
he taught Bro. Peters about the political process of
On April 6, 2008, Bro. Moten died at 92. After Bro.
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and said, “The Brother’s
Moten’s funeral service at historic Huston–Tillotson
Keeper program has a life of its own; you will have
University, Brother 33rd General President Herman
resistance from some of our members because of
“Skip” Mason (Iota, 1982) met with Bro. Peters and his
your age but I will be with you all the way.” Through
pastor, Brother Grant Malone.
Bro. Moten’s guidance, in 2002, at our Southwestern Regional Convention, the Brother’s Keeper program
Then-General President Mason agreed that the
was adopted as a Southwestern Regional program.
program needed to be a national program and promised it would be placed on the national convention
Over the next few years, Bros. Moten and Peters
developed a father/son relationship and diligently traveled to conventions and chapters throughout the
On July 23, 2010, at the 90th General Convention in
nation and U.S. territories, presenting the program
Las Vegas, Nevada, Bro. Peters conveyed the Brother’s
across Alphadom. Although the program did not gain
Keeper program to the general body.
any national support, Bro. Moten empowered Brother Peters not to waver in his faith and to complete his
Southwestern Regional Vice President Bro. Smothers
journey. Bro. Peters complied, registering the name
made a motion for its adoption, which the delegates
Brother’s Keeper as a brand of Alpha Phi Alpha
unanimously adopted. In addition, it was moved that
Fraternity, Inc. through the United States Patent and
the program “be incorporated into the membership
Trademark Office on April 8, 2005.
intake process” as one of its required national service projects and that the program be named in honor of
In the meantime, key Brothers emerged across
Alphadom, namely Brothers Rodney Bougere (Xi Kappa Lambda, 1999), Greg Brisco (Alpha Eta
For years, Bro. Peters intentionally shielded his
Lambda, 2009), Isaac “Uncle Beezie” Bryant (Beta,
messenger, Bro. Haston, from the long and difficult
1957), Dwight Colvin (Kappa Psi, 95). Rodney Cox
process of establishing the program nationally.
(Delta Theta, 1995) Willie Davis (Alpha Delta Lambda, 1975), Derrick Estes (Tau Mu, 2001), Franklin Gans (Alpha Eta Lambda, 2001), Chris Harvey (Delta Theta, 2008), Will Henry (Delta Theta, 1997), Wilbur Jackson (Gamma, 1966), Anthony Lewis (Theta Alpha, 1986), Joseph Gambrell (Beta, 1966), John German (Zeta Eta Lambda, 1979), Terrance Grant-Malone (Delta, 1999), Anthony Mays (Delta, 1999), Arthur McDade (Kappa Kappa, 1985), Keir McDonald (Delta Theta, 2001), James McFadden (Kappa Psi, 2002), Derrell Robinson (Delta, 2000), Tarrynce Robinson (Delta, 1997), Michael Simmons (Xi Eta Lambda, 2009), Richard Smith (Theta Xi, 1973), Roderick Smothers (Nu Psi, 1995), Thomas Whitlock (Delta Theta, 2003), and Gerald Williams, (Kappa Psi, 1998) Michael Williams (Alpha Eta Lambda, 1988), Thomas Witlock (Delta Theta, 2003) who joined the Brother’s Keeper program movement by openly expressing the need for it to be on the national agenda. WINTER 2017/2018
Brother Hastons poses with fraternity key.
However, he asked he and his son, William Haston
Sadly, on August 25, 2014, the Honorable A. Charles
(Beta, 1971), to be in attendance.
Haston died peacefully at his home surrounded by family, while Bro. Peters’ own condition took a turn for
They joined Bro. Peters on stage and cried together
as the national body applauded their journey in the passing of this important legislation.
Through the years, Brother Peters’ loving wife, LeCresha, always told him she felt it was her purpose to
The Fraternity was then empowered to incorporate the
donate her kidney to him. However, Bro. Peters resisted
A. Charles Haston Brother’s Keeper national program
the idea of her undergoing surgery.
throughout its chapters. Eventually, as his condition deteriorated, she confronted Soon after, Bros. Haston and Peters attended fraternal
conventions together. Bro. Peters was delighted to see his beloved messenger from God, the man who gave
“Listen, Ron, you are taking my kidney,” she declared.
so much and had been received with indifference,
“You have our boys to raise and I can’t do your job.
and celebrated as an icon. Hundreds of Alpha men
Do you understand? Do you understand me? You are
would stand in line to get his autograph and listen to
taking this kidney!”
his heart-wrenching stories of witnessing his father’s murder when he was 5 years old; being shot by
At one of the most helpless times in Bro. Peters’ life, he
Japanese soldiers as a second lieutenant in the Corps
just responded, “Okay,” and began to weep.
of Engineers while building a bridge that General Douglas MacArthur ultimately used to claim victory in
The A. Charles Haston Brother’s Keeper program is
the Philippines during World War II; his fraternal life in
a love story, the tale of how two Black women made
the 1930s at historic Langston University; his career as
two Alpha men whole in what they perceived as a
a highschool teacher, principal, and ultimately school
broken world. One of the men became an international
superintendent; and, most importantly, how he felt
symbol for God’s love and the other lives on with his
meeting his beloved wife, Doris, for the first time in
wife’s kidney. God’s will was done. Through the spirit
of the A. Charles Haston national program, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. continues to be a driving force in
Due to their failing health, however, the pair could not
assisting underserved widows, seniors, and disabled
fellowship for long periods with Brothers at fraternity
people throughout the world. This program reflects our
conventions. They spent most of their time in their hotel
motto “First of All, Servants of All, We Shall Transcend
room resting, talking, and passionately singing along
to Frank Sinatra–Count Basie Orchestra love songs that reminded them of their wives. “Is it an earthquake or simply a shock? Is it the good turtle soup or is it merely the mock? Is it a cocktail, this feeling of joy? Or is what I feel the real McCoy?”
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BROTHERS ON THE MOVE
BROTHERS ON THE MOVE Brother Alex Wood Brother Wood Brings His Film to the Stage
oping to offer a nontraditional window into the
of college campuses in the
Black fraternal experience, Brother Alex Wood
U.S. He is also writing the
(Alpha Xi ’90) wrote, starred, and produced his
upcoming book, “The Other
film, “The Other Brother: The Black Fraternal Experience
Brother’s Guide to Dating
Seen Through Blue Eyes.”
Black Women: A Personal Approach to Interracial
The film, which he screened last July at the Hollywood
Fringe Festival in Hollywood, Calif., is based on his decision to pledge and his participation in Alpha Phi
“Ultimately it is fear (of)
Alpha Fraternity, Inc. as a white member. Wood, who is
difference, fear of that which we don’t understand
also a Life Member of the Fraternity, has lived in several
that divides us as mankind,” he says. “Each of us has a
regions of the United States and Canada and served in
responsibility to help foster harmony and eliminate that
numerous Fraternal offices including District Director
for Canada and on the International Affairs committee. Wood, who possess a bachelor’s degree in “Although my biological and familial heritage is
Communication and Theater and a master’s degree
European, my connection to the Black Community
in Communication/Film and Video Production, has
began at eight months old, as a foster child with an
appeared on stage and screen, including in a series of
African American family in San Francisco, Calif.,” wrote
ads for Cineplex, episodes of “Motives and Murder” and
Brother Wood in an Open Letter he published regarding
“Web of Lies” on the Investigation Discovery network,
Rachel Dolezal, a white woman who represented
and “Race for the White House” on CNN. He has also
herself as African American, but was exposed. “I
served as a producer, director, and in various other
was a member of the Black Student Union during my
undergraduate years, my children are bi-racial, and I am a longstanding member of several historically Black
In addition, Wood has worked with comedian and
fraternal organizations, have worked on community
talk show host, Steve Harvey, producing videos for his
service projects, mentoring Black children and
Mentoring Camp for Young Men and the Neighborhood
developing relationships in the Black Community in
Awards as well as on other projects with or for CNN,
the United States and Canada. There have been many
Associated Press Television, Ford Motor Company,
occasions on which my sincerity has been questioned,
State Farm, Weyerhauser Corporation, Rogers
my efforts ridiculed, and my participation has even
Communications, Inc., and Turner Broadcasting.
been rejected. Yet never once has it crossed my mind to refer to myself as Black or ‘trans-Black.’ My
participation and membership have never equated to ‘race re-assignment.’ Since the film’s screening, he has developed a staged version of the work and is working to develope a tour 62
BROTHERS ON THE MOVE
Brother Dale Long Dallas Heroes Project Highlights Brother Dale Long’s Efforts
he Dallas Heroes Project recently highlighted
role model. He says, “In order to be a man, you have to
Brother Dale Long (Delta Theta '71) as its hero
see a man.”
for the month of September for his social impact
and positive difference he is making in the community.
So why are men apprehensive to volunteer?
The nonprofit profiles a hero each month on their
Dale says sometimes men feel they don’t have
website, social media channels, and neighborhood print
anything to offer. They fear the unknown. They fear the
Bro. Long is currently the Community Outreach
But BBBS only asks each Big to spend four hours a
Coordinator/Public Information Officer for the City
month with the Little. And that can easily be spent at
of Dallas and has been a volunteer with Big Brothers
a ballpark, at a concert, going fishing…talking about
Big Sisters (BBBS) for 43 years. BBBS is our country’s
school, politics, grades, girls, voting. Bigs and Littles are
largest mentoring network between adult volunteers
usually paired up at age 8-10 years and the relationship
‘Bigs’ and children ‘Littles.’ Over the years, Bro. Long
continues until the Little turns 18.
has had seven Littles that he has seen all graduate from high school and some have gone on to college. One has
And Bro. Long has inspired his wife Ellen and daughter
become a Big Brother himself.
Amber to also be Big Sisters. His current Little, Mawntel, has aspirations to meet former President
Bro. Long grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, where
Obama and run in the Olympics. S
early in his life, he experienced the tragic 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in the height of the Civil Rights Movement. His grandmother said to him, “God spared you for a reason, so do something for someone else.” When he first signed up for Big Brothers at the encouragement of one of his fraternity Brothers, Bro. Long confessed he took his Little, Keith, to an Astros game to impress a date. But he soon learned that the time was all about Keith, not about the girl. He asked Keith about school and his hobbies. He learned Keith was adopted so his goal became getting Keith into college. Bro. Long mentions that in particular, African American young males need a positive male WINTER 2017/2018
The InformaTIon you need. rIghT When you need IT. Stay connected with your fraternity on your mobile deviceS. Scan the Qr code below, go to bIT.ly/aPhIaaPP or Search “alpha phi alpha” in your app Store today. the future of alpha iS here. iPhone | Android | BlAckBerry | WindoWs | online
The Fraternity Transitions to a Digital Membership Application System
lpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. has officially
manual, document-based submission process, but
transitioned to an online membership
precedes admission to IMDP.
application. Going forward, candidates have
digital access to the entire membership application
Access to the new online membership application
system; completing all seven steps in the application
system began December 1, and will be utilized for the
process. This new digitized process replaces the
Spring 2018 intake period and beyond.
THE SEVEN STEPS INCLUDE: Eligibility pp Quiz pp Background Check pp Application pp
Preliminary Review pp Final Review pp Acceptance/ Notification pp
Through the system, candidate sponsors and recommenders receive notifications and upload their form submissions on the candidate’s behalf. In addition, Regional Vice Presidents, District Directors, and corporate headquarters staff are also able to interface with the online application process throughout its various stages. The application is available by visiting the website and clicking “About” and then the “Becoming an Alpha” in the drop-down menu.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 1)
If an alumni candidate has an advanced degree submitted beyond a bachelors’ degree, which transcript should be with the membership application?
a. Candidates should submit the transcript for their FIRST conferred degree. All other transcripts are not necessary and will NOT be accepted. WINTER 2017/2018
Do alumni candidates need to submit a copy of their diploma?
a. No, alumni candidates do not need to submit a copy of their diploma. They only need to submit a transcript, which must show that the degree has been conferred at the time of applying for membership.
What happens if a candidate does not complete their application prior to the deadline?
a. If candidates do not complete their application, including providing all supplemental and requested materials, prior to the set deadline, the application will be rejected and they will have to reapply in the future. 4)
What happens if a sponsor/recommender does not submit their letter prior to the deadline?
a. If a sponsor/recommender does not submit their letter prior to the deadline, a candidate’s application will be rejected and they will have to reapply in the future. 5)
How do candidates get a refund if they do not complete the process?
a. If a candidate does not complete the application, the refund process will automatically start. Candidates can anticipate receiving their refund in the form of a manual check sent to physical address provided in their profile. District Directors will still be required to complete the Affidavit of Rejection (AOR) form for all candidates in their district that are not initiated. Refunds take 6-8 weeks to process under normal circumstances. 6)
How do candidates access the new online membership application?
a. Candidates should visit apa1906.net and under the “About” tab, select “Becoming an Alpha.” Candidates should follow the prompts and answer the questions provided. After answering the questions, candidates will then select “Complete Application” at the bottom of the page, which will take them to the online application site, where they will be prompted to sign up for an account. 7)
Other than the candidate, who else will need to interface with the candidate’s application
a. Persons other than the candidate that will interface with the system to complete the application include: (1) Sponsor, (2) Recommender, (3) Chapter Financial Secretary (4) Parent/Guardian (where applicable), and college/university official and registrar. The sponsor, recommender, and chapter financial secretary will receive an email prompting them to enter the candidate’s online application to complete their part of the application. The parent/guardian and the college/ university official and registrar will complete a form that the candidate will need to upload into their application portal. 8)
If I’m a sponsor or recommender, how do I submit my letter?
a. A candidate will need the email address of their designated sponsor and recommender to complete this portion of the application. The sponsor and recommender will receive an auto-generated email from the application system that will prompt them 66
to log in and submit their recommendation letter electronically. 9)
How does a candidate submit their transcript?
a. The transcript can be submitted electronically by sending it to email@example.com or via mail to the: i. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Corporate Headquarters, Attn: Candidate Name – Official Transcript (2313 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, MD, 21218) 10) Are parent(s)/guardians required to provide approval for college candidates under the age of 21? a. If a candidate is under 21, parent(s)/guardians will be required to complete a Privacy Consent Statement. Candidates will need to provide an email address for at least one parent/guardian who will receive an autogenerated email message asking them to complete the Privacy Consent Statement form within the online application. 11) How does an international candidate provide verification of voter registration? a. In lieu of a voter registration card, international candidates must produce documentation of citizenship for their respective country of origin. This can be uploaded in the Voter Registration portal of the online application. 12) How does the college/university verify enrollment status and class standings for college applicants? a. There is a physical form provided that a college candidate must take to the university personnel responsible for fraternity/sorority life and the university registrar. They will complete this form and upload it directly to the online application. 13) What if a candidate’s computer malfunctions (i.e., freezes) while in the process of completing the online application? a. If a candidate’s computer freezes while completing the application, they will only lose the information entered into that particular form; however, the rest of the application will be saved as long as they have selected save and continue the application process. 14) Does the online membership application have an auto-save function? a. No, the application does not have an auto-save function; however, candidates will be prompted to save each section of the application before moving to the next phase. 15) What is the role of the District Director with the online application?
a. District Directors will serve as first stage reviewers, which means they will be given administrative access to review all the candidates that have submitted application materials within their respective district. District Directors will be notified by an auto-generated email once a candidate within their respective district completes their application and will be responsible for reviewing all supplemental materials to ensure the candidate has uploaded and provided accurate information. District Directors will be provided a checklist of materials to look for during the first reviewer phase. 16) What is the role of the Regional Vice President with the online application? a. Regional Vice Presidents will also have administrative access and be able to review all materials submitted by candidates within their respective region. This will provide the Regional Vice President real-time access of the certified candidates in their region. 17) Can the first review stage begin as soon as a new member application has been submitted? a. District Directors will serve as first stage reviewers and will be given administrative access to review all the candidates that have submitted applications within their respective district. District Directors will be notified by an auto-generated email once a candidate within their respective district has submitted a completed application. It is recommended that the district directors create a schedule for reviewing applications so they are not bombarded with reviewing all applications within their district at once. The first review stage should be completed based on the preapproved IMDP timeline. 18) On what devices can a candidate complete the online membership application? a. The application can be completed on any computer, tablet, or mobile device. 19) Can a candidate print and submit a hard copy of the application? a. The application can only be submitted online. Paper applications will NOT be accepted, unless prior approval has been provided due to a documented medical accommodation. Requests for this type of deviation should be made through the district director to the International IMDP Manager. 20) What if a candidate has a disability or impairment that impacts their ability to complete the online application? a. If a candidate has a documented disability/ impairment, the chapter leadership and/or sponsor or recommender should coordinate support and work with the candidate to secure the proper accommodations. If additional accommodations are necessary, District WINTER 2017/2018
Directors should contact the International IMDP Manager, for additional instructions. 21) How is personal information protected? a. The application is submitted via a secure web interface and the database is encrypted to ensure all personal information is protected. 22) How does the new online application connect with AlphaNet? a. An API (Application Programming Interface) is being created to connect both the online membership application and AlphaNet, the fraternityâ€™s association membership database. At the moment, this interface will allow the sharing of select information between both platforms. For example, if a candidate has previously applied, his previous Application ID Number will be provided to the online application platform. Another example is once a sponsor or recommender enters their Membership ID Number, the two platforms will communicate whether he is In Good Standing, IMDP Certified, Risk Management Certified and listed as a member of the chapter the candidate wishes to join. 23) How does a candidate know when their application has been received? a. Candidates will receive a confirmation email upon submission of a completed application. Additionally, the District Director will receive an auto-generated email with the same information. 24) How does the Financial Secretary certify the membership applications? a. The sponsor and recommender will need the email address of the chapter Financial Secretary, who will receive an email prompting him to log into the system and complete his portion of the application. 25) How long does it take for an application to be reviewed and approved by the Corporate Headquarters? a. The IMPD Support Team, led by the International IMDP Manager, will review and provide updates regarding the certification/rejection on applicants on a rolling bases. The final certification (approval) or rejection of applications will be completed no later than 15 business days from the District Director providing first reviewer approval. 26) How do candidates or members contact someone if they need assistance with the application process? a. For assistance, please call the Corporate Headquarters (1-800-373-3089) and ask to speak with the International IMDP Manager or the IMDP Support Team. The Corporate Headquarters Business Hours are Monday - Friday 8:30pm â€“ 5:00pm EST. Email inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. S
ARTS | ENTERTAINMENT | OPINION
BY BROTHER CHARLES CURTIS
When Staying Silent Isn’t an Option: Alpha’s Artist Activists and How I Became One of Them
rom club bangers to pop art, artistic expression
Johnson, Akai Gurley, and so many others were gunned
has and will always be reflected in the times
down, and I had these feelings that I couldn’t explain.
we live. Langston Hughes has taught us that
Feelings that gnawed at me to do something. So,
for many, “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.” For
I wrote. I wrote so that people who looked like me
that reason, activism through art finds itself speaking
and those that didn’t would see themselves in my
to the injustice of the times. From the Negro Spiritual
characters. I wrote so that they would understand that
to Jay-Z’s 4:44, these pieces challenge us to face the
we are so much more alike than we are different. I wrote
harsh realities of the world around us. They spark
STRINGS so that the conversation built around race and
conversation, even controversy. These artists are the
equity might continue to rage on.
heartbeat of the movement, setting the tempo by which the world moves. For many, this life and this art
19. 19 was my number. Growing up, I always had 19 years
comes at a cost. For Alpha’s artists, this is no different.
old as being the magic number. If I could just somehow live until that birthday, I would be home free. I wouldn’t
It is said that Brother Duke Ellington’s relationship with
be killed and I could live a normal adult life. And you
the Civil Rights movement was “complicated”—that
know what? I was lucky. Not because I was smart or
he had not spoken out boldly enough against racism.
dumb. Or because I wore nice clothes or hand me
“People who think that of me, have not been listening
downs. Or because I could string together a sentence
to our music. For a long time, social protest and the
where some of my friends couldn’t. Or that I even made
pride in the Negro [an acceptable word at that time]
good choices over bad. I was simply lucky… and others
have been the most significant things in what we’ve
weren’t lucky. I was lucky I had a “normal” childhood.
done. In that music we have been telling for a long time,
I was lucky to play in the street, ride bikes, and all that
what it is to be a Negro in this country.” For Ellington,
other shit people take for granted.
his work spoke for him. Singer, actor, and activist Bro. Paul Robeson continued to fight for freedom amidst
Truthfully, I never wanted the life of an artist activist.
the career ending accusation that he was a Communist.
Then again, I’m not sure many writers or performers
“The artist must elect to fight for Freedom or for
grow up deciding that they want to speak for an entire
Slavery. I have made my choice. I had no alternative.”
group of people. Or even worse, being labeled with that
Brother Dick Gregory’s search for truth landed him as
extra adjective that lets the world know their work is
a 1968 Presidential candidate, despite the rumors of
“colored” with social justice commentary. Always the
J. Edgar Hoover’s willingness to work with the Mafia
Black artist, never the artist that happens to be Black.
to assassinate Gregory. These Brothers spoke to the
The ever-present dangling participle to my career.
totality of the Black experience. For some, the work was
No matter what, voices like Ellington, Gregory, and
enough. For others, only the presidency would do. For
Robeson, and even mine continue to shine a light on the
me, who knows?
status of America and all that we can become. S
I always knew the arts would be a major part of my life. The hours of practice, exhaustion, auditions, the hustle trying to make ends meet, I loved it all. This was my life: good, bad, or indifferent. Then Trayvon Martin, Kendrick 68
Brother Charles Curtis, a 2006 Xi Gamma Lambda initiate, is a Westchester, N.Y. native musician, actor, director, teaching artist, and commissioned playwright. An Axial Theatre playwriting scholarship recipient, Curtis’ work has been seen at venues across NYC as THE SPHINX
ARTS | ENTERTAINMENT | OPINION well as at the National Black Theatre Festival (2011), the DC Black Theatre Festival (2014), Atlanta Black Theatre Festival (2016) and Fresh Fruit Festival (2017). As a performer, his credits range from stage to screen, including opera, musicals, stage plays, and
film. Outside the performing world, Curtis is a voice and performance coach, and lectures on the use of Hip Hop in teaching life skills and as an alternative to traditional talk therapy.
Calendar of Events ✶✶ Southern Region Convention April 5 – 8, 2018
✶✶ Western Region Convention March 21 – 25, 2018
✶✶ Southwest Region Convention April 11 – 15, 2018
✶✶ General Convention July 22 – 29, 2019
Las Vegas, NV
Oklahoma City, OK
✶✶ Midwest Region Convention April 12 – 15, 2018 Indianapolis, IN
✶✶ Eastern Region Convention April 26-29, 2018 Hartford, CT
SUPPORT YOUR FOUNDATION. THE ALPHA PHI ALPHA EDUCATION FOUNDATION, INC. IS THE NON-PROFIT CHARITABLE ARM OF THE FRATERNITY, WHICH FOCUSES ON SCHOLARSHIP, PROGRAMS AND TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE MEMBERSHIP. ALPHAâ€™S FOUNDATION NEEDS ALPHA MEN TO HELP STRENGTHEN IT. LOG INTO ALPHANET AND DONATE TO THE EDUCATION FOUNDATION, TODAY. ALPHANET.APA1906.NET/DONATIONS
LIFESTYLE I FASHION
BY BROTHER MARVIN L. VENAY
Ways to Remain Crisp. . .
n today’s era, it’s about being seen and remembered
must question if the brand is solid overal—has it been
for having the best look on any given day or night.
on the market long or are the fabrics identified on the
Many times, social media drives us to perfect a
label proven to last
look for a shot and then we find ourselves unable to
long? This might seem
repeat that outfit out of fear of it not being liked again
simple, but it will save
by onlookers or of being seen in the same thing more
than once. The reality is that we have aspirations of
the material and see
having closets full of ‘fire’ outfits that change the game
if it has that one-time
every time we step out—but then reality kicks in and
wear or multiple
our budget doesn’t align with our vision. So how do we
occasion feel? While there, stretch the item to see if it
remain stylish while not breaking the bank?
bounces back in place or loosens and do not be afraid
Think quality over quantity
to hold it up to the light to see the weight of the fabric. A style is not decided by the number of items in your closet
If it’s a dress shirt, check the craftsmanship:
Classic doesn’t go out of style
but rather by the quality of
inspect the buttons to see if they are loose; if the placket, collar, or cuffs are stitched properly; or if the material is sturdy or lightweight. With pants, you want to make sure the stitching is detailed in the waistband, on the zipper-fly, and when
pieces that adorn your clothing space. One must think
applicable on the pleat, belt loops, cuffs and hems. It
longterm when selecting an article of clothing. One
sounds like a lot but knowing the quality of the product
✔ WINTER 2017/2018
LIFESTYLE I FASHION
Remember these pieces might be classics but you will make them
look stunning! Outfits are designed to be versatile in every sense of the word. Certain suits can present a totally different look complemented by a stylish package a shirt (buttoned or not), tie (bowtie v. necktie), shoes, socks, pocket square or scarf for the debonair Brother. Jeans can be creased to add a more polished look with a t-shirt or button up and hard bottom oxfords or loafers. Not to mention, you can throw on a blazer with those jeans to swing into a networking event or perhaps see a play. On the flipside, will alleviate having to purchase additonal items.
you could focus on that one garment in which you
Lastly, for those of you like me, who like to stiffen our
want to be noticed. Perhaps it is your tie, shirt, socks,
garments, determine if the fabric will hold up to a little
spray starch to keep it crisp!
or pants. This approach can
Buy Less, Choose Well, Make it Last
Trends or fads come and go but collecting signature
also help you
pieces can always elevate your (even contemporary)
look allowing you to go from classic to fashionable
with an inline
without notice. Adding or enhancing your current
and impressionable look. Lastly, throw in some colors
wardrobe with the following pieces will keep you
to pop off your outfit but do not forget that patterns
prepared to step outside the box with a look that will
matter—for example, blocked garments will never line
crush your competition. Staple pieces should include,
up properly with stripes!
but not limited to, Black or
Mix and Match Your Style
brown leather laced oxfords (keep them shined); navy blazer (two-
button); nice sturdy white or chambray button-up shirt; well-fit denim jeans, a pair of aviator sunglasses, perhaps a trench or overcoat and don’t forget the final touch that’s no longer out of your grandpa’s closet—a pocket square. Pieces like these can be utilized for work,
Marvin L. Venay, a 1998 Sigma Chapter initiate and member of Eta Gamma Lambda Chapter, is an entrepreneur and the designer of the Venay square—a fresh and innovative custom handmade pocket square line. Venay is also the Director of Congregational and Volunteer Engagement at the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry (UUUM) in Boston, Mass. He also serves as the President/District Director for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.’s New England Chapters (ONECA).
worship, workshops, weddings, or after work events. 72
BY BROTHER DUANE C. JUBERT, ETA GAMMA '88
ALPHA ETA LAMBDA RESPONDS TO DEVASTATION FROM TROPICAL STORM HARVEY
fter many Alpha Brothers became victims of
mobilize and begin the planning process to render
Tropical Storm Harvey, a slow-moving storm
downgraded from Hurricane Harvey, which
dumped a record 51 inches of rain over a seven-day
The widespread devastation of this storm received
period in parts of the Houston area, Alpha Eta Lambda
worldwide coverage. The sight of thousands of people
and the overall Fraternity responded with urgency and
displaced from flooded homes and businesses was
resolve to assist Brothers in need, as well as the wider
community. Overall, Alpha became engaged at the local, state, In its aftermath, four dozen people were killed,
regional, and national levels and Alpha Eta Lambda was
approximately 136,000 homes were damaged, and
the “tip of the spear,” serving as a catalyst for Alpha-
the nation’s fourth largest city, whose mayor is Alpha
wide donation efforts and an initial manpower resource
Brother Sylvester Turner, was brought to its knees.
to begin clean-up for area Brothers. The Corporate Headquarters activated the Alpha Phi Alpha Disaster
Chapter officers performed a “safety check” contacting
Relief Fund, for collection of donations from the entire
its 200 chapter members using a “call tree” to identify
Alpha family, to provide prompt financial assistance to
those Brothers with property damage, and issued a
Brothers directly impacted by the storm. Approximately
call to action for Chapter Brothers to start the clean-up
$24,000 was collected from 150 Brothers Alpha-wide,
effort at the homes of affected Brothers.
most of which was distributed to affected Alpha Brothers within the first two weeks of the storm.
“It was very important for us to be proactive in ensuring the well-being of our Alpha Brothers,” said
The Brother’s Keeper Program was on full display as
incoming Chapter President Brother Byron Gautier.
the floodwaters receded. Past Texas District Director
“Once we were able to assess the tremendous impact
and Past Alpha Eta Lambda Chapter President Gerald
to Brothers and their neighbors, we were able to
Joseph was one of many Alpha Brothers who sustained
flooding in his home. For several days, Alpha Brothers
At the height of Harvey, more than 34,500 people were
pitched in at Bro. Joseph’s home to discard damaged
housed in shelters throughout Texas.
furniture, carpet, drywall, and various water-damaged household items. The water level had risen to four feet
Brother Elijah Williams, who volunteered at a
inside Brother Joseph’s home. Bro. Joseph reflected; “It
distribution center, reflected, “The aftermath of Harvey
was a tremendous outpouring of Brotherhood as the
was a time for everyone to lend a helping hand.
Brothers came out and helped me during this tragedy.
Whether it was someone taking time to volunteer,
The outpouring of consideration has reaffirmed my
people generously donating funds or items to
belief in the Brotherhood.” Brother Dallas Jones also
organizations helping those in need, or folks riding
lost many of his household belongings due to the rising
around in trucks passing out water and food, the spirit
floodwaters. He and his family relocated to a nearby
of generosity and community was ever-present from
community temporarily while repairs are being made to
the shelters to neighborhoods across the metropolitan
“My family and I are grateful for the Brothers of
Tropical Storm Harvey dealt a physical, psychological,
Alpha for their assistance during this tough time,”
and financial blow to the Houston area. As the
said Bro. Jones. “The Brothers helped us quickly get
community moves into the recovery stage from the
many possessions out of the house before they were
vast damage, Alpha Eta Lambda Brothers will be there
damaged. They also aided in financial assistance. I am
for the long haul, with sleeves rolled up to assist one
proud to say I am a member of Alpha Phi Alpha.”
another and a devastated community.
In addition to assisting affected Alpha Brothers, many
“This is a can-do city,” proclaimed Brother Sylvester
Chapter Brothers assisted neighbors, co-workers,
Turner. “We’re not going to engage in a pity party.
relatives, friends, and fellow Houstonians in general.
We’re going to take care of each other…neighbors are
For example, several Brothers volunteered at shelters
taking care of each other. Businesses are responding,
and distribution centers established to help citizens
the community is responding, and we are getting back
displaced from their flooded homes.
on our feet. We are open for business.” S
BY BROTHER JORDAN BROILES, ZETA SIGMA ’15
ZETA SIGMA HOLDS RIBBON-CUTTING FOR MEETING SPACE NAMED FOR TRAILBLAZER
rother Jordan Broiles, 2015-2016 Black Student
leadership in the 1958 Oklahoma City Sit-in Movement.
Association President, in conjunction with
Alongside Luper were her son, daughter, and dozens
his Zeta Sigma chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha
of members from the NAACP Youth Council who she
Fraternity, Inc. held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the
led to a successful non-violent sit-in protest of the
Clara Luper Meeting Room in the Nigh University Center
downtown drugstore lunch-counters, which was forced
at the University of Central Oklahoma on February 24,
to overturn their policies of segregation.
2017. The event was a pivotal point during Black History Clara Shepard Luper was a civic leader, retired school
Month in which the University created its first meeting
teacher, and a pioneer in leading the American
space in honor of a prominent leader of color. S
Civil Rights Movement. Luper is best known for her 74
BY BROTHER JAMES WRIGHT JR., ETA GAMMA ’84
OLA HELPS WASHINGTON, D.C.’S HOMELESS
he Brothers of the Omicron Lambda Alpha
It offers over 180 beds, three meals, and classes in life
chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
skills, math, arts, and poetry. The purpose is to help
Inc. located in Washington, D.C., recently
the homeless find shelter, employment, and whatever
participated in projects designed to help the plight of
measures necessary to lift them out of their condition.
the city’s homeless population. Brothers folded linens, towels, made up beds, and On Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, the chapter hosted a
prepared and served lunch to shelter residents. In
community service event at the Central Union Mission
addition, Brothers took tours of the facility and started
located at 65 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., one block
a fund for donations to support it.
from historic Union Station and three blocks from the U.S. Capitol. Chapter Brothers who participated
On Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, OLA Brothers Wright,
included Lee Grayson, Giani Clarkson, Edgar Sheppard
Muhammad, and Benjamin Chukwurah served breakfast
Jr., Emmanuel Lawton, Queshon Cannon, Michael
at Asbury United Methodist Church, located at 926
Matthews, James Wright Jr., Stanley Ray, Quantral
11th Street. N.W. in Washington, during the “Neighbor
Fletcher Jr., William Taylor, Michael Aubin, Kelly Gilmore,
to Neighbor Breakfast” that takes place every fourth
Ivory Johnson, Emmanuel Anderson, Kirk Mensah,
Sunday of the month. Before breakfast was served,
Everett Martin, Galen Muhammad, and Howard Franklin.
well-known and respected surgeon Dr. Clive Callendar of Howard University, who was honored at the general
Brother Matthews was the key point of contact for the
convention in Baltimore, talked about depression and
mental illness, and Minister.
Brother Dr. Jamie Riley, the executive director of Alpha
Matthew Wilke spoke about forgiveness and loving God.
Phi Alpha and Brother Darryl Parks, the general counsel for the fraternity, also helped OLA at Central Union
Brother Wright served as the key point of contact for
the Asbury project.
Central Union Mission is the oldest social service agency
The Brothers worked hard to serve the 200 homeless
in Washington, D.C., and was founded in 1884 by the
patrons that came to eat breakfast and the chapter was
Rev. Latham Douglass. Douglass was passionate about
praised by the program’s coordinator, Carlotta Jones,
helping the thousands of homeless men, many of whom
for its members’ dedication, hard work, and teamwork.S
were Civil War veterans. Central Union has operated as an emergency shelter for homeless men on a continuous, daily basis since that time and it has a spiritual focus to it.
rother Richard “Dick” Claxton Gregory (Beta Eta, ‘54) was a pioneering comedian and civil rights activist who took on race with layered, nuanced humor during the turbulent 1960s. He entered Omega Chapter on August 19, 2017.
but if I made the jokes they’d laugh with me instead of at me,” he wrote in his 1964 autobiography. “After a while, I could say anything I wanted. I got a reputation as a funny man. And then I started to turn the jokes on them.
“I’ve always been insulted when people tell me that my humor has done a lot for race relations. I never thought comedy did anything but make uncomfortable people feel comfortable.”
In high school, he also became a track star and showed a thirst for activism when he protested against segregated schools. He was later accepted to Southern Illinois University where he excelled in track, and in 1954, was drafted into the Army. He began performing stand-up comedy at this time, and after winning a talent contest, he became part of the Army’s entertainment division.
Who Was Dick Gregory? Dick Gregory was born on October 12, 1932 in St. Louis, Missouri. Gregory got his big break performing as a stand-up comedian at the Playboy Club in the early 1960s. Known for his sophisticated, layered humor that took on racial issues of the day, Gregory became a comedy headliner and a trailblazer for other African American comedians including Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby. He also participated as an activist in the Civil Rights Movement and eventually ran for political office. In his later years, he worked as a lecturer and pursued his interests in health and fitness.
Background and Early Years Gregory was born the second of six children and grew up in crippling poverty. His father abandoned the family, leaving his mother to work long hours as a maid to support the family. At an early age, Gregory found the power of comedy to defend himself against childhood bullies. “They were going to laugh anyway, 76
“Segregation is not all bad. Have you ever heard of a collision where the people in the back of the bus got hurt?” - Dick Gregory
Stand-Up Career After his return to the states, Gregory worked as an emcee at various Chicago clubs, honing his craft working the comedy circuit while taking on odd jobs. His trailblazing style of satirical humor tackled racial issues and sociopolitical topics pulled straight from contemporary headlines. Gregory’s big break came in 1961 at Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Club in Chicago, where the comedian, as a replacement act, performed in front of a room of white executives visiting from the segregated South. Nonetheless, Gregory was a huge success and became a crossover star. “It was the first time they had seen a Black comic who was not bucking his eyes, wasn’t dancing and singing and telling mother-in-law jokes,’’ said Gregory in a 2000 Boston Globe interview. ‘’Just talking about what I read in the newspaper.” The comedian had his run at the club extended by weeks and went on to become a national comedy THE SPHINX
headliner. That same year, Gregory made history when he appeared on Jack Paar’s Tonight Show after making it clear he wanted to be invited to sit on the couch to chat with the host like white entertainers, becoming the first African American guest to do so. After his appearance, Gregory became a recurring guest on the show. He also released popular albums In Living Black and White (1961) and Dick Gregory Talks Turkey (1962).
Civil Rights Activism
During the mid-’80s, the comedian/activist launched a weight-loss business known as the Slim/Safe Bahamian Diet. He eventually filed a lawsuit against his business partners and experienced major financial troubles that led to the loss of his family’s 40-acre farm in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Gregory was at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement during the ‘60s, and became friends with pivotal figures including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Medgar Evers. He was arrested dozens of times because of his activism. While jailed in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963, he wrote that he had received “the first really good beating I ever had in my life.”
Over the years, Gregory became devoted to health and fitness, adopting a vegetarian diet and examining issues related to diet within African American communities. He became a noted university lecturer and regularly went on hunger strikes to bring awareness to various global issues including the Vietnam War, women’s rights, apartheid in South Africa, police brutality, and American Indian rights.
In his later years, Gregory became known for supporting various conspiracy theories about the assassinations of Brother Martin Luther King Jr. and John and Robert Kennedy, the crack cocaine epidemic, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He also turned away from stand-up for a time, preferring to stay out of clubs where liquor was served, but he later made his way back to performing. In 1996, he starred in the critically well-received off-Broadway production Dick Gregory Live!
He continued his political activism throughout the 1960s. He unsuccessfully ran against Richard Daley in 1967 for the office of mayor of Chicago. A year later, he also ran for U.S. president as a write-in candidate with the Freedom and Peace Party during the electoral showdown between Richard Nixon and Brother Hubert H. Humphrey. “What Black folks are given in the U.S. on the installment plan, as in civil-rights bills. Not to be confused with human rights, which are the dignity, stature, humanity, respect, and freedom belonging to all people by right of their birth.” - Dick Gregory WINTER 2017/2018
FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN PRESIDENT OF THREE UNIVERSITIES PASSES
r. Elson S. Floyd (Mu Zeta ’76) passed into Omega chapter, the fraternity’s chapter of sweet rest, on June 20, 2015. He was 59. He was an active member of Nu Epsilon Lambda chapter in Richland, Wash. In addition, Dr. Floyd was the keynote speaker at the 66th Western Region Convention Black and Gold Banquet in Seattle, Wash. Brother Floyd was the first African American president of three universities: Western Michigan University from 1998 to 2003, University of Missouri from 2003 to 2007, and Washington State University (WSU) from 2007 to 2015. Born on February 29, 1956, in the racially segregated Henderson, North Carolina, his family lived in poverty. And while neither parent graduated from high school, they emphasized the value of education to Brother Floyd and his three other Brothers. For high school, he subsequently earned a scholarship to Darlington, a prestigious boarding school in Rome, Georgia, where he excelled, becoming the first African American to graduate from the school. While there, he was Student Council president (1972-74), vice president of the Explorers, and Honor Council vice president. In sports, he ran track, played basketball and football, also serving as co-captain of the varsity football team. Bro. Floyd earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and speech, a master’s of education in adult education, and a doctor of philosophy in higher education, all from the University of North Carolina. His professional career began in 1978 at UNC Chapel Hill with deanships over the Division of Student Affairs, the General College, and the College of Arts and Sciences. From 1988 to 1990, he served 78
as assistant vice president for student services for the UNC system. From 1990 to 1993, he served Eastern Washington University as vice president for student services, vice president for administration, and executive vice president. This was followed by two years as the executive director of the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board. In 1995, he returned to UNC Chapel Hill as chief administrative and operating officer and the senior official responsible for business and finance, human resources, auxiliary enterprises, student affairs, information technology, university advancement and development, and enrollment management. Brother Floyd’s list of accomplishments is extensive, particularly during his final presidency at WSU. Under his leadership, student enrollment grew to record highs, and the population of students of color nearly doubled. Annual research expenditures grew by 57.5 percent. WSU established the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication and Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health. The university completed 30 major construction projects and successfully finished a $1 billion fundraising campaign. And under his leadership, WSU won rare bipartisan support in THE SPHINX
the Washington State Legislature to create its own medical school. Off campus, he held numerous leadership positions and served on many national boards, including the American Council on Education Commission on Leadership and Institutional Effectiveness, President George W. Bush’s Advisory Board for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and
Universities, and the Association of Public LandGrant Universities. He also chaired the PAC-12 Conference CEO Group in 2014-2015. Other honors include Distinguished Alumnus Awards from UNC Chapel Hill and Darlington. Brother Floyd is survived by his wife Carmento, daughter, Jessica and son, Kenneth. (Compiled from published reports.)
TALLAHASSEE’S FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN MAYOR PASSES
allahassee’s first African American mayor and Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumnus James R. Ford (Gamma Mu Lambda ’59) entered Omega chapter on October 11, 2017. A member of Gamma Mu Lambda chapter, he was 91.
role in establishing the Minority Business Department, the Frenchtown Area Development Authority and the Affirmative action Office, working to eliminate segregated practices in the city government.
Brother Ford earned a bachelor of science degree in 1950 and his master’s degree in education in 1959, both from FAMU. He served in both the U.S. navy and the U.S. Army. He worked in the Leon county Public School System from 1950 to 1987 as a teacher and its first African American administrator, presiding over the county’s first integrated school staff. In 1972, Ford became Tallahassee’s first African American mayor and the African American mayor of a state capital city in the nation. He was elected to subsequent terms as mayor in 1976 and 1982. Additionally, he served 14 consecutive years as a Tallahassee city commissioner as well as played a key
The following is a list of members who have entered Omega Chapter. For each member, included is: his name; the category of membership: college, alumni or life; life member number if available; chapter of initiation; date of initiation; last active chapter; and date of death. All of the information is based on what is submitted by chapters and family members and reconciled with the fraternityâ€™s records.
William M. Batts Jr. Alumni Alpha Sigma Beta Tau Lambda Omega 1/24/17
Richard H. Brown Alumni Delta Pi Rho Omega 3/13/17
Stanley C. Burns Alumni Delta Epsilon Lambda Omega 2/10/17
Larry Charles, Sr. Life Epsilon Upsilon Zeta Phi Lambda Omega 1/27/18
Don E. Coleman Life Gamma Tau Kappa Delta Lambda Omega 1/30/17
Willie E. Conyers Life Gamma Mu Xi Xi Lambda Omega 3/24/17
Evies O. Cranford Life Eta Beta Lambda Omega 1/1/17
Willard G. Dallas Alumni Beta Kappa Beta Eta Lambda Omega 2/14/17
Arthur C. Ellis Alumni Theta Mu Lambda Omega 2/3/17
John E. Green Sr. Life Alpha Rho Beta Eta Lambda Omega 3/21/17
Wade H. Hammond, III Life Rho Omega 2/19/17
Raymond H. Onley III Alumni Xi Xi Lambda Omega 1/2/17
Dr. Benjamin F. Payton Life Beta Delta Alpha Nu Lambda Omega 9/28/16
Powell R. Peebles Alumni Gamma Psi Phi Lambda Omega 3/17/17
John C. Rawls Life Beta Epsilon Nu Eta Lambda Omega 1/18/17
Thomas A. Ross Alumni Gamma Chi Lambda Omega 3/22/17
Willie J. Smith Life Beta Upsilon Gamma Lambda Omega 1/4/17
Wrage G. Wiley Jr. Life Alpha Sigma Beta Tau Lambda Omega 2/4/17
TO ALL OUR BROTHERS IN OMEGA CHAPTER, MAY YOU REST IN PEACE. 80 80 SPHINX THE SPHINX
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