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The Health & Wellness Issue | Volume 12, No. 2

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

BROTHER, HEAL THYSELF

IMPROVING OUR HEALTH AND THOSE OF OUR COMMUNITIES


CONTENTS

features

in this issue

18

3

HEALTH CRISIS

Letters

33

6

BROTHERHOOD BIKERS

Education

43

Advocacy

ALPHA PHI ALPHA FRATERNITY, INC. 95th GENERAL CONVENTION REVISTED

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12 21 Health

29 Mental Health

OUTSTANDING COLLEGE BROTHER YEAR

31

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39

OUTSTANDING ALUMNI BROTHER YEAR

Parenting

Fitness

40 History

61 Chapter News

67

18

Brothers on the Move

74 Literary

77 Omega Chapter

81 Leadership Directory

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Official Publication of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. THE HEALTH & WELLNESS ISSUE | Volume 12, No. 2 apa1906.net

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INTERIM EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Eric Christopher Webb., DDiv. ewebb@apa1906.net LAYOUT EDITOR AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR Malik Whatley CONTRIBUTORS Everett B. Ward, Adrian Wallace, Gregory Phillips, Eric Christopher Webb, Robert L. Harris, Cleveland E. Beckett, Jr., Jorge L. Vasquez, Jr., Nicholas Fletcher, Daniel Craddock, Duane A. Bryan, Kelvin A. Moses, Sam Prewitt, Ulrick Vieux, Duane Dyson, Jeremy L. Thomas, Shane T. Gilmore, Vernon Kearse, Nehemiah Bester PHOTOGRAPHERS Malik Whatley, Nehemiah Bester, E. Martin Labat, Jamal Hardman, Calvin Roberts PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE Ramon E. Peralta, Jr., L.H.D., Chair Paul E. Brown, Donald Ross, Vic Carter, LeMarcus Hall, Steven Misher, Jeffrey E. Sterling, Charles Curtis

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EDITORIAL OFFICES Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. 2313 St. Paul Street Baltimore, MD 212I8-5211 www.apa1906.net ADVERTISING AND SALES ads@apa1906.net DESIGN AND PRINTING Mercury Publishing Services, Inc. (800) 634-9409

ON THE COVER The Sphinx examines various health and wellness issues affecting African Americans as well as what we can do to improve our quality of life.

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© 2019 Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. | All Rights Reserved

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CONTENTS

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FROM THE GENERAL PRESIDENT

Letter from the General President My Brothers of Alpha, While we are committed to our war against injustice and inequality, we first owe a debt of good health and longevity to ourselves and our families. Our nature, as men of Alpha and servants of all, often leads us to neglect our own well-being, forgoing sleep, healthy eating, exercise, regular check-ups, and screenings for chronic illnesses all while working hard to provide for our families, serve our Fraternity, and advocate for our communities. Everett B. Ward, Ph.D. General President Twitter: @AlphasforWARD

We can no longer afford to be martyrs for the cause. We have lost far too many good brothers from preventable health issues and causes. The health and wellness of our Brothers and our communities are of significant concern and importance to the Fraternity. In recent years, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. has established partnerships, initiatives, and launched campaigns on mental health, HIV/AIDs awareness, prostate cancer awareness, and soon revolutionary cancer research. We have also continued our efforts through the March of Dimes on maternal and infant health as well as our Brothers Keeper National Program to ensure we remain committed to advocating and improving the quality of life of our senior brothers, their spouses and widows; brothers who are retired and have disabilities or ailments; and vulnerable community members. As you read this Health & Wellness issue of The Sphinx, I hope you become more educated on these issues of concern and implement some of the advice and strategies provided. In the meantime, I strongly urge all of you to pursue regular check-ups and talk extensively and patiently with your doctors about your health. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and don’t hesitate to get a second opinion, if necessary. Onward and Upward Always. S

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FROM THE INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Letter from the Interim Executive Director Dear Brothers: This edition of The Sphinx is no less engaging or noteworthy, than others, where it addresses health and wellness amongst our Brothers and the African American community. I encourage you to read it thoroughly. In addition, I wanted to take the opportunity to formally greet you as the new interim executive director of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. A lot has changed since I last served at the helm of the corporate headquarters from 2001 to 2005, and the Gregory Phillips Interim Executive Director gphillips@apa1906.net

organization’s operations and capacity has increased dramatically. I am excited about helping department leadership further enhance the customer service experience for our Brothers as well as streamline practices to ultimately increase our effectiveness. Consequently, over the past several months, the leadership in our departments have made several noteworthy advances. Membership, under Associate Executive Director Brother Denny Johnson, has added three staff members to better service IMDP as well as hired a new IMDP manager, Brother Terrance Byerson. The data migration of AlphaNet to our new Protech system is upon us, which will dramatically streamline and automate many of our processes and services. The Finance Department, under Chief Financial Officer Carla Gaskins, ensured that the Fraternity’s Annual Financial Audit for 2018 received an ‘unqualified opinion’ – meaning the financial statements were fairly and appropriately presented without any identified exceptions. Brother John Johnston, while managing our vendor licensing program, in conjunction with Brother John Kendall, has helped collect more than $150,000 in vendor licensing fees for 2018-2019 fiscal year, up from about $32,000 per year average over previous years. And lastly, Marketing & Public Relations’ efforts, under Interim Chief Communications Officer and Editor-in-Chief of the Sphinx Brother Eric Christopher Webb, has also increased its active engagement and timely response to the general public, chapters and Brothers. In addition, the Sphinx magazine continues to receive accolades from the Fraternal Communications Association, with Brother Webb, invited to showcase his multiple award-winning, ‘Blacklash’ feature article and story package along with Sphinx magazine best practices on a panel at its Mid-Year Conference in Indianapolis, IN. Overall, the corporate headquarters team is committed to provide excellent customer service to our Brothers and welcomes your feedback and suggestions. S

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FROM THE INTERIM EDITOR

Letter from the Interim Editor-In-Chief “You beat cancer, by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live.” —Brother Stuart Scott Dear Brothers: African Americans, particularly, African American men, have a precarious relationship with health and pursuing check-ups and medical treatment. Since our arrival in this country, in bondage, we have experienced and suffered a physical and mental health deficit exacerbated by poor diet, brutal, physical treatment, and psychological trauma. Eric Christopher Webb, DDiv. Interim Editor-In-Chief ewebb@apa1906.net

Historically, we also distrust the medical community due to deliberate institutional mistreatment, neglect, and suspicion. Memories of the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, as well as misinformation and conspiracy theories regarding the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Black community still haunt many of us. Institutionally, African Americans disproportionately lack access to quality and affordable health care. African Americans suffer increased psychological trauma due to the police shootings and murders of unarmed Black men, who fail to be convicted; as well as the barrage of frivolous 9-1-1 calls to harass and threaten African American lives. Now termed, ‘race-based traumatic stress injuries’ have also all been linked to serious psychological distress, physical health problems, depression, anxiety, binge drinking, and even disordered eating. In this Health & Wellness issue of The Sphinx, we examine how our lack of health education can be killing us; we learn the facts regarding prostate cancer and treatment; what the corporate headquarters, chapters, and individual Brothers are doing on the national and local level to raise awareness; how running saved the life of a young Alpha Brother who suffered a heart attack as well as how Alpha Brothers have adopted motorcycling for mental health, stress relief, comradery, and community service. Finally, we take a special look at the 95th General Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, and recognize both of our Alumni and College Brothers of the Year, as well as our involvement with the Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Week. S

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BY PAST GENERAL PRESIDENT BROTHER ADRIAN WALLACE, BETA SIGMA ’69, ZETA PSI LAMBDA

Alpha University: Relaunch 2.0 “College of Friendship, University of Brotherly Love, School for the Better Making of Men.” Over the last 20 years, Alpha University has had various restarts. Perhaps, however, it is a testimony to its resilience and value that it continues to resonate with the Brotherhood in its various incarnations. During the 2019 General Convention is Las Vegas, NV, General President Everett Ward appointed me as the new chair of Alpha University. This appointment was established to update and reenergize the focus, design, and delivery of Alpha University as well as to address the current professional development and training needs of our membership and the broader community. Thus, in this relaunch, we will reevaluate, redefine and codify the essence of Alpha University and elevate it as a premier leadership development model. In the following sections the origins and focus of Alpha University will be shared as well as strategies that we considered in developing our approach and next steps. LEADERSHIP

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Origins of Alpha University Upon taking office in 1996, I appointed Phillip Jackson to serve as our first chairman of training & development to codify and provide formal structure to the various training initiatives and programs of the fraternity. In December 1998, a collection of brothers gathered in Houston, TX, including: Brothers Zollie Stevenson, Jr., Ronald Anderson, Darryl R. Matthews, Sr., James W. Ward, Phillip L. Jackson, Hebrew L. Dixon, III. and myself to assess our training and development efforts, as the ideas flowed the idea and concept of Alpha University crystalized. “As Brother Dr. Zollie Stevenson, Jr. reported, the method and form of brotherhood development had been sporadic over the years. It focused more on specific issues than on specific skills. Although the fraternity had provided training for brothers on a range of matters such as ritual, national programs, intake, risk management and voter registration/citizenship rights, it did not give brothers the tools and strategies for consistent and quality personal and professional 6

development.” (The History of Alpha Phi Alpha A Tradition of Leadership and Service. Robert Harris. The Foundation Publishers – 2014 Volume II). The nascent stirrings for an Alpha University emerges from the Fraternity’s early years. “The demand for a definite and constructive program for Alpha Phi Alpha has been persistent through the years. As chapters were organized and conventions met and closed, there were voices raised demanding the adoption of some constructive policy which would be a benefit, not only to the membership of the fraternity, but to the black population as a group. It had been urged again and again that through the organized fraternity a dynamic instrument could be forged which would be of incalculable power in advancing the interests of the Negro group along all lines of endeavor.” The History of Alpha Phi Alpha: A Development in College Life Charles Wesley Foundation Publishers. (Chapter IX)

What is Alpha University? Since its inception, Alpha University was conceived and predicated on our fraternal objectives. Alpha University’s core values are “Knowledge” and “Achievement” – words on our Fraternal shield. Our hallmarks are “Leadership” and “Excellence in Execution.” Alpha University, which is the centralized in-house personal and professional development arm of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., was established at the national level to address the training and development needs of the Fraternity’s members and larger community. Alpha University can be the ‘dynamic instrument’ for the Fraternity’s ideals. The focus is on the acquisition of knowledge, active application of what has been learned, the robust sharing, exchange, and debate of ideas; ‘iron sharpens iron’.

Considerations: Our membership is not monolithic: Alpha is comprised of multiple generations, members at various life stages, circumstances, talents and interests. Inward Focus: Three of the seven Colleges of Alpha University are membership only (Brotherhood, Chapter & Office Development and National Programs & Special Projects) External Focus: The other four Colleges (Business & Technology, Effective Implementation, Leadership and THE SPHINX


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Personal & Professional Development) are not necessarily restricted only to our members. These four offer intriguing possibilities for monetizing as a revenue source. Alpha University Vision: Alpha University will be a top tier global leader in learning and talent development Alpha University Mission: We will create programming, and a platform where leaders are both sought and congregate to become change agents and thought leaders globally and in our communities.

Membership Development and Enrichment After Initiation, ‘More than just wearing a pin’, our intrinsic qualities must be continually honed. Alpha University must embrace the totality of mind, body and spirit. After the Initiation, what happens to a member? For too many members, their sole understanding of Alpha is at the Chapter level. Only a fraction of our membership attends a General or Regional Convention, therefore our content delivery will include webinars, asynchronous training/seminars to facilitate learning, recertification, thus greatly expanding our reach with clear and consistent quality and relevant content. As examples: our College of Brotherhood offers numerous opportunities to ensure that the uniqueness of Alpha’s culture is understood and preserved. Forums or Roundtables presenting our treasured Senior Alpha Brothers and Past General Presidents are wonderful resources of ‘history’ and experiences for all generations of Alpha Men. College of Personal and Professional Development and College of Leadership, in addition to our standard offerings which focus on career advancement strategies and development of servant leadership skills, could include a Distinguished Lecture Series of prominent individuals and subject matter experts to speak on selected topics. Alpha University is our best opportunity to affect and imprint anti-Hazing by nurturing a culture and mindset of organizational efficacy and personal development through Leadership and Enrichment opportunities. Our General Convention off-year is an excellent opportunity for a two-to-three-day Alpha University Leadership Conference with extensive and diverse offerings.

Benchmarking with Established Corporate Universities Alpha University is based on the Corporate University Model. Alpha University must continuously benchmark WINTER 2019

itself against Best Practices and Best in Class. The Boston Consulting Group is a recognized leader in business strategy. To succeed, organizations must blend digital and human capabilities. The Boston Consulting Group: Corporate Universities an Engine for Human Capital (2013). Corporate Universities include: General Electric’s campus in Crotonville, NY, the Boeing Leadership Center near St. Louis, the Deloitte University in North Texas, the Disney Institute, the Lufthansa School of Business in Germany, the Veolia near Paris, the ArecelorMittral Global Campus in Luxembourg and the Unilever center in Singapore, and London to name a few.

The Path Forward for Alpha University The relaunch of Alpha University as a premier leadership development model will involve the following steps: We will: • Review Alpha University’s structure and purpose, including a critique of all seven colleges. • Determine how to ensure continuity and sustainability across administrations. • Revise the 2000 Alpha University Strategic Plan. • Vetting/review process of program content for adoption as part of Alpha University. • Explore alignments/partnerships. We were previously members of American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) now known as Association for Talent Development (ATD) and the Corporate University Xchange, Inc. • Provide content and delivery platforms that reflect the needs and interests of our diverse membership • Secure the brand of Alpha University. • Utilize the full breath of digital, electronic and online platforms. Alpha University is a ‘dynamic instrument’, an organic and constantly evolving instrument. Alpha University will enable us to maintain our competitive edge. It will serve as a critical element in the membership development program that a Fraternity should provide to its members after intake to assist their progress in careers and fraternal life. We gladly accept the task of Relaunching Alpha University and lifting it to its rightful place as a premier learning institution. S

Brother Adrian Wallace is the 30th General President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and under whose administration Alpha University was initially established. Brother Wallace is also the executive director of SEED Center Business Incubator in Lake Charles, LA.

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BY BROTHER NICHOLAS FLETCHER, ALPHA RHO ’98

Alpha Brothers Excel At Graves School of Business In Pursuit of MBAs

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he Graves School of Business & Management at Morgan State University partnered with the National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. and since Fall 2017 13 members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. have benefitted from its established MBA tuition scholarship program towards earning an MBA or MBA On-Line. In addition, the school has a partnership with Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and recently received a grant to be the FinTech HUB for HBCU’s through the Ripple Foundation along with offers state of the art facilities such as a Capital Markets Lab, Marketing Focus Group Lab, Network Securities Lab, as well as functional Hospitality Suites to drive practical learning throughout our students learning experience. “The Graves School of Business and Management (GSBM), established in 1944, is committed to

enhancing academic rigor and quality,” according to its MBA brochure. “Being the first Business School in the State of Maryland, we have over 70 years of experience and expertise in preparing our students for the business world. The MBA Program is a two-year program consisting of nine (9) core courses and (3) electives (36 credits total), which would determine (one’s) specialization, i.e. accounting, finance, project management, etc.” Meet some of the Alpha Brothers, who enrolled in the MBA program either directly after completing their undergraduate degrees or after several years of professional work experience. They are Brothers Trevor Alexander, Kirk Carrington II, Gerard Charlot, Donte Dixon, Michael Ligons and Cameron Smith. 8

Brother Trevor Alexander is a second year MBA Candidate in the Graves School of Business & Management. Brother Alexander applied to the Graves MBA to engage in its exciting business partnerships and extend his professional network in Baltimore and beyond. He has a background in information systems and holds his PMP certificate. He is currently working as a network engineer for Lockheed Martin Corporation. Brother Alexander is concentrating in finance to develop a skillset suited for the nascent FinTech and Blockchain industries. Brother Alexander, who earned his bachelor’s degree at Old Dominion University, was selected as an Inaugural 2019 Thurgood Marshall College Fund Hennessy Fellow as well as a 2019 Oracle Future Finance Leader. Brother Alexander is a Fall 2014 Initiate of the Nu Theta chapter.

Brother Kirk Carrington II is supervisor of the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Employment Development and currently serves as president of the Graves Masters Student Government Association. He is pursuing his MBA with a Specialization in Project Management. Brother Carrington was selected to be an ambassador of the Graves School at the 2019 American Heart Association Summit as well as at the National Academy of Human Resources Annual Dinner. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Morgan State University and his Masters of Human Services Administration degree from Coppin State University. Brother Carrington is a Fall 2006 initiate of the Delta Lambda chapter. Brother Gerard Charlot, founder & CEO of the Charlot Group, came to Morgan to pursue and grow his THE SPHINX


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entrepreneurial spirit. Through the scholarship, he was able to pursue his passion through the Baltimore Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative of which Morgan State is the lead university partner. The program supports Baltimore entrepreneurs with business training, exposure to capital and business networks. Brother Charlot holds his PMP, MS in project management from George Washington University and his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University. He is a Spring 1993 initiate of the Rho Omicron chapter. Brother Donte Dixon was recently promoted while in the Graves School MBA Program to Operations Associate at Morgan Stanley. He is a second year MBA student who was on the Graves School Masters Case Competition Team which competed at the 2019 National Black MBA Conference as was named a 2019 Forbes Under 30 Scholar. Brother Dixon is a proud Morgan State University alumnus, earning his bachelor’s degree in 2016 and is a Fall 2015 initiate of Beta Alpha chapter. Brother Michael Ligons is a first year MBA student and founder of Live Your Dream non-profit organization. Brother Ligons is passionate about financial planning,

Left to right: Brothers Trevor Alexander, Kirk Carrington II, Gerard Charlot, Donte Dixon, Michael Ligons, and Cameron Smith.

which is no surprise with his background with Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank. While in the program, he has earned his Bloomberg Market Concepts Certification, leveraging the Graves Schools Capital Markets Lab and looks forward to earning his A+, Network+ and Security+ certifications through a training program offered for Graves School students. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College. Brother Ligons is a Spring 2018 initiate of the Eta Eta Lambda chapter. Brother Cameron Smith is specializing in human resource management. Brother Smith decided to attend Graves because it is an emerging B-school with a plethora of resources, and he wants to help etch the prestige of the program. Prior to starting the WINTER 2019

Alpha Brothers and recipients of MBA scholarship, from left to right Brothers Gerard Charlot, Nicholas Fletcher, assistant director, Graves School Masters Program; Cameron Smith, Trevor Alexander pose in the atrium of the Graves School of Business and Management. Not pictured are Brothers Kirk Carrington and Michael Ligon.

Graves School Cameron was president of the Wiley College Student Body and Captain of the Debate Team. During his first semester at Graves, he was a leadership and development trainee at the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. corporate headquarters. Brother Smith currently is a junior development specialist with the Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency and serves as Graves Masters Student Government Association Chief of Staff. Brother Smith is a Spring 2016 initiate of the Alpha Sigma chapter. For more information regarding the Graves School of Business & Management at Morgan State University Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated MBA Scholarship, please contact: Brother Nicholas Fletcher, Assistant Director, Graves School Masters Programs (Morgan State University) at http://bit.ly/ AlphaScholarship. S

Brother Nicholas Fletcher, a Fall 1998 Alpha Rho initiate at Morehouse College, is the assistant director for the Graves School Masters Program.

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Brother Texas State Senator Borris Miles Launches ‘Miles Ahead Scholars’ to Ensure Young Men of Color Succeed

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very urban city has African American communities that have been neglected, and opportunities to succeed are scarce. This ongoing trend has reverberated for decades and leaves little hope for many of our kids. In 2014, President Barack Obama launched My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative to address the persistent gaps boys and young men of color face. President Obama stated, “in a country as prosperous and dynamic as ours; we have an obligation to lift up communities that have had the odds stacked against them.” Several studies from top research institutions found what we already knew. African American men are a dying breed on college campuses. There are fewer young men of color on college campuses today than there were 30 years ago. Brother Borris Miles, a 1986 initiate of the Theta Mu chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., sought to change this upon being elected as a state senator in 2016 after serving four terms in the Texas House of Representatives. He is currently a member of Alpha Eta Lambda and life member of the Fraternity. For the past two and a half years, he has been working with state leaders, the Texas Education Agency (TEA)

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and the Houston Independent School District (HISD). All were agreed that something needed to be done to help young men of color graduate from high school and go to college. During the past two legislative sessions, he secured $22 million and worked with top education officials and community leaders on best practices to create a program that was data-driven and resultsbased to ensure success. During the Fraternity’s Southwest Region Convention, Vice President Tarrynce Robinson, who also serves as a school support officer for the school district, where he supervises principals, provided a $5,000 donation to support the program on behalf of the region. On October 4, 2019, Brother Miles joined HISD, the TEA, and hundreds of community leaders and education advocates to unveil the program and welcome the inaugural class of the Miles Ahead Scholars. The Miles Ahead Scholars’ inaugural class consists of a group of 60 9th and 10th-grade boys who show academic promise from Wheatley, Worthing and Kashmere High Schools. HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan also worked together with Brother Miles to ensure the right schools and students were selected for the program. The program was created to give the students the best chance for success while also giving our teachers the

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flexibility and resources to teach our young brothers in and out of the classroom. All schools are in predominantly African American communities. The program will follow these boys and future classes as they become men and graduate from high school. The program has dedicated staff to allow the students to achieve excellence in academics, and success skills, as well as provide college preparation and assistance with the college application process. With the program’s rigorous course load, college acceptance letters are expected for every student. The program focuses on forming cohorts or “posses” of male students with academic promise. The students will share academic classes, developmental programming and college and career counseling. Instructional specialists will ensure that the boys maintain a competitive grade point average and are eligible and ready for college-level work. They will receive mentorship from men of color in the community who can share their personal and professional experiences with the students. “I live by that old village saying, ‘That he is not heavy. He is my brother. When one makes it over the fence,

that he is responsible for reaching back and helping the next one be successful,’” says Brother Miles. “I plan on being there for each one of these boys and help them make it over the fence.” The scholars, who have very high goals set for them, are expected to excel in Advanced Placement exams so that they earn college credit while in high school. The students participate in professional internships so that they can receive real-world experience and expose them to professional working environments. The goal is for these students to attend and graduate from our nation’s top universities. Interim Superintendent Lathan also invited General President Dr. Everett Ward to celebrate the Miles Ahead Scholars inaugural class as well as to surprise Brother Miles. As chairman of the Council of Presidents of the National Pan Hellenic Council, Inc., which represents the nine historically Black Greek-lettered Organizations, Brother Ward was thrilled to see members from several Black fraternal organizations present to celebrate this inaugural class. He asked the brothers of the Black fraternal organizations to help protect, lead and mentor these young men as they represent the future. S

Left to Right: Fraternity National Comptroller Brother Donald Jackson, Brother State Senator Borris Miles, General President Everett B. Ward, Ph.D., and Southwest Region Vice President Tarrynce Robinson

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ADVOCACY

GENERAL PRESIDENT WARD INSTALLED AS NEW CHAIRMAN OF NPHC’s COUNCIL OF PRESIDENTS ALPHA ALSO HONORS ALPHA LAWMAKERS AND HILL STAFFERS AT ANNUAL CBC RECEPTION

Brother Rep. Bobby Scott D-VA

Brother Rep. Gregory Meeks D-NY

Brother Rep. Danny Davis D-IL

Brother Rep. David Scott D-GA

Brother Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver D-MO

Brother Rep. Al Green D-TX

Brother Rep. Steven Horsford D-NV

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. General President Everett B. Ward was installed as the new chairman of the Council of Presidents of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. as well as outlined the council’s strategic priorities to address to address systemic issues affecting the viability of the African American community. They include voter engagement, 2020 Census, economic impact, minority business development, HBCU sustainability, and healthcare advocacy after its retreat and during the council’s Sept. 12 meeting at Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. International headquarters. “We are at a precarious time in the history of our nation,” said Dr. Ward. “The serious nature of these issues in this current climate necessitates intentional strategic action. We are committed to using the power of our 1.5 million collective membership to engender positive societal change.”

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The Council is also comprised of Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover, International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Beverly E. Smith, National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Valerie Hollingsworth Baker, International Grand Basileus of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Dr. David Marion, Grand Basileus of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and the Council’s newly-installed vice chairman, Andre Manson, Grand Polaris of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., Reuben A. Shelton, III, Esq., Grand Polemarch of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Deborah Catchings-Smith, International Grand Basileus of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., Michael E. Cristal, International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., as well as Vanetta Cheeks Reeder, National President of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. Later in the evening, the Fraternity also honored Alpha lawmakers and Capitol Hill staffers at a special reception during the annual Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference.

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BY BROTHER CLEVELAND E. BECKETT, JR., IOTA ’89, ALPHA GAMMA LAMBDA

Time to Engage the 2020 Decennial U.S. Census: A Critical Instrument in Protecting Democracy

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frican American communities have consistently overcome political, economic and social barriers, in continuously striving toward full enfranchisement within American society. Over the years, these institutional restrictions have included voter suppression, literacy tests, poll taxes, restrictive housing covenants, denial of financial credit and political gerrymandering, etc. in a strategic effort to stagnate our collective economic and political advancement. The historic social advancements benefitting African Americans and civil society during the 1960’s Civil Rights era, were not accomplished through passive engagement. Through demonstrations and organizing campaigns, our communities achieved steady and momentous victories in battles to achieve access in public accommodations,

engagement in our political system through voter registration and mobilization drives and the participation of African Americans in elected and appointed public office. Society has witnessed hard fought legal victories in the judicial system to combat discriminatory practices and inadequate funding in public education, public accommodations and affordable housing. Through the consistent engaged activism of our communities, vision and commitment of countless local and national movement leaders, structures were created to dismantle systemic operational practices and procedures, which prohibited the social mobility of 14

African Americans. This historical disparity is observed in the review and comparison of collected U.S. Census statistical data of communities. Now is the time to engage in the 2020 census – a critical instrument in advancing and protecting our democracy. The decennial census provides residents an opportunity to determine the allocation of resources in their local neighborhoods, simply through their participation. Census data determines how approximately more than $675 billion is spent, supporting vital state, county and community programs (“U.S. Census Bureau Community Outreach Toolkit”, p.5). The thoughtful leadership of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. General President Dr. Everett B. Ward has recognized the importance of adding the Fraternity’s voice and influence in the “I am Counted: 2020 U.S. Census” campaign. Our Regions, District Organizations, Chapters and affiliated community coalition partners, can inform and facilitate greater public awareness, engagement and participation of African American and Latino communities within the 2020 decennial U.S. Census. The men of Alpha Phi Alpha recognize that an accurate census enumeration, ensures the continuance of vital government funding on diverse public policy concerns, such as infrastructure and transportation, education, healthcare services and social service programs in our urban and rural communities. These resources are especially vital within African American and Latino communities, which have historically been denied equitable economic resources to combat these social challenges. Our local chapters already participate within “A Voteless People, Is A Hopeless People” – one of our signature national programs. The “I am Counted: 2020 U.S. Census” campaign appropriately complements our traditional civic engagement efforts. Census 2020 objectives in most instances, have been established through either executive order or legislative enactment by the state legislature, of each respective state. THE SPHINX


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Chapter Presidents and your designated chapter Public Policy Chairmen may discover Census 2020 Complete Count Committees have been established within your city and/or county political jurisdiction. In a myriad of states and cities, elected officials have allocated funding at the state, city or county level to provide critical public awareness campaigns, translation services and technical assistance to prevent census participation undercounts, within their respective locality. Some states are providing funds to responsible non-profit and community-based organizations, with sufficient governance structures, programming and accountability measures, to assist Census 2020 Complete Count Committees to facilitate greater effectiveness in the counting of state residents. However, some states have forgone establishing these committees, and in notable instances local elected officials, the business and philanthropic sectors have interceded. Therefore, the presence of fraternity men and chapters is needed to address the possible undercounting of residents within our communities. During the recent 95th General Convention held from July 25-28, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada, several workshops were dedicated to advancing civic participation. Two specific workshop sessions included, “Partnership for Civil Rights: A discussion on the Memorandum of Understanding between Alpha Phi Alpha and the NAACP” and the “I am Counted: 2020 Census,” emphasis was placed on the importance of increased African American civic participation. In the “I am Counted: 2020 Census” Workshop, which I facilitated and provided considerable focus and training on the historical background of the Census, following the “First Census Act” on March 1, 1790, whereby the United States of America became the first nation to enumerate its population on a regular basis. Accordingly, a decennial population census, a nationwide enumeration or count of the population is taken every ten (10) years and administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The United States Congress utilizes Census figures to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and determine the number of votes in the electoral college, which selects the President and Vice President of the United States. The Census also affects reapportionment in state and local legislatures and influences the distribution of federal grants to both state and local governments. The timing of the 2020 census is especially important since it occurs in the middle of both U.S. Congressional and Presidential campaigns. The engagement of residents nationwide has the potential to impact WINTER 2019

the reapportionment of future districts and policy considerations beyond this election cycle, and into the next census cycle. Therefore, interested stakeholders must engage now in efforts to protect these critical data collection activities (Why a Fair & Accurate Census Matters to Thriving Private and Public Sectors – Leadership Conference Education Fund & Georgetown University Law School Center on Poverty & Inequality Report). Chapters are encouraged to review the U.S. Census Bureau Community Outreach Toolkit, consider, implement, monitor and track developed Census 2020 public awareness campaigns through community town hall forums, public service announcements (PSA) and social media platforms. Upon establishing partnerships with the NAACP and other local strategic allies, host at least one (1) census forum each year, and participate in webinars and workshop trainings held at District Conferences and Regional Conventions, sponsored by the fraternity or our strategic partners, in order to enhance Census 2020 participation among underrepresented groups. These strategic partnerships may include community organizations, religious leaders and institutions, academia, elected officials, as well as the private and philanthropic sectors. Furthermore, I encourage chapters to monitor your state and local Census 2020 Complete Count Committee activities and develop specific goals, objectives, strategies and budgets for chapter civic engagement programs, inclusive of voter registration and mobilization and decennial 2020 Census program engagement, leading towards the deadline for a complete U.S. Census on April 1, 2020. Brothers should consider employment opportunities with the U.S. Census Bureau as community field specialists and partnership managers, etc. Through the sustained participation of individual brothers and chapters, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. can enhance the enumeration of the African American community in the 2020 decennial census and serve as a benchmark for engagement in the succeeding census. Brothers and chapters interested in fulfilling the goals of this initiative should contact the fraternity’s National Commission on Political & Civic Engagement via the Corporate Office. S

Brother Cleveland E. Beckett, Jr. serves on the National Commission on Political and Civic Engagement for the Fraternity and chairs the Eastern Region’s affiliated committee. Brother Beckett, Life Member #8035, is a Past Chairman, National Commission on Racial Justice (2005-2008) and Past Southern Region Assistant Vice President (1991-1992).

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ADVOCACY

BY BROTHER JORGE L. VASQUEZ, JR., RHO SIGMA ’02, KAPPA XI LAMBDA

The Question and the 2020 United States Census

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he decennial Census is considered one of the most important and non-partisan tools Americans have. The U.S. Census impacts nearly every aspect of our society. In addition, both the public and private sector equally depend on its accuracy.

for the first time since 1950, in March of 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

Among countless primary, secondary, and tertiary uses, Census data is used to allocate political power geographically at the federal, state and local levels. The data is also used to determine how many House of Representatives each state will have and where Congress will direct its nearly $700 billion federal budget annually. Notably, only Census data is used to determine if a minority Limited English Proficient person is entitled to a non-English ballot (e.g., creole, Spanish, etc..).

Yet, this one question instantly increased the risk of a significant undercount of communities of color. An undercount of Black and Brown people would dilute political power in these communities since said power is intrinsically connected to Census participation.

In the private sector, Census data is used to shape investment decisions and by emergency responders to prepare for natural disasters. The Census matters and we need to help ensure everyone is counted. However,

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The proposed question seemed simple and innocent: “Are you a Citizen”? “Yes” or “No.”

When one thoroughly examines the citizenship question, it becomes abundantly clear that it was subtly meant to intimidate and silence some of our most vulnerable communities. By forcing a lack of response, the imbalance of resources to Black and Brown communities would unfortunately continue. The Trump Administration, through their harsh antiimmigrant and xenophobic rhetoric, has created an

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environment of fear and distrust in Black and Brown communities across the country. Beginning on the day he announced his candidacy for president, Mr. Trump branded Latino immigrants as “rapists” and “drug dealers,” among other things, and implied a drain on public resources. He has said similar things about Black immigrants, as well as referred to Caribbean islands and African nations as “shithole countries.” Trump has also blamed Black people and Latinos for violent crimes in the United States and some have attributed his inflammatory words as fuel for senseless acts of hate and fear. The current political climate in the U.S. and anti-immigrant rhetoric is concerning for many immigrant families and communities who are likely to not participate if the Census had citizenship question as the risk would be to great. Several civil rights organizations, watchdog groups, and former secretaries of commerce expressed deep concerns about the lack of legal authority supporting the proposal of a citizenship question, which resulted in seven federal lawsuits. At the center of each lawsuit was a challenge to the method and rationale used by the government to implement the citizenship question. Ultimately, on June 27, 2019, the United States Supreme Court decided the legality of the citizenship question in Department of Commerce et al. v. New York, et al. and held that the Trump administration’s stated rational for adding a citizenship question to the decennial Census unconstitutional. A few days later news outlets shared that the 2020 United States Census would be printed without inclusion of a proposed citizenship question. Many of those who fight for the civil rights of others as well as those in the private sector breathed a collective sigh of relief. However, on July 3, 2019, Mr. Trump announced that he would seek other methods for determining citizenship status and alluded to imputing that data into the Census records. Legal experts, political analysis and others question whether Mr. Trump’s July 3rd announcement was driven by ulterior motives. Some opined his true motive were to dilute the raising political power of Black and Latino communities and/or oppress those communities by creating a Census undercount in them. The result would be inadequate federally funded resources. Black and Latino voters are projected to jointly represent 32% of all eligible voters in 2020 totaling more than

WINTER 2019

60 million voters, which is why, some speculate, he and his administration were so adamant at ensuring a Census undercount by introduction the citizenship question. Now is arguably the first time in U.S. history that these communities will jointly be able to determine the outcome of a presidential election. Mr. Trump likely knows this and may be doing everything in his power to create an undercount on the decennial Census of these communities in order to secure his reelection and dilute their political power and deplete resources from their communities. The fight was won to exclude the question Brother, but the work to ensure an accurate count continues. As men of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., it is bestowed upon us individually, and as an organization, to help ensure that our communities are fully, fairly and accurately counted in the 2020 Census. Ensuring a fair and accurate enumeration of all persons is aligned with our Fraternal motto, “First of All, Servants of All, We Shall Transcend All” and the vision of our Jewel Founders. At the 26th General Convention in 1931, Jewel Vertner Woodson Tandy said that he wanted “. . . the Fraternity to stand out in the affairs of the nation.” The Census is an imperative national affair that effects most, if not all, of Alpha’s national programs, like “Go-to-High School, Go-to-College,” “A Voteless People is a Hopeless People,” and others. These programs depend on an accurate Census data, and some in part rely on adequate federally funded programs. “The Urgency of Now,” demands that men of Alpha are not silent. Providing a voice for the voiceless is why Alpha is needed. The United States of America is changing. As the Fraternity works with community-based organizations and others, let us help to count all, including the marginalized. Let us help to ensure the changing composition of this country is accurately accounted, and that our traditionally marginalized neighbors are not forgotten, or intentionally overlooked. S

Brother Jorge L. Vasquez, Jr. is a national civil rights lawyer, policy influencer, and social justice expert. Currently, he is an associate counsel with LatinoJustice PRLDEF and litigates on a range of civil rights matters. Brother Vasquez works on policy matters and campaigns to address social and justice disparities and is also the co-chair of New York Counts 2020’s advocate committee – a statewide Census coalition of nearly 200 community base groups. @JorgeVasquezNYC

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FEATURE

BROTHER DANIEL CRADDOCK, MBA, MPH, GAMMA XI ’77, NU ZETA LAMBDA

HEALTH CRISIS:

WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW MIGHT BE KILLING YOU!

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have bad and good news for you. That’s right I am talking to you as you read this article. Your life may be at risk. So please, read to the very end because I want to talk with you about a serious matter. What you don’t know might kill you, but fortunately what you learn today can save your life! It is no secret that African American men have poorer health outcomes and shorter life expectancy than non-Black men and women in the United States. From higher infant mortality rates by race1 to staggering morbidity and mortality rates across our lifespan1, African American people, especially African American men face a health crisis that is killing us prematurely. CDC researchers analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau, National Vital Statistics System, and CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to examine factors that may influence disparities across the life span. Among the key findings from the report2: • Blacks, ages 18 to 64 are at higher risk of early death than whites. • Disparities in the leading causes of death for blacks compared with whites are pronounced by early and middle adulthood, including homicide and chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. • Blacks, ages 18-34 years and 35-49 years are nine times and five times, respectively, as likely to die from homicide as whites in the same age groups. • Blacks, ages 35-64, are 50 percent more likely to have high blood pressure than whites. • Blacks, ages 18-49 years, are two times as likely to die from heart disease as whites. WINTER 2019

• Blacks have the highest death rate for all cancers combined compared with whites. • Research has pointed to numerous contributors to poor health outcomes for black men such as: • Poor health education, • Lack of affordable healthcare • Cultural barriers, • Poor or no access to insurance, • Barriers to medical and social services that are culturally appropriate for black men, • Quality of health and life • Poverty • Racial discrimination, • Rates of incarceration and • Unemployment. Of all the reasons that contribute to premature death among African American men, “poor health education” is an area that can be improved to save your life and countless Black lives across America. As Alpha Brother Cornel West once said in a talk I attended, “What I have to say is meant to unhouse you and disturb you enough that you would want to make a change.” So here it goes! At the moment, there are many contributors to poor health that we cannot change. We cannot right away change poor access to quality care due to poverty or discrimination. But we can change how educated we are about our health. What you don’t know will kill you at an early age. For instance, you might want to change your habits when you learn that a poor diet and inactive lifestyle is like watering and giving sunshine to a seed that will bloom into cancer, heart disease, stroke and lead to a premature death before age 50. And further, you learn that your own misguided apprehension to go to the doctor for sick 19


FEATURE

appointments or preventative screening was possibly caused or exacerbated by traumatic historical events like the Tuskegee Experiments, which gave birth to a crippling fear of doctors and medications for generations to come. Ultimately, lack of health education is what has killed many of our family members and what may kill you too. Health education promotes health care seeking behavior in a timely matter. It will help us to reduce or eliminate risk factors. It will help use detect disease early and eradicate it with available treatments.

As you can see health education can have a tremendous impact in saving your life and the lack of health education is the real disease that can eradicate our people. If we fail to increase our health education, it is like committing suicide and as a people it is accepting genocide. We cannot wait for the health services to come to us we must do it for ourselves! Change the outcome! Start with: 1.

Part of the history of African Americans is to hide our illness, fail to seek help until it is terminal, and hide family history of disease, which only eliminates your ability to proactively screen and work with your doctor on a plan of care. Fear also leads us to normalize what we are experiencing by suggesting its normal for your age based on the people around you and so you fail once again to seek help. The truth is the symptoms that most of us are experiencing, even along with our cohort, are preventable, treatable, and should not be accepted as normal.

2.

3.

4. 5.

Learning about your family health history. Ask the hard questions. Schedule a preventative care appointment today and ask your doctor things you can do to reduce your risk factor as an African American male. Pay more attention to your body and when you experience abnormal signs seek care immediately. Learn online and read books on healthy living. If you believe something is not right with your body and your provider overlook your concern be persistent and when needed seek a second opinion. S

References 1.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK367642/table/trendtables.t11/

2. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p0502-aa-health.html 3. https://www.verywellhealth.com/black-american-mens-health-2328772

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BY BROTHER CHARLES A. COOK, MD., MPH, GAMMA UPSILON ’70, PHI LAMBDA

The Health Status of Black Men The health of America can be divided along many demographics and socio-economic status lines with apparent disparities in life expectancy, affliction by multiple disease states and recovery or survival after the first disease insult. No more glaring are disparities in health among Black men, and in many cases, their lack of health care utilization. One would think that the men of Alpha would not be subject to such disparities of health statistics, but even the Precursor Study involving doctors who graduated between 1948-1964 from John Hopkins University and Meharry University showed a 60 % higher mortality rate among graduates of Meharry as compared to John Hopkins. The second component of concern for Alpha men regarding seeking health care may be addressed by other Brothers. It is reported that there are approximately 200,000 surviving Alpha men. Even accounting for about 70,000 disabled and retired among them where are the other 130,000 members that might be influenced by another Fraternity member. Each Brother should find 10 new Brothers, and if they are not embattled with health or safety issues, then they should reach out to their actual brothers, sons and nephews. The reality and tragedy of Black men’s health is that they experience the worse health outcomes than any other group in America. There are many individual causes of the death rate in Black men, but the 800pound gorilla in the room is still cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke. These are driven mostly by hypertension, diabetes and smoking. Contributing greatly to these findings as well is the fact that 44% of Black men are overweight and fully 25% are quite frankly, Obese with a BMI of 30. The average height man at 5’11” should weigh 180 pounds or less. 0besity with close association to developing diabetes, hypertension and developing heart disease starts at a weight of 215, BMI of 30. The sum of total annual deaths in Black men from heart disease, stroke (note that 90 to 95% of strokes are related to hypertension) and diabetes (note that the major cause of death in diabetes is heart disease, strokes and kidney disease) is a staggering 35%. Realize that most of the premature death from these diseases can be prevented. Cancer deaths are the second leading cause of death in Black men, accounting for about 22% of total Deaths. WINTER 2019

Cancer deaths in Black men primarily evolves around lung cancer, smoking the major risk; prostate cancer, lack of screening and treatment (note prostate cancer and prostate cancer deaths are higher in Black men than any population in the world) and; colon cancer, again screening and treatment makes this cancer virtually 100% preventable. Multiple Myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells, can also be prominently seen in Black men. Unintentional or accidental deaths accounts for about 6% of deaths annually in Black men. This includes auto accidents, drownings and falls. While all populations have an excess of accidental deaths, Black men have a propensity to die from speed-related accidents, while lack of seat belt use and drowning tends to occur in younger men that do not know how to swim. Respiratory Disease accounts for about 3.5% of deaths in Black men. The major causes are related to asthma and smoking. If an asthma death occurs in my community, there is about an 80 to 90% likelihood that the individual is Black though my community is only 18% Black. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, known as COPD is mostly cumulative of many years of smoking. Vaping is quickly becoming known to be injurious to the lungs, and no doubt, responsible for an increase in the COPD Rate over time and contribute to respiratory death. Homicide accounts for 3% to 5% of deaths in Black men. There are, however, internal tragedies within this seemingly low occurrence. Homicide accounts for: 51% death in 15 to 19-year-olds (note number one cause of Death); 50% of deaths in 20 to 24-year-olds; 34% of deaths in 25 to 34-year-olds, as opposed to 20%, 18% and 11% of White Men in the respective age groups. Homicide then is the Leading cause of death for Black men ages 15-34, 10 times more likely to die of homicide than whites. The most puzzling data of this cause of Death is that 90% of those killed either are relatives or know their killer. suicide is thought of in different conceptual frames however intentional death is Homicide at some level. Looking at the age-related event of suicide Black teens are five to 12 times more likely to commit suicide and the rates are rising across the United States. Older men account for approximately 80% of successful suicide events. As far as HIV/AIDS, Black heterosexual men have a one in 20 lifetime risk of contracting HIV as opposed Continued on Page 26 21


HEALTH

BY BROTHER ERIC CHRISTOPHER WEBB, DDIV., CPLC., NU ’91, RHO TAU LAMBDA

Black And Old Gold Goes Blue

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n observance of September as National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. chapters throughout the world increased their efforts on prostate cancer awareness, with the corporate headquarters launching its own awareness campaign, including a Sphinx Radio podcast and a month-long social media campaign.

4.

5.

6. Throughout the month, the Fraternity offered a variety of communications across all media platforms and social media focusing on the importance of getting screened and treated for the disease. In addition, the National Historian Brother Dr. Robert Harris gave a candid interview regarding his experience as a prostate cancer survivor on Sphinx Radio. The following are 7 fast facts regarding prostate health: 1. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in the US (not including skin cancers) 2. Prostate cancer is the 2nd most common cause of cancer death in the US 3. Black men have the highest incidence of prostate cancer and are more likely to be diagnosed with high grade cancer. 22

7.

Prostate cancer screening guidelines are not uniform, but black men aged 40-75 in reasonably good health should speak with their physician or a Urologist about screening. Prostate cancer screening includes both a blood test, called a PSA, and the rectal exam to feel the prostate. Black men are more than twice as likely to die from prostate cancer compared to white men, mostly due to being less likely to get screened or treated for prostate cancer. Black men should know their family history and feel comfortable speaking about their health issues during their annual exam.

In addition, Sept. 27 had been designated “Black & Old Gold goes Blue Day.” Brothers throughout the nation were asked to wear blue as well as replace their profile picture on social media with the “Black & Old Gold goes Blue” logo. Chapters were also encouraged to ask a health care professional to attend their chapter meeting, speak on prostate cancer, as well as possibly designate a specific Saturday to visit barbershops and encourage prostate cancer screenings. S THE SPHINX


HEALTH

SPECIAL FROM AIDS HEALTHCARE FOUNDATION

Alpha Brothers Knockout HIV to Save Lives The great servant-leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that “our lives begin to end, the moment we become silent about the things that matter.” As we survey communities across the nation, one of the critical issues that Black Americans cannot be silent about is the negative impact of health disparities disproportionately impacting people of color. One such health crisis is the rising HIV/AIDS epidemic, particularly impacting African American men and youth. The recent advances in medicine, have shifted contracting HIV being a death sentence to individuals with HIV living fruitful, healthy lives. However, given an array of social determinants, including increased HIV stigma, lack of access to healthcare and silence in our community about safe, sexual health and wellness, HIV and AIDS continue to disproportionately impact the African American community, especially in cities across the South. According to recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Controls (CDC): • Black Americans represent 13% of the U.S. population, but close to 50% of new HIV diagnosis across the country; • African American males have 8.6 times the HIV rate as white males; • About 1 in 4 (26%) of all new HIV infections is among youth ages 13 to 24 years. About 4 in 5 of these infections occur in males. • Nearly 60% of new infections in youth occur in African Americans; • More new infections occurred among young African American males than in any other group of youth by race/ethnicity and sex; • Approximately 60% of youth with HIV do not know they are infected and so don’t receive treatment, putting them at risk for sickness and early death. These youth can also unknowingly pass HIV to others; • Young men are far more likely than young women to have HIV and are also less likely to get tested. The challenge confronting our community is clear, while the opportunities to make a difference remain endless, and Alpha Brothers across the country are taking action. During the recent 95th National Convention in Las Vegas, the fraternities 35th General President, Brother Everett Ward signed a national MOU with AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the world’s largest, nonWINTER 2019

profit public health organization addressing the global HIV/AIDS and STD epidemic. As a part of Project Alpha, the 3 year agreement, through AHF’s initiative, the Black Leadership AIDS Crisis Coalition (BLACC), has 30 chapters across the country, working in collaboration with leaders in the public health industry, to incorporate creative and innovative programs and initiatives to enhance education, awareness and prevention opportunities in high-impacted, African American communities across the country. “AHF is pleased to partner with the men of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. to address the rising STD epidemic impacting African Americans, and particularly our youth across the country,” stated Imara Canady, AHF National Director of Community Engagement and Chair, AHF’s Black Leadership AIDS Crisis Coalition (BLACC). “This powerful partnership will help to reduce stigma, enhance prevention and ultimately shift the negative impact of HIV and other STD’s disproportionately impacting our community.” With a spirit of being “our brother’s keeper”, the collaboration will not only enhance opportunities to reach high-risk communities with testing and other prevention services, but will create deeper awareness and education around HIV/AIDS to reduce the stigma and shame that permeates throughout our community. Programming is planned to take place connected to key HIV awareness days, like World AIDS Day (December 1st), National Black HIV/ AIDS Awareness Day (February 7th) and National HIV Testing Day (June 27th). To learn more about AHF go to aidshealth.org, and to find out more about HIV and where you can get a rapid, free, confidential HIV test near you, go to FREEHIVTEST. net. Education is power, and it’s important to know your status and get tested! S

About AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 1.3 million individuals in 43 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/ Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www. facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @ aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare

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HEALTH

BROTHER KELVIN A. MOSES, MD., PH.D., FACS, TAU LAMBDA ’17

Prostate Cancer and Black Men: Know the Facts

P

rostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed non-skin cancer in men in the United States and is the second most common cause of cancer death. (Siegel, Miller, & Jemal, 2019) While the vast majority of men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer have disease within the prostate and have excellent long-term survival, approximately 31,600 men will die from prostate cancer in 2019. (DeSantis, Miller, Goding Sauer, Jemal, & Siegel, 2019) Prostate cancer is typically a disease of older men (>65 years of age), but younger men aged 40-65 represent about 4 in 10 men diagnosed with the disease.(Siegel et al., 2019) Prostate cancer is a very important topic for Black men, as Black men in the US have the highest incidence of prostate cancer, are more likely to be diagnosed with more aggressive disease, and suffer greater than twice (2.4x) the risk of death from prostate cancer compared to white men. (Brawley, 2012; DeSantis et al., 2019; Moul et al., 1999) There are multiple factors that contribute to this difference seen in Black men, including lower likelihood of receiving appropriate screening, being less likely to be treated for prostate cancer, and genetic and environmental factors that may play a role in disease development. (Bach et al., 2002; Carpenter et al., 2010; Hayn et al., 2011; Hoffman et al., 2003; Jindal et al., 2017; Moses, Orom, Brasel, Gaddy, & Underwood, 2017; Moses, Paciorek, Penson, Carroll, & Master, 2010; Pettaway et al., 1998; Powell, Vigneau, Bock, Ruterbusch, & Heilbrun, 2014; W. Underwood et al., 2004) The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that sits below the bladder and just in front of the rectum in the pelvis. Its function is to produce enzymes to break down ejaculatory fluid so that semen can function in the

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female genital tract. As men age, the prostate tends to enlarge, so it is common for older men to experience urinary symptoms such as a slower stream, hesitancy or intermittent stream, or in extreme cases, urinary retention, where one is not able to urinate and requires intervention to empty the bladder. Importantly, much of the nerve and blood supply necessary for erectile function is very close to the prostate. Therefore, medical and surgical interventions for the prostate can also affect urinary and erectile function. Prostate cancer screening is a topic of controversy in the medical field; however, the consensus is that men who wish to consider screening should discuss the risks and benefits of screening and treatment for prostate cancer with their physician. This discussion should focus on a man’s overall general health, risk factors for developing the disease (Black race, family history of prostate cancer in male relatives or breast and ovarian cancer in female relatives), and lifestyle considerations. Screening is performed by a blood test known as PSA (prostate specific antigen), and the digital rectal examination (DRE). Some men are hesitant to get the DRE performed due to discomfort or fear, but the two tests are complementary and relatively painless. Various medical societies such as the American Urological Association, the American Cancer Society, and the US Preventive Services Taskforce are not uniform in age recommendations for when screening should be performed, but beginning at age 50-55 until age 70-75 is generally accepted, with some advocating for earlier screening (age 40-45) in Black men and those with a family history of prostate cancer. There is no “normal” PSA value but knowing the trend of PSA over several months or years can give an indication if the number is concerning based on a man’s age. This

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highlights the importance of regular screening, as it gives invaluable information. If the screening tests are concerning, the physician may recommend a prostate biopsy, get imaging such as an MRI, and/or get further blood- or urine-based tests that can give additional information about the risk of prostate cancer and its aggressiveness. Most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not have any symptoms related to the disease. Signs and symptoms such as a change in urinary function, blood in the urine or ejaculation, new onset erectile dysfunction, or lower abdominal/pelvic pain should be investigated. Men who do have symptoms related to prostate cancer, such as bone pain, unexplained weight loss, or urinary retention likely have advanced disease, for which there are several treatments available, but no cure. There are a wide range of treatments for prostate cancer, and treatment choice should be individualized based on the severity of the disease (low, intermediate, or high risk), the overall health status of the patient, and the patient’s personal preference after being informed of all available options. Men who are diagnosed with low risk disease are typically managed by Active Surveillance, which is a protocol requiring regular PSA checks every 6 months, repeat biopsies at set intervals, and sometimes advanced diagnostics such as MRI or genomic testing. This allows men who are likely to never have symptoms or die from prostate cancer maintain their current function without allowing the disease to grow or become more aggressive in an unchecked fashion. Those who require treatment for prostate cancer can choose between: 1) surgery to remove the prostate and sometimes the pelvic lymph nodes, called radical prostatectomy, which can be done through an incision in the lower abdomen or in a robotic-assisted, minimally invasive fashion; 2) radiation to the prostate and possibly the pelvic lymph nodes using a form of external beam radiation, brachytherapy (radiation seeds implanted into the prostate), or a combination; 3) thermal ablation of the prostate such as cryotherapy (freezing the prostate) or high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) with heats the prostate; 4)

hormonal blockade, also called androgen deprivation therapy, to reduce the levels of testosterone; or, 5) a combination of the above therapies. Men with high risk disease will often need more than one type of treatment in order to get full cancer control. All active treatments are associated with some side effects, which can include urinary leakage or irritation of the bladder or rectum, erectile dysfunction, or fatigue or hot flashes. Some of these are temporary, or can be improved with medication or surgery, however some side effects can be permanent and should be discussed in depth with the treating physician before making a treatment decision. The good news about prostate cancer is that there are a multitude of options for treatment, and Black men can achieve similar results to the remainder of the population if screened and treated appropriately. (W. Underwood, 3rd et al., 2004) This underscores the critical fact that Black men should have a primary care physician they see on at least an annual basis, know their risk of developing prostate cancer, get appropriate screening, understand their treatment options, and ask questions from reputable sources. S

Brother Kelvin A. Moses, MD., is Associate Professor of Urology and director of the Comprehensive Prostate Cancer clinic at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Morehouse College, and received his MD and PhD training at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. He completed his Urology training at Emory University, followed by a fellowship in Urologic Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he served as Chief Administrative Fellow. His clinical practice focuses on advanced prostate cancer, and his research is focused on addressing health disparities in urologic cancers, determining the role of health literacy in patient interactions with the health care system, and optimal care for patients with advanced prostate cancer. He is an initiate of the Tau Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and a Life Member.

References 1.

Bach, P. B., Schrag, D., Brawley, O. W., Galaznik, A., Yakren, S., & Begg, C. B. (2002). Survival of blacks and whites after a cancer diagnosis. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 287(16), 2106-2113.

2. Brawley, O. W. (2012). Prostate cancer epidemiology in the United States. World journal of urology, 30(2), 195-200. doi:10.1007/s00345-012-0824-2 3. Carpenter, W. R., Howard, D. L., Taylor, Y. J., Ross, L. E., Wobker, S. E., & Godley, P. A. (2010). Racial differences in PSA screening interval and stage at diagnosis. Cancer Causes Control, 21(7), 1071-1080. doi:10.1007/s10552-010-9535-4 WINTER 2019

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HEALTH

4. DeSantis, C. E., Miller, K. D., Goding Sauer, A., Jemal, A., & Siegel, R. L. (2019). Cancer statistics for African Americans, 2019. CA: a cancer journal for clinicians, 69(3), 211-233. doi:10.3322/caac.21555 5. Hayn, M. H., Orom, H., Shavers, V. L., Sanda, M. G., Glasgow, M., Mohler, J. L., & Underwood, W., 3rd. (2011). Racial/ethnic differences in receipt of pelvic lymph node dissection among men with localized/regional prostate cancer. Cancer, 117(20), 46514658. doi:10.1002/cncr.26103 6. Hoffman, R. M., Harlan, L. C., Klabunde, C. N., Gilliland, F. D., Stephenson, R. A., Hunt, W. C., & Potosky, A. L. (2003). Racial differences in initial treatment for clinically localized prostate cancer. Results from the prostate cancer outcomes study. Journal of general internal medicine, 18(10), 845-853. 7.

Jindal, T., Kachroo, N., Sammon, J., Dalela, D., Sood, A., Vetterlein, M. W., . . . Abdollah, F. (2017). Racial differences in prostatespecific antigen-based prostate cancer screening: State-by-state and region-by-region analyses. Urologic oncology, 35(7), 460 e469-460 e420. doi:10.1016/j.urolonc.2017.01.023

8. Moses, K. A., Orom, H., Brasel, A., Gaddy, J., & Underwood, W., 3rd. (2017). Racial/Ethnic Disparity in Treatment for Prostate Cancer: Does Cancer Severity Matter? Urology, 99, 76-83. doi:10.1016/j.urology.2016.07.045 9. Moses, K. A., Paciorek, A. T., Penson, D. F., Carroll, P. R., & Master, V. A. (2010). Impact of ethnicity on primary treatment choice and mortality in men with prostate cancer: data from CaPSURE. Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, 28(6), 1069-1074. doi:10.1200/JCO.2009.26.2469 10. Moul, J. W., Connelly, R. R., Mooneyhan, R. M., Zhang, W., Sesterhenn, I. A., Mostofi, F. K., & McLeod, D. G. (1999). Racial differences in tumor volume and prostate specific antigen among radical prostatectomy patients. J Urol, 162(2), 394-397. 11. Pettaway, C. A., Troncoso, P., Ramirez, E. I., Johnston, D. A., Steelhammer, L., & Babaian, R. J. (1998). Prostate specific antigen and pathological features of prostate cancer in black and white patients: a comparative study based on radical prostatectomy specimens. J Urol, 160(2), 437-442. 12. Powell, I. J., Vigneau, F. D., Bock, C., Ruterbusch, J., & Heilbrun, L. K. (2014). Reducing Prostate Cancer Racial Disparity: Evidence for Aggressive Early Prostate Cancer PSA Testing of African American Men. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology. doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-1328 13. Siegel, R. L., Miller, K. D., & Jemal, A. (2019). Cancer statistics, 2019. CA: a cancer journal for clinicians, 69(1), 7-34. doi:10.3322/ caac.21551 14. Underwood, W., 3rd, Wei, J., Rubin, M. A., Montie, J. E., Resh, J., & Sanda, M. G. (2004). Postprostatectomy cancer-free survival of African Americans is similar to non-African Americans after adjustment for baseline cancer severity. Urologic oncology, 22(1), 20-24. doi:10.1016/S1078-1439(03)00119-4 15. Underwood, W., De Monner, S., Ubel, P., Fagerlin, A., Sanda, M. G., & Wei, J. T. (2004). Racial/ethnic disparities in the treatment of localized/regional prostate cancer. J Urol, 171(4), 1504-1507.

Continued from Page 21

to white men’s risk at one in 132. The most shocking statistic in the HIV/AIDs arena is that gay Black men (men having sex with men) has a 50% (one in two risk) of developing HIV/AIDS and are five times more likely to die of HIV/AIDS. So, the health status of the health of Black men needs of a lot of TLC. Black men have the highest death rate of any other racial or ethnic group. Black men have the lowest Life expectancy living on average more than seven years less than other racial groups. Forty (40) percent of Black Men die prematurely from cardiovascular disease about half that of their white male counterparts. 26

I urge my Alpha Brothers to “find 10 Brothers” and walk with them and talk with them about the health issue that you feel most comfortable discussing. And most of all, I urge each of my Brothers to “Take A Look At The Man In The Mirror,” and if it is you that you see with the health risk………. IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, DO SOMETHING!

Sources: 1.

American Journal of Medicine

2. Center for Disease Control and Prevention Publications 3. National Vital Statistics Report 2018 THE SPHINX


HEALTH

BY BROTHER DUANE A. BRYAN, MD., ALPHA ’90, ETA CHI LAMBDA

CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE

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ardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and is the cause of one of every three deaths that occur. It has been the #1 killer in the United States since 1900 every year except for the influenza outbreak in 1918. More than 2 million heart attacks and strokes occur each year resulting in 800,000 deaths. This results in over $400 billion in healthcare costs every year. More than 2500 Americans die from a cardiovascular disease related event each day. This disease process is particularly harmful in the African American population and is the greatest contributor to racial disparities in life expectancy. African Americans have a 33% high risk of dying from myocardial infarction and 2 times the risk of having a stroke The generic term cardiovascular disease encompasses several disease states. This includes hypertension, stroke, peripheral arterial disease, and coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is the biggest contributor to morbidity/mortality. Coronary artery disease is the result of the process of atherosclerosis or plaque formation in the arteries that WINTER 2019

supplies blood flow to the heart muscle. Progressive slow buildup of plaque over time can lead to narrowing of the lumen of the coronary blood vessels and restrict blood flow. This can result chest pain typically brought on by exertion when the heart muscle needs more blood because it has to work harder. The other consequence of atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries is that plaque can become unstable and ulcerate. The human body recognizes this as an injury and the normal response is to send blood components including clotting like blood platelets to the area of injury. The individual then develops a blood clot on top of arterial plaque which leads to partial or complete occlusion of a coronary artery. This is what is described as an acute coronary syndrome or myocardial infarction (heart attack). As treatment for acute myocardial infarction has advanced over the last three decades the survival has improved significantly though the prevalence continues to increase. While outcomes have improved the best way to avoid dying from heart disease is to prevent the disease process in the first place. 27


HEALTH

There are particular risk factors that statistically increases your chances of developing atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. These risk factors can be separated into non-controllable and controllable risk factors. Non-controllable risk factors are things such as one’s family history, age, ethnicity, gender that an individual has no control over, but may affect his or her risk. Controllable risk factors are things that can be modified or treated either by lifestyle modifications or medications. This includes hypertension, tobacco smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes mellitus, and a sedentary lifestyle. The obesity epidemic is directly related to many of these risks and is largely responsible for the increasing prevalence of coronary artery disease especially in the African American community. Addressing these controllable risk factors is of critical importance to reduce one’s risk of developing coronary artery disease. Tobacco smoking should be avoided and discontinued if one does altogether. This alone decreases one’s risk of future coronary artery related events by 50%. The data on electronic cigarette use is still evolving, but the effects of nicotine and additives in e-cigarettes may still pose an increased risk due.. From a dietary standpoint, eating a healthy diet low in trans-and saturated fat may also reduce cardiovascular risk. Some diets such as a Mediterranean diet has been improvement to have the most significant cardiovascular benefit. A plant-based diet also has significant benefit in terms of reducing cardiovascular risk though for many may not be a tolerable option. A regular regimen of exercise is also been proven to reduce the presence of cardiovascular risk factors and cardiovascular risk. Current recommendations would suggest regular exercise of 30 minutes 5 days a week or any total of 150 minutes which can be in any increments. The use of fitness trackers(FitBit, etc.) may have some benefit in regards to stimulating an increase daily activity level. There is significant data that any exercise is better than none. Maintaining a healthy body weight with a body mass index less than 25 is recommended as well. If one has hypertension, diabetes mellitus, or high cholesterol, it is important to take one’s medicine

28

regularly and make sure these issues are controlled. Current guidelines for most people suggest systolic blood pressure less than 130mmHg and diastolic blood pressure less than 80 mmHg. For most people the LDL or bad cholesterol levels should be less than 100 mg/dL or if one has known vascular disease less than 70 mg/dL. The hemoglobin A1c reflects the average glucose levels and whether diabetes is present. For a nondiabetic, this number should be 5.7mg/dl or less and if one has diabetes this goal should be to maintain this number at 6.5mg/dl preferably or at least <7mg/ dl. These are all numbers one should know or inquire about during their next medical visit. Other less tangible, but still important targets to reduce cardiovascular risks, also includes reducing and managing life stress, maintaining healthy relationships, and getting adequate restful sleep. Coronary calcium score is a diagnostic imaging test being utilized more frequently to assess the risk of coronary artery disease.. The previously discussed risk factors are things that may contribute to plaque formation in the arteries. A coronary calcium score is a CAT scan of the chest that actually looks to see if there is already the presence of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries. If you have a calcium score of 0 this indicates no evidence of calcified arterial plaque and correlates with a very low and almost close to zero risk of a myocardial infarction in the next 10 years. Conversely if this calcium score is elevated it may identify you as someone who may be at higher risk and may warrant more aggressive lifestyle and medication therapy. Coronary artery disease risk can be modified by many of the measures above. It is imperative to be proactive by educating yourself about the disease process, making wise lifestyle choices, being compliant with medications, if prescribed, and staying connected with one’s physician. S

Duane Bryan, MD. is a physician with Advanced Cardiovascular Care at Highland Medical Group in Nyack, NY.

THE SPHINX


MENTAL HEALTH

BY BROTHER ULRICK VIEUX, MD, ZETA ZETA LAMBDA ’10

MENTAL HEALTH AND RELATIONSHIPS “You can run from mental illness, but mental illness will not run away from you.” —Dionne R. Powell, MD (Training and Supervising Analyst-Columbia University)

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frican American males are often the most vulnerable in our society for adverse outcomes with healthcare disparities, A plethora of reasons are at the core. Adult Black/African Americans are 20 percent more likely to report serious psychological distress than adult whites. Black/African Americans living below poverty are three times more likely to report serious psychological distress than those living above poverty. Adult Black/African Americans are more likely to have feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness than are adult whites. And while Black/ African Americans are less likely than white people to die from suicide as teenagers, Black/African Americans teenagers are more likely to attempt suicide than are white teenagers (8.3 percent v. 6.2 percent).1 When looking at the data, it is easy to develop a sense of hopelessness. However, it is imperative to view our current situation as Black men from a strength-based perspective. Despite the historical reality of racism that leads to discrimination, social and economic barriers, injustice and lack of empathy from the general community, the resilience of the African American male is simply resounding. At the core of achieving the zenith of the bio-psychosocial-spiritual model is acknowledging the role that mental health can play. Fortunately, our society is becoming more sophisticated in realizing the importance of mental health and incorporating mental health treatment into medical practice. The challenge is finding culturally competent providers that possess the necessary empathy that is required to help us deal with the many negative sequalae associated with untreated mental illness. WINTER 2019

At the foundation of effective therapy is identifying our blind spots. By identifying blind spots this will provide insight on how to effectively deal with challenges. Some common psychiatric diagnosis are anxiety disorders, depression, substance use disorders, and personality disorders. It is important to appreciate that many high functioning individuals are suffering with these illnesses and without effectively addressing these issues can lead to problems with their professional careers and relationships. Faith and spirituality in conjunction with a mental health professional can help lessen the burden of mental illness. For example, Brother Doctor Sidney Hankerson, MD, a Columbia University psychiatrist, has done extensive research on the collaborative potential between mental health treatment and the Black church. Having clergy as stakeholders to support the holistic health of their congregants is very powerful and effective to begin the necessary healing. In many aspects, mental health providers have failed at adequately addressing the unique challenges that face African American males. Causes for the discrepancy can be the inability to form a therapeutic alliance with the therapist which can due to unrecognized/ unaddressed transference/ countertransference issues. In other words, the concept of transference is how the patient feels about the provider, whereas countertransference is how the physician feels about the patient. The patient and physician should feel comfortable in speaking to each other in order to maximize care. In addition, socio-economic disparities can play a role with only 16% of African American males having no form of health 29


MENTAL HEALTH

insurance, hence not being able to receive mental health treatment.1 Therefore, establishing a relationship with a culturally, competent, affirmative therapist is a vital step in beginning the necessary work. Ultimately, finding a therapist that is a good fit is similar to finding a romantic partner: meaning the first person that one meets may not be the best choice so it is ok to fire a therapist that is not. In addition, one’s primary care provider can be a great source for a referral for an appropriate mental health professional. It is paramount to have insight about one’s self to develop healthy relationships with others. Understanding one’s strengths and weaknesses as well as knowing what personality type fits with you. In addition, one may meet someone who is not currently aligned with where they are as far as their individual growth. However, they might be the ideal match much later in life. People should have a better grasp of where they are from a developmental framework. The stages in Erik Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development explains this. 2 These stages consist of the following: 1.

Trust vs mistrust and from the ages of Infancy to 18 months.

2.

Autonomy vs. Shame/Doubt and this is from ages of 18 months to 3 years.

3.

Initiative vs. Guilt and this is from ages of 3 years to 5 years.

4.

Industry vs. Inferiority and this is from ages of 5 years to 13 years.

5.

Identity vs. Confusion and this is from ages 13 years to 21 years.

6.

Intimacy vs. Isolation and this is from ages 21 to 39 years.

7.

Generatively vs. Stagnation and this is from ages 40 to 65 years.

8.

Integrity vs. Despair and this is from ages 65 and older.

It is important that a person masters the previous steps to move onto the next stage. As illustrated in these steps, challenges may arise due to an unhealthy environment. For example, having parents that may have substance use disorder, or illness that prevents bounding between parent and illness. Such a scenario makes it difficult to develop the ability to trust. Another example would be living in an environment that is guilt driven it would be an extra challenge for someone to develop initiative as compared to a child that is raised in a supportive environment that enables selfconfidence and independence with security. Hence, it is possible for a person in their 40’s to still struggle with the identity vs. confusion stage. These struggles can interfere with establishing healthy relationships and this is where a skilled therapist can be of immense use. To ascertain whether a therapist will be a good fit, the following have found to be useful questions. Remember, if the provider is unable to give an adequate answer, but rather is committed to working with the client, then they will seek the answer to their questions. Do you have substantial experience in treating African American males and if not, what are some the challenges do you anticipate that we may have? Tell me about how your training in cultural competence or African American mental health? Even though we may be of the same ethnic background how do you anticipate possible differences such as religious practice, socioeconomic differences, sexual orientation etc. can play in our working relationship. The bottom line is that successful people understand and value the importance of mental health and how it fits into the bio-psycho-social-spiritual framework. That is at the foundation of being a healthy human being to establish healthy relationships with others. S

Brother Ulrick Vieux, MD, is the Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry of Orange Regional Medical Center in Middletown, NY.

References 1.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Mental Health. (2016). Mental health and African Americans. Retrieved from http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=4&lvlid=24

2. Erikson, Erik. Childhood and Society. (1950) W.W. Norton and Company, Inc,. 30

THE SPHINX


FITNESS

SPECIAL FROM WATCHTHEYARD.COM BY BROTHER SAM PREWITT, OMICRON RHO ’06

Alpha Brother Who Had A Heart Attack At Age 29 Opens Up About How Running Saved His Life Did you know, cardiovascular disease is responsible for about one of every three deaths in the United States? On average, coronary artery disease (CAD) will take a life every minute this year. But heart attacks usually only happen to old people, right? Since the average age for a man’s first heart attack is 65, I ignored the statistics.

joined was because I figured I could meet some cool new people, along with getting in shape. However, after months of running, finishing with good times, and finishing ahead of the pack, I still felt tired, and worn down after runs. I always thought to myself, why couldn’t I ever get in shape like the others? But I found out the hard way one weekend.

I ignored the fact that according to statistics: • Black Americans are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke than White Americans. • Black women (49%) and Black men (44%) have higher rates of heart disease than White men (37%) and White women (32%). • Between the ages of 45 and 64, Black men have a 70% higher risk and Black women have a 50% greater risk of developing heart failure than White men and women. • The earlier onset of heart failure means higher rates of hospitalization, earlier disability, and higher rates of premature death (death before the age of 65) for Black Americans. • The annual rate of first heart attacks and first strokes is higher for Black Americans than White Americans. If that’s not enough, I ignored the fact my Father had 3 heart attacks and a stroke. I ignored the fact that I was diagnosed high cholesterol in the 8th grade. Worst of all, even though I was very active, in shape, and in overall good health at 26 years old, my doctor told me six simple words that I will never forget . . . “You won’t live to see 30.” My first thought when the doctor told me that was, “Yeah right!!!” I was always taught that doctors are good for saying completely ridiculous things to try to scare you into taking medicines you don’t need and racking up bills. But in 3 short years, I would find out how wrong I was and how right the doctor ALMOST was. As scary as those words were, I did attempt to make some slight changes. I started running in a running club. Even though I hated running, the real reason I WINTER 2019

After starting one of our weekly runs, I noticed I was slower than usual. People in the run group who usually finish last were passing me. Confused and filled with pride I continued to try to push myself, but my body said, no, and I had to stop. I couldn’t catch my breath, I was pouring down with sweat, and my body was sore. I felt like I just ran a marathon. I called my girlfriend, (now my wife) and told her something was wrong. After that call, I felt a sense of accomplishment and decided to close my eyes to try to rest up and maybe get myself together. However, had I fallen asleep then that could have possibly been the end. Thank God for my fellow runners, who instead called 9-1-1, and kept me conscious until the EMS arrived. At the hospital, the doctor told me it was a heart attack. A heart attack, really? I was only 29 years old! Those things don’t happen to young people, right? Well, not only was it a heart attack, but it was a massive heart attack. I had a 95% blockage in my right coronary artery, and had to have an emergency stent. According to the doctor, if I hadn’t been running as much as I was, then it would have been a lot worse and happened even earlier. If I didn’t start running, that doctor from three years ago would have been right. All those times I went running when I didn’t want to, for pushing myself when I didn’t feel like it, and for strong relationships within the running club saved my life. 31


FITNESS

So now with my second chance at life, and successfully making it to a healthy 32-year-old man, I encourage people to be heart strong. That means make one decision that could possibly save your life. My heart strong decision was running. Physical activity is very important in preventing heart disease. If you don’t know where to start, consider these five tips on how to start running: Start slow – Whatever you do, don’t think you can just up and do two, three or maybe even four miles because you see your friends doing it. Be realistic. Start with a mile, and then work your way up. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. Download a App – This is how I actually started running. I downloaded couch 2 5k and it was amazing. It allowed me to start slow, and work myself up all while tracking my progress. I highly recommend this. Join a club – Funny thing is when I joined #runwiththewinners, I never really went for running. I wanted to make some new friends! Well I did that and then they held me accountable for showing up! Funny how that worked out!

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Run and Walk – If you haven’t run in a while, its pretty hard to go straight thru a running set without walking. Instead of beating yourself up for stopping, just start with intervals. Try running for 30 secs, then walking for 2 mins. It works wonders! Trust the treadmill – I can’t even believe I’m saying this because I hate the treadmill! But…it has it advantages. It allows you to run at your pace and build yourself up. Give it a try! Life is precious so make sure you aim to be heart strong. That means choose cooking and eating at home instead of eating fast food. That means go workout, even when you don’t feel like it. That means think about what you love, who you love, and what you are passionate about and make changes to stick around for them. Those are the things in your heart that you need to protect, and what being heart strong is all about. Remember, protect your heart, and everything in it. Be heart strong. S

This article is reprinted with permission from WatchTheYard.com.

THE SPHINX


FEATURE

BY BROTHER ERIC CHRISTOPHER WEBB, DDIV., CPLC., NU â&#x20AC;&#x2122;89, RHO TAU LAMBDA

BROTHERHOOD BIKERS ALPHAS PURSUE MOTORCYCLING & ALPHA ROUNDUP FOR COMRADERY, COMMUNITY SERVICE, AND PERSONAL WELLNESS WINTER 2019

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FEATURE

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he popular Sons of Anarchy and Mayans FX television series about outlaw motorcycle clubs—the so-called 1%ers — in different parts of California both paint an ominous picture of those in the motorcycle community as violent, selfserving criminals, focused on pursuing various criminal enterprises. But others in the community or ‘set,’ particularly men of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., are educated, white collar professionals, who have organized into their own official motorcycle clubs (MC) and riding clubs (RC). Among them are the O-Six Ryderz MC in Herndon, Virginia and the Sphinx Ryderz RC in Atlanta, GA. Others have joined other traditionally ‘sanctioned’ motorcycle clubs (MCs), owners groups, or decided to ride unaffiliated to not only celebrate their passion for motorcycles and relieve stress, but to support the Fraternity’s mission of promoting brotherhood and providing service to our communities. “Initially, motorcyclists were viewed as unfavorable figures although the examples

Brother Roderick (Rod) “Ho11ywood” Bell

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provided in the media represented just a little part of the big motorbike household,” according to TD Bikes and More website. “The scenario has actually been altering in current years with the growing interest (among the) public towards the motorsport, and motorcyclists are now viewed in a (different) light.” Overall, the motorcycle community is mostly divided into those designated as 1%ers and 99%ers. The 99%ers represent the majority law-abiding motorcycle community while those 1%ers, who often display a black diamond shaped back field patch or tattoo with 1% in its center, are representative of outlaw biker clubs, according to Axel Addict website article, “Biker Slang: Motorcycle Lingo.” Among those 1%ers are the well-known white Hells Angels MC, Outlaws MC, Pagans MC, and the primarily Latino, Mongols MC. The majority Black group, Wheels of Soul MC, and the all-Black Outcast MC as well as others are also among the 1%er outlaw clubs. WHY WE RIDE “I got into riding because of my love for the outdoors,” says Brother Mark S. Tillman, 34th General President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., who has been riding for about 18 years, but is not a member of an MC or RC rather his local Harley (Davidson) Owners Group (H.O.G.) chapter. “It’s very therapeutic and a stress reliever for me. I have a ‘clear my head’ route which is a scenic ride through local parks, lakes, and back roads. When the day is nice, my mood instantly improves.” Brother Roderick (Rod) “Ho11ywood” Bell, president and founder of the O-Six Ryderz, the 1st official ‘sanctioned’ Black Greek MC, which was founded in September 2013, calls it “wind therapy.” THE SPHINX


FEATURE

“When you get out there on that motorcycle, there’s cars around, but it’s just you and that motorcycle and the open road,” explains Brother Bell, a 1997 initiate of Alpha Phi Lambda chapter, who is a project manager for the Fiber Optics division of Corning, Inc. “No matter what you’ve taken on that day. It’s freedom, it’s a release. You get that wind therapy.” Brother Tony “Domino” Stimpson, a 1985 Gamma Nu initiate as well as a former member of Nu Chapter, echoes a similar sentiment. “I’ve been riding since ’82 and I stopped riding for a lot a years and I picked the bike back up in ’92,” says Brother Stimson, a member and first sergeant-at-arms for the Twisters MC, a traditionally sanctioned MC based in Philadelphia and comprised of non-Alphas. “It’s the freedom of riding the motorcycle. It’s just you and the machine. It’s a lot of freedom out there.” According to a RideNow.com’s article, “The 5 Mental and Physical Benefits of Riding a Motorcycle,” explains that the feeling of pure joy experienced by motorcyclists after a long ride is due to the fact that every twist of the wrist releases adrenaline which, in turn, releases endorphins or ‘feel good’ hormones that contribute to a sense of relief, improved mood, increased pleasure and minimized pain. The article also mentions improved cognitive function, core, neck, thigh and knee strength, and calorie burning as benefits as well. Brother Bell’s first taste of motorcycles came riding around with his uncle on the back of his bike when he was about 10 years old. “I just fell in love with it (back then),” he says. “I started riding (on my own) motorcycle around 2000. I purchased my first bike (a Suzuki Katana) and took it into a parking lot and started playing with the gears and riding WINTER 2019

around in circles. It’s sort of like driving a stick. I never took any motorcycle classes. or anything.” Overall, Brother Stimpson, a retired business owner, has been in the community for over 15 years, first as a member of the Ghostface Ryders MC, then as a founder of his own club, Untamed Beast MC, before joining Twisters’ Mother chapter and then moving to its newly-reactivated North Philly club. “It’s almost like being in a fraternity on wheels,” he said about his MC affiliation, adding that another Baltimore MC, called Invictus, who all ride sport bikes, was started by two other Alpha Brothers. “There’s also a couple of Ques (members of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.) in our club, but it’s about the patch not the (our different) fraternities.” This past July, WatchTheYard. com, a website that highlights and features Black Fraternity and Sorority culture, profiled Brother Bell’s O-Six Ryderz, MC, which selects its members exclusively from Brothers of the Fraternity, although it is not officially affiliated with it. THE ALPHA ROUNDUP & Brother Tony “Domino” Stimpson OTHER GATHERINGS Each year since 2016, Alphas in the motorcycle community convene the Alpha Roundup – once a local one-day event with about 20 participants now has blossomed into a multi-day event, where more than 70 participants from around the country travel to an alternating location to participate in fellowship, scenic motorcycle rides, motorcycle safety and operations awareness, the do’s and don’ts of motorcycle culture, and community service projects. 35


FEATURE

Alpha RoundUp community service donation to FACETS, nonprofit.

“Attending the Alpha Roundup is an event I look forward to every year,” says Brother Tillman. “It is an honor to ride with my Brothers who share a love for the open road and who represent the Black and Old Gold with pride!” The Alpha RoundUp’s motto is Brotherhood, Motorcycles, Community. “We make sure we are involved in the communities that we are riding in,” says Brother Bell, who chaired the most recent Alpha Roundup held this past August in Charlotte, North Carolina, and was a co-chair on the first roundup and served on the committee for the 3rd. “We’ve given out supplies to the homeless last year. We gave things like socks, toothbrushes, and other supplies.” The effort, Brother Bell, speaks about benefited FACETS, a nonprofit organization founded in 1988, which provides emergency shelter and homeless services, including food, and medical needs as well as educational, life skills, and career counseling programs for thousands of families and individuals in Fairfax County, Virginia. “We met (Brother) Lawrence (“5HORTY”) Shorten at another event, one of our board members did, and he said that they liked to do something for the community wherever they were,” says Joe Fay, FACETS executive director. “He was interested in what FACETS did and he thought it would be a good fit. We must have had 60 bikes pull up with 36

donations, socks, underwear and toiletries. Things we always need. We pulled up one of our vans and filled it up. It was several bags of items.” He adds, “It was an event (and) so we had some of our clients come out and they just got a kick out of not only about the donations but seeing all the bikes. It was exciting.” This past August in Charlotte, North Carolina, Brother Bell said, the Brothers adopted Northridge Middle School, then collected, and donated school supplies. Aside from Charlotte, so far, the Alpha Roundup has been held in Nashville, Tennessee, Atlanta, Georgia, and the Greater Washington, D.C. area. In 2020, the Alpha Roundup will convene in Miami, Florida. Another purpose of the Alpha RoundUps is reclamation and have been successful in bringing Alpha Brothers back to the bond. Brother Stimpson, whose currently not active within Alpha, wasn’t aware of the Alpha RoundUp until now, but said he is looking forward to attending next year. He added that his MC has its own annual gathering called ‘Hell Day,’ which initially started in 1990 with only a 100-mile ride, a meetup, and a party. Now, he explains, its expanded to a longer ride and 5-day event. THE SPHINX


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“The name never changed,” says Brother Stimpson, whose MC is comprised of 11 chapters from Miami to Ohio with between 450 to 500 patched members. “All our chapters come from everywhere. This year we rode to Miami and last year to Virginia and next year will be Ohio. We’ll leave on a Wednesday, meet up and party until Sunday. It’s about riding and building comradery.” THE DANGERS While motorcycles and the accompanying lifestyle offers many benefits, risk and danger is obvious since, by nature, motorcycles are far less crashworthy than closed vehicles such as cars or trucks, more vulnerable to weather hazards, as well as less visible to other drivers. On June 22nd, Brother Joseph Forde, a 2010 Nu Chapter initiate, was in a nearly fatal motorcycle accident, involving his Yamaha motorcycle and a Chevrolet Equinox sports utility on the New Jersey Turnpike in Chesterfield Township, Burlington, County. Aside from other injuries, he suffered a severe leg injury and has since required several surgeries and is undergoing rehabilitation. There were no further details available regarding the cause of the accident. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with Brother Forde’s medical bills and rehabilitation expenses. He was not available for comment.

In 2015, 88,000 people were injured in motorcycle crashes, about 4,000 less than in 2014, where 92,000 were injured. While no crash data is available for the most recent years, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) estimates that motorcycle crash deaths decreased by about 5.6 percent in 2017 compared with 2016 – approximately 296 less fatalities with more than 8 ½ million registered motorcycles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 5,286 died in motorcycle crashes, up 5.1 percent from 5,029 in 2015. That represented the second year in a row of increases in motorcycle crash deaths and were at the highest level since 2008 when 5,312 people died. “I have not (been in any accidents), however I have come close,” says Brother Bell. “There have been some brothers that have been involved in accidents that I knew. One passed away and another was injured, but recovered. There is a risk in anything you do. With motorcycles, there is some concern because it’s more of a risk because there is not much protection around you. (So) Every time we jump on them 2’s we understand the risk we take. You have to keep your head on a swivel, be a defensive driver, and respect the motorcycle.” S Brother Eric Christopher Webb, DDiv., CPLC., Nu ’89 (Rho Tau

In 2017, Brother Stimpson, himself, was in a serious accident, breaking his collar bone, incurring bulging discs from his C2 through C7 vertebrae and 38 stitches in his left leg.

Lambda), a life member of the Fraternity, is the interim chief communications officer and editor-in-chief of the Sphinx magazine. Webb, a nationally award-winning journalist, a

“The roads in Philadelphia are awful,” he says. “I was on the expressway. I hit a raised pavement in the street and went airborne. I hit the guard rail, bounced off it, and hit the guard rail again. My helmet saved my life.” WINTER 2019

National Black Authors Tour bestselling author of five books and an empowerment strategist, speaks at institutions, conferences, and universities nationwide. Visit: WordsByWebb. com IG: @WebbsWords

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Seven things you should know about motorcycle culture (before you buy the bike) 1). Choose your bike wisely. There are at least 12 different types of motorcycles that people prefer to ride for multiple reasons. Some are meant for sport while others are meant to impress those on the street. They include: Street (Crotch Rocket), Chopper, Cross, Enduro, Cruiser, ATV, Touring, Naked, Sport Tourist, Sport and Scooter. 2). Know the difference between a biker and a motorcycle enthusiast. A biker is a person, who subjects himself/herself to specific codes of the culture, and whose lifestyle is centered on motorcycles, sometimes a member of an outlaw motorcycle club. On the other hand, a motorcycle enthusiast is anyone who rides a motorcycle as a hobby. They may also be a member of a riding club. 3). Not all MCs or RCs are created equal. Most importantly, Motorcycle clubs are governed by a hierarchy and a code. MCs require a deep level of commitment, participation, and engagement. Members of motorcycle clubs are typically members for life and wear “three-piece patches” – a top rocker, bottom rocker, and center patch. These patches are considered club property, and they are earned over the course of time through dedication and hard work. On the other hand, the primary purpose of a Riding Club is simply to ride motorcycles. They are loose knit affiliations that may not require any other commitment. A riding club may have a one-piece back patch that may be purchased, and members can usually keep the patch even after they have left the club. 4). What you wear or don’t wear can get you killed. Biker patches on the back of biker’s cut or vest are worn by members of that club to let others know what club they belong. Like Alpha or any other Greek organization paraphernalia, one would never where another’s coat of arms or shield for which he or she is not a member. The consequences are obvious, but in this case, could be deadly. Patches mean various things to riding clubs as well. Be aware of 1, 2, or 3-piece patches. The 1-piece patch usually represents a riding club, family club or social motorcycle club. They are mostly approved. The 2-piece patch can mean different things. To be safe, make sure the designs do not infringe on their patches. In a 3-piece patch, which you earn the right to wear, the top rocker must bear the club name. The center has the club patch and the bottom rocker the territory. Rockers cannot be worn until and unless approved by the dominant 1% MC in the area. Otherwise, it would be viewed as having made a publicly disrespectful declaration of war against them. Wearing that Rocker tells everyone that you are claiming control of that territory. 5). Ride at your level not the person beside you. Everyone seems like they know someone who has had a serious accident on a motorcycle and people often voice their concern. Every rider is not at the same skill and ability level. Some are considered beginners, novice, intermediate, advanced or expert. These skill levels determine the types of pavement, weather conditions, nature of roadway So, it’s important that you determine your risk level on a motorcycle. 6). Ride defensively. Motorcyclist must develop good defensive driving habits immediately. Here are seven tips to keep you safe. •

Maintain Your Ride. When it comes to driver safety, a motorcycle is much less forgiving than a car.

Wear The Right Protective Gear.

Look Around.

Know Your Route.

Stay Educated.

Be Confident.

But Never Aggressive.

7). Respect the machine. Respect the motorcycle. Before each ride, ensure that your motorcycle is in good working order. Perform basic safety checks before and after each ride and schedule preventative and periodic maintenance on a regular basis. Compiled from various interviews and internet sources.

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PARENTING

BROTHER DUANE DYSON, MD, ALPHA EPSILON ’94, ETA PSI LAMBDA

The Investment of Parenting

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oal oriented. Challenges, obstacles, records and relationships are thought of with a goal in mind. A personal best, a promotion, contributing or just finishing might be the mission. But for the task of parenting, what is one’s goal? To become an expert in a trade, some say a person needs to practice that trade for 10,000 hours. Between kindergarten and senior year in high school, the average parent spends one to two hours per day with their child. If parenting was a trade, these 10,000 hours should make every parent an expert. But how do you qualify and judge this “expert” status? Did you set a goal to be met in your 10,000 hours of parenting? Was the goal to guarantee the child relatively safe passage through the formative years? Teach them a language or about their culture? To try and do a better job than one’s parent(s) adding to the family tree? What is the vision for the child? Just like a financial investment planner would ask a client a series of questions to better understand their current financial health, to help start a client with a Roth IRA, here are a few questions to determine a “Parenting Roth IRA.” Why does the parent invest in their child? At what point does the parent believe they have invested enough so they can live off the emotional and spiritual dividends for the rest of his or her life? When are you expecting them to begin contributing to their sense of self? How long will you continue to contribute to their Parenting Roth IRA after they begin financing their future? In other words, does a parent ever finish contributing to his or her masterpiece? As a parent’s relationship with their child develops, the child watches and emulates their actions, adopting and reflecting their political opinions, their thoughts on what is healthy living, how they fit into society, and what constitutes a nuclear family. A parent is always the moral compass for a child. A child will default to their upbringing when faced with any new situation. They will utilize bits and pieces of conversations and experiences to formulate their actions and reactions. When God is kept as parenting’s foundation – the ultimate sounding board for every situation – one will have wisdom and guidance that stands the test of time with one’s children. Just as children have a sense of security when their parent WINTER 2019

is standing behind them, teaching children that God recommends the action should enable them to be at ease with one’s counsel. One way to model God as the center of one’s family life is by praying and giving thanks before each meal. The adage that the family that prays together stays together is true, but not entirely complete. It, however, what follows the prayer adds value to the child’s life. Studies show that children that eat dinner with their family at least five nights per week have improved health. The children ate healthier meals; more vegetables and less fried foods; and were less likely to be obese as adults. The kids had less stress, anxiety and mood disorders and engaged in less risky behavior. Kids that ate dinner with their family five nights per week were also less likely to begin cigarette and alcohol use or abuse other drugs. This consequence is especially compelling given that the use of JUULs, a tobacco product, has increased by 78% in the last year in high school kids. In addition to a healthier lifestyle, a child’s sense of self improves during these bonding sessions. But in addition to mealtimes, spending more unscheduled time with one’s child should be a priority in realizing a parent’s vision for them. In his book, The Rhythm of Life, Matthew Kelly coined the phrase “carefree timelessness.” Quality time with one’s child cannot be scheduled. Somewhere in the mist of hanging out for a few hours a parent might have five minutes of quality time. Carefree timelessness. The more a parent allows for their child, their protégé to shadow them, the more clay one gets between their fingers and on the floor, as that parent works daily to make their masterpiece, the more amazed one will be at the likeness of their child to their vision. Ultimately, the goal of parenting is to challenge one’s self to create a person that is as close to the vision of who that child could be. Ethereal, yet huggable. Selfreflection, yes, ideally only the best of one’s self and the world, but a child that is the absolute best version of himself or herself. S

Brother Duane Dyson, MD., Alpha Epsilon ’94, the chair of the Fraternity’s Commission on Health & Wellness, is a pediatrician in Tucson, Arizona and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Banner University Medical Center Tucson and Carondelet St. Joseph's Hospital.

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HISTORY

BROTHER ROBERT HARRIS, PH.D., NATIONAL HISTORIAN, THETA ’63, KAPPA PHI LAMBDA

The First Landing of Africans in the British Colonies of North America

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n Sunday, August 25, 2019, at 3 p.m. (eastern time) bells rang throughout the United States to commemorate the first landing of Africans in the British colonies of North America. This observance was in large part the result of legislation introduced by Brother Congressman Bobby Scott and passed by Congress, “The 400 Years of African American History Commission Act” (H.R. 1242 – 115; February 2018). Brother Scott’s Congressional District (3rd, Va.) covers the Hampton Roads region, where in 1619, an English pirate ship arrived at Point Comfort, Virginia, near today’s Hampton, Va. with “20 and odd Negroes.” The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) founded in 1915 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson provides a theme each year for Black History Month. ASALH’s 400th Commemoration Committee and its Hampton Roads, Virginia Branch sponsored a panel of scholars during the Commemorative Weekend, August 22-25, 2019. The scholars examined 400 Years of Perseverance, which explained African American resilience and their indispensible role in building

America. Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander, Professor of History and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Norfolk State University, explained the arrival and early African presence in Virginia. The “twenty and odd Negroes” brought to Point Comfort in 1619 (present-day Hampton not Jamestown as often reported) were originally captured in what is now Angola by the Portuguese and traded to the English for provisions. They are often referred to as the first enslaved Africans in the English colonies of North America, but they were captives and became enslaved over a period. They were probably skilled artisans and given that most had Spanish and/or Portuguese surnames, they were most likely Christian. At the National Park Service Landing Day Program on Aug. 24, Brother Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, Justin E. Fairfax explains that the Africans did not come as tabula rasa or blank slates upon which to be imprinted with European socio-cultural practices and traditions.

Brother Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, center, with visiting African dignitaries.

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Brother U.S. Congressman Bobby Scott, D-Va. addresses audience as Brother Fairfax listens intently from the stage.

They brought their own background and traditions that influenced all areas of life in North America. Lerone Bennett in his groundbreaking book, The Shaping of Black America, writes that it was labor not race that distinguished the first Africans in North America. They entered a system of indentured labor that defined Black, White, and Red workers. The practice, especially for Europeans, was to obligate themselves for a period of about seven or more years to pay for their passage to North America. The first white settlers placed greater emphasis on class, religion, and nationality than on race and slavery. English law in 1619 prohibited the enslavement of Christians. Initially, Africans worked alongside white indentured servants. There is evidence according to Bennett of Black men working as overseers for Black and White indentured servants. Moreover, the record of deeds for the Virginia colony indicate that a Black man Anthony Johnson and his son, John, imported White indentured servants for which they received title to several hundred acres of land. A defining moment in the history of enslavement in Virginia came in 1640 when an African John Punch ran away with two White indentured servants. They were captured and while the two White men had their terms of service extended for several years, Punch was WINTER 2019

sentenced by the Virginia Governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Council to serve for the rest of his life. His enslavement might have occurred because he was not a Christian. The Virginia Assembly voided that consideration in1667 when it declared that baptism did not confer freedom. Five years earlier, in 1662, the Virginia Assembly made a major change in English common law by ruling that the child should follow the status of the mother. This meant the perpetuation of enslavement, especially if a child was fathered by a slaveholder, which was often the case. Over a 50-year period from 1619 to the mid-17th Century, the status of Africans in North America changed from indentured servants to slaves. The British colonies of North America made a conscious decision to establish slavery, which was against the law in Great Britain, although it was lawful in her colonies. The enslaved person of an English citizen in the colonies became free once they reached British soil. Until 1763 when Britain acquired Florida, where Africans had lived both free and enslaved since 1513 when they accompanied the Spanish in settling the area, a slave became free upon converting to Catholicism. The conscious decision to base enslavement on race meant having a supply of labor that could be isolated from the rest of the population by the color of their skin. Unlike White indentured servants who grew 41


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restless and sought land and status as exhibited in Bacon’s Rebellion of 1676, enslaved Africans could be easily identified and kept subordinate. Moreover, there seemed to be an inexhaustible supply of labor from the African continent. Some African rulers sought to curtail the trade in African captives, which destabilized their societies. Queen Anna Nzinga of Angola was a brilliant strategist who converted to Christianity and who negotiated a treaty with the Portuguese to limit the slave trade. European exploitation of African labor began as a “necessary evil” to build the American colonies. As it evolved into chattel slavery that did not recognize the very humanity of the Africans, it was justified as a “positive good,” especially after the American Revolution. Revolutionary War leaders such as Thomas Jefferson strained logic and credulity to justify the contradiction between their freedom and the enslavement of Africans. They began to argue that enslavement was beneficial for the Africans, that they had rescued them from heathenism and savagery. Intellectually and morally, they claimed the African was inferior. In a special issue of the New York Times Magazine, the 1619 Project, published August 18, 2019 that was conceived, organized, and edited by staff writer Nikole Hannah-Jones, she declares that 1619 not 1776 is the year of the nation’s birth. For her, “…nearly everything that has truly made America exceptional: its economic might, its industrial power, its electoral system, diet and popular music, the inequities of its public health and education, it’s astonishing penchant for violence, its income inequality, the example it sets for the world as a land of freedom and equality, its slang, its legal system and endemic racial fears and hatreds that continue to plague it to this day” sprang from seeds planted long before 1776. Her goal is for the country to finally confront its convoluted and often tortured past to truly understand why racial disparities exist in almost every area of American life. To accomplish her objective, she considers it necessary to reframe American history and to place African Americans at its core.

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Brother Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois, 113 years ago in his superb and unparalleled book The Souls of Black Folk posed the question: “Your County? How came it yours? Before the Pilgrims landed we were here. Here we have brought our three gifts and mingled them with yours: a gift of story and song –soft, stirring melody in an ill-harmonized and unmelodious land; the gift of sweat and brawn to beat back the wilderness, conquer the soil, and lay the foundations of this vast economic empire two hundred years earlier than your weak hands could have done it; the third, a gift of the Spirit.” African Americans have been not only central to the development of the United States, but have been the litmus test for American democracy. They have posed a central challenge to American principles of freedom, justice, and equality and have pushed the country to put principle into practice. One of the most fascinating insights from the 1619 Project Publication is the way in which enslavement is at the base of American capitalism, its organization and practices. According to Ta-Nehisi Coates in The Atlantic, by 1860 American slaves were the largest single asset in the American economy at $3.5 billion, worth more than all manufacturing and railroads combined. The banking system and insurance industry in the United States grew from the commodification and collateralization of enslaved persons who as chattel could be mortgaged, bought, and sold. The textile industry, railways, and shipping depended upon the cotton economy. Worldwide markets where merchants could trade in, invest in, insure, and speculate in were based on the production of cotton and the people who cultivated it. To accomplish the objective of reframing American history, it will require changing the way that history is taught. The 1619 Project, in cooperation with the Pulitzer Center, has developed lesson plans, guides, and activities for students and teachers. These materials are free and can be accessed at pulitzercenter.org/1619. S

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FEATURE

BY BROTHER ERIC CHRISTOPHER WEBB, DDIV., CPLC., NU ’89, RHO TAU LAMBDA

ALPHA PHI ALPHA FRATERNITY, INC. 95TH GENERAL CONVENTION REVISITED

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eneral President Everett B. Ward offers support for then-U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings and condemns President Trump’s remarks about him and Baltimore city as “racist and insensitive.” Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and its General President Everett B. Ward, Ph.D. concluded its 113th Anniversary and 95th General Convention held Wednesday, July 24 through Sunday, July 28 with a pledge to aggressively fight against white supremacy and other issues targeting the African American community following a series of Fraternal business meetings, WINTER 2019

workshops, social activities, awards ceremony at the Bally’s Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Its convention with its theme, “Alpha Advocacy in Action: Silence Is Not An Option,” from Wednesday, July 24 through Sunday, July 28, trained, informed, and inspired members to actively pursue the Fraternity’s advocacy and social justice agenda, which encompasses voter engagement, census education and mobilization as well as a host of other issues through meetings, trainings, and workshops. Overall, an estimated 4,000 people attended or participated in the convention’s various meetings, events, and social activities that 43


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also included a slate of activities for Alpha wives and family members. On Friday, the Fraternity issued a public statement defending then-U.S Representative Elijah Cummings and condemning President Donald Trump for racist, vile and insensitive remarks after the President lashed out at Congressman Cummings, calling him a “bully” and referring to Baltimore, the city he represents as being a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” where “no human being would want to live.” The Fraternity’s public program, entitled “All Politics Is Local,” and moderated by both Washington, D.C. Chamber of Commerce President Vincent Orange and Political commentator, Roland S. Martin, featured two panels, including Presidential candidate and Miramar, Florida mayor Wayne Messam, Little Rock, Arkansas mayor Frank Scott, Forrest City, Arkansas mayor Cedric Williams, and Birmingham, Alabama mayor Randall Woodfin. All are members of the Fraternity. The second half of the program, featured Thomas Battles, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Grand Polemarch, State of Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford, also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi; Ricky L. Lewis, First Grand Basileus of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Kenneth C. Evans, President of the Las Vegas Urban Chamber of Commerce and a member of Omega Psi Phi; Chris Rey, International First Vice President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and former Mayor of Spring Lake, North Carolina; Katina Semien, South Central Regional Director of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; Valarie Hollingsworth-Baker, International President, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.; and Tracy Aikens, Far West Regional Director and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. WINTER 2019

On Saturday Morning, several brothers competed in the inaugural John H. Johnson Alphapreneur Business Pitch Competition. The winner of the competition was Andrew Suggs, CEO of Live Chair. Suggs was the recipient of a $10,000 cash prize to push the business even further. Other award winners included: Achievement Award Winners Highest GPA (Brother)

Brother Jamil Gambari, Gamma Iota Chapter, Hampton University – 4.00 GPA Highest GPA (Chapter)

Delta Alpha Chapter, Claflin University, Cordova, SC – 3.60 GPA College Brother of the Year

Brother Russell Williams, Beta Chi Chapter, Philander Smith College, Little Rock, AR Alumni Brother of the Year

Brother Dr. Bertrand A. Bonnick, Kappa Lambda Chapter, Greensboro, NC College Chapter of the Year

Zeta Mu Chapter, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA Alumni Chapter of the Year

Beta Nu Lambda Chapter, Charlotte, NC Charles H. Wesley Award

Eta Gamma / Epsilon Tau Lambda Chapter, Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, TX Belford V. Lawson Oratorical Contest Winner

Brother Quintin Paschal, Alpha Rho Chapter, Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA 45


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Collegiate Scholars Bowl Winner

Alumni Chapter Traveling the Greatest

Zeta Pi Chapter, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Distance

Rho Phi Lambda Chapter, Johannesburg, South Africa

Hobart S. Jarrett Debate Contest

Eta Gamma Chapter, Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, TX Stroll Off Competition

Beta Upsilon Chapter, Alabama State University, Montgomery, AL Miss Black & Gold Contest Winner

Miss Taylor Walker, representing the Beta Iota Chapter, Winston-Salem State University, Winston-Salem, NC Spirit Award Winners College Chapter with the Most Registered Brothers Within the Region

Alpha Epsilon Chapter, Berkeley, CA College Chapter with the Most Registered Brothers Outside the Region

Eta Gamma Chapter, Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, TX Alumni Chapter with the Most Registered Brothers Within the Region

Delta Tau Lambda Chapter, Phoenix, AZ Alumni Chapter with the Most Registered Brothers Outside the Region

Alpha Eta Lambda Chapter, Houston, TX College Chapter Traveling the Greatest

Brother with the Longest Membership in Alpha

Bro. Dr. Samuel L. Myers (81 years), Mitchellville, MD; Alpha Omicron Lambda On Saturday evening, the Fraternity also recognized and honored members and notable non-members with the Alpha Award of Merit and the Alpha Award of Honor at its signature Black and Gold Gala. Fraternity National Historian Robert Harris, Vista Equity Partners Founder and Chairman and Philanthropist Robert Smith (Not Present), University of Maryland Baltimore County President Freeman A. Hrabowski III, and U.S. Representative Robert “Bobby” Scott and Actor and Author Hill Harper (Not Present), all Alpha brothers, received the Alpha Award of Merit. Documentary Filmmaker Stanley Lewis received the Alpha Award of Honor, which is the Fraternity’s highest recognition for a non-member. Earlier in the week, along with Las Vegas City Councilman from Ward 5 Cedric Crear, the Fraternity donated $10,000 for a baseball scoreboard at the Doolittle Community Center and was recognized by the Las Vegas City Council for its many accomplishments and contributions. The Fraternity also hosted a concert featuring one of its members, eighttime Grammy Nominee and Saxophonist, Gerald Albright, and his daughter, vocalist, Selena Albright. S

Distance

Rho Nu Chapter, Cambridge, MA

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OUTSTANDING COLLEGE BROTHER OF THE YEAR

BROTHER RUSSELL R. WILLIAMS III, BETA CHI â&#x20AC;&#x2122;16

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rother Russell R. Williams III, a senior political science major with a business minor, at Philander Smith College, is a native of Opelousas, Louisiana. While at Philander, he has served as Mr. Freshman, Homecoming Intern, Student Government Association Vice-President, and Student Government Association President. He also completed a year of service with AmeriCorps City Year during his junior year.

engagement, finding ways to get young adults engaged in their communities, preparing high school students for life after graduation, and preparing college students for early adulthood.”

“When I came to Philander Smith College, my interest in Architecture shifted to an interest in government and public service, partially due to the way I saw the African American legislators be pillars and familiar faces in the community,” he says. “I appreciated what a lot of them stood for and the bold ways they represented their communities. So, my major became Political Science and it was truly one of the best decisions I have made thus far. I have found my interest area to be constituent

During the summer of 2019, he decided to take his interest in political science and public a step further with a run for Arkansas State Representative, District 36. Although he failed to make the runoff, the Democratic Party of Arkansas recognized him with the “Emerging Leader Award” at the 2019 Clinton Dinner for his activity on campus and in the community.

A Fall 2016 Beta Chi initiate, Brother Williams, who has also served as his Chapter Secretary and the Arkansas Assistant District Director, is currently the 62nd Southwestern Region Assistant Vice-President.

“I look forward to continuing my work in voter engagement, youth programming and

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advocacy, and working with campus and community leaders to continue to craft and support the success of our young adults,” Brother Williams says. “As a member of our board of directors, I am also looking forward to advocating for the betterment of our College Brothers’ experience, doing so while sticking true to my campaign platform of FOCUS (Financial Literacy, Opportunity, Community, Unity, Success).” 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 make an impact in my community. I wanted to continue to empower students on my campus, all while representing the values and principles of an entity that was more powerful and impactful than any one single man. It was through Alpha that I met my first Black Man who was in college and actually had a conversation with him about it. That has always resonated with me and made me approach the goal of going to college with WINTER 2019

more urgency. I know it has done so for countless others.” What has been the most gratifying part of your experience as an Alphaman? “The most gratifying part of my experience as an Alphaman has been watching the growth and success of my Line Brothers, as well as watching the individual that I sponsored into Alpha develop into a great man not only in the Fraternity, but on our campus, and in the community, as well. I believe that one of the most important tools of this Fraternity is its ability to empower others to be of assistance and resources to their peers. It feels good to know that I have succeeded in that facet.” Describe how you regularly live out “Manly Deeds, Scholarship, and Love for All Mankind”? “I regularly live out “Manly Deeds, Scholarship, and Love for All Mankind,” in my involvement on campus, in the classroom, and in the community. I serve as a supporting entity and community liaison 51


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to many students on the campus. I inquire with students on not only their classwork, but their day-to-day activities and involvement on campus. I keep up with local occurrences and disperse that information to students, based upon their majors, and interest areas.” Who or what inspires you to continue to March Onward & Upward Towards the Light? “My two nephews and two nieces motivate me to continue to March Onward & Upward Towards the Light. I sometimes sit and ponder, ‘If I were to write a letter to each of them about this latest Chapter or experience in my life, how would it read? What lessons would it entail? What would I want them to take away from it?’ I would never want the letter to be perfect, but, I want the letters to be worthy of being read.” The theme of our recent 95th General Convention was “Alpha Advocacy In Action: Silence Is Not An Option.” What do you

believe are some of the most urgent issues facing our communities and how have you demonstrated in your effort that silence is not an option? “I believe that some of the most urgent issues facing our communities are voter registration and engagement and having knowledge of the ways that we can empower our communities, ourselves. In my efforts, I have demonstrated that silence is not an option by running for State Representative for Arkansas’ 36th District. I campaigned with the tagline of “Let’s Invest In the Future of Arkansas, Together.” One of the things that I often conveyed in the candidate forums was the need to diversify the opportunities for our Millennials and Generation Z residents of Arkansas and if not able to do so, guide them toward the resources for them to create those opportunities for themselves. There is talent that Arkansas is investing in everyday that is going across state lines simply due to the scarcities of the job market. With these diverse opportunities, I conveyed to them, comes more opportunities to inspire the youth with near-peer experiences, those retained residents investing in the quality of life of our neighborhoods, thus, more active and engaged young adults to potentially help make our communities better.” What role should College Brothers play in Alpha’s advocating against the current political and racial environment? “College Brothers should play the role of the foot soldier, as well as the strategic planner. College Brothers in this current time have many examples of advocacy, in multiple forms, to draw from – more than at any other point in history. Whether your vein of strength is technological communication, social media advocacy, virtual planning, data tracking, keeping up with legislation on the day to day, or the tried and true grassroots

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facet of community organizing, you have a place in the strategic planning needed to make sure Alpha has a voice in the current political and racial environment.” What do you envision for the future of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.? “For the future of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., I envision an organization that places an emphasis on truly putting its mission into action, as well as preparing young men for early adulthood in the areas of finances

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and professional development. I envision an Alpha, where at a Brother’s first Chapter meeting, he is able to be connected to another Alphaman, local or across the Fraternity, who is in a similar career field and is willing to serve as a Career Mentor. I envision an Alpha that has solidified youth programming in every District and has more conferences and gathering recognized for their impact on high school students. The Alpha I envision also has a more solid incubator in place for developing Brothers to run for office.” S

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OUTSTANDING ALUMNI BROTHER OF THE YEAR BROTHER BERTRAND A. A. BONNICK DDS, MAGD, ALPHA GAMMA LAMBDA â&#x20AC;&#x2122;89

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rother Dr. Bertrand Bonnick attended The State University of New York at Albany and graduated cum laude in May 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a minor in Mathematics and Physics. He completed the University of Maryland School of Dentistry in 1986 with his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. During college years from 1977-1983, he helped finance his college education by selling educational books door-to-door in Chicago IL, Atlanta GA, Houston TX, Oakland CA, and Dothan AL. In 1981, he saved over $10,000 from his summer work. Brother Dr. Bonnick did additional postgraduate training in Hospital Dentistry at Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJHMC-QHC) in Queens, New York. Dr. Bonnick was selected as Chief resident from 1987-1988. He also taught in LIJHMCQHC from 1988-1998 and was chosen as Instructor of the Year in 1991. After 18 years of dental practice in New York, he moved his family to North Carolina. He completed the one-year Implant Maxi-course at Medical College of Georgia in 2004, acquired his Associate Fellowship in the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, and since then served on the Editorial Review Board of the Journal for Oral Implantology. He received his Mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry in 2006. In 2010 he went through the rigor of academics and became the first Diplomate in the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation in the state of North Carolina. WINTER 2019

The Aristotle Institute of the Triad for continuing education of dentists and their team was started in 2008. In 2016 as Course Director for the first IV Sedation Institute in North Carolina he is training a new cadre of dentists dedicated to helping fearful patients through sedation dentistry. Brother Dr. Bonnick became one of the founding members and Vice-President of The New Creature Tabernacle International, a non-denominational Christian church in November of 2018, and was ordained as a minister in July 2019. He also completed the University of Wisconsin Course in Parliamentary Procedure and Leadership averaging a score of 99.85 and was admitted to the National Association of Parliamentarians. A Spring 1989 initiate of the Alpha Gamma Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. in Harlem, New York, he is a Life Member and is currently a member of Kappa Lambda chapter in Greensboro, NC. For the last 14 years, Brother Dr. Bonnick has also served as a chapter officer, including twice as chapter president, and 19 times as a convention delegate. Over the years, his commitment to the Fraternity has been recognized. He won the Southern Region Leadership Award in 2016, and the Man of Merit for seven years of service Award in 2017. He has won the March of Dimes Alumni Brother of the Year Awards, and both The March of Dimes Alumni Brother of the Year Partnership and the Kappa Lambda March of Dimes Chapter of the Year twice. Brother Dr. Bonnick is the father of three sons and is married to Kaye Spence for 55


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the last 19 years. He has authored three books, JAMAICAN CHILD, LOVE ONE ANOTHER, and HOW TO OVERCOME FEAR OF THE DENTIST. Why did you become a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.? In 1969, as a 9-year-old schoolboy, I remember joining waiting outside the Kingston Parish Church in Jamaica West Indies to see the body of our National Hero Norman Washington Manley, a National Hero of Jamaica, a Rhodes Scholar, and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. At the time, I did not know he was an Alpha, but I later learned of his athletic prowess at track, holding the 100-yard dash record for 30 years. He discovered a loophole in the International Olympics guidelines to get Jamaicans into the Olympics in 1948 prior to the country gaining independence in 1962. Greater yet was the fact that Alpha Brother George Rhoden, who attended Morgan State in Maryland won Jamaica’s first gold medal in 1952 in the 400-meter run, as well as won gold in the 4x400 meter relay with his 56

team. He won the NCAA championship in 220 yds in 1951, and in the 440 yds from 1950-1952. He was also quite a lawyer, a universal suffrage advocate, and he was still alive when Martin Luther King Jr. frequented Jamaica. Dr. King even wrote most of his last book, WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE Chaos or Community? in Jamaica. Oh, and did I mention Alpha Brother Norman Manley spoke at our National Convention in Chicago, IL in 1945. He is mentioned on pages 263, 264, and 267 of The History of Alpha Phi Alpha A Development in College Life. In the last part of his speech, he said, “This is a time for vigorous and aggressive action for all colored groups the world over.” I cannot help wondering if he had something to do with the design of the Jamaican flag. It is the only flag in the world that does not have the colors red, white, or blue in it. The black depicts the strength and creativity of the people, the gold depicts the natural beauty of the sunlight and the wealth of the country, and the green signifies hope and agricultural resources. Black and gold, in my future research in Jamaica I will try and find THE SPHINX


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a connection. As an honor student at The State University of New York at Albany, I watched as the Panhellenic fraternities came to our campus in the late 1970’s. I went to rushes of first the Omegas, then the Kappas, then the Sigmas and the stress was not academic rigor, and that was important for me . So, I researched the Alphas and found manly deeds, scholarship, and love for all mankind. Also, I saw what I interpreted as an Afrocentric focus in Alpha that I liked. The colors of old gold and black was one indication. Then I stared at the symbols and the math and science major in me kicked in. I saw that the only true Greek letter was F, and thought “what if F meant “fric?” Then AFA would spell A-fric-A. Africa was calling. Along with some other students, we found faculty members on our campus from the department of African and AfroAmerican Studies who were Alphas and tried to get them to start a chapter there. Dr. Nathan Wright Jr. author of Ready to Riot, and a freedom rider became one of my instructors and a mentor. He died during my semester with him and so we could not pursue that lead. Chairman of the African and Afro-American Studies department Dr. Frank Pogue tried to help, but we were unable to get the necessary paperwork before I graduated so we did not get our chapter at my college. My headmaster at Excelsior High School in Jamaica, Mr. Wesley Powell, was one of Marcus Garvey’s secretary (because he was one of the fastest short-hand writer in Jamaica), and also former US Secretary of State Colin Powell’s cousin. He stressed self-sufficiency, we had to master academic and practical subjects (woodwork, metalwork, technical drawing) as well as the classics (music, art, english, mathematics, bible knowledge, and science) plus all the different sports including track and field. Many of the students at WINTER 2019

Excelsior came through a program called the Common Entrance Exam, where students competed in a national academic competition and the best students were awarded an all school fee paid entrance into the school. I digress, but Brother Norman Manley instituted the Common Entrance Exam in Jamaica. Marcus Garvey was another national hero for Jamaica, and during my residency at LIJHMC-QHC I met Julius Garvey his son. Dr. Garvey was a top Cardio-Thoracic Surgeon at my hospital, and I continued to be inspired by the idea of excellence, and all the ideas of self-sufficiency, so I decided to find a way to get into Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. At a step-show at City College, I overheard that the after party was at the Alpha house so I inquired about its location and went to the after party. At the party, I met Bro. Ron Madden and he greeted me with “I am Bro. Ron Madden the President of Alpha Gamma Lambda. Where did you pledge?” My response went something like this, “I tried to pledge, but we could not get our chapter started in Albany. I could have gone to Cornell, but the fees were too high and my Regents Scholarship would not have helped much.” “Okay.” He said. “I thought you were an Alpha, you look like one. I will help you get on our next line.” What has been the most gratifying part of your experience as an Alphaman? It is a great experience to be able to associate with my brothers, and feel at home in a peer group where it is normal to be excellent at your chosen field of endeavor. I love the fact that whatever I am interested in I can find several brothers who are involved with, and are excellent in their mastery of it. Most Alpha men love to mentor, and they will go out of their way to teach you. I remember my sponsor finding out I could not fix things 57


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me, he called me over to “walk and talk.” After we gripped and parted, my golfing buddy said, “Is that who I think he is?” I replied, “He’s an Alpha man.” Mentoring also gives me the biggest thrill, and most of my mentees sought me out after I had coached them during their IMDP sessions. Watching them grow wings and fly like an eagle is very exhilarating. Watching them perform step routines, compete in academic competitions, answering questions about marriage and religion. etc.

around the house, he had me help him rewire the hanging lights in the Alpha House. I needed to know more about investments and one of my line brothers owned an investment company, so I was able to learn and earn at the same time. I was always interested in the ministry and always had men to steer me in the right direction. I remember when Congressman Charlie Rangel and then-candidate David Dinkins came to the Alpha house and asked for our support when Brother Dinkins was running for Mayor of New York City. Imagine the surprise of one of my golfing buddies when Brother Rangel came off the plane in DC and remembered 58

Describe how you regularly live out “Manly Deeds, Scholarship, and Love for All Mankind” I live out manly deeds by coaching the young and the old. I love my 103-year-old mentor who loved to impart wisdom and his religious experiences to me. I in turn always take part in membership intake, always help to instill confidence, and always love to inspire them with my memorized rendition of “House of Alpha.” Scholarship is my middle name. I just completed the Parliamentary Procedure Course at University of Wisconsin with a score of 99% on my final exam. I got 100% on my biennial Advanced Cardiac Life Support Certification. I teach a 100-hour course for dentists, so they can qualify for their sedation license. I am studying Theology, Old and New Testament, and the Torah. I do the College to Corporate and Leadership Development for my college brothers that I mentor. Love for all mankind. I am the Course Director at The Aristotle Institute of the Triad where we provide discounted treatment to the volunteers in our dental program. Over $300,000 in services to the community, brothers, and their family and friends. Who or what inspires you to continue to March Onward & Upward Towards the Light? THE SPHINX


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Dr. Victor Tynes Sr. was 103 when he passed away in October of 2018. His son called me to his bedside as he was transitioning. At that point, his only response was to raise his eyebrows when I spoke in his ears. However, 15 years of him as a part of My Brother’s Keeper was enough to fill a lifetime of inspiration. His advice on relationships, what is important in life, and instilling more selfconfidence has been instrumental in some of the major projects I have taken on. The theme of our recent 95th General Convention was “Alpha Advocacy In Action: Silence Is Not An Option.” What do you believe are some of the most urgent issues facing our communities and how have you demonstrated in your effort that silence is not an option? Some of the most important issues facing our communities are: 1) Lack of faith in a higher power; 2) Lack of knowledge of financial literacy and building a legacy; and lastly, 3) Improper health habits. The New Creature Tabernacle International was created to help the community find a safe place to study and challenge commonly held beliefs in the Christian beliefs. As a founder of this church, we have a constitution that enables us to bring our facts in based on research, have a non-political and unbiased discussion about insights and try to distill our actions into action that Jesus would have modeled. My wife and I also founded the Deep River Financial Center to bring the knowledge of proper structuring of finances to our community. On the foundation of protecting your wealth, debt reduction, emergency funds, and investments in that order, we can now give structure to the strategies that lead to multi-million net worth for individuals and WINTER 2019

a family legacy that will last for generations. I even got my license in Life, Health, Disability, Medicare and Long-Term Care. Helped my parents, helping my community. In addition, I am Mr. March of Dimes, having won 9 major awards, including three times March of Dimes Alumni Brother of the year, and a member of the Executive Leadership Team in my area. I also am the Southern Regional Leader…we went from fundraising over $150K to over $200k, the 59


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leading Region for Alpha. I also wrote the PowerPoint of Oral Lesions that indicate STI’s in the population for Project Alpha and taught about Sickle Cell and other disorders. We now have a Memorandum of Understanding with the AIDs Health Foundation (I took part in the leadership as a National Committee member). I also teach doctors how to deal with “ethnic disorders” that are mislabeled because of our racial bias and provide discounted dental health services and screenings and referrals for other health concerns, standard practice for patients of my dental practice include blood pressure, oxygen saturation, heart rate, EKG. Etc. In the current political and racial environment, what advocacy efforts should Alpha employ? Alpha should employ several efforts, some of which, are underway. Join up with support organizations like the NAACP to promote racial equality. We should practice treating our community like we like to be treated. If a brother physically assaults another, turn them over to the authorities and prosecute them. When others do the same in the community, for example police brutality, we can speak with authority as we expect the same treatment for those who brutalize our community as we do for our brother, who brutalize others. Educate, educate, educate! Our young men are wearing their pants and shoes like prisoners. Educate them. Our third and fifth graders cannot read, setting up the criteria for building prisons. Educate them. Our teenagers, and middle-aged singles are spreading STI’s have a program in Alpha that also educate the brothers. Teach them financial literacy. Teach them how to fish. How to start our own businesses so we can support ourselves. More education on the

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truths about our history, black on black crime discussions, lack of education of our European ancestors and their fight with poverty. Educate them. They do things to minority populations that was unjustly done to them. Don’t let me start. Let’s not emulate the example of the enemy! Lord educate us! What do you envision for the future of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.? A bright future where we “do unto others as we hold them to doing the ethical thing also.” A future where we do not complain about the oppressor, while using their tactics to oppress others. An Alpha where we get the “best of the best” internationally. Where we hold each other to the highest ethics. Where we know our roots as the first African American Collegiate Fraternity, but we are not limited to that. Where we acknowledge all people are African people even if they don’t know it and treat them with respect as we also DEMAND respect. Treat our brothers, our communities, our country, and world with respect. I envision a future for Alphas as leaders, as educators, as ethical. We cannot enter the world of politics when we do not practice proper parliamentary procedures. So, develop excellence in the area of, and practice proper use of the rules, so that when we enter the arena and ask for justice, we know how to ethically use the rules, or modify them. I envision us modeling proper ethics, truth, wealth. Educate and lead. Practicing proper political techniques and rules of order, financial literacy and business management to enhance our communities’ condition, proper health habits. I envision an Alpha University not just for our children, not just for our communities, but also for us, Alphas, so we can model and teach what we are trying to impart to our communities. S

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BY BROTHER JEREMY L. THOMAS, GAMMA LAMBDA ’13

Gamma Lambda Chapter Celebrates Centennial with Black-Tie Gala

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Lambda Chapter President Alburn H. Elvin, Jr., Esq. “We plan to continue carrying the mantle of service and plan to address the challenges of the next century.”

Gamma Lambda honored five of its own brothers whose impact is far reaching in each of their respective service areas:

The event welcomed more than 800 attendees, who enjoyed a cocktail reception, dinner, program and afterglow. Throughout the event, videos featuring community-service initiatives, national-program service, local partnerships and initiatives, and more exemplified how Gamma Lambda has fulfilled the mission of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. for the past century.

lpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Gamma Lambda Chapter, founded on March 22, 1919, celebrated “100 Years of Brotherhood and Service to the Detroit Community” on Saturday, October 19, 2019, at its centennial gala at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center.

Centennial Public Servant Award: Honorable Brother Dennis W. Archer – Former Mayor, City of Detroit Centennial Corporate Leadership Award: Brother Ted Colbert Centennial Brother of the Century: Late Honorable Brother Judge Damon J. Keith – Senior Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Centennial Philanthropist Award: Brother Dr. William F. Pickard – Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and Author Centennial Fraternal Leadership Award: Brother Mark S. Tillman – 34th General President, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. “We are about brotherhood and service; service is what we do, and service is who we are,” says Gamma

Gamma Lambda was elated to welcome fraternal leadership to the event and guests from each region. General President Everett B. Ward, 34th General President Mark S. Tillman, and 31st General President Harry E. Johnson, Sr. were all in attendance. Current candidates for General President, Willis L. Lonzer and Roderick L. Smothers, also joined the celebration, as well as the Midwestern Regional Vice President, Ronald D. Stovall, Jr. Find more updates on Gamma Lambda’s website (www.detroitalphas.org) and social media pages (Facebook: Detroit Alphas; Instagram: DetroitAlphas). S

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Leadership attending Gamma Lambda’s Centennial Celebration. (L-R) Brother Burke Gaddis, 47th Gamma Lambda Chapter President; Brother George Wayne Watkins, 43rd Gamma Lambda Chapter President; Brother Alonzo Terry, 45th Gamma Lambda Chapter President; Brother Ronald D. Stovall, Jr., Midwestern Regional Vice President; Brother Dr. Roderick L. Smothers, Candidate for General President; Brother Dr. Willis L. Lonzer, Candidate for General President; Brother Harry E. Johnson, 31st General President; Brother Everett B. Ward, 35th General President; Brother Stephen R. Spence, 42nd Gamma Lambda Chapter President; Brother Mark S. Tillman, 34th General President; Brother William J. Lyons, 44th Gamma Lambda Chapter President; Brother Kamau C. Marable, 48th Gamma Lambda Chapter President; Brother Kyles O. Hamilton. Sr., Gamma Lambda Chapter Vice President; Brother Alburn H. Elvin, Jr, 49th Gamma Lambda Chapter President; and Brother Dr. Richard T. James, 46th Gamma Lambda Chapter President.

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President Ward Hosts Zeta Sigma Lambda Chapter’s 50-Year Plus Members’ Celebration SAN DIEGO, CA – Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. General President Everett B. Ward, Ph.D. hosted Zeta Sigma Lambda Chapter’s celebration at the Solona Beach Presbyterian Church’s Debin Hall, which recognized and honored its members with 50 years of service or more to the Fraternity on Aug. 10.

“Zeta Sigma Lambda gave the State of California, and more specifically, the San Diego community, an opportunity to celebrate the distinguished accomplishments of it’s great citizens who happen to be our Brothers while recognizing the impact each have had on this country,” he says.

Among those 18 Brothers recognized were honored were Brothers Doc Anthony Anderson III, Esq., Jesse J. Bass, Norman E. Chambers, Ph.D., Norris A. Charles, Ph.D., Robert T. Covington, Dennis W. Dawson, Esq., Carlton Hargrave, Leon R. Kelley, M.D., Honorable Judge (Retired) Joe 0. Littlejohn, Sr., Robert L. Matthews, Ph.D., Gene P. Moore, D.D.S., Len C. Perry, Esq., Frank Russell, Jr., Larry A. Sadler, Alvin W. Washington, Kenneth Wells, D.P.M., Leroy Williams, Jr., and David D. Wynn, D.D.S.

Zeta Sigma Lambda Chapter is now celebrating more than 62 years of “Good Will” and service to the city of San Diego and its surrounding communities. Designated as the advisory arm to the Eta Sigma Chapter at San Diego State University, the chapter has evolved into a vibrant, active, generous, and a serious voice and vision for African-Americans, people of color and other ethnic communities in the western region of Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity, Inc.

“The brothers of Zeta Sigma Lambda tribute to the 50 + year brothers was an exceptional event. We stand on the shoulders of these Alpha giants,” says General President Ward. “The legacy of our brothers will continue for generations through their sage wisdom and seasoned leadership.”

Led by Chapter President, Brother William Gillespie (Alpha Beta), Vice-President Brother Reginald Marbray (Beta Gamma) and 84 other dedicated and outstanding brothers, of which more than 38 are Life Members of the Fraternity, the chapter believes it has set a standard of service unparalleled in the Western Region and possible other regions in Alpha as well.

Brother Dondrell Swanson, Western Region Vice President, who served as a keynote speaker, called it an “awesome event.”

Although the chapter is known to support the fraternity’s national programs and goals such as “Brother’s Keepers,” “A Voteless People is a Hopeless

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People,” and “Go-to High-School, Go-to-College,” the chapter have endeavored and dedicated itself to much greater efforts on behalf of Alpha. Some of those programs, although not all inclusive, are as follows: “Alpha Male Program (AMP).” With its motto as “Breaking down walls and building a staircase to success,” AMP is a year-long program committed to helping young African American males ages 13 to 19 to gain the skills and knowledge needed to realize their full potential as future leaders. Various activities include self-awareness, attitude, knowledge (emphasis on mathematics, and English/grammar), skills assessments and, most important academic support as needed. Other activities also include job shadowing and community engagement activities;

(elementary, middle, junior, high school, college) and all those associated with educating our children. In addition - during the MLK week - the chapter sponsors in partnership with governmental, community, public and other non-profit organizations the “San Diego Multicultural Festival” that celebrates the diversity that is reflected throughout the City and County of San Diego. The festival is designed to excite, educate, and entertain the community and those visiting the Greater San Diego area also demonstrates an appreciation of San Diego’s cultural richness, traditions and heritage; Zeta Sigma Lambda Chapter is also an active participant for the March of Dimes “March for Babies” 5K Walk and Homeless Veterans’ Personal Shopper Program; the Annual San Diego Veterans Stand Down Event (a brother is a founder of the event); Strong participant in the yearly “Health Fair and Back to School Kickoff’ event sponsored by California Assembly member Shirley Weber; a partner

“Continued Academic Excellence Program (CAEP).” CAEP is a mentoring program for high school students sponsored in partnership with a local high school (Lincoln High School). The program meets bi-weekly at the high school. Brothers of the chapter describe their personal experiences and offer their prospective on leadership development with emphasis on completing high school, going on to college and developing individual communication skills. The program also sponsors group visits to local colleges where the participants can gain an awareness of the college experience. At the end of the mentorship, scholarships are awarded to individual participants through the Chapter’s foundation; For more than 30 years, Zeta Sigma Lambda has been the sponsor and organizer of the Martin Luther King, Jr. annual parade held on the waterfront in downtown San Diego, celebrating the memory of Brother Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The parade attracts entry participants from throughout San Diego County and surrounding counties and cities. A few months prior to the parade, the chapter and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority sponsors the MLK King and Queen Pageant. Through this pageant, local high school juniors have the opportunity to demonstrate their individual communication performance skills and compete for the recognition of the MLK King and Queen for the upcoming annual parade. The King and Queen and runners-up are awarded individual substantial monetary awards, and all competitors participate and are acknowledged in the annual parade by riding on the chapter’s float. During this week-long celebration, arguably the largest of its kind, the chapter sponsors an “Educational Breakfast” honoring all teachers WINTER 2019

with the local NAACP in all of its activities; and a Fervent supporters of all “Devine Nine” events; The chapter also sponsors its annual “Holiday Ball” where community organizations are recognized and celebrated and of course, the chapter also hosts its annual Founder’s Day program; and an event to celebrate their spouses and sweethearts. Further, it is extremely noteworthy that in addition to all the above, the chapter initiated 12 new members within the past year and expects a similar number within the next IMDP period. Finally, as a result of its community activism and support, Zeta Sigma Lambda and its members have recently received the local NAACP’s prestigious President’s Award for Outstanding Community Service; local community newspaper, The Voice & Viewpoint’s Organizational Excellence Award, and the Certificate of Excellence from the California State Assembly. S 63


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Iota Pi Lambda Chapter members pose with Florida House Representative Kionne McGhee (wearing the black hat) and Miami-Dade County Public Defender Carlos J. Martinez. BROTHER LESLIE ELUS, ETA DELTA ’06, IOTA PI LAMBDA

South Dade Alphas, County and State Agencies Collaborate to Restore Rights of Local Residents

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he Iota Pi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. hosted a restorative rights resource clinic in conjunction with the Miami-Dade Pubic Defenders Office of Carlos J. Martinez and Florida House Representative Kionne McGhee in Homestead, Florida. Due to the recent emergence of legal precedents that challenge American civil liberties, and/or hinder access to the democratic process, it has become essential to create opportunities that bring about restorative forms of justice geared towards those populations who are most in need of it. Legal experts, and representatives from local and state administrative offices, provided their services at no cost to attendees. “We are here to help as many people as possible...if you have a past record that should not keep you from working...,” says Carlos J. Martinez, the lead attorney in the Miami-Dade County Public Defenders’ Office during his welcome address at the July 20th event. “We can check out a few things and try to help everyone...We have a lot of young people here and [local agencies] to make sure we do all we can to have your rights restored.” The event was the first restorative rights workshop hosted by the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office. 64

Community partners for the expungement clinic included: the Miami-Dade State Attorney Office of Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Miami-Dade County Elections, Miami-Dade County Police Department, Florida Restorative Rights Coalition, Career Sources Florida, and Avant School of Excellence. Thanks to the Haitian Lawyers Association, Florida New Majority, and United & Unlimited, the clinic was able to provide several FDLE Application Fee Vouchers. Event attendees were treated to light refreshments and received counseling on a range of restorative rights resources; event facilitators helped to answer questions and determined what services patrons may best qualify for. Correspondingly, qualifying participants were guided by onsite staff who helped prepare their Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Application for Certification of Eligibility and gather all necessary documents for the submission of the application. “We are here because we are doing some great things in the South [Mami-Dade] people,” says Florida House Representative Kionne McGhee during the event streamed on Facebook Live. THE SPHINX


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Collectively, the chapter was able to have nearly 50 Miami-Dade County residents served, 24 of whom received restorative rights services. “We all know how expansive Miami-Dade County is and unfortunately southern MiamiDade County is often neglected when it comes to civic services and the provision of a number of social resources,” says Brother Leslie Elus, president of the Iota Pi Lambda Chapter. “. . . we [Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.] are just trying to do our part to create opportunities that empower residents in the area to positively contribute to the community.” S

Attendees at the expungement clinic had the opportunity to meet with nearly a dozen agencies offering resources to facilitate seal, expungement, and restorative rights processes.

BROTHER SHANE T. GILMORE, NU ’89, XI TAU LAMBDA

Xi Tau Lambda Offers Personal Testimony In Fight Against Prostate Cancer

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rother Derrick Williams is a prostate cancer survivor. The 52-year-old commercial insurance underwriter often passionately declares that he would not be alive had it not been for early screening. Since surviving prostate cancer in 2016, the 1987 Delta Kappa initiate has become a driven prostate cancer awareness advocate. Every September during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Brother Williams organizes a prostate cancer awareness program under the My Brother’s Keeper program for Xi Tau Lambda located in North Dallas, Texas. “The Brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha must change the narrative [about prostate cancer] and increase awareness during the month of September,” he says. In the future, he plans to expand his efforts to the community-at-large. This year, the program was held at the Crowne Plaza in Addison, Texas, and the panel included Brother Williams and two other prostate cancer survivors, Brother Dr. Jamal Rasheed, a 1975 Iota Tau initiate and Brother Roderic Tyler, a 1968 Gamma Iota initiate, as well as Brother Dr. Kelvin Moses, who is an Associate Professor of Urology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Brother Moses also serves on the Fraternity’s National Health and Wellness Committee, where he helps promote prostate cancer awareness nationally. The panel discussed and answered questions that addressed the symptoms, testing, and treatment for WINTER 2019

prostate cancer. Symptoms can include difficulty with urination, blood in the urine, erectile dysfunction, and back, hip, rib and bone pain. Most men don’t have symptoms but should be screened prior for prostate cancer. Testing can include a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test, a digital rectal exam (DRE), transrectal ultrasound, prostate biopsy, CT scan, and MRI. Treatments, which are personal to one’s circumstances, can consist of surgery, radiation, or chemo. Dressed in blue U.S. Army fatigues, which Brother Rasheed says symbolizes his dedication in fighting the war against prostate cancer, gave an incredible testimony of how his struggle with prostate cancer lead to a position at Methodist Hospital where his role was to educate men about prostate cancer. He explains that often the dysfunction and brokenness of some Black families further complicates prostate cancer prevention for Black men since many don’t either know their fathers or know their fathers’ health histories. And what makes survival increasing difficult, Brother Rasheed says is that men often develop psychological depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in dealing with sexual dysfunction side effects. Brother Moses, who studied at Baylor University, decided to study urology because of his interest in prostate cancer in Black men. While he was training in Atlanta, Georgia, he 65


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says he saw extreme examples of Black men that could have lived had they sought early screening and treatment.

cancer, know their family history, seek medical advice, and get screen beginning at age 40 through age 75.

The 2017 Tau Lambda initiate explains the prostate makes enzymes that breakdown seminal fluid so sperm can work, and that prostate cancer is a disease of inflammation.

Brother Williams got very personal in sharing his story of survival. He displays the catheter bag he had to wear following his surgery as well as the various incontinence products he wore until his bladder regained normal function.

“The main thing is that Black men are at a higher risk for developing prostate cancer (as well as) a more aggressive type of the disease,” he stresses.

He also shares the emotions he felt when talks about the day his doctor advised he had prostate cancer.

Therefore, prevention, he says, is critical, and accordingly, Black men should learn about prostate

Ultimately, the importance in his survival and others, he says, was remaining mentally strong and having a support network to overcome prostate cancer. S

BROTHER VERNON KEARSE, XI BETA ’95, RHO UPSILON LAMBDA

RHO UPSILON LAMBDA RECOGNIZES BROTHER WALLACE LEE SMITH, JR.'S 100TH BIRTHDAY

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rother Wallace Lee Smith, Jr. has not only lived through history, but is himself a part of American history, having turned 100 years old on April 29.

Brother Smith, who served his country in the U.S. Army during WWII from 1941-1945 and was stationed in Okinawa, Japan during the attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941, became the first Black principal of Ashford High School in Ashford, Alabama. “He became a principal of an integrated school, one of four principals in the entire state to become a principal of an integrated school,” says Wally Smith, Brother Smith’s son. “As an African American, that was momentous.” In his role, he is also credited with creating a peaceful environment amongst Blacks and whites during a very trying time in our history. 66

Brother Smith, who was initiated into the Theta Gamma Lambda Chapter (now Rho Upsilon Lambda) of Alpha Phi Alpha, March 13, 1963, received his bachelor’s degree from Alabama State Teachers College in Montgomery, now Alabama State University and with his master’s degree from Tuskegee University, then Tuskegee Institute. “I think his familiarity with the landscape of schools and community contribute to what he has accomplished over the years,” says Brother Gary Griffin, another one of Brother Smith’s son. “He has had contact with every sector of the community, and that’s probably taught him how to care about the community in the way that they need to be cared for.” Overall, Brother Smith served as a teacher and a principal in the Houston County School system for over 33 years when he retired in 1984. In 2018, a portion of Church street where Ashford High School is located was named in his honor as “WALLACE L. SMITH DRIVE.” S THE SPHINX


BROTHERS ON THE MOVE

BROTHER PERALTA’S PERALTA DESIGN HAS RECORD AWARD-WINNING YEAR

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rother Ramon Peralta’s Peralta Design, a full-service digital agency with offices in Connecticut and Florida ended 2019 on a high note with a record award-winning year and plans on carrying that momentum well into 2020 and beyond.

The agency collected the following four awards: it was named the 2019 Company Partner of the Year by The WorkPlace - Southwestern Connecticut's Regional Workforce Development Board, it earned the 2019 MBE-to-MBE Empowerment Award by the Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council (GNEMSDC), as well as the 2019 FUEL Outstanding Partner Award by the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce, and it was named among the 2019 "Thriving Thirty" Best Companies in Fairfield County by the Fairfield County Business Journal. The agency lives its mantra: "We Launch Brands®" by helping startups, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, Fortune 500s and small businesses alike, launch new ideas, products or services. Peralta Design also helps to increase brand awareness and sales through digital content and social media marketing. His full-time team of in-house GNEMSDC President and fellow Alpha Man, Brother Peter Hurst, multi-disciplined web designers, far left, presents the MBE-to-MBE Empowerment Award to Brother Peralta, right center, on behalf of the council at their annual Expo & digital marketers, print designers, mobile app developers and motion Conference held at MGM Springfield, MA. designers have been recognized for demonstrating an outstanding commitment to workforce development by supporting community programs; their tireless efforts and dedication to working with other MBEs (Minority Business Enterprises); and were recognized for their efforts in three “Best of” categories, “Most Entrepreneurial,” “Most Visionary,” and “Most Promising for Future Generations.” Brother Peralta, who is Founder and CEO for the agency, is also the Chairman of the Fraternity's Publication Committee. The Spring 1989 Mu Phi initiate is a past New England District Director and Past President of Zeta Phi Lambda Chapter. Brother Peralta is also a Life member of the Fraternity. For more information visit: PeraltaDesign.com S

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CONE HEALTH PROMOTES BROTHER WALLINGTON TO EVP AND CHIEF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER

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one Health recently promoted Brother Chuck Wallington, senior vice president for marketing and communications to executive vice president and chief marketing & communications officer for the company.

“In this role, he will continue reporting to me and is now a member of our Enterprise Leadership Team, partnering to set the strategy for Cone Health and serving as one of the system’s key senior leaders. The elevation of this role reflects the strategic importance of marketing and communications to the achievement of our purpose, vision and strategic priorities,” says Cone Health CEO Terry Akin. “At the same time, Chuck has proven himself to be a vital asset to our leadership team and the right person for this critical role. He and his team will continue to differentiate Cone Health and build awareness of our services by providing strategic marketing and communications support for our key priorities related to people, culture, patient value, access and growth.” Brother Wallington becomes the first African American to serve as an executive vice president at Cone Health. His appointment is particularly noteworthy and historic because when Brother Wallington was born in Greensboro, N.C in 1961, where Cone Health is based, his parents could not have him at either of the Cone Health hospitals. At the time, the two Cone health hospitals were still segregated. It wasn’t until nine African-American physicians and dentists sued Cone Health asking for black medical professionals to be able to care for black patients in Cone Health’s facilities. In the landmark 1962 Simkins vs. Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital case, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals held that “separate but equal” racial segregation in publicly funded hospitals was in violation of equal protection under the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal, thus letting the decision stand. It was at that time that hospitals across the country were soon opened to African-American doctors and their patients. Since joining Cone Health in April 2011, Brother Wallington has built a talented team of professionals focused on providing strategic marketing and communications support for our sites, service lines and key initiatives such as Reinventing Care. Under his leadership, this team has launched award-winning advertising campaigns, including one focused on sharing our patients’ stories of exceptional care. Brother Wallington, a Spring 1992 Mu Zeta initiate, Life member and member of Kappa Lambda chapter, brings more than 30 years of marketing and communications experience in a variety of sectors, including health care, consumer packaged goods and financial services. Prior to joining Cone Health, he was a vice president at American Express. A graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, Chuck has a master’s degree in communications management from Syracuse University and is pursuing his doctorate in leadership studies at North Carolina A&T State University. He is a trustee of the national Institute for Public Relations, a board member of the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, a leader at St. James Presbyterian Church, and a member of two fraternal service organizations, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., for which he serves as president of the local chapter. Outside of the company, Brother Wallington also serves as one of the chief advisors to Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. General President Everett B. Ward. S

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BROTHERS ON THE MOVE

CULINARY SERVANTS OF ALL

FOUR ALPHA CHEFS MAKE THEIR MARK ON THE CULINARY WORLD

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our Alpha Chefs in three different parts of the country are making their mark on the culinary restaurant industry. They are: Alpha Brothers Edouardo Jordan in Seattle, Washington, John Hall in Birmingham, Alabama, Eric Adjepong in Washington, D.C., and Howard Conyers in New Orleans, Louisiana and Manning, South Carolina. Brother Edouardo Jordan, a Fall 2001 Theta Sigma initiate and member of Zeta Pi Lambda, studied business at the University of Florida and attended the Le Cordon Bleu (Orlando Culinary Academy). He also spent a month working with salumists in Parma, Italy. Brother Jordan worked for a handful of prestigious restaurants, including Lincoln Ristorante in New York and Matt Dillon’s Sitka and Spruce in Seattle, Washington before soon becoming the Chef De Cuisine at Dillon’s Bar Sajor.

Edouardo Jordan

Brother Jordan opened his first restaurant in Salare in Ravenna, Seattle with a menu based in his French and Italian training with Southern influences in 2015. That same year, he was named a StarChefs Rising Star and won Eater Seattle’s 2015 “Chef of the Year.” Food & Wine magazine also named him one of the Best New Chefs of 2016. A year later, just down the street from Salare, he opened his second restaurant, JuneBaby, featuring Southern food. The restaurant has received national attention, selected as a Critic’s Pick by New York Times’ Pete Wells, giving him a rare three-star review, named to Esquire magazine’s 2017 list of Best Restaurants in America, Eater’s Best New Restaurant of 2017, and Food & Wine’s ten best restaurants in 2018. In 2018, Brother Jordan received two top honors – Best New Restaurant for Junebaby, and Best Chef: Northwest for Salare from the James Beard Foundation – sometimes considered equivalent to the Oscars in the food world. Among other honors, Puget Sound Business Journal named him to its 40 Under 40 list in 2018, Seattle Magazine named him one Seattle’s Most Influential People and People magazine named him a finalist for sexiest chef alive.

John Hall

Eric Adjepong

Brother John Hall, a Fall 2004 Alpha Gamma initiate, received his formal training for culinary school at the Johnson & Wales University, South Carolina, campus and an apprenticeship that he arranged at Luxembourg’s Lea Linster. He’s worked for several of the nation’s top restaurants, including Frank Stitt’s James Beard Award-Winning Highland’s Bar & Grill as well as New York’s Gramercy Tavern. From there, he went to Thomas Keller’s Per Se, and then worked for two years as sous-chef at Momofuku Ssäm Bar. In 2014, he became the chef and co-owner of Post Office Pies, a gourmet pizzeria in the Avondale neighborhood WINTER 2019

Howard Conyers

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BROTHERS ON THE MOVE

of Birmingham, where the pizza dough has been fermented for 12 hours before it’s topped with choices that include: homemade pork sausage, Nueske’s bacon, Molinari & Sons pepperoni or roasted chicken thighs, perfectly stringy aged house-made mozzarella, pomodoro sauce, roasted garlic spread or fresh basil. The pizzas are placed in wood-fired brick ovens and served on butcher paper in family style. Locally sourced salads, including the favorite—Brussels sprouts salad, are served on pizza pans.

pavé, and grains of paradise jus, and finally a floral dessert of corn and goat’s milk pudding with hibiscus tapioca, chocolate rum crumble, and blackberry lavender sorbet was to complete the dining experience.

Brother Hall, who in 2016 was named to the Birmingham Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40, is now hoping to open a new fine-dining restaurant in Birmingham.

Brother Dr. Howard Conyers, a Spring 2003 Beta Epsilon initiate and Life member, is uniquely both a NASA rocket scientist, a Southern Food and Culture Historian, and barbecue pit master. He also hosts Nourish, a PBS web series, where he features two new episodes a month on the YouTube channel with more than a million viewers.

Brother Eric Adjepong, a Spring 2007 Alpha Gamma initiate, rose to national prominence as a Season 16 Top Chef finalist. The New York City native and first-generation Ghanaian-America lives in Washington, D.C., where he is a personal chef, a caterer and public health & nutrition professional. Brother Adjepong has a bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts and Nutrition and a master’s degree in public health International Public Health Nutrition (MPH) from Johnson & Wales. On Top Chef, Chef Adjepong, whose inspiration comes from various cultures and regions of the world, he opted to use that platform to educate and introduce viewers to the Ghanaian dishes he grew up with. His controversial elimination on the first course of four-course finale meal, unleashed a substantial public and social media backlash decrying the lack of cultural representation and charges of gatekeeping within the restaurant industry and culinary conversation at large. That meal was to be a four-course journey through the history of the transatlantic slave trade involving cuisine which characterized the major ports involved in the slave trade during the 18th and 19th centuries. The meal was to begin with a Caribbean jerk steak tartare with tamarind, plantain, and finger lime, followed by king crab with yassa onion jam, palm wine nage, and Caroline puffed rice. A dish of braised lamb, cassava

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Over the years, Brother Adepong has cooked in some of New York City’s premiere restaurants, including two different Michelin Star-rated establishments, and is currently focused on his pop-up series, Pinch & Plate, that he works on with his wife.

He, himself, was also featured on the Cooking Channel’s Man Fire Food and was named to Southern Living Magazine’s 2018 Southerners of the Year. Brother Conyers specializes in pit-cooked whole Hog barbecue, where whole pigs are cooked in a pit over coals, which can take up to 14 hours from start to finish, and the meat is topped off with a vinegar- and mustard-based sauce, traditional to South Carolina. He is originally from the deep, rural South, where he learned the practice at age 11 from his father, passed down through generations of cooks for 200 years. He even uses a device known as a “burn barrel” to burn wood and make his own coals. It’s an art form and tradition he holds dear. Brother Conyers, who also considers himself an advocate for the contributions Black people have made to American Foods, has also lectured at Dillard University on the commercialization of Black southern food focusing on the history of the pulled pork sandwich. He earned his bachelor’s degree from North Carolina A&T State University and a doctorate in mechanical engineering and materials science from Duke University. S Compiled from published reports.

THE SPHINX


BROTHERS ON THE MOVE

BY BROTHER ERIC CHRISTOPHER WEBB, DDIV., CPLC., NU ’89, RHO TAU LAMBDA

Alpha Brothers Establish Luxury Fedora Brand, BRIMS

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or Alpha Brothers and fellow Spring 2011 initiates, Archie Clay III of Gamma Phi chapter and Tajh Crutch of Xi Beta chapter, the idea of starting a luxury fedora brand wasn’t what either had initially planned for their careers. Though they both regularly sported fedoras and admired each other’s fashion sense, Brother Clay, who had entrepreneurial aspirations, expected to be working in human resources while Brother Crutch, who some wanted to be a celebrity stylists or influencer, had a background in information systems. “Archie came to me with the idea of starting a hat line (in 2016),” says Crutch. “We both wore fedoras and admired each other’s style. We were on the same type of wave with the fedora wearing . . . He called me back the next day with a manufacturer and all the details.” Says Brother Clay: “I was going through a lot that year and ended a relationship with my ex-fiancé. I wanted to be different and I wanted to find a product that was sustainable . . . It’s (fedoras) trendy, but it’s a long-term sustainable product. Fedoras are a staple. People wear fedoras even if the trend leaves.” And so, BRIMS was born. According to their media kit, “BRIMS is a brand that represents the beginning of a journey. Journey of two men bonded in brotherhood seeking a way to express their individuality in a modern way, while paying homage to the classic style.” One of their biggest challenges, Clay explains, was whether to manufacture overseas or in the United States (before the company’s official launch in March 2017). “I wanted creative control,” Brother Clay says. “It’s a different conversation when you’re in person version over the phone or through email. We found a company WINTER 2019

that was base in New York that allowed us a minimum of 10 hats per style, ChaCha House. It was a great way for us to learn the business.” A year later, the team ended up getting another manufacturer, who, ironically, reached out to them. “We had reached out to them (originally, but) they had never responded,” he says. “Everything was working to God’s plan.” As did were the partners’ roles. Brother Clay focuses on the business side of the company while Brother Crutch focuses on creativity and design. The first hat was 100% wool rabbit felt. Now, they are all 100% wool felt with wool, linen, suede and velvet bands, and range in price from $170 and $225. Aside from fedoras, the luxury brand also features a line of signature baseball caps for $60 each. And depending on the season, the fedora line features five brims: Aubergine, Prime, Sandlot, and Summer Jones and the exclusive Crown Blanco, a Tay Mitch and Wearbrims collaboration. In Sept. 2018, the Prime was also featured in an issue of British GQ magazine. “I take a lot of inspiration from outfits,” says Brother Crutch. “I just walk down the street and see how people put different fabrics or color pallets together. In addition, another Alpha Brother, Brandon Stevens from Beta Upsilon chapter, helped them come up with the color scheme for one of their current brims, the ‘Rotten Peach’ – what Clay calls an “Atlanta-based hat.” They have also produced a fedora style called The Posse, inspired by Mario Van Peebles’ 90s Black western. Both are currently available on their website, www.wearbrims.com They fedoras are also available in select shops and boutiques in Georgia, and surprisingly, internationally in Switzerland. S 71


BROTHERS ON THE MOVE

BY BROTHER NEHEMIAH BESTER, THETA IOTA ’16, ALPHA KAPPA LAMBDA

Brother Dr. Anton Bizzell’s Consulting Firm Awarded $34 Million To Improve Healthcare Programs

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elta Lambda chapter President Brother Dr. Anton C. Bizzell, who is also president and CEO of The Bizzell Group, was recently awarded a $34 million contract by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to improve the conditions of healthcare programs. Brother Dr. Bizzell, a Spring 1990 initiate of the Iota Beta Chapter at the University of Virginia and chapter president of the Delta Lambda Chapter in Baltimore, Maryland, established the Bizzell Group in 2010, which is a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 8(a) certified strategy, consulting and technology firm that specializes in program management, administrative support, communication and outreach, conference management, logistical support, health services, technical assistance, and training and development. The CMS, through the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality’s – Quality Improvement and Innovation Group has executed federally-mandated contracts to improve quality in a wide variety of settings. The companies under contract are responsible for providing technical assistance for quality improvement to healthcare delivery organizations like hospitals, nursing homes, primary and specialty care practices serving both large and small, rural and medically underserved communities. Dr. Bizzell’s organization was chosen by CMS to lead the Date Validation and Administrative Contract

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(formerly recognized as the National Administrative Support), for their expertise in medical services, and acute focus on quality improvement of community and family serving initiatives. Under the new contract, Dr. Bizzell will assume leadership over several task orders, including providing administrative support in data analytics, information technology, meeting planning, and communication strategy. In addition, Dr. Bizzell will support the spread of evidence-based practices on a national scale by coordinating closely with healthcare providers and quality improvement organizations. “We are excited for the opportunity to continue working with CMS to build upon the foundation of the quality improvement programs and networks. We hope to help raise the standard of care administered across communities currently supported by CMS stakeholders,” says Brother Dr. Bizzell. His new health initiatives will focus on achieving the following aims: Improve Behavioral Health Outcomes, including a focus on Decreased Opioid Misuse, Increase in Patient Safety, Chronic Disease Self-Management (Cardiac and Vascular Health, Diabetes, Slowing and Preventing ESRD), Increase Quality of Care Transitions, and Improve Nursing Home Quality. Under his leadership and vision, Brother Dr. Bizzell has grown the organization from a staff of two in one small office, to a thriving firm with three offices in Lanham, MD, Rockville, MD, and Atlanta, GA, with ongoing projects across the world. In addition, he has also chaired several boards and committees including, the Medical Advisory Board, the Health and Wellness Committee, the Alpha American Cancer Society Initiative, and a seat on the March of Dimes Board of Directors. S

THE SPHINX


BROTHERS ON THE MOVE

BROTHER REV. DR. JACK SULLVAN, JR. SERVES AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ONE OF THE NATION’S OLDEST STATE ECUMENICAL COUNCILS

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rother Reverend Dr. Jack Sullivan, Jr., a career pastor, ecumenist and social justice advocate, has served as the executive director of the 99-year-old state ecumenical organization, the Ohio Council of Churches (OCC) since January 2019. Based in Columbus, the Ohio Council of Churches is a partnership of 17 Christian faith denominations and is one of the nation’s oldest state ecumenical councils. “The Ohio Council of Churches is very fortunate to have Reverend Jack Sullivan take the helm as our Executive Director, for such as time as this,” says Bishop Marvin Frank Thomas, Sr., President of the Governing Board of the OCC. “We know without a doubt, that he is the one God has chosen to lead us as we seek our way forward as a major ecumenical voice and presence in the State of Ohio.” Formerly, Brother Sullivan, a 1984 initiate of Alpha Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., was senior pastor of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Findlay, OH since February 2017. Currently, he is a member of Alpha Xi Lambda chapter, a past chapter officer and a life member of the Fraternity. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Brother Sullivan is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) US and Canada. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication from Ohio University, Athens, OH; a Master of Divinity degree from Lexington Theological Seminary, Lexington, KY; and a Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary, Dayton, OH. Sullivan was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Bethany College, Bethany, WV. With prior service as pastor, Christian educator, regional minister, and death penalty abolitionist, Sullivan is past convener of the OCC’s Justice and Advocacy Team. He is president of the governing board of Ohioans to Stop Executions; co-president of the Disciples Justice Action Network; life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the NAACP; and member of the governing bodies of EcuMentors men’s ministry; the Ohio Region, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); the Ohio Conference, United Church of Christ; Findlay’s mental health agency Century Health, and LGBTQ+ Spectrum Support Group; the Ohio Poor People’s Campaign; Death Penalty Action; and Journey of Hope: From Violence to Healing, a national anti-death penalty organization. Sullivan has given leadership to committees of both the National and World Councils of Churches, and has participated in ecumenical gatherings in Zimbabwe, Switzerland, and Israel/Palestine. S

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LITERARY

BY BROTHER RONALD HOWELL, NU DELTA LAMBDA ’88

Boss Of Black Brooklyn: The Life and Times of Bertram L. Baker Fordham University Press (October 2, 2018) 288 Pages Hardcover $17.12 Kindle $16.26 ISBN-13: 9780823281008 Amazon.com

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oss of Black Brooklyn presents a riveting and untold story about the struggles and achievements of the first black person to hold public office in Brooklyn. Bertram L. Baker immigrated to the United States from the Caribbean island of Nevis in 1915. Three decades later, he was elected to the New York state legislature, representing the Bedford Stuyvesant section. A pioneer and a giant, Baker’s story is finally revealed in intimate and honest detail by his grandson, Brother Ron Howell. Boss of Black Brooklyn begins with the tale of one man’s rise to prominence in a fascinating era of black American history, a time when thousands of West Indian families began leaving their native islands in the Caribbean and settling in New York City. In 1948, Bert Baker was elected to the New York state assembly, representing the growing central Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford Stuyvesant. Baker loved telling his fellow legislators that only one other Nevisian had ever served in the state assembly. That was Alexander Hamilton, the founding father. Making his own mark on modern history, Baker pushed through one of the nation’s first bills outlawing discrimination in the sale or rental of housing. Also, for thirty years, from 1936 to 1966, he led the all-black American Tennis Association, as its executive secretary. In that capacity he successfully negotiated with white tennis administrators, getting them to accept Althea Gibson into their competitions. Gibson then made history as the first black champion of professional tennis. Yet, after all of Baker’s wonderful achievements, little has been written to document his role in black history. Baker represents a remarkable turning point in the evolution of modern New York City. In the 1940s, when he won his seat in the New York state assembly, blacks made up only 4 percent of the population of Brooklyn. Today they make up a third of the population, and there are scores of black elected officials. Yet Brooklyn, often called the capital of the Black Diaspora, is a capital under siege. Developers and realtors seeking to gentrify the borough are all but conspiring to push blacks out of the city. A very important and long-overdue book, Boss of Black Brooklyn not only explores black politics and black organizations but also penetrates Baker’s inner life and reveals themes that resonate today: black fatherhood, relations between black men and black women, faithfulness to place and ancestry. Bertram L. Baker’s story has receded into the shadows of time, but Boss of Black Brooklyn recaptures it and inspires us to learn from it. Brother Ron Howell is a journalist and an associate professor at Brooklyn College. He has written for Newsday, the Associated Press Ebony, the New York Daily News, and the Baltimore Evening Sun. Brother Howell, also the author of One Hundred Jobs: A Panorama of Work in the American City, lives in Brooklyn, New York. S

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LITERARY

BY BROTHER DARRIUS JEROME GOURDINE, BETA ’90

The Assignment Three: One Can Put One Thousand to Flight Artisan House (April 16, 2019) 200 Pages Paperback $20.00 ISBN-10: 0975566083 ISBN-13: 978-0975566084 Amazon.com

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he third novel in The Assignment novel series by Brother Darrius Jerome Gourdine, Brian finds out that Angela’s Godmother Bernice is not just a Godmother but is also a Ministering Angel. Can she protect Angela from Brian and his Agency team or will Brian be able to fulfill The Assignment? Brother Gourdine, a 1992 graduate of Howard University, is the author of several books, including Jewels: The Story of the Founding of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Jewels: The Story of the Expansion of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Conversations of the Crucifixion, and The Assignment, and The Assignment Two: Keep Your Enemies Closer. He began a career in writing with the inception of an online soap opera based on Black college life called As the Sands Burn. The soap opera debuted in 1997 and in 2000 was bought by BET for their website www.bet.com. As the Sands Burn and its spinoff, Beyond the Burning Sands amassed thousands of fans in its eight-year run on the Internet. He also served as ghost writer for the book, From the Hood to the Hill: The Next Generation, and lead writer of the Gospel situation comedy, “So How Ya Livin’ Now?” Brother Gourdine also created and wrote ChristianHangSuite.com’s online Christian-based soap opera, “The Saved and The Restless,” which ran on the internet for two years (two seasons). S

BY BROTHER ANDREW SNORTON, XI ETA ’91, SIGMA ETA LAMBDA

The Author’s Mixtape – Volume 1: Organic Musings from HTooOh Audiobook In collaboration with 3RD Level Entertainment Music Group 7 Tracks Available on nearly 300 platforms, including Apple Music, ITunes, Tidal, and others. https://asnortonccs.wixsite.com/authorpage

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rother Andrew Snorton, a New Jersey native is a graduate of Wake Forest University, is a former teacher (Gwinnett County Public Schools in Metro-Atlanta), and writer for multiple magazines, including Examiner. com. The audiobook, The Author’s Mixtape – Volume 1: Organic Musings from HTooOh, is self-described as “a true organic experience as ALL of the tracks are written and recorded in a single studio session – nothing is prewritten.” Brother Snorton is also the author of Deeper than your deepest sleep: Thoughts on Love with Joseph Snorton, is a poetic rendition of a conversation with his distant and long-lost family member, Joseph, and 9 Stories of Faith: Volume 1, is the first of a reader series which is even more ambitious. Through interviews with 9 different individuals of different faiths (the first volume covers Christianity, Hindu, and Islam), all are asked the central questions of what is your biggest daily hurdle or challenge and what do you do in order to manage and lead a life of meaning and purpose. S WINTER 2019

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LITERARY

BY BROTHER STEAVEN L. MISHER, RHO SIGMA LAMBDA ’14

Heaven Has Windows Faithful Life Publishers (March 19, 2018) 50 pages Paperback $15.99 ISBN-10: 1630732249 ISBN-13: 978-1630732240 Amazon.com Steavenlmisher.com Heaven Has Windows represents both a reflection of the past and a view across the landscape of our turbulent present. It is comprised of heartfelt works used in earlier editions and incisive analyses of our current world. Undoubtedly, self-described as “my best work yet,” Heaven Has Windows is emotional and spiritual healing to encourage and uplift your soul. Brother and Poet Steaven L. Misher, a Albany, Georgia native, is a U.S. military veteran and a honors graduate of Morehouse College. He earned Master’s Degrees from the University of Phoenix and Clark Atlanta University. A proud father of two, he is also a doctoral candidate at Clark Atlanta University. S

BY BROTHER JAMES BUCK, PH.D., MBA, M.ED., EPSILON LAMBDA ’79

Strategies For Retention and Academic Achievement: A Historically Black Colleges and Universities Perspective Kindle Direct Publishing (2019) 291 pages Paperback $27.95 ISBN-9781096326434 Amazon.com Strategies For Retention and Academic Achievement: A Historically Black Colleges and Universities Perspective is intended to illuminate and espouse the need and support for greater Retention, Academic Achievement and Graduation of African American students in our public education school system. According to its author, Brother Dr. James Buck, this is where the greatest need is for equitable and quality education. The current Public Education system and society are failing most of our students. Dr. Buck investigated and researched Strategies, Practices, and Theories related to retention, academic achievement, and graduation of students. He also looked at how they relate to African American students. He conducted a study and analysis to ascertain what was used and what was effective. The book shares the results of the study as well as the author’s views on Education and the Educational System. He hopes that educators, administrators, policy makers, and society at large will benefit from this book and positively increase their role and participation for equitable and quality education at the primary, secondary, and post-secondary levels for students, particularly African American students. Dr. Buck received a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Saint Louis University, a M.Ed. in Adult Education from U of Missouri, St. Louis, and a MBA from Webster University, St. Louis, Mo. Special interests, research, and his dissertation are in Institutional Retention, Academic Achievement, and Graduation of African American students in Higher Education. S 76

THE SPHINX


OMEGA CHAPTER

BY BROTHER NEHEMIAH BESTER, THETA IOTA ‘16, ALPHA KAPPA LAMBDA

Brother W. George Allen Beta Nu ‘55, Zeta Alpha Lambda, Life Member Honorable Civil Rights Lawyer in the Fight for Justice

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rother W. George Allen entered Omega Chapter November 7, 2019. He was born on March 3, 1936 in Sandford, Florida to parents, Lessie Williams Brown and Bruce Brown. Brother Allen graduated from Crooms Academy High School in June, 1954.  After graduating from high school, Brother Allen enrolled at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, where he received a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1958 as well as a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. While at the university, he was initiated into the Beta Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., on December 9, 1955 and he also met the love of his love and his wife-to-be, Enid Meadows. In 1960, Brother Allen furthered his education by entering University of Florida Law School and graduated two years later with his law degree making him the first African American to earn a degree from any former white institution in Florida and the Southeast United States. While in law school Brother Allen helped organize lunch counter sit-ins in and around Gainesville, Florida. He was admitted to the Florida Bar on the June 7, 1963 and to the United States Supreme Court on the November 16, 1970. After passing the Florida Bar, Brother Allen utilized his legal abilities by getting actively involved in the fight for diversity, dignity, and civil rights. He filed the lawsuit that resulted in the desegregation of Broward and Hendry County public schools in Southeast and Central Florida. Throughout his life, Brother Allen has been a constant voice for justice and ensuring that every youth in South Florida received equal access to educational opportunities. In addition to his community outreach, Brother Allen served two years active duty as a Special Agent in Army Intelligence and four years in the Army Reserve. Brother Allen also started his own law practice that specialized in trial work, probate, wrongful death, insurance defense and personal injury. Brother Allen was an active graduate member of the Zeta Alpha Lambda Chapter seated in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and honorable Life Member #895 of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. S

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OMEGA CHAPTER

BY BROTHER NEHEMIAH BESTER, THETA IOTA ‘16, ALPHA KAPPA LAMBDA

Brother James A. Donaldson, Nu ’58, Mu Lambda, Life Member Interim University President, Dean, Professor and Mathematician

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rother Dr. James Ashley Donaldson entered Omega Chapter on October 18, 2019. He was born on April 17, 1941in Madison County, Florida.

Brother Donaldson, who was one of eleven children to Oliver Donaldson and Audrey Brown, learned how to read, write and calculate long before he entered elementary school. After graduating from high school, Brother Donaldson enrolled at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania – the nation’s first degree granting Historically Black College and University in 1957, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics four years later. While there, he was initiated into the Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Brother Donaldson continued his studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he received his master’s degree in mathematics in 1963 and his Ph.D. in mathematics two years later. Brother Donaldson has served as a professor in math at Southern University, Howard University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of New Mexico. He has been appointed as a visiting professor at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Science at the University of Victoria in Canada, the University of Ferrara in Italy, and Duke University in North Carolina. In 1972, he was named chairman of Howard University’s Department of Mathematics and served in that capacity until 1990. He also played an integral role in the development of its Ph.D. program in mathematics—the first and only doctoral program at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU)—and oversaw the development of tenured faculty. On November 1, 1999, Dr. James A. Donaldson became dean of the University’s College of Arts and Sciences. Brother Donaldson has served on several professional committees of mathematics and science organizations. He is a member of the Council of the American Mathematical Society, was the editor of the newsletter of the National Association of Mathematics and served as the second vice president of the Mathematical Association of America. Additionally, he served as a consultant to the National Science Foundation, the National Research Council, the Sloan Foundation, the Educational Testing Service and the District of Columbia Public School System. In 1986, he received the Lincoln University Alumni Achievement Award and was the National Institute of Science Memorial lecturer three years after. A former interim president of Lincoln University in 1998, Brother Donaldson was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science from the institution in 2018. S 78

THE SPHINX


OMEGA CHAPTER

BY BROTHER NEHEMIAH BESTER, THETA IOTA â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;16, ALPHA KAPPA LAMBDA

Brother Reverend Dr. Cain Hope Felder Groundbreaking Theologian And Author of Troubling Biblical Waters

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rother Reverend Dr. Cain H. Felder entered Omega Chapter on October 1, 2019. He was born on June 9, 1943, in Aiken, South Carolina. Brother Felder grew up in a segregated neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts, where his consistent contact with ministers and clergy, helped shape his views on Blackness and theology, and its role in society and modern history. Brother Felder earned his bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree from Howard University in 1966. While there, he was initiated into the Beta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, in 1964. After graduating from Howard, Brother Felder worked as the first National Director of the United Methodist Black Caucus in Atlanta, until 1972. He was ordained as an elder into the United Methodist Church and served as pastor of Grace United Methodist Church in New York City, until 1977. In 1978, Brother Felder began teaching at Princeton Theological Seminary in the Department of Biblical Studies. After leaving Princeton, Brother Felder returned to Howard where he served on faculty staff for 35 years until his retirement in 2016. Brother Felder was a groundbreaking theologian and scholar who called attention to the existence and essential presence of Black people in the Bible. His career research and careful analysis have been paramount to changing the white dominant Eurocentric narrative in the Old and New Testaments, as well as the overarching role of Black people in the faith of Methodism and Christianity. Brother Felder holds additional degrees from Columbia University, Union Theological Seminary, and Mansfield College at the University of Oxford. Additionally, Brother Felder served as the Editor of The Journal of Religious Thought and the chair of the Academic Standing and Doctoral Programs committees at the School of Divinity. His written works include: Troubling Biblical Waters: Race, Class and Family, Stony the Road We Trod: African American Biblical Interpretation, The Original African Heritage Study of Bible: King James Version, Race, Racism and the Biblical Narratives, and his thesis, Wisdom, Law and Social Concern in the Epistle of James. S

WINTER 2019

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OMEGA CHAPTER

The following is a list of members who have also 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&#x20AC;&#x2122;s records.

Hermelis Leon Charles Alumni Eta Initiation: 04/26/69 Omega: 02/09/2019 Clarence F. Curry Life Zeta Lambda Initiation: 12/01/71 Zeta Lambda Omega: 10/03/2019 James H. Gaddis Life Delta Kappa Initiation: 12/01/62 Iota Chi Lambda Omega: 08/27/2019 Elbert D. Gadsden Life Xi Initiation: 01/04/49 Mu Lambda Omega: 08/20/2019 Todd W. Gooch Alumni Alpha Eta Initiation: 04/27/84 Epsilon Lambda Omega: 09/01/2019 William R. Harris Life Delta Rho Lambda Initiation: 11/30/76 Delta Rho Lambda Omega: 10/20/2019 Willie C. Jenkins, Sr. Alumni Iota Chi Lambda Initiation: 05/25/78 Iota Chi Lambda Omega: 12/14/2019

Napoleon C. Johnson Life Beta Nu Initiation: 09/01/61 Zeta Lambda Omega: 09/27/2019

Earnest L. Palmer Alumni Epsilon Nu Initiation: 11/10/62 Delta Phi Lambda Omega: 09/19/2019

Norman Seay Life General Organization Initiation: 11/15/52 Epsilon Lambda Omega: 09/17/2019

John A. Jordan, Jr. Life Omicron Lambda Initiation: 05/07/73 Alpha Eta Lambda Omega: 09/02/2019

Michael J. Peel College Iota Pi Initiation: 11/22/14 General Organization Omega: 10/18/2019

Raymond Thompkins Alumni Alpha Chi Lambda Initiation: 04/01/78 Alpha Chi Lambda Omega: 08/10/2019

Hugh G. Lacy Life Delta Theta Lambda Initiation: 06/01/74 Delta Theta Lambda Omega: 08/28/2019

Wade W. Perry Alumni Gamma Eta Initiation: 05/30/52 Beta Theta Lambda Omega: 09/21/2019

John W. Walker Alumni Gamma Delta Initiation: 12/13/56 Pi Lambda Omega: 10/28/2019

Howard E. Lewis Life Kappa Initiation: 04/01/45 Gamma Mu Lambda Omega: 11/01/2019

Vinston L. Porter Life Epsilon Nu Lambda Initiation: 06/01/79 Epsilon Nu Lambda Omega: 08/03/2019

Paul R. Webber, III Alumni Beta Delta Initiation: 12/01/53 Mu Lambda Omega: 10/24/2019

Homer L. McCall Life Alpha Rho Initiation: 12/11/58 Delta Theta Lambda Omega: 11/22/2019

Bryan A. Roberts, VII Alumni Epsilon Zeta Initiation: 12/13/72 Zeta Upsilon Lambda Omega: 10/08/2019

Karry D. Wesley Alumni Epsilon Gamma Initiation: 04/01/83 Alpha Sigma Lambda Omega: 11/13/2019

Richard E. Miller Life Beta Beta Lambda Initiation: 06/13/80 Beta Beta Lambda Omega: 08/03/2019

Steve N. Robinson Life Iota Chi Lambda Initiation: 12/01/72 Iota Chi Lambda Omega: 08/21/2019

Edward E. Norman Alumni Beta Chi Initiation: 12/12/47 Theta Tau Lambda Omega: 08/09/2019

Roy L. Rolle, Jr. Alumni Delta Delta Initiation: 12/01/64 Epsilon Pi Lambda Omega: 08/25/2019

TO ALL OUR BROTHERS IN OMEGA CHAPTER, MAY YOU REST IN PEACE.

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