CONTENTS 28 13 features 22 A NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARK: THE ALPHA HOUSE IN DETROIT 31 ELEVATING THE ALPHA SPIRIT THROUGH IMPROVING OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE in this issue 3 Letters 6 General News 11 Alpha Chairmanship 12 What Every Alpha Should Know 13 Health | Wellness 15 Education | Professional Development 19 Literary | Entertainment 28 History 30 Politics | Advocacy 39 Military 40 Chapter News 50 Alphas on the Move 52 Licensed Manufacturer & Vendor Directory 56 Omega Chapter 65 Leadership Directory 10
This issue of The Sphinx explores ‘Improving Operational Excellence’ – the second component of General President Dr. Willis L. Lonzer, III’s ‘Elevating The Alpha Spirit’ platform.
Official Organ of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ISSUE | Volume 107, No. 3 apa1906.net
EDITOR OF THE SPHINX
Eric Christopher Webb, DDiv., CPLC EWebb@apa1906.net
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Malik Whatley
Willis L. Lonzer, III, Ph.D., Sean L. McCaskill, Eric Christopher Webb, DDiv., CPLC, Nehemiah Bester, Adrian Stratton, MBA, PRP, Rahn Bailey, MD, DAPA, ACP, Gordon L. Berry, Ed.D., Brian D. Williams, Donald Ross, James Nicholson, Rashad Sorel, Kent Myron Rogers, Emanuel L. Garcia
Ramon E. Peralta, Jr., L.H.D., Chair W. Gabriel Selassie I, PhD, Donald L. Ross, LaMarcus J. Hall, Philip Wilkerson, III
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@APA1906Network @SphinxTV1906 OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ISSUE 1
Willis L. Lonzer, III, PhD General President GeneralPresident@apa1906.net
Letter from the General President
Brothers, Improving the Operational Excellence of our beloved Fraternity, which is the second key component of my Administration’s Elevating The Alpha Spirit platform and vision, is critical to supporting our mission.
We must remain in the forefront of developing leaders and providing service and advocacy to our communities. Part of that sustainability is strengthened through enhancements to our operational infrastructure. We seek to achieve and maintain this internal standard by ensuring that we improve the customer experience for Brothers and external stakeholders through executing our tactics: Organizational Alignment; Measuring and Evaluating Programs; and Growing Revenues.
As the Men of Distinction, we strive for excellence. As Alpha Men, we fully embrace that standard of excellence that requires us to remain motivated and clearly focused on the mission of our fraternity. That standard also empowers us to drive the business of Alpha through giving our best and continually engaging stakeholders in our communities.
That is Elevating The Alpha Spirit!
Our General Office represents the core of this effort, and our Interim Executive Director Brother Sean McCaskill is taking aggressive steps to realize this challenge and goal. To start, the focus has been on training and staffing.
In addition, we have been working to provide clear and consistent communication and training of priorities and programs to Brothers to improve uniformity and collective impact. We are also institutionalizing regular review and evaluation of programs, initiatives, and partnerships based on clear performance measures and outcomes, as well as deploying new strategies to leverage our membership model while diversifying and growing assets.
Beyond the General Office, our General Officers, Regional and District field officers as well as our area levels/local chapters must adopt a similar philosophy around their operational excellence. While the General Office provides resources, guidance, and support, we as a fraternity, at every level, must embrace and implement policies and procedures that ensure the achievement of the operational goals of the General Organization. There are times where new processes must replace old methods, even though they often “felt right”. Ultimately, we are striving to enhance the experience of every Brother.
Excellence, through Brotherhood and service, will always be the standard, ensuring that we fulfill and uphold our motto’s call to transcend all. S
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ISSUE 3 FROM THE GENERAL PRESIDENT
Sean L McCaskill Interim Executive Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Letter from the Interim Executive Director
My Brothers of Alpha, I hope this letter finds you mentally and physically well. Please allow me to introduce you to this latest edition of The Sphinx Magazine on “Improving Operational Excellence.”
In the previous edition, we made it our mission to inform the Brotherhood of both the possibility as well as the progress we have and continue to make in “Strengthening Our Brotherhood.” I want to thank all those, who not only contributed to that edition, but also offer a special thank you, to you, those who work to strengthen the House of Alpha daily. Through your service, advocacy, and spirit, we find ourselves moving into a new era of Alpha Phi Alpha – an era that is membership-driven and focused on improving our operational excellence.
Let me be clear – we still have work to do, but let me share what we have accomplished so far. Under the leadership of General President Dr. Willis L. Lonzer, III, we have created and executed a successful hybrid general convention, the first of its kind, with plans to implement a similar strategy when we convene in Dallas, Texas in 2023. We have also stayed true to our pledge to better serve our members with the establishment of a new department at the General Office, Brotherhood Engagement, which is a distinct division that is focused on innovative ideas that more staregically engages our Brotherhood.
In addition, our communication with the Brotherhood and our external partners have been sharply centered. We continue to establish partnerships while building upon the foundations of our most generous donors and sponsors. The Communications Department has also faithfully anchored all public relations matters, implementing fresh strategies as well as has remained commited to highlight the incredible work done by our Brothers and Chapters. This includes a new Alphas In The News social media category, the establishment of The Brotherhood Matters weekly e-newsletter, production of Milestone Chapter Anniversary proclamations, as well as on-going promotion of the Surgeon General’s Initiative Health Series, with more original programming in the coming months.
Lastly, I would be remiss to not recognize the General Office leadership and staff, who make all of this happen. These individuals bear the day-to-day burden to ensure and provide a sound infrastructure for how we serve our communities globally. Without their essential efforts and love for our Fraternity, (including the women who serve there), we would not be able to improve our operations and brainstorm up-to-theminute improvements as swiftly or as ambitiously. They are my team members, and a reflection of the demanding work Alpha has always intended. The next time you contact the General Office in Baltimore, or you receive your membership card, a resolution, are highlighted on social media, or been serviced efficiently, never feel shy about telling a staff member, “thank you,” because they’ve earned it.
It is an exciting time to be an Alpha. I can think of no greater joy than to witness all the incredible opportunities to come for our Brotherhood. How we improve and operate as a fraternity and philanthropic organization is better with you involved.
We are strongest together. Please enjoy this edition of The Sphinx and look forward to what is coming.S
FROM THE INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 4 THE SPHINX®
Eric Christopher Webb, DDiv., CPLC Editor
Letter from the Editor of The Sphinx
This volume of The Sphinx magazine highlights the “Improving Operational Excellence” component of General President Dr. Willis l. Lonzer, III’s Elevating The Alpha Spirit vision and platform. The cover feature examines the General Office’s efforts to improve operational excellence across all departments, including Administration, Operations, IMDP and Membership, Brotherhood Engagement, Finance, Communications, and Vendor Relations.
Among some of The Sphinx’s departments, in General News, the Fraternity announces new partnerships with the National Disability Institute, and the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. In addition, the Fraternity launches its ‘Give & Go To Fight Cancer’ Awareness Campaign with ESPN and the V Foundation as well as its $2.5 million Black Depository Program with five Black-owned and controlled banks across the country.
In What Every Alpha Should Know, we discuss the Fraternity’s official flower, the Yellow Rose along with where and how it should be displayed. Our General Parliamentarian discusses ‘Setting An Agenda’ in Alpha Chairmanship
Under Education and Professional Development, Brother Dr. Gordon Berry tackles reflections and assumptions about the importance of rigor and cultural sensitivity in the school curriculum while I caution us to ‘Never Forget The Storm’ and share how developing gratitude from our struggles will help strengthen and guide us for our personal and professional development.
In Advocacy, the Fraternity seeks a stay of execution and a grant of clemency for death row inmate Julius Jones, who the Fraternity believed sufficient doubt existed regarding his alleged guilt in the 1999 murder conviction. Within four hours of the execution, Oklahoma Gov. J. Kevin Stitt granted him life without parole four hours before his scheduled 4 PM CST execution. Twice, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board recommended that Mr. Jones be granted life with the possibility of parole, given strong new evidence of his innocence. As stated in our statement, “The Fraternity in good conscience cannot stand idly by and allow a miscarriage of justice from a wrongful execution.”
Under Military Affairs, we recognize Brother then-Lt. General Anthony J. Cotton, who was promoted to 4-Star and is the first African American to lead Air Force Global Strike Command.
We also continue to highlight the notable accomplishments of our Alpha Brothers in Alphas on the Move, including Brother Jeff Barton, who was appointed the first African American City Manager of Phoenix, Arizona, and Brother Samuel Blackburn – the oldest Brother in the Mississippi district, who turned 100, while earlier we share the latest books by or about Alpha Brothers in the Literary & Entertainment.
As always, I look forward to your readership and feedback. S
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ISSUE 5
THE EDITOR OF THE SPHINX
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Partners With National Disability Institute
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the nation’s oldest intercollegiate fraternity for AfricanAmerican college men, has established a partnership with National Disability Institute (NDI) – the first and only national organization exclusively focused on the financial health and well-being of people with disabilities in October. Notably, October is National Employment Disability Awareness Month.
The partnership, which aims to raise awareness of the social, economic, and attitudinal barriers faced by those with disabilities and their families, will help to advance the financial, physical, and mental health for members of the fraternity as well as for students, family members, coworkers, and other individuals through social and community relationships. It also hopes to institute concrete methods and initiatives to combat and alter the stigma around disability and those it affects.
leadership skills as well as expand opportunities to Alpha Phi Alpha places of employment for talented African-American youth and young adults with disabilities identified with NDI support.
“National Disability Institute is honored and thrilled to announce our strategic partnership with Alpha Phi Alpha,” said Thomas Foley, National Disability Institute Executive Director. “There is tremendous synergy between our organizations, especially our shared advocacy and commitment to economic reform and social justice. The partnership, through APA’s Leadership Development Institute, will deliver an increased awareness and understanding of the societal, economic and attitudinal barriers faced by people with disabilities and their families.”
NDI, which has been addressing issues impacting the financial futures of people with disabilities since 2005, has a unique and continually evolving approach to financial health allows for continued changed behavior and policy modifications at a local, state, and national level.
“Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. is excited to partner with National Disability Institute,” said Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. General President Dr. Willis L. Lonzer, III. “This partnership leverages our collective power to increase awareness, create opportunities, and combat the stigma surrounding disabilities for our members, their families, and the communities we serve.”
Members of the fraternity have also been given exclusive opportunities to engage and advance their education and outreach of National Disability Institute and its mission. This included competitive invitations each summer for members to participate in NDI internships to learn about policy development and implementation with executive and legislative branches of the federal government to develop and increase
Most recently, the U.S. Small Business Administration has awarded the partners the newly funded Community Navigator grant to advance entrepreneurship and small business development by individuals with disabilities. Under the grant, Alpha Phi Alpha will help identify fraternity members and alumni to serve as mentors to Black entrepreneurs and small business owners with disabilities in the greater Washington, D.C. area.
“It is an honor to work closely with Alpha Phi Alpha, an organization whose members include civil rights leaders Martin Luther King, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, W.E.B. DuBois and Cornel West,” said William Gould, National Disability Institute Director of Equity and Inclusion. “This partnership will further strengthen and sustain our organizations’ work at the intersection of race, ethnicity, and disability.” S
6 THE SPHINX® GENERAL NEWS
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Partners with Notre Dame business school
The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the first intercollegiate Greek-lettered fraternity for African American men, and the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, announced a partnership aimed at supporting the professional advancement and leadership of African American men through graduate business education in October.
Alpha Phi Alpha and Mendoza are collaboratively supporting members seeking to develop as leaders through a business education. Mendoza is offering a designated fellowship program; waiving application fees to its graduate programs including the Notre Dame MBA;
waiving fees for the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) and the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT); as well as providing test preparation programming, early access to Mendoza Graduate Business Career Development coaching and alumni mentoring.
“Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. is excited to partner with the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business,” says Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. General President Dr. Willis L. Lonzer, III. “Our Fraternity’s mission places strong emphasis on developing leaders, and thanks to partnerships like this one will provide our members educational opportunities that are key to furthering that development.”
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ISSUE 7 GENERAL NEWS
The College also held a two-day Alpha Phi Alpha Inclusive Leadership Immersion in mid-October on the Notre Dame campus that focused on career development and professional degree opportunities at Mendoza. Students heard from a diverse panel of students, alumni, and staff about the Notre Dame experience and participated in a “Demystifying the Business Case” session.
“The partnership with Alpha Phi Alpha allows us to directly support members of the fraternity interested in furthering their impact through a graduate business education while providing us with the opportunity to attract an increased number of talented, diverse candidates to our programs,” says Martin Cremers, Martin J. Gillen Dean of Mendoza College of Business. “We are honored to start this partnership with this venerable organization.”
The Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame is a premier Catholic business school whose mission is to develop leaders who contribute to human flourishing, cooperate with others in solidarity and compete toward becoming the best version of themselves through serving others. A leader in
values-based education with the message of “Grow the Good in Business,” the College offers an academic experience that integrates experiential learning, integral leadership development and a community of mutual advancement.
In addition to its top-ranked Undergraduate Studies program and doctoral programs in management and in analytics, Mendoza offers 11 graduate business degree programs: the Notre Dame MBA (in a one- and a twoyear format), Executive MBA-South Bend, Executive MBA-Chicago, Master of Science in Business AnalyticsResidential, Master of Science in Business AnalyticsChicago, Master of Science in Finance Residential, Master of Science in Finance-Chicago, Master of Science in Management, Master of Science in Accountancy, Executive Master of Nonprofit Administration and the Master of Nonprofit Administration-Residential. Learn more at Mendoza.nd.edu.
For more information about Mendoza Graduate Programs, including the Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity, Inc. partnership, contact María Stutsman y Márquez at email@example.com or Martin Johnson at mjohns69@ nd.edu. S
8 THE SPHINX® GENERAL NEWS
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Launches ‘Give and Go To Fight Cancer’ Awareness Campaign with ESPN and V Foundation
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the world’s oldest intercollegiate Fraternity founded by African American men, along with ESPN and the V Foundation begins its “Give and Go To Fight Cancer” campaign on the Fraternity’s Dec. 4th Founders’ Day, and encouraged the public to GIVE by making a donation to cancer research and reminds them to GO schedule a cancer screening. The campaign ends on Jan. 4, 2022, the anniversary of the passing of beloved ESPN sportscaster and Alpha Brother Stuart Scott.
The partnership and campaign, in it’s a second year, was part of a continued effort to drive cancer awareness within communities of color and to raise funds for the Stuart Scott Cancer Research Fund. The V Foundation and ESPN established the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund in memory of Brother Stuart Scott after he passed away in 2015. Prior to his death, he was a champion for cancer research and was especially driven to improve outcomes for African Americans and other minorities disproportionately affected by the disease.
Last year’s campaign raised more than $41,000, with
this year’s goal is set at $100,000.
The “Give and Go to Fight Cancer” campaign encouraged donations of $19.06, to highlight the 1906 establishment of Alpha Phi Alpha. Additionally, a special Alpha Phi Alpha branded t-shirt is available to commemorate this partnership, with $25 of every shirt sale benefiting the Stuart Scott Fund, which also supports minority scientists and research dedicated to cancer disparities experienced by minority populations.
To donate, please visit: v.org/alpha
In keeping with our efforts to support Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) and health disparities within the African American Community, funds raised go towards supporting research projects and emerging minority scientists conducting significant cancer research at HBCUs.
On Dec. 7th, the Fraternity, also participated in a “Day of Caring,” a 24-hour fundraising challenge that aimed to rally Brothers and chapters around supporting the Stuart Scott Cancer Memorial Fund. S
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ISSUE 9 GENERAL NEWS
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Launches Its Black Depository Program
One of the Fraternity’s most important objectives is to aid downtrodden humanity in its efforts to achieve higher social, economic, and intellectual status.
In the fall of 2021, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. deposited over $2.5 million in five (5) Black-owned banks within the Fraternity’s five regions across the United States. The initiative was executed by the Fraternity’s General Treasurer Brother Densel Fleming as a part of the Black Depository Program.
“Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., proudly, takes this significant step as a demonstration of a financial choice that truly drives economic impact and upward mobility in underserved communities,” says Brother Fleming.
The banks include City First Bank, formerly, Broadway Federal Bank (Western Region); GN Bank; Carver Federal Savings Bank (Eastern Region); Mechanics and Farmers Bank (Southern Region); and Liberty Bank (Southwestern Region).
“Alpha Phi Alpha’s decision to choose Mechanics & Farmers Bank for their depository needs means so much to our financial institution and the communities in which we serve,” says James Sills, president and CEO of Mechanics & Farmers Bank.
The assistant branch manager of Carver Federal Savings Bank, Janette Beach, echoes those sentiments. “What an honor it’s going to be to serve Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity as a customer… We are beyond excited to be one of the participating banks,” she says.
This depository investment is intended to help economically empower underserved communities, in which Black and African Americans historically have faced discriminatory banking practices and systemic racism, while also promoting racial equity and inclusion.
In addition, all bank officials referenced how challenging it has been to grow and maintain a healthy deposit base in vulnerable communities. Each bank received a $500,000 Certificate of Deposit, which was a significant contribution to their bottom line. Deposit growth is a critical measure of success of all financial institutions and our Fraternity’s actions have moved Black-owned banks a little closer to the goal line.
Historically, Black-owned banks have provided financial products and services to people of color when other banks would not provide those services to them. Their position in our community should be viewed as an alternative to larger financial institutions. S
10 THE SPHINX® GENERAL NEWS
BY BROTHER ADRIAN B. STRATTON, MBA, PRP [OMICRON ZETA LAMBDA ’08]
Setting An Agenda
An agenda is an organized plan for a business meeting. In an organization of any size, a fair and consistent method must be utilized to ensure matters are appropriately considered. Without guidance that an agenda provides, operational chaos could arise. Correctly adopting an agenda is an effective method of communicating to members the business that will need to be acted upon.
Regular meetings, special meetings, and conventions1 should all have an agenda. An agenda is generally adopted soon after a meeting is called to order. Members have a right to be informed and by taking this step early in a meeting, participants will have a clear idea of the business that is to come before them. Identifying the topics of discussion and the general time in which items will be discussed is helpful to ensure engagement from members.
Through rule or custom, an agenda is derived from an order of business. Many organizations adopt a standard order of business that is defined in rules of order.2 An order of business can be thought of as standard categories that an organization wishes to regularly address in each meeting. An agenda contains the itemized topics to be discussed at a particular meeting. As a result, each agenda is unique and establishes the sequence in which business items will be taken up. The agenda for a special meeting may only include items related to the purpose as stated in the notice of the meeting since the business that may be transacted is limited. Agendas for a convention are ordinarily contained in the program schedule along with other non-business components such as workshops, meal functions, and social activities. A common agenda may contain specific items from the following categories:
• “Approval of Minutes” – this is the opportunity to officially approve and record the actions that took place in a previous meeting.
• “Reports of Officers” – officers should present in order of rank unless otherwise defined or preferred.3
• “Reports of Boards and Committees” – the recommended order of these reports would be from the board, standing committees, then special committees.
• “Unfinished Business and General Orders” –announcement of the category, as in “is there any unfinished business?” is discouraged; particular items not disposed of from a previous meeting
should be individually listed on the agenda so that they can be addressed at the current meeting.
• “New Business” – known items, such as those previously noticed for the current meeting should be individually listed and members may introduce items arising out of reports or other current matters unless a rule prevents doing so.
The call to order and adjournment are commonly listed on an agenda as a way to indicate meeting start and end times.4 Special orders, if any, normally take place after any committee reports. Customs such as
a roll call, introduction of guests, announcements, and ceremonies (opening, patriotic, spiritual, and/ or ritualistic) may also be added at the appropriate place as adopted. Even when previously distributed by the chair or secretary, an agenda is not finalized until adopted by a majority of members. Typically, unanimous consent is used to adopt an agenda. However, members should not hesitate to offer amendments to the agenda prior to adoption.
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ISSUE 11
Once an agenda is set, the organization should abide by it. Nevertheless, situations may arise where the organization wishes to deviate from the business as previously adopted in an agenda. In most situations the chair may request the deviation by asking “is there any objection to the change?” If there is no objection, the change is adopted and the business is returned to as scheduled once the deviation has been disposed of. A change in an adopted agenda can also be achieved via formal motion which requires a two-thirds (2/3) vote for adoption.
The agenda is a key tool for improving operational excellence by making meetings effective. Every member has a right to introduce business for consideration and one of the best ways to ensure important matters will be addressed is to adopt them as agenda items. By understanding how to adopt an agenda and how to modify it when needed, all members will be better positioned to move organizational objectives forward during each meeting. S
1. Conventions refer to an assembly of delegates; other terms used to describe similar gatherings include conference, convocation, congress, general assembly, house of delegates and house of representatives. RONR (12th Ed.) 58:1
2. Caution should be used when deciding to place an order of business in the bylaws; a better approach is to define it in lesser rules of order which are easier to change or suspend such as special or standing rules.
3. In regular meetings the president typically reports first among the officers but it is not out of order if the president wishes to speak last at a meeting or convention.
4. Although helpful to list on the agenda both are technically outside of the scope of an agenda: the meeting must be called to order prior to the agenda being adopted. Adjournment begins after the meeting has concluded and is not a part of the meeting. The time of each should always be recorded in the minutes.
Brother Adrian Stratton, MBA, PRP [Omicron Zeta Lambda ’08], a member of Kappa Theta Lambda, serves as General Parliamentarian for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
BY BROTHER RAHN BAILEY, MD, DAPA, ACP [ALPHA RHO’84]
Supporting Minority Groups Amid VaccineHesitancy
With the recent implementation of vaccine mandates by schools, businesses, and even hospitals, many wonder whether or not this approach could impact the vaccine rates negatively. According to CDC, there were 683,329 doses administered per day as of September 23, 2021. Although it seems like vaccination doses are being given at a steady rate, it is still an 11.7% drop from the previous numbers. This, of course, could be attributed to a multitude of factors, one of them being vaccine hesitancy.
The World Health Organization defines vaccine hesitancy as a “delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccines despite availability of vaccination services”. Among the different communities that make-up, vaccine hesitancy has been shown to greatly affect minority populations more than their non-Hispanic white counterpart . CDC’s most recent (September 30, 2021) data revealed that there are only 5.8% of Asians, 12.4% of African Americans and 17.2% of Hispanics that have been fully vaccinated in the U.S. Moreover, minority groups tend to get hospitalized with
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ISSUE 13 HEALTH | WELLNESS
more severe clinical presentations and are more likely to die from COVID-19 complications .
The hurdles experienced by each minority group differs – from worries about a chance encounter with immigration authorities while getting the COVID-19 vaccine amongst the Hispanic community to African Americans’ (AA) distrust towards how the vaccine was fast-tracked and introduced to the general public without more rigorous trials conducted to support its efficacy.  African Americans have faced a long history of social prejudices from both the government and society, which has bolstered up wariness towards the COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, an article written on a blog entitled Black Men Travels asserted how AA’s who contracted the virus have not been severely infected or survived its deadly complications due to melanin in their skin.
Misinformation about COVID-19 and the vaccine is spreading faster than the virus itself. This has undoubtedly made it more difficult for people to be more receptive to receiving the vaccine. One way to combat vaccine hesitancy is to regulate the spread of vaccine misinformation. Earlier this year, social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have banned users that spread misinformation claiming autism as just one of the results of the COVID-19 vaccine, among other false declarations. YouTube, the largest online video sharing platform, has followed suit and announced that any video containing deceptive information about the vaccine will be removed.
Healthcare professionals play a critical role in educating their patients on the importance of getting the vaccine, without belittling those who are driven by fear and unease of the vaccine’s side effects. The pandemic has proven to be an opportune time for clinicians to practice community empowerment, heighten standards of communication between the provider and patient, provide equitable high-quality care and use their voices to advocate for the vaccine while providing accurate details . This will help get rid of health disparities and allow minority groups to feel less threatened by false claims made by anti-vaxxers.
As minority groups continue to be disproportionately affected during the pandemic, collective efforts to advocate for more people to get vaccinated should be highly prioritized. Along with social media platforms slowly creating a better medium for community members to learn valid information about COVID-19 and healthcare professionals needing to practice a more unbiased form of patient care, a high level of trust also needs to be built between government officials, agencies, and people of this country to see a more favorable change. S
1. Hildreth JEK, Alcendor DJ. Targeting COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in Minority Populations in the US: Implications for Herd Immunity. Vaccines. 2021; 9(5):489. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9050489
2. Yehia BR, Winegar A, Fogel R, et al. Association of Race With Mortality Among Patients Hospitalized With Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at 92 US Hospitals. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(8):e2018039. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.18039
3. Don Bambino Geno Tai, Aditya Shah, Chyke A Doubeni, Irene G Sia, Mark L Wieland, The Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 on Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the United States, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Volume 72, Issue 4, 15 February 2021, Pages 703–706, https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ ciaa815
Brother Rahn Kennedy Bailey, MD, DAPA, ACP, [Alpha Rho’84], serves as chairman of psychiatry & assistant dean of diversity/community engagement at LSUHSC-New Orleans. In addition, he is the current chairman of the BOT of the NMACobb Research Institute, was the 113th President of the National Medical Association, completed terms on the Rutgers State University, American Psychiatric Association, and American Academy of Psychiatry & the Law BOT.
14 THE SPHINX® HEALTH | WELLNESS
BY BROTHER GORDON L. BERRY, ED.D [DELTA XI ’52]
The Education of African American Children and Youth
REFLECTIONS AND ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF RIGOR AND CULTURAL SENSITIVITY IN THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM
The country today is deep in discussions about the educational direction of programs for African American children and youth in our urban schools, and other under-resourced communities.
Throughout an analysis of the discussion, reports, and media accounts, there seem to emerge two broad questions. The first question is, “What type of educational program do the Black children and youth need?”
There needs to be an educational system that strives for excellence without compromise, but with a full understanding and appreciation for the strengths of the child and his or her lifestyle.
The second stated or implied question from the literature asks, “What type of education and schools do Black people want?” To this question, one can only suggest that they want schools and teachers who
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ISSUE 15 EDUCATION | PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
strive for excellence within a framework of cultural understanding.
The chief advantage of answers to such complicated questions is that they both begin with a philosophical commitment that is based on a positive approach to the needs and wants of African Americans. Both of these answers assume that Black youngsters can master a strong curriculum that is well planned and well taught. These answers also assume that the parents want, appreciate, and desire a strong school program that will help their Marcus and Dorothy to be competitive in society.
In general, one approach begins with how different these children and their parents are, because it has been this “different doctrine” that has brought to the urban schools a rash of watered-down and do-nothing programs. These programs have often been operated by people who purport to care about children of color, but fail to teach them how to analyze, read and compute.
There are also powerful voices within the Black communities who call for “blackening” the curricular content and the total school for their children. We must set the history, English, and scientific textbooks straight concerning the culture and contributions of minority groups. In addition, we must integrate and enrich the school curriculum with the nature of, and concern for, the “Black Experience.”
On the other hand, we should be prepared to reject from the brothers, sisters, liberals, radicals, or conservatives any attempt to call for school programs that are anything less than solid in their content, humanistic in their concerns and relevant to the needs of the community. In addition, the curriculum should be broad enough to help Black youngsters to understand humankind in the community and the world.
We must shift the focus away from the “blame the victim and cultural deficit” perspectives related to African Americans in the educational pipeline. At the same time, the concepts do not ignore or romanticize the role that a group of people have for improving their own achievement level. The complexities of those retarding social forces, especially faced by some Black
people, such as a conceptually relevant educational program, can tap the untapped potentials of African American school-age children and young people.
The broad-based educational reflections and assumptions call for schools that have a solid base of study in English, history, science, mathematics, health practices, the environment, music, the arts and the new technologies. A strong and accurate program of study is especially important in the fields of history and the social sciences because many of the country’s systemic ethnic and racial components of history have been poorly characterized and presented in the past.
As an example, it has been easy for teachers of history to champion the ship, the Mayflower, that sailed from England to the Cape Cod area in 1620 with free people aboard. At the same time, little or no attention was given to the ship, the White Lion, that docked a year before in Jamestown, Virginia in 1619 with a cargo of 20 or so captured people from Africa who would be sold into slavery.
Based on the reflections, and directions of educational programs for African American children and youth in urban and under-resources schools, we must build programs based on equity and excellence in spite of the fact that many of these young people challenge our educational systems from grade school to college to meet their needs.
Our tasks as men of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, professional educators, social scientists, political leaders, and researchers are to be creative and committed enough to African Americans and all students to modify their weaknesses to tap their strengths, and to unshackle their positive potential to achieve. S
Brother Dr. Gordon L. Berry [Delta Xi ’52] is Professor Emeritus and a former Assistant Dean in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He is a Life Member since 1987 and is presently an active member of Eta Pi Lambda in Pasadena, California.
16 THE SPHINX® EDUCATION | PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
BY BROTHER ERIC CHRISTOPHER WEBB, DDIV., CPLC
Never Forget The Storm
When we are faced with intense hardships, uncertainty reigns over what we should do, or whether we will even survive.
Speculation alone can be devastating. A barrage of selfdoubt and questions consume us. We question ourselves, our choices, our actions, and sometimes, even our God.
Why is this happening to US?
What did we do to deserve this?
Haven’t we been good people?
The litany is never-ending.
At times, doom feels eminent. But still, we labor, suffer, and persevere through it. We endure sadness, pain, depression, regret, and anger. We negotiate to survive,
and we sacrifice to survive. In the end, we may lose everything we thought was important, but we survive.
THE GIFT OF STRUGGLE
Our struggle is a gift. Its value is not in self-pity or in victimhood, but in its necessity.
Without it, we would not be able to determine how far we have come or what we could endure.
At the time, adversity can be overwhelming and determining how to navigate struggle can seem impossible. Clearly, strategies exist, but in the end, the answers reside within oneself.
Remember or find one’s why or purpose. Our why is our reason for being or doing. Purpose inspires us or gives us something to strive towards when goals are out of sight. Ultimately, our purpose tells us there is something
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ISSUE 17 EDUCATION | PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
bigger than ourselves that not only are we connected to, but we must realize and endeavor to achieve its potential.
Find humor in adversity. Humor is often a tool of the resilient. It challenges our grief and our depression. We smile and we joke. It disarms our enemies or those who would see us fail or suffer. We learn to laugh at what the world throws at us, showing it, we will not be defeated. Humor in the face of adversity goes hand in hand with optimism or positive thinking. Positive thinking often attracts positive outcomes or at least allows us to see solutions we thought were not there.
Make peace with one’s choices. Our decisions often haunt and torture us. We must, however, shift our thinking to believe that the choices we have made were the right ones no matter what the outcome. Things were destined to happen. When we learn to accept and own those decisions as well as the subsequent outcomes, we are no longer victims to our guilt and our shame. And with that, we are either meant to win or to learn.
Forgive oneself. When we forgive ourselves, we allow ourselves grace. When we harm or betray someone, we realize the healing can only begin once we make amends and are granted forgiveness by those we offended. But when it is we who harm or betray ourselves, we usually hold to a higher standard. Nothing we do is ever enough. And so, we belittle and torture ourselves. The tape in our head replays over and over. We are losers. We are failures. We are bad people. Instead, we must accept that we are human beings and prone to make mistakes. While we should learn to accept our past mistakes, the key to forgiving oneself is realizing we are not the sum of them.
GRATITUDE AS OUR GUIDE
Gratitude, itself, offers us fresh eyes to what we confront daily. It allows us to temper our reaction to challenges and hardships. It grounds us and guides us.
Gratitude is the measure of the lesson. We realize that while some instances or experiences can be sometimes painful, it is the lesson derived that will help us navigate and withstand much worse storms in the future. But most of all, gratitude offers us undeniable hope–hope that we will find a way through.
THE SUNSHINE AFTER THE STORM
Ironically, current successes, achievements, and materialism—our sunshine after the storm—does not necessarily always invoke gratitude. On the contrary, what it evokes is contentment, and unfortunately through it, many become pacified, entitled, and forgetful. And in that forgetting, our previous journey and their sacrifices become diminished, and thus the new and different struggles we encounter become insurmountable.
If we are not to become victims of ourselves, we must always remember every aspect of the storm without become captive to it:
Where were we?
How did we feel?
What didn’t we have?
What did we lose?
How were we treated?
Who abandoned us?
It is in this remembering that we realize who we really are, and that nothing can truly destroy us if we always choose to get up and keep going. S
Brother Eric Christopher Webb, DDiv., CPLC, a 1989 Nu Chapter initiate, a Life member, and member of Rho Tau Lambda Chapter, is the Fraternity’s director of communications and editor of The Sphinx. Brother Webb is also a National Black Authors Tour bestselling author of five books, including the 2013 Phillis Wheatley Book Award Finalist for Best First Fiction, “The Garvey Protocol: Inspired By True Events.” He speaks and conducts personal and professional development workshops at universities, colleges, institutions, and corporations nationwide. In addition, he has been featured in or on The Washington Post, Thomson Newspapers, National Newspapers Publishers Association News Wire, ESSENCE, HBO, BET, The Learning Channel, SiriusXM, and the Voice of America.
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New Books By Alphas
PROBLEM CHILD: LEADING STUDENTS LIVING IN POVERTY TOWARDS INFINITE POSSIBILITIES OF SUCCESS
Brother Dr. Khalid Mumin [Sigma Mu Lambda ’21] has lived the educational journey of which he speaks. Growing up in Philadelphia, PA, he learned over time that when someone believes in you, it provides the necessary fuel to propel you forward. Once labeled a problem child, it wasn’t until he was in danger of being placed in a juvenile detention center that he began to take his educational journey more seriously. Now a highly effective superintendent of K-12 schools, his new book examines the historical constructs of youth growing up in poverty and emphasizes the ways in which influential mentorship have become one of the major pillars of success and how to lead children towards those infinite possibilities. amazon.com S
A NEWARK CHILDHOOD: A MEMOIR
In Brother David Barrett’s [Delta Iota ’63] memoir, he chronicles his upbringing in Newark, New Jersey, in a powerful, emotional and, at times, hilarious recollection. Brother Barrett intertwines his passion for formal education with the real-life lessons from his developmental years in Newark, New Jersey from 1948 and beyond. Through his eyes, the reader gets a sense of the heart and soul of the city. He reinvigorates passion to educate others through the notion that these individual experiences are part of a collection of memorable and meaningful events. amazon.com S
MALCOM EXPLAINS: MY HAIR AND WHY IT’S AWESOME TOO!
In Brother Joedy Barnes [Delta Kappa ’08] children’s book, he writes to readers of all ages about the importance of self-love, especially when it comes to Black hair. Join Malcom and Ebony as they discuss all the good things about having Black hair. They discuss words such as nappy, dreadlocks, and what it means to have “good hair.” Come along as they share a little bit of history and a lot of pride in our natural hair. MalcomExplains.com S
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ISSUE 19 LITERARY | ENTERTAINMENT BOOK SHELF
SAY THEIR NAMES: HOW BLACK LIVES CAME TO MATTER IN AMERICA
Brother Curtis Bunn [Epsilon Pi ’82] and four other authors are responsible for this incisive, gripping exploration of the forces that pushed our unjust system to its breaking point after the death of George Floyd and a definitive guide to America's present-day racial reckoning.
For many, the story of the weeks of protests in the summer of 2020 began with the horrific nine minutes and twenty-nine seconds when Police Officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd on camera, and it ended with the sweeping federal, state, and intrapersonal changes that followed. It is a simple story, wherein white America finally witnessed enough brutality to move their collective consciousness. The only problem is that it isn't true. George Floyd was not the first Black man to be killed by police—he wasn’t even the first to inspire nation-wide protests—yet his death came at a time when America was already at a tipping point.
In Say Their Names, five seasoned journalists probe this critical shift. With a piercing examination of how inequality has been propagated throughout history, from Black imprisonment and the Convict Leasing program to longstanding predatory medical practices to over-policing, the authors highlight the disparities that have long characterized the dangers of being Black in America. They examine the many moderate attempts to counteract these inequalities, from the modern Civil Rights movement to Ferguson, and how the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others pushed compliance with an unjust system to its breaking point. Finally, they outline the momentous changes that have resulted from this movement, while at the same time proposing necessary next steps to move forward.
With a combination of penetrating, focused journalism and affecting personal insight, the authors bring together their collective years of reporting, creating a cohesive and comprehensive understanding of racial inequality in America. amazon.com S
THE TRUMAN COURT: LAW AND THE LIMITS OF LOYALTY
Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of Harry S. Truman’s presidency is his judicial legacy, with even the finest of Truman biographies neglecting to consider the influence he had on the Supreme Court. Yet, as Brother Rawn James, Jr. [Zeta ’95] lays out in engaging detail, president Harry Truman successfully molded the high court into a judicial body that appeared to actively support his administration’s political agenda. In rulings that sparked controversy in their own time, the Supreme Court repeatedly upheld Truman’s most contentious policies, including actions to restrict free speech, expand civil rights, and manage labor union unrest.
The Truman Court: Law and the Limits of Loyalty argues that the years between FDR’s death in 1945 and Chief Justice Earl Warren’s confirmation in 1953—the dawn of the Cold War—were, contrary to widespread belief, important years in Supreme Court history. Never before or since has a president so quickly and completely changed the ideological and temperamental composition of the Court. With remarkable swiftness and certainty, Truman constructed a Court on which he relied to lend constitutional credence to his political agenda. amazon.com S
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LITERARY | ENTERTAINMENT BOOK SHELF
BY BROTHER BRIAN D. WILLIAMS [GAMMA LAMBDA ’08]
A NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARK: THE ALPHA HOUSE IN DETROIT
These words were penned in 1923 by Brother Sidney P. Brown long before the Alpha House at 293 Eliot in Detroit, Michigan was acquired. But one would think Brother Brown had 293 Eliot in mind when he wrote the iconic poem. The Historic Alpha House — home of the Gamma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, the third oldest alumni chapter — embodies the spirit of history, brotherhood and purpose that is shared by all Alpha men.
The Detroit Alpha House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 26, 2021. This property was recognized for its historical significance and
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The Alpha House today, located at 293 Eliot, Detroit, Michigan (courtesy of Bro. Kyles O. Hamilton Sr)
GOODWILL is the monarch of this house. Men, unacquainted, enter, shake hands, exchange greetings, and depart friends. Cordiality exists among all who abide within.
— Excerpt from The House of Alpha by Sidney P. Brown
Below left: The Alpha House front living room in 1953 (courtesy of the Sphinx, December 1953)
Below right: The Alpha House front living room in 2017 (courtesy
its role in the cultural and social life of the Detroit community. The Alpha House is the oldest occupied and longest continually owned fraternity house by any of the almost 800 chapters in Alpha.
The House of Alpha
The Alpha House was built around 1912 and is situated in Detroit’s Brush Park neighborhood. The 2,600 square-foot, twostory neoclassical style structure has been carefully maintained to retain the architecture and features of the original structure.
The Gamma Lambda Chapter was chartered on March 22, 1919, by 13 men who were influential in the Detroit community. For the two decades that followed, the brothers did not have a permanent meeting location and met at various locations operated by chapter brothers. Some of the brothers were not satisfied with the inadequacy of this meeting arrangement
and suggested that Alpha be housed in more suitable quarters. Gamma Lambda had the “tremendous” sum of $30 in the treasury when a committee of brothers began working on the project to secure a house. Four hundred fifty dollars were raised from the brothers and the down payment of fifteen hundred dollars was raised within 10 days. On May 15, 1939, the chapter purchased the house at 293 Eliot Street.
The October 1940 edition of the Sphinx announced Gamma Lambda’s purchase of the house, and the December 1947 edition included a feature entitled The Alpha House in Detroit that provided a detailed narrative of the house and activities taking place within. At one time there were one or more caretakers who lived in the Alpha House. Mrs. Anna Gross was the first — a combination of caretaker and “House Mother.” Mrs. Gross was recognized at the 1968 General Convention with a citation for serving the brothers of the
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ISSUE 23 FEATURE
The oldest known photo of the Alpha House (courtesy of the Sphinx, October 1940)
of Brother Kyles O. Hamilton, Sr.)
Gamma Lambda Chapter as House Mother for more than 30 years.
A Social and Cultural Outlet and Safe Haven
For Alpha men, the Alpha House has always been more than a just a place for bonding and socializing. At a time when very few public, and no private dining and entertainment facilities in Detroit admitted African Americans, the Alpha House provided a major cultural and social outlet for Black college students and the community at-large. But even more important, it was a haven for both Alpha men and the community in times of crisis, such as the Detroit riots of 1943 and 1967.
When I attended my first fraternity meeting at the Detroit Alpha house 50 years ago, I didn’t know many local Alpha men, as I had been initiated 16 years earlier at the Harlem Alpha House in New York City. Brother Coit Ford, already a 50-plus year brother, welcomed me warmly, showed me through the house and, in an instant, connected me back to the earliest days
of the fraternity in Detroit. I felt an immediate bond to the brothers and the house and all the momentous events that had transpired in the years prior. That’s how it is for brothers entering the house of Alpha.
Brother William G. Herbert (Eta ‘55) Gamma Lambda Chapter Member
The accomplishments of Gamma Lambda, and the work taking place at 293 Eliot Street drew attention from outside Detroit. Internationally known Alpha men, such as Paul Robeson and Thurgood Marshall, came to the Alpha House to lend their support and assistance.
State of Michigan Historic Site
On August 31, 1977, the Alpha House was honored by the Michigan Historical Commission, citing the Alpha House as a significant historic site for its role as a focal point for Black social, cultural, educational, and community service. Gamma Lambda continues to have a strong social mission, and the Alpha House is central to supporting that mission. In 2020, under the leadership of Chapter President Brother Alburn H. Elvin, Jr. Esq. (Gamma Lambda ’04) and Brothers Noel Davidson (Gamma Lambda ’18) and Chad King (Gamma Lambda ’18), the chapter led a successful capital campaign to pay off the house mortgage. During the preceding decades, second (and third) mortgages had been taken out on the house for renovations and other endeavors. While originally planned as a 12-month payoff, the campaign was successfully completed in only three and a half months, with Brother Donald Snider (Alpha Upsilon ’71) serving as the catalyst for the acceleration. The mortgage elimination and the subsequent effort to become listed with the National Register of Historic Places are a part of the Gamma Lambda Chapter’s overall strategic plan to ensure that The Alpha House will remain an anchor for change and Black progress in Detroit for generations to come.
How are Properties Listed on the National Register of Historic Places?
The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the
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The Alpha House interior – President’s Corner (courtesy of Brother Kyles O. Hamilton, Sr.)
Brother Paul Robeson and Alpha Upsilon brothers on the steps of the Alpha House in 1942 (photo courtesy of Yale University Library)
Left: Front porch of the Alpha House in 1947 (courtesy of the Sphinx, December 1947)
Right: Front porch of the Alpha House in 2019 (photo courtesy of Brother Brian Williams)
National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources. Properties typically need to be at least fifty years old and must retain their character and function from the period of significance to be considered historic.
Gamma Lambda worked with the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) over a period of 18 months. SHPO provided both technical and substantive reviews of the registration form, the nomination text, maps, and photographs. The nomination included information about the property, neighborhood and details about the seven qualities of historic integrity-location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association. Gamma Lambda was able to find supporting information in the chapter’s historical archives and in publications such as the Sphinx, the Detroit Tribune, the Detroit News, and The Crisis.
Chapters with properties that are more than 50 years old should consider working with their state historic preservation office to list the property on the National Register. The National Park Service
offers an Underrepresented Community Grant Program which has a goal of diversifying the nominations submitted to the National Register of Historic Places. The activities and associations of the property within the context of community support will generally be more important than a building’s architectural or design integrity. Listing in the National Register places neither restrictions nor requirements on a private property owner. In many states, the property owner will become eligible for tax credits and preservation grants.
Brian D. Williams, 2008 Gamma Lambda chapter initiate, is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (BA Psychology) and Wayne State University (M.Ed Instructional Technology). He current serves as the Gamma Lambda chapter Historian. He wishes that thank Brothers Alburn H. Elvin Jr, William Herbert, Chad King, Noel Davidson, Richard Smith and Jeremy Thomas, along with Nathan Nietering and Todd Walsh from the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office for their work on the National Register of Historic Places nomination.
For a copy of the article Bibliography and References, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ISSUE 25 FEATURE
BY BROTHER DONALD L. ROSS [BETA THETA ’83]
The History of Alpha Operations
These days, the operational arm for the year-round business activities of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., is in Baltimore, Maryland. Members know the 2313 St. Paul Street site as the General Office. It is fully staffed by Brothers and some women, who administer and assist with functions similar to other non-profits and membership organizations, including administration, finance, communications, vendor relations, membership engagement, and
IMDP. In addition, they respond and address a variety of requests, questions, concerns, and needs of the Brotherhood and the public.
How the fraternity arrived at that site mirrors much of its transition from correspondence and communications being controlled by only the secretary, to being overseen by the executive director. The magic of documented history is that it includes those unexpected stories of how entities navigate from where they started to where they are. A glance at a few historical highlights, reveals elements of those formative times and the evolution to an iconic global entity in Greek organizational life.
In that first year in 1906, it was the secretary, 19-yearold Brother Henry A. Callis, who from his Ithaca, New York, residence handled fraternity business. Within one year that responsibility included duties with other chapters. In one more year, it shifted from the Alpha Chapter officer to the newly-established General Secretary, Brother Simeon S. Booker.
As the organization grew, services needed grew. At the heart of it was communication and that moved to being more than a one-man operation. This led to the 1914 introduction of The Sphinx magazine, the “Official Organ of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated.” The first editor was the then-General Vice President Brother Raymond W. Cannon.
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In the very next year, that office too experienced a change and since that time has been a separate organizational post. That first singular editor was Brother Lucius L. McGee. Interestingly, each of the men named went on to also serve as a General President of the fraternity.
The expansion and operational evolution continued through two world wars and membership needs increased to the point where paid staff became a permanent necessity. After being elected at the 1947 General Convention, Brother Bennie D. Brown opened the door to the original site that served as headquarters to the fraternity during the first week of May 1948. It was located at the Binga Arcade Building, 3456 South State Street, Suite 311, Chicago, Illinois.
The building was owned by Chicago’s first African American banker, Brother Jesse Binga. According to The History of Alpha Phi Alpha A Development in College Life, a committee had been appointed as early as 1924 to explore securing a permanent site for operations. A national economic collapse and a second international military uprising contributed to delays in establishing the desired permanence.
As nice as that office was, it was simply too small. In a mere seven years later, General Secretary Brother James E. Huger would be the operations chief for the
1955 dedication of the new site and actual house at 4432 South Parkway, Chicago, Illinois.
All day-to-day General Organization business, with the exception of the publication of The Sphinx, took place at or from that location. From this location, staffing was able to expand.
In 1967, when Brother Laurence T. Young was General Secretary, the title of the post was changed to executive secretary. Among his duties was serving as interim editor of The Sphinx
Throughout the 1980s, Alpha raised money to construct a new corporate home. During 27 th General President Brother Charles C. Teamer’s administration, the Chicago facility suffered a severe flood and had to be closed and the building was condemned. According to a 2013 interview with 28 th General President Brother Henry Ponder, the construction company impeded the construction project by constant added expenses that appeared somewhat improper.
Concern due to those oddities led to the formation of a search committee who solicited information on available buildings in different cities. The group identified 10 possibilities, and the options were subsequently narrowed to three, according to the past General President, with Baltimore becoming the final selection.
The task of maintaining fraternal operations during those trying times, fell on the shoulders of Executive Secretary Brother James “Tiny” Blanton. During that transition, he briefly served as The Sphinx editor, due to the unexpected death of then-office holder, Brother Michael Price. The move to the new site occurred in 1991.
Following the move from Chicago in 1992, Brother Blanton’s title was changed to executive director. The person in that post is now also the chief operating officer of the fraternity. Currently, Interim Executive Director Brother Sean McCaskill, serves in that capacity. The responsibilities of that lead official and the staff, which supports the Fraternity’s General Office, continues to grow. S
Brother Donald L. Ross, a Spring 1983 Beta Theta initiate formerly at Bluefield State College, is a member of both the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Historical Commission and Publications Committee.
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Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Seeks a Stay of Execution and a Grant of Clemency for Death Row Inmate Julius Jones
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. urged Oklahoma Governor J. Kevin Stitt to grant a stay of execution and clemency for death row inmate Julius Jones, who was set to be executed on Thursday, Nov. 18.
The Fraternity had asked that Governor Stitt heed the recommendation of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board that sufficient doubt exists regarding Mr. Jones’ alleged guilt in the 1999 murder conviction and that his death sentence should be commuted to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole.
The Fraternity also asked its nearly 100,000 members in its more than 720 college and alumni chapters as well as among our general organization and unaffiliated membership to contact Governor Stitt at (405) 521-2342, select option 0, and urge him to grant Mr. Jones clemency.
“We are aware of the inconsistencies and the impact of racial bias associated with this case along with the impact of racial bias on death penalty cases, in general,” according to a Fraternity statement. “Like the more than 6.3 million supporters nationwide, who signed a petition supporting Mr. Jones in his fight to prove his innocence, the Fraternity in good conscience cannot stand idly by and allow a miscarriage of justice from a wrongful execution.”
Since the historic Scottsboro Boys case and others, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the world’s first intercollegiate fraternity founded by African American men, has stood at the forefront in the fight for justice and Civil Rights for African Americans and the wrongly accused and convicted for more than a century. S
*EDITOR’S NOTE: Thanks to the advocacy of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and other groups, Oklahoma Governor J. Kevin Stitt grants Julius Jones life without parole four hours before his scheduled 4 PM CST execution. Twice, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board recommended that Mr. Jones be granted life with the possibility of parole, given strong new evidence of his innocence.
30 THE SPHINX® POLITICS | ADVOCACY
BY BROTHER ERIC CHRISTOPHER WEBB, DDIV., CPLC.
ELEVATING THE ALPHA SPIRIT THROUGH IMPROVING OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE
Strong organizations that deliver on its mission and vision are laser-focused on continuous improvement and operational excellence. As a Brother with leadership experience in global organizations and every level of this fraternity, under a Lonzer administration, Alpha Phi Alpha will improve the customer experience for Brothers and external stakeholders by ensuring: Organizational Alignment; Measuring and Evaluating Programs; and Growing Revenues.
“Improving Operational Excellence” is the second component outlined in General President Brother Dr. Willis L. Lonzer, III’s Elevating the Alpha Spirit strategic platform and vision for his administration. In an interview in The Sphinx inauguration edition, he expounded on his vision for improving operational excellence.
“Operational excellence includes first and foremost our product out of the General Office: communications, consistency around our branding. Helping our General Headquarters Staff, our General Operations, and General Office understand what branding really is; and helping to train and develop our General Officers (so) that the members who serve on Board of Directors and (in) our regional and district offices, even at the chapter level understand what’s important around our brand so they can understand how that’s conveyed,” General President Lonzer says.
He adds that how we provide services to the Brotherhood is equally important, from receiving your membership card on time and increased regularity of The Sphinx to establishing a planned giving program and offering personal and professional development opportunities. He explains
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that “the crux of it all falls along the lines of how we manage everything coming from the General Office.”
IMPROVING OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE
The General Office, which is comprised of administration, finance, membership and IMDP, brotherhood engagement, development, communications, as well as vendor relations and facilities, has 18 employees, including a consultant and temporary employee.
Interim Executive Director Brother Sean L. McCaskill, who assumed his role in March 2021, is responsible for the day-today operations of the Fraternity and ensures the execution of the board’s fraternal priorities throughout the efforts and initiatives of its various departments.
At the time, when he arrived, several members of the General Office staff had experienced,
multiple leadership changes, with dramatically different leadership styles within an abbreviated period, leaving them in survival mode.
“Assessing the organizational culture was the foundation was the top priority,” Brother McCaskill says. “The paradigm-shift was when the entire staff created General Headquarters mission statement and core values. This gave us a collective direction and expectation to follow. This was critical to transforming our operations providing top notch service to the Brotherhood.”
The next was simple. Training.
“The 3T’s training, training, and more training,” he says. “The focus has been on training anybody who has direct interaction with our membership needs to be trained. It is
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extremely difficult to hold people accountable to things you never taught me.”
The General Office enlisted the help of Brother David Tyson and his company, Sales Trac Training, to provide professional development courses and curriculum for staff. Many of these same training curriculum and modules will eventually be available to the entire Brotherhood through a reimagined learning management system as part of Alpha University.
The next step has been staffing.
Since Brother McCaskill assumed his interim executive director role, the membership department was reorganized with Brother Terrance Byerson leading membership and IMDP while Brother Denny Johnson now heads the new, brotherhood engagement department. In addition, Brother Eric Christopher Webb, DDiv., CPLC was promoted to director of communications and editor of The Sphinx and Nichae Alston assumed the interim finance director position.
Longtime employee, Delores Diggs, was promoted to senior membership services coordinator while Christina A. Grimes was promoted to membership services manager. Chanta Davis, a member services specialist, has also assumed additional community outreach and engagement duties. Temporary employees, Marcus Baker, a non-Brother, was engaged to support member services while another temp, Maryl Jerdon, was engaged to manage receptionist duties.
Within the communications department, Brother Justice Houser and his SkyRocket Media Services was contracted to help manage the Fraternity’s social media platforms and various e-blast distributions.
In other leadership positions, Brother Gerald Johnson remained at the helm of the development department as did Brother
John C. Johnston, III over vendor relations and facilities as the director of operations, and myself, Brother Eric Christopher Webb, DDiv., CPLC, as leading the communications department. Other employees, Bernice Meadows, Brother Malik Whatley, Brother Nehemiah Bester, LaTonya B. Truesdale, Kemmi Kilson-Smith also remained engaged in their respective positions and duties.
“Having the right people in the right position has made a world of difference,” says Brother McCaskill. “In addition, having one person deal with each Region was a huge support, because it’s allowing meaningful relationships to exist.”
With the brand as a central focus, the General Office has sought to ensure consistency as well as reinforce, and guard our brand identity, not only through the communications department, but across departments and in the public domain.
“While recently assuming the helm of the communications department, I felt it was necessary that we ensure that we continuously emphasis who we are and what we do in a very tangible way to the general public through all mediums,” says Brother Webb. “Our brand is not about who we say or think we are, it’s about who the public thinks we are. So, we’re now aggressively using tools like Cision, a powerful media monitoring software that I long fought to implement to gather all positive news articles that by name references the Fraternity and highlights its members. With that, we re-distribute those articles as social media posts leveraging the credibility of prominent news agencies who confirm that we are not giving lip service. We truly are about academic achievement, that we lead, that we serve, and that we advocate for issues important to our communities.”
With that, Brother Webb says, there are also plans to utilize transit and outdoor advertising
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to aggressively promote and showcase our partnerships and advocacy efforts. To accomplish this, the communications and development departments are constantly collaborating in new ways.
“Prior to my start,” says Brother Gerald Johnson, who serves as the Fraternity’s chief development officer, “our Fraternity did not have a functioning development/fundraising component being operated from our General Office. This provided a dynamic opportunity to be creative, yet intentional with how we engage interested entities and how we will partner with organization in the future. Previously, we only focused on gathering sponsors and partners for our General Convention, but never focusing on the role that our partners can play with our National Programs and Special Initiatives. Being able to elevate the purview of the Development and Fundraising arm of the fraternity, will bode well for our future endeavors.”
Vendor relations has also taken on a more conscious and central role in brand protection through the internal control of our licensing program.
“We were using Affinity Consultants, an outside company to manage the program, which yielded very minimal dividends and results,” says Brother John Johnston, who as the director of operations also leads vendor relations in conjunction with the Fraternity’s Associate General Counsel, Brother John Kendall, Esq, who oversees intellectual property, licensing, and trademarks. “Managing the vendor licensing program in-house has given the General Office total control and provides a better means of controlling our brand.”
He also explains that licensing application has been updated, vendor check-ins have been implemented, along with plans for introducing a virtual vendor showcase for Cyber Monday to give Alpha’s licensed vendors more exposure to membership.
The new brotherhood engagement department also became more aligned with the communications department.
“The overall thinking was centered around retaining, reengaging, developing, and managing our members with remaining active through intentional engagement and outreach,” says Brother Denny Johnson. “We recently improved the operational excellence platform of the department through the expansion of multi-faceted communications with our inactive members by collaborating with the communications team to expand a more aggressive social media presence through daily and weekly postings on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and email accounts via the ‘apa1906’ network.”
Membership and IMDP shifted its efforts by revamping its systems and adopting a more personal approach to servicing the Fraternity’s five regions.
“Our department improved (and continues to improve) by seeking insight and feedback from Brothers based on the common successes and stumbling blocks experienced during IMDP,” says Brother Byerson. “By understanding the type/frequency of calls elevated to the general office, we have been able to create policies and procedures to create for a smoother process overall. In addition, the department of membership has introduced designated regional points of contact, allowing for greater ownership, and providing the Brotherhood a direct line to someone for standard membership inquiries and issues. This has helped tremendously with calls made into the office and improved customer service experiences.”
PROGRAM MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION
Over the last few years, the General Office’s high turnover in leadership among not only
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the executive director’s position, but other key director positions had caused a breakdown in direction and philosophy. For General President Lonzer, a balanced scorecard understanding was needed for our goals to address program measurement and evaluation.
“One of the things that I did do for the General Office is put to task, and they’ve come to fruition, is the development of a corporate mission statement that aligns with our General Organization’s mission statement (as well as) the development of seven core values that helps the members of the (General Office) staff work toward achieving the goals in their department,” says General President Lonzer. “If it means you know, excellence, then you know that one of those seven core values is a part of that, then how are you moving every day to work towards those goals (and) how does (those) core values help you drive to that? How are you demonstrating excellence?”
That mission statement is “to provide exceptional service to our members, partners, and the community, while protecting the organizational mission and brand.” In addition, the core values of the General Office are: Integrity, Teamwork, Accountability, Solutions-Driven, Customer Service, Professionalism, and Communication.
In addition, some departments have also adopted tools to secure and compile data for program measurement and evaluation. The communications department now utilizes Cision, which is a highly effective media monitoring and distribution tool. Aside from monitoring “Alpha Phi Alpha” mentions in news articles and news broadcasts, it also measures brand sentiment, brand competition, highest readership, key messages, social amplification, industry insights, which also helps to gauge and dictate some of our communications efforts. For social media, the department also utilizes the HootSuite and Later platforms to support analytics tracking and to establish a centralize social media hub for promotion.
“With HootSuite, we monitor not only our individual social media audience
and engagement weekly, but that of our counterpart National Pan-Hellenic Council fraternities as well,” says Brother Webb. “The information gained from this tool and others help inform and drive the need for new marketing and promotional initiatives for our brand and our partnerships such as outdoor advertising, including billboards, transit advertising, airport advertising, movie theater advertising and even brand placements in tv shows and movies.”
Says Brother Johnson about similar efforts in development: “Recently, we implemented new reporting standards to ensure we’re measuring the impact of our partnerships. (We also) incorporated a working sponsorship packet that outlines the plethora of ways that entities could partner with the Fraternity both regionally and internationally and established yearly goals that are directly linked to the objectives outlined with Dr. Lonzer’s administration.”
Under the vendor relations program, Brother Johnston utilizes the BrandShield. Its robust technology scans the internet, analyzes potential threats, and detects phishing threats, online brand abuse, TM infringements and counterfeit sales. In addition, their experienced and skilled takedown experts remove those threats relentlessly. Its usage has led to recouping hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, licensing fees, as well as thwarting unauthorized vendor sales, and the marketing of illegal products which damage our brand.
REVENUE AND GROWTH
Alpha Phi Alpha, like Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) and several other African American institutions, remain dependent on initiation and enrollment, which continuously places it at risk. Traditional models must be discarded to ensure competitiveness and sustainability.
Aside from partnerships through the development department, a handful of departments and initiatives offer potential as
FEATURE 36 THE SPHINX®
non-traditional revenue sources, including the vendor relations program, the communications department, and brotherhood engagement.
The vendor relations program has proven to be an untapped source of revenue having grown from an outsourced effort, receiving tens of thousands of dollars from a thirdparty management the program to internally managed receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees and fines.
The advent and growth of SphinxTV and Sphinx Radio with its various proposed programming and expansion offers new advertising and partnership opportunities. Similarly, various proposed initiatives within brotherhood engagement, which includes various new paraphernalia and potential anniversary milestone and reactivation jewelry promotions or initiatives, also offers promise.
Additionally, more long-term revenue growth strategies are also being considered.
“One of them is through the planned giving piece that we’re doing,” says General President Lonzer. “That planned giving component will help us because Brothers are making an intentional investment in the Fraternity through maybe life insurance. We have the models that demonstrate that even if only 7% of the Brothers participated, and I’m thinking this off the top of my head, we still could reap a strong long-term investment.”
He adds that “in about 15 years with modest approvement in an estimate we’d be in the millions of dollars in terms of an endowment and monies that we can utilize to extend through our foundation, through scholarships to Brothers, and grants to chapters to help them in terms of the operation.”
General President Lonzer, who explains that our Life Membership is the classic example of a major planned gift in the past, says that the program, its purpose, and its pricing needs to be revisited to ensure we do “what is right for the Brotherhood.”
“When Brother Dr. O. Wilson Winters decided to give $100 back in that day, and that was a lot of money, because you know the equivalency of what he was able to do was to give us a committed dollar that was outside of the membership funds that typically were generate(d),” he says. “. . . that Life Membership fund is a coveted love component of who we are, and I personally think that we need to probably raise the bar a little bit. We’ve got to first get Brothers in line to pay their Grand Tax. It’s not that you just joined for fashion or fun for a little bit and then are inactive, then you come back years later. We want you to stay continuously here, but we want us to be relevant too. We want the Fraternity to mean something to you.” S
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ISSUE 37 FEATURE
BY BROTHER JAMES NICHOLSON AND BROTHER ERIC CHRISTOPHER WEBB, CPLC, DDIV.
Brother Cotton Promoted To 4-Star General
ASSUMES NEW ROLE AS FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN TO LEAD AIR FORCE GLOBAL STRIKE COMMAND
Brother then-Lt. General Anthony J. Cotton, a Fall 1984 initiate of North Carolina State University’s Eta Omicron Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., was promoted to the rank of 4-Star General and subsequently assumed the leadership of the Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) and the Air Forces Strategic Command, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana in August.
“We need to innovate and collaborate,” said Brother General Cotton in his first address as commander. “Not just with military industry and government but also with community partners to discuss quality of life, safety, education and social issues.”
According to reports, he currently oversees the intercontinental ballistic missiles and strategic bombers force that includes the nuclear triad’s land-based component, Minuteman III ICBMs, being maintained by three missile wings and one Numbered Air Force daily. In addition, he will manage the nuclearcapable B-52H Stratofortress and B-2 Spirit, and the conventional-only B-1B Lancer, which altogether makes up the triad’s air-based leg.
Prior to this role, he served as deputy commander of both the AFGSC and Air Forces Strategic-Air at U.S. Strategic Command.
Brother Cotton, whose promotion was conducted by Brother General Charles “CQ” Brown, both 4-Star Generals, is the sixth commander and first African American to lead the major command of more than 33,700 professionals responsible for providing strike, combat, and strategic deterrence support to U.S. geographic combatant commands.
Brother General Cotton, who holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from North Carolina State University and a master’s degree in administration from Central Michigan University, has received a host of major awards and decorations, including Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with oak leaf cluster, Combat Readiness Medal with oak leaf cluster, National Defense Service Medal with device, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the National Reconnaissance Office Medal of Distinguished Performance. S
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ISSUE 39
| BETA UPSILON CHAPTER
On the campus of Alabama State University, Beta Upsilon Chapter continues to move onward and upward with its achievements. Midway through the 2021 Fall quarter, the Brothers prepared themselves for yet another successful year at the District of Alabama Convention. With the homecoming of all Alabama Brothers in Montgomery, Alabama, Beta Upsilon set the standard of excellence by achieving their third consecutive College Chapter of the Year award and placed second in the debate and oratorical competitions.
many dorms throughout campus. The ASU Alpha Care Initiative is a program designed to assist students living in campus residence halls who may have an urgent need for health, hygiene, and sanitary products. In athletics, Brother Ricky Thornton became the reigning SWAC champion of 2021. Brother Ja’Vonta Price leads the Mighty Marching Hornets as the Head Drum major. Brothers D’Andre Kelley, Troy Webster, and Treyton Neely are preparing for graduation. All Brothers preparing for this semester’s graduation have outstanding employment positions awaiting their commencement.
| DELTA XI LAMBDA CHAPTER
Delta Xi Lambda Chapter and the I.S. Hankins F.A. Johnson Education Foundation hosted its third “Phrozen Jewel Run (PJR) 5/10k” fun run/walk on June 19, 2021 – in observation of the Juneteenth holiday.
Under the leadership of Brother Dr. Calvin Smith, professor of psychology, Beta Upsilon strives to encourage the highest and noblest form of manhood. Having Brothers LaBoris Perry, Carlton Coleman, D’Andre Kelley, Treyton Neely, Troy Webster, Jeremi Moore, Da’Rayl Randon, Edward Brown, Ricky Thornton, Ja’Vonta Price, Jaylan Horne, Adae Scott, Mekhai Scott, Johntavious Austin, and Joshua West left on campus, they plan to make this a very fruitful year.
The chapter is the two-time Southern Region Chapter of the Year recipient, competing at the 96th General Convention, where Brother Trentqual Rhone won the National College Brother of the Year award. Beta Upsilon, representing the Southern Region Chapter of the Year, came in second for the National College Chapter of the Year award.
Brother LaBoris Perry, with a 3.94 GPA, competed in the College Brother with the Highest GPA category. Brother Da’Rayl Randon represented Beta Upsilon with his seven-minute oration, entitled “Becoming the Masters of MAAFA.” Brother Jaylan Horne and Brother Da’Rayl Randon secured the runner-up position in the debate competition for Beta Upsilon.
On October 27, the Beta Upsilon held its annual Alpha Care initiative, distributing toiletries and supplies to
June 19 known as the Juneteenth holiday, which commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement, is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. On that day in 1865, Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas and finally shared the news that the war had ended and the enslaved were now free.
This virtual race kicked off at 7:06 AM with runners and walkers from around the world. Participants had one week from the start time to submit their time. A total of 205 participants completed the run-walk.
The 5K participants ranged from 30 to 79. The top three runners for the 5K were Nicki Rice – 1st Place, Alqualios Hammonds – 2nd Place, and Jeremie Toussaint-Bourne – 3rd place. The age range for the 10K participants ranged from age 40 to 69. The top three runners for the 10K were William Jordan – 1st Place, Steven Guitierrez –2nd Place, and Stephen Edmonds – 3rd Place.
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Event organizers, Craig Ravenell and Lincoln Haynes were extremely pleased with the progress of the PJR’s first year to its current third year. Even though the world was experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic, utilizing the virtual option allowed for an additional 120 runners this year. Revenue exceeded $14K, and all profit generated from this event supports the foundation’s Young Men of Distinction mentoring program. This program focused on developing middle and high school students along the following dimensions: academic, leadership, social, and personal development.
| EPSILON PI LAMBDA CHAPTER
The Brothers of Epsilon Pi Lambda Chapter supported the inaugural presentation of the Minister George James McAllister II Music Scholarship – named after Brother George McAllister II (educator, musician, minister). Brother McAllister was initiated in the Spring ’92 Sigma Chapter, but currently is the chaplain and Associate Editor-to-the-Sphinx for the Epsilon Pi Lambda Chapter in Ocala, Florida. A member of Brother McAllister’s church, where he serves in the Ministry of Praise and Worship in Dunnellon, Florida wanted to honor him for his faithful service to both the congregation and the Cause of Christ, and, therefore, established a scholarship in his name to be awarded annually for students who are pursuing music as a vocation in college.
Lizzie Jenkins of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
Brother McAllister is currently the District Chairman of Go-To-High School / Go-To-College representing the great Florida Federation of Alpha Chapters under the leadership of Brother Dr. Gregory Harris. Brother McAllister is also on the committee for Culturally Relevant Practices within the Florida Music Educators Association.
| ZETA ALPHA LAMBDA CHAPTER
In the spirit of the Fraternity’s Brother’s Keeper Program , in October 2021, Zeta Alpha Lambda Chapter helped celebrate the 98th birthday of an Alpha Sweetheart. The chapter joined participants from religious, educational, law enforcement, Divine Nine organizations, the executive and judicial branches of government, and the greater Fort Lauderdale community in a Drive-by Celebration honoring Mrs. Ruth Yvette Taylor Giles, the wife of dear transcendent Brother, Alphonso Giles.
The first recipient of this scholarship was Zion McAllister, Brother McAllister’s son, an incoming freshman attending Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida. Brother McAllister has initiated this year a solid mentorship program as the chairman of the “Go-To-High School / Go-To College” program.
Among this past year’s highlights, he, along with his Chapter Brothers had the young men within the program, the Alpha Scholars, meet one of the surviving family members of the Massacre at Rosewood, Sister
Brother Giles was initiated into Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity in 1948. Six years later, he and seven other Brothers expanded the reach of the Fraternity into Broward County, Florida by chartering and establishing the Zeta Alpha Lambda Chapter in Fort Lauderdale in 1954. In 1962, he was one of eight African American trailblazers selected to integrate and study at the all-white Florida State University. He was also the first African American member of the Broward County Marine Advisory Board.
In 2012, President Barack Obama personally thanked Brother Giles for his World War II military service and presented him with a presidential medallion. A distinguished and respected educator in the Broward
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ISSUE 41 CHAPTER NEWS
County School System for more than 30 years, Brother Giles enabled generations to achieve higher social, economic, and intellectual status
Mrs. Ruth and Brother Alphonso Giles were married Saturday, September 10, 1949, and were blessed with a lovely daughter, Dr. Yvette M. Giles. Mrs. Giles served as an esteemed, cherished, and beloved educator for 47 years in the Broward County School System. The Greater Deerfield Park Chamber of Commerce honored her on three separate occasions as Teacher of the Year and characterized her as a great teacher with “the ability, belief, and confidence to give of (herself) and go the extra mile to work with children and parents to educate young minds to become future leaders and businesspeople.”
In 2008, the Broward County School Board dedicated the Deerfield Park Elementary School’s “Ruth T. Giles Media Center” in recognition of her lifelong, exemplary service. To honor her pioneering leadership and dedicated Christian service within the food ministry, Mount Hermon AME Church established the Ruth T. Giles Dining Hall.
| IOTA PI LAMBDA CHAPTER
Iota Pi Lambda Chapter received the Fraternity’s highest honor for local efforts to educate youth on reproductive health, responsibility, and manhood through the Project Alpha National Program, the Project Alpha Award. The program educates adolescent males in South Miami-Dade County about health, family values, and domestic violence prevention.
The chapter’s Project Alpha Program is a hybrid interdisciplinary health series delivering virtual presentations to students attending in-person and virtual classroom settings. The four-part series was conducted from February through May 2021. Each month, it addressed a different topic from the National Project Alpha Curriculum. With this model they were able to introduce its program to schools as supplemental instructional lessons, expanding the scope of the schools’ preexisting science, health, and wellness core curriculum. Each session reached over 300 middle and high school students.
Their nonprofit partners – the Iota Pi Lambda Education Foundation, Inc., Men of Tomorrow Youth Program, AIDS Health Foundation, March of Dimes, Planned Parenthood, Dr. David Clay Practice, Community Health of South Florida, Inc., and The Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention and Treatment – were vital to ensuring the most relevant, up-to-date information was covered from the National Project Alpha Curriculum.
| BETA OMICRON LAMBDA CHAPTER Beta Omicron Lambda Chapter recently led a successful campaign to collect toiletries and financial donations for victims of Hurricane Ida. The Mobile, Alabama chapter received support, particularly from Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, the community, and local media. Coordinated by Brother Dr. Terry Hazzard, with the assistance of the Brotherhood, the Fraternity worked closely with United Way of Southwest Alabama to receive the donations.
The collected items, along with a financial donation of $500 were picked up at the Fraternity house on September 22, 2021, by employees of United Way. These employees used a moving truck to transport the donated items that will be distributed to displaced residents from Louisiana and Mississippi areas.
The award recognizes chapters that set the benchmark for the Fraternity’s health advocacy initiative through robust programming and measurable outcomes. The award was presented at the International General Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana on July 17, 2021.
For the members of the Iota Pi Lambda Chapter, the award recognizes the service they provide to the communities of South Miami-Dade County which include Richmond Heights, Perrine, Naranja, Homestead, and Florida City.
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The money was donated to the Hurricane Ida Relief Emergency Fund of United Way to assist with support to those currently in southwest Alabama who were affected by the storm. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity is currently listed with United Way of Southwest Alabama among the major supporters of the Hurricane Ida Relief Initiative.
In addition, as part of its Go-to-High School, Go-toCollege initiative, the chapter made a financial contribution to one of the city’s local high schools, Lillie B. Williamson, upon being asked to assist the school in its effort to carry on its traditional homecoming activities. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, students were told their indoor-homecoming activities could not be held this year.
appearances on television news programs to ease community concerns about the integrity of the election after rumors of election fraud started circulating.
The Sigma Omicron Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. stepped up in 2020 as a chapter and as individual political and community leaders when the community needed them in one of the most pivotal years of this nation.
| RHO PI LAMBDA CHAPTER
In January of 2021, the voters in the State of Georgia made history by electing Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock over Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler and Democratic Senator Jon Ossoff over Republican Senator David Perdue. As Alpha men in the present and past typically tend to be the “first,” Brother Raphael Warnock became the “first” Black Democrat elected to the Senate from a Southern state.
There were numerous activities to aid in this significant victory and the Rho Pi Lambda Chapter played an integral part by partnering with Black Votes Matter. Brother Warnock will serve the remainder of his term until January 3, 2023. In 2022, he will defend his seat to win a full 6-year term to expire in 2029.
To allow the students to carry out their tradition, they were permitted to hold their activities on the school’s lawn, which required additional funds. Ms. Micki Seltzer, Career Tech Instructor, and chair of the Homecoming Committee reached out to Beta Omicron Lambda for assistance. The Brotherhood was happy to step up to the plate to help ensure a successful Homecoming celebration for the student body during this difficult time.
| SIGMA OMICRON LAMBDA CHAPTER
On September 19, 2020, Sigma Omicron Lambda Chapter held a successful virtual “Voter’s Right” forum. The “Voteless People Is A Hopeless People” Committee Chairman, Brother Langford moderated the virtual forum. Brother Jackson spoke about the dangers of voter suppression. Brother Hicks gave a presentation about the voting process and the new voting machines being used by the State of Georgia.
On Election Day, November 3, 2020, Brother Langford and the Brothers of Sigma Omicron Lambda passed out water and snacks to poll workers and voters at Hopewell United Methodist Church in Tyrone, Georgia. After the election, Brother Hicks made several
During the 1930s, there were poll taxes, threats of reprisal, and a lack of voter education which caused the initiation of “A Voteless People is a Hopeless People” as a national program for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. In 2021, they are still informing communities of the importance of voting and promoting voter empowerment. With the recent voter suppression laws, the need for Alphas to continue to lead this effort is just as significant as it was in the 1930s.
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ISSUE 43 CHAPTER NEWS
The Rho Pi Lambda chapter decided to increase its impact in its service community of Douglas, Paulding, and Carrol counties by working with Black Voters Matter. In 2016, Black Voters Matter was founded by LaTosha Brown and Cliff Albright to center stories of community members directly connected to issues and partner with activists already established in local communities. Thus, the partnership emerged between Rho Pi Lambda and Black Voters Matters.
As stated by Michele Butler, West Georgia Organizer for Black Voters Matter, “Thank you to all the Alphas in Douglasville who knocked on over 600 doors on behalf of Black Voters Matter.” This was done before the event in front of the Douglas County courthouse on December 19, 2020, for the Saturday early voting and after posters were created and delivered to local barbershops. The partnership developed between Black Voters Matter and the Rho Pi Lambda Chapter continues to positively impact communities as they address existing voter suppression laws and increase voter awareness in the communities they serve.
| ZETA PI
On Friday, October 15, 2021, Zeta Pi Chapter in conjunction with the Zeta Pi Alumni Association, Inc., hosted a public program, the "1st of Firsts” for the installation of an Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. marker on the campus of the University of Georgia. The event was held at the Richard B. Russell Special Collections Library where the Zeta Pi Chapter Archives are stored on the University of Georgia campus.
The Zeta Pi Chapter is one of the first chapters established at a major, predominantly white institution in the deep south. The charter members, affectionately known to us as the Pearls are Brothers Dr. Eddie Cheeks, Alan Jackson, Richard Morgan, R. Ph., Bennie Roberson, Michael Stover, Russell Williams, and Alonzo Wilson, R. Ph. These good Brothers opened the doors for others to follow. The chapter was also the first African American student organization established at the University of Georgia.
From the inception of the chapter's founding at The University of Georgia, the flagship institution for the state of Georgia, accommodations were given to the other Pan Hellenic organizations on campus, including housing, plots, markers, etc. In the 1970s, and 1980's requests for a formal presence in some sort of external expression were raised to the administration. Weeks before Homecoming in 1995, many concerns were raised again erupting into national news.
Regrettably, while the concerns of the Minority Student Alliance were heard, and some were addressed, those
concerns related specifically to an outward symbol of Black Greekdom for fraternities or sororities faded away. In the fall of 2020, University President, Jere W. Morehead, JD, assembled a Presidential Taskforce committee on Race, Ethnicity, and Community which finally accommodated the requests
Remarks for the public program from the University of Georgia administrators included Office of the President – Mr. Alton M. Standifer, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations – Mr. Kelly Kerner, Provost for Diversity & Inclusion and Strategic Initiatives – Dr. Michelle Cook, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., University Librarian, and Assoc. Provost – Dr. P. Toby Graham, Vice President of Student Affairs – Dr. Eric Atkinson, and Director of Greek Life –Mr. Joshua Welch.
| ETA GAMMA LAMBDA CHAPTER
On September 25, 2021, The National Pan Hellenic Council of the Greater Lafayette Chapter along with Eta Gamma Lambda Chapter got together with the African American Museum in Houma, Louisiana, and held a Donation and Supply Drive for those affected by Hurricane Ida. That hurricane made landfall in the state of Louisiana on August 29, 2021.
Hurricane Ida was a deadly and destructive Category 4 Hurricane that became the second-most damaging and intense Hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. state of Louisiana on record, behind Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The Donation and Supply Drive event was put together to aid the residents of Houma Louisiana and the surrounding areas in their efforts to recover from the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Ida.
was a great success and various items were collected. Donations consisted of water, cleaning supplies, non-
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Chapter Brother Jared Nelson was one of the key leaders in spearheading this event. On September 24, 2021, he along with other members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. set up the donation site for the Donation and Supply Drive at the former Walmart location located in Lafayette, Louisiana. The event
perishable items, diapers, wipes, toilet paper, paper towels, soaps, etc. Upon securing the items, the NPHC drove 100 miles to the African American Museum in Houma and began distributing items to the community. Individuals who came to the African American Museum were provided with any items that they needed until all items were depleted.
For those interested in donating to the relief efforts of Houma Louisiana, and other cities in the Greater New Orleans Louisiana area, please reach out to the local chapters of Alpha Phi Alpha Inc. within these cities.
| EPSILON GAMMA LAMBDA CHAPTER
Epsilon Gamma Lambda Chapter is a vibrant fellowship of New England’s finest, distinguished, accomplished, and influential Alphas. Brothers of the Epsilon Gamma Lambda Chapter are resolute advocates of education and keen-edged voices for communities of color in Boston.
college scholarships to some of these selected highachieving men.
Brothers Rev. Jaron S. Green, James J. Areago, Nicholas G. Jacobs, and Brandon M. Tilghman led the chapter in the first Boston Mayoral Candidate Forum at the Museum of African American History-Boston & Nantucket, housed at the first African Meeting House, the oldest extant black church building in the nation and the last stop on the Black Heritage Trail. The public posed questions to candidates, including Brother Marvin L. Venay, former District Director of Organization of New England Chapters of Alpha, who advocated for closing the digital divide for African Americans. In addition, Brother Rev. Art J. Gordon serves as Senior Advisor to the Honorable Ayanna Pressley, U.S. Representative for Massachusetts’s 7th congressional district, working up close on the issues that affect Black Bostonians.
Led by Brother Frantz Pamphile, the chapter provided free meals, winter coats, gifts, and PPE for 400+ families and children experiencing economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the chapter hosted a public discussion on Black men’s health issues, especially mental health, making it a priority during and after the pandemic. Some of the chapter’s mental health practitioners, including Brother Walter Higgs and Brother Kwame Dance, offered key advice to maintaining acuity for Brothers and the men of the communities they serve.
| IOTA RHO LAMBDA CHAPTER
Brother Jarvis R. Givens, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, released his book: Fugitive Pedagogy: Carter G. Woodson and the Art of Black Teaching. His scholarly book is a fresh portrayal of one of the architects of the African American intellectual tradition, whose faith in the subversive power of education is already inspiring teachers and learners today.
Brother Terrell Johnson, MD, General Internal Medicine Physician at Boston Medical Center, leads the chapter’s “Project Alpha” programming at Boston English High School, providing education, motivation, and skill-building on issues of health and responsibility for young male students there. With a robust “Go-toHigh-School, Go-to-College” program, the Epsilon Gamma Lambda Chapter’s Education Committee, led by Brother Lynn Worthy, mentors several young high school men at four area high schools. The chapter’s Edward Brooke III Education Foundation awards
Iota Rho Lambda Chapter celebrated 50 years of servant leadership, brotherhood, and commitment to the city of Pontiac and the greater Oakland County community. As one of the smaller alumni chapters in the State of Michigan and the Mighty Midwest with over 50 active members, the chapter continues to produce extraordinary results. The chapter has won numerous awards over the years including District Chapter of the Year and Regional Chapter of the Year. Affectionately called “The Hospitality Chapter,” Brothers go out of their way to do their part to uplift the community and assist one another.
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In the middle of the pandemic, the chapter quickly recognized that small black businesses that have been pillars in the community were being disproportionately negatively affected. So, the chapter stepped up, mobilized the community, and financially supported a black-owned business every month during the year to help keep the beloved businesses afloat until another assistance was available.
In the spring, the chapter partnered with Haven, Oakland County’s only comprehensive program for victims of domestic violence. Haven provides shelter, counseling, and advocacy to nearly 30,000 people each year. The Brothers stepped up to furnish several homes.
The chapter hosted the 36th Annual Scholarship Golf Invitational, the oldest, the coldest, competitive, fun-filled, premiere Divine 9 golf outing in the state. The chapter showcased 20 talented scholarship recipients and gave out $100K in scholarships within the last five years. The scholarships are named after iconic charter member Brother Ernest Russell, a lifelong educator and Deputy Superintendent in the Pontiac, Michigan School District.
The chapter was one of the leading supporters and fundraisers in the Metro Detroit Area for the March of Dimes. The Golden Anniversary concluded with the annual “IRL Friends and Family Picnic” where Brothers reclaimed other Brothers who do not have a chapter home.
| ALPHA EPSILON LAMBDA CHAPTER
On Thursday, September 16, 2021, the Mississippi Alpha Network of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, kicked off its 50th District Conference and Golden Anniversary Celebration with a welcome reception at 4th Avenue Lounge in Jackson, Mississippi. During the reception, 27th Southern Regional Vice President and chair of the Mississippi Alpha Network Education & Leadership Foundation, Kelsey L. Rushing, Esq., formally introduced Anthony D. Newman, D.D.S., as the 12th M.A.N. Director. Florida District Director Gregory Harris, Ph.D., and North Carolina District Director Michael Pittman attended the reception to honor Newman.
In 1927, Alpha Phi Alpha established its first Mississippi chapter, Alpha Epsilon Lambda, in Jackson, making Alpha Phi Alpha the first National Pan-Hellenic Council organization to establish a presence in Mississippi. The Fraternity would later establish its first collegiate chapter at Tougaloo College in 1949. Today, there are 15 alumni chapters and ten undergraduate chapters in Mississippi.
The conference also welcomed college Brothers to Mississippi’s capital city. On Friday, September 17, Alpha Phi Alpha Brothers from across the state of Mississippi conducted three simultaneous tie-tying workshops and male-empowerment sessions at each of Jackson Public Schools’ alternative schools. M.A.N. also partnered with the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Student National Medical Association to provide COVID-19 vaccinations and free medical screenings in the Warren Hall Student Union at Tougaloo College.
The weekend’s festivities drew Alpha Phi Alpha leadership from across the country, including General President Willis L. Lonzer, Ph.D., Southern Regional Vice President Cecil E. Howard, Esq., and Southern Regional Assistant Vice President Donovan McLean.
General President Lonzer served as keynote speaker during the District Gala held at the historic King Edward Hotel in Jackson. During the gala, the Fraternity’s General Office honored its 24th General President, Dr. Walter Washington, who served as President of Alcorn State University from 1969-1994. Washington received his undergraduate degree from Tougaloo College and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Southern Mississippi. He was the first African American in Mississippi to receive a doctorate. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. donated $50,000 to the Alcorn State University Foundation in his honor.
Other conference keynote speakers included General Treasurer Densel Fleming and 19th Southern Regional Vice President and former Gulfport, Mississippi Chief Administrative Officer John Kelly, Ph.D. Additionally, the Mississippi District donated $10,000 to the Mississippi Alpha Network Education & Leadership Foundation. The foundation will use the funds for scholarships.
| EPSILON XI LAMBDA CHAPTER Epsilon Xi Lambda Chapter chartered on August 20, 1953, celebrated 70 Years of Manly Deeds, Scholarship, and Love for All Mankind. Chartered by eleven Brothers
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including 3rd General President Fred Miller, birthed another milestone for the Mississippi district.
James. The remaining conversations include celebrity chef Brother Eric Adjepong, Brother Jason Warwin of Brotherhood Sister Sol, Brother Carlos Moreno of Big Picture Learning, Brother Dr. Griffin Rodgers, Director of the National Institute of Health, and Minnesota Vikings Hall of Famer Brother Steve Jordan.
Additionally, the chapter used this platform to raise funds for the Joseph G. LeCount scholarship fund to help students in Providence attend college.
Although during the pandemic, the chapter managed to continue with any means necessary to fight through. Following Covid 19 guidelines, they managed to celebrate with a Brotherhood gathering at Garfield Restaurant in Greenville, Mississippi, a “Live on Leflore” Block Party at Delta State University, and a memorable worship service at Greater New Kingdom MB Church in Cleveland, Mississippi.
Seventy-year medallions were given as a present to the 53 active member chapter with Brother President Edward H. Hill as the keynote speaker. A fellowship dinner followed the services. At the 50th Mississippi District Convention, the chapter was presented with a certificate being the Highest Increase in Membership during the 2020-2021 fraternal year.
| ALPHA GAMMA CHAPTER
Alpha Gamma Chapter celebrated its centennial with the theme of “100 Years of Service, Leadership, and Brotherhood.” Alpha Gamma has duly initiated more than 200 Brothers, who have gone on to be leaders across Alpha and the nation.
The chapter kicked off its centennial celebration on February 2, 2021, with a series of public ‘Alpha Conversations’ forums across various topics held on the first Tuesday of every month. Live streaming on Facebook and YouTube, these conversations have engaged more than 300 audience members on issues directly affecting the Black Community.
Alpha Conversations lineup started with a discussion on “Defunding the Police: What it Means for the Black Community” led by Brother Dr. Erroll Southers, director of the Safe Communities Institute at the University of Southern California.
The chapter continued in March with ‘Blacks in Hollywood’ led by two-time Oscar winner Brother Dorsey
The chapter, under the leadership of Brother President David Onabanjo of Brown University, continues to hold high the NAME by focusing on the greater Providence community; most specifically mentoring, social advocacy, and community support.
The chapter participates in various community service partnerships, hosts a walk-in remembrance of Brother Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as well a week-long series of events each December to celebrate Founders’ Week and 11 events during Black History Month to the 11 Alpha Gamma Charter Members.
| GAMMA GAMMA LAMBDA CHAPTER
The Brothers of Gamma Gamma Lambda Chapter celebrated its 80th anniversary with a formal dinner on Saturday, August 28, 2021, in Greenville, SC. Brother Dr. Herman “Skip” Mason, the Fraternity’s 33rd General President, was the keynote speaker for this milestone event. The current General President, Dr. Willis L. Lonzer, III, also attended and shared inspirational words for the Brothers. Nearly 80 Brothers attended the event at Greenville Hilton along with a “Sit and Sip” social, which was attended by more than 30 Brothers.
The chapter, through the Alpha Phi Alpha Greenville Foundation, is a strong staple in the South Carolina Upstate Region and sponsored several programs including: the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Celebration with the selection of Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Citizenship Award, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Program, the Dr. Rudolph Gordon College
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ISSUE 47 CHAPTER NEWS
Fair, Robert W. Anderson II, Golf Outing, and lastly, the Upstate Project Alpha Program. They also supported sending students to LDCEI and the upcoming Men of Color Summit in April 2022.
Gamma Gamma Lambda Chapter is a proud member of the local National Pan Hellenic Council, Inc., Greenville Urban League, and makes regular contributions to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Foundation, NAACP, Urban League, Maudlin Chamber of Commerce, Phillis Wheatley Community Center of Greenville, Multicultural Center of Greenville, United Negro College Fund, and March of Dimes.
The chapter also has hosted several Area Membership Intake Clusters, District (State) Conferences including hosting the 2014 SC District Conference, and the 1996 Southern Regional Convention of Alpha Phi Alpha. The chapter’s several social activities include an annual Christmas and Valentine Parties and Chapter Retreats.
The chapter has more than twenty-five years coordinated and given the Luke H. Chatman Memorial Scholarship, which has given more than $70,000 in scholarships to local high school students.
| PSI LAMBDA CHAPTER
While the summer months usually serve as a time for chapters to rest, reset, and reflect on the accomplishments of the previous Fraternal Year.
The Summer of 2021 served as a time for the Brothers of Psi Lambda Chapter to embark on a journey to recognize the contributions made by Brothers in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
With the chapter’s Reclamation and Retention committee established, the chapter identified Brothers with noteworthy contributions to government, education, and ministry.
In government – Brothers Ronald Elliott, Isaiah Hester, Ken Jordan, Dr. Warren Mackey, and Judge Gerald Webb were recognized for their work within the City of Chattanooga and Hamilton County. Brother Elliott serves as the Director of Legislative Affairs and Community Engagement for the City of Chattanooga. Brother Isaiah Hester was recently elected to serve on the City Council. Brother Ken Jordan works with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Hamilton County. Brother Dr. Warren Mackey serves as a County Commissioner with Hamilton County. Brother Judge Gerald Webb serves as a judge in Hamilton County, the first African American elected county-wide to serve in said role.
In education – Brothers Dr. Yancey Freeman and Dr. Bryan Johnson were recognized for their work within the City of Chattanooga. Brother Dr. Yancy Freeman serves as the Vice-Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs for The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Brother Dr. Bryan Johnson serves as the School Superintendent for Hamilton County Schools.
In ministry – Chattanooga is fortunate to have several Alpha men serving and doing the work of ministry. Psi Lambda recognized Brothers Minister Jeffrey Wilson, Minister Isaiah Hester, Minister Danis Ellis, Minister Andrew Frierson, Minister Terry Ladd, Minister Ternae Jordan, Jr., Minister JaMichael Jordan, Minister Virgil Henderson, Minister Willie Paul, and Minister Paul Warfield.
The efforts of the Reclamation and Retention committee culminated with a prayer breakfast where the chapter expressed its gratitude and appreciation for the Brothers and their work in the City of Chattanooga and Hamilton County. The Reclamation and Retention committee looks forward to recognizing more Brothers for their contributions in the future.
| BETA GAMMA CHAPTER
With Virginia State University reopening with in-person instruction, programs, and events, the Beta Gamma Chapter quickly got to work to continue to uphold the Fraternity’s motto and chapter traditions.
Although most of the Chapter Brothers graduated: Brothers Treyvion Hall, Eric Mimms, Corey Ward, Isaiah Brown, James Ricks, Richard Henyo, Ronald Chamblis II, Tahj Harris Davis, Mekhi Mckinney, Kai Fleming, Khalel
48 THE SPHINX® CHAPTER NEWS
XI ALPHA LAMBDA CHAPTER
Xi Alpha Lambda Chapter members provide leadership to Washington Metro Investment Club. The chapter founded the Washington Metro Investment Club (WMIC) in March 1992.
According to a news release, the club, which started with 10 members and has grown to 30 members reached $1 million in July 2019.
Over the years, notable publications featured WMIC operations including the Washington Post, Better Investing Magazine, Black Enterprise, BET Business Show, and the Potomac News.
Robinson, and Tre’jon Hughes the chapter did not let the lack of current members stop them from taking over the campus.
During the Fall 2021 semester, the chapter completed 230 community service hours participating in activities such as cleaning and moving inventory at a local elementary school, vaccine distribution, and food distribution. Throughout the semester, the Brothers helped distribute food to many families on and offcampus, participated in the National Program Brother’s Keeper by helping a former Chapter Brother, performed at the Petersburg Back to School Rally, and cleaned up Baptist Children’s Home.
Beta Gamma took advantage of the new environment and hosted multiple campus events during the semester. The Brothers facilitated a car wash event called “Iced Out Alphas Carwash,” which raised money while washing people’s cars, and “Do’s And Don’ts When Looking for an Internship” taught skills and tips on what to do when looking for an internship. Some Brothers even got to speak about their internships and what they learned. The Beta Gamma Chapter Investment Club was also developed to invest the assets of the BGCIC in stocks to teach financial literacy to Brothers, help reclaim inactive alumni Brothers, and build wealth for the chapter for generations to come.
The Beta Gamma Chapter continues to display its success, especially during the 2021 Virginia Association of Chapter for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity conference held in April 2021. Beta Gamma chapter won National College Chapter of the Year and Brother Isaiah Brown competed and won the Belford V. Lawson Oratorical Contest. The Chapter continues to grow and show excellence all around.
WMIC is a member of the National Association of Investors Corporation now known as Better Investing. During one period, WMIC earned the distinction as the No. 2 investment club in the nation. The club consists of a small group of novice investors interested in learning about current trends in investing.
Founder Brother Kenneth Wright organized and created WMIC with a small group of friends from work and the Army Reserves (Ron Keele, Mike Williams, and Rob Richardson). WMIC is worth $1,004,843. The club has 28 stocks and two mutual funds. The club’s higher grossing stocks include McDonald’s, which has a market value of $143,943, and Microsoft’s market value is $100,684.
The club has learned to be a patient investor; to buy more when the market is down, and the importance of a strong dividend’s portfolio. The club has been one of the most successful organizations of its type in Virginia in recent years, posting annual returns of more than 20 percent. It won awards from the National Association of Investment Clubs in 1996 and 1998 as the topperforming investment club in Virginia. S
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ISSUE 49
THERE GOES AN ALPHA MAN
BY BROTHER PETER CLARKE
There goes a man of high impulse
Of princely mien and grace
There goes a man of humble faith A credit to his race
There goes a man of conscience vast with will to reach his goal There goes a man of lordly rank Of heroes’ stock and soul
There goes a man of noble caste Whom hardship cannot break There goes a man in merit clad Whom duty won’t forsake
There goes a man in cultured verse
Who hold a sportsman’s creed
There goes a man too vigilant
To bow to lust or greed
There goes a man whose life is spent in service not in scorn
There goes a man whose majesty Shines like a May time morn.
There goes a man who is a friend
To love and duty truth
There goes a man to help uplift The lives of wholesome youth
There goes a man with industry and faith at his command
There goes the best man in and out For he is an Alpha Man.
BROTHER JEFF BARTON TO SERVE AS THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN CITY MANAGER OF THE 5TH LARGEST CITY IN THE UNITED STATES
Brother Jeff Barton, a 2007 Delta Tau Lambda Chapter initiate, made history in Phoenix, Arizona as the first African American city manager – the highest non-elected position in the City of Phoenix.
Brother Barton earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Morehouse College and a Master of Public Administration from Shippensburg University. As city manager, he will oversee more than 14,000 employees and will directly oversee the auditor, finance, communications, law, and government relations departments. He has spent over 20 years learning all aspects of the city and has been a critical factor in decisions regarding the organization’s budget, community investment, and strategy. His work last year acquiring and allocating Federal COVID-19 relief funds was a benchmark for other large cities across the country.
Before his appointment as city manager, Brother Barton served as assistant city manager and deputy city manager where he was responsible for budget and research, Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the city’s response to COVID-19 as well as the police and fire departments. Before these positions, he served for five years as director of the city’s budget & research department, where he was responsible for the planning, forecasting, and managing the city’s $4.4 billion operating budget and $7 billion 5-year capital improvement program.
During his tenure, the department implemented a 5-year forecast and model of expenses and revenues process to better plan for future funding needs, while providing early forecasts of potential budgetary challenges. S
BROTHER VALENTINE NAMED TO TOP FINANCE POST AT GOUCHER COLLEGE
Brother David Valentine was named chief financial officer & vice president of finance & administration at Goucher College in Towson, Maryland where he oversees finance, information technology, and human resources. Originally from Philadelphia, PA he brings three decades of operational finance experience, primarily in the higher education and private foundation sectors. He spent several years at The University of Pennsylvania and The Annenberg Foundation. For almost six years, he served in CFO roles at Otis College of Art & Design and The Kavli Foundation. Brother Valentine, who holds an M.B.A. in technology management from Drexel University and a B.B.A. in finance from Temple University, currently serves on the boards of First Star, Kounkuey Design Initiative and the Diversity Leadership Initiative.
He also served on charter school boards on both the East and West coasts. He joined the illustrious fraternity in the Spring of 1987 as a member of the Pi Rho chapter at Temple, and was most recently a member of Mu Sigma Lambda, the Baldwin Hills Alphas, in Los Angeles. S
50 THE SPHINX®
BROTHER SAMUEL BLACKBURN CELEBRATES 100 YEARS OF LIFE AND 68 YEARS OF ALPHA (EPSILON XI LAMBDA ’53)
Brother Samuel Blackburn, a 1953 Epsilon Xi Lambda Chapter initiate, was named the oldest Brother in the Mississippi District during the 50th District Gala Celebration on September 16, 2021, in Jackson, Mississippi. The celebration took place at the historical King Edwards Hotel. Now 100 years old, Brother Blackburn was the first and only 1953 initiate of Epsilon Xi Lambda Chapter, seated in Mound Bayou, Mississippi. Throughout his life, he has continued to follow the aims of the Fraternity, manly deeds, scholarship, and love for all mankind. Having been initiated by the 3rd General President Brother Fred Miller, who co-founded the chapter, Brother Blackburn is currently chapter treasurer and was previously the president.
Brother Blackburn graduated from Alcorn A&M College (now Alcorn State University) located in Lorman, Mississippi. He later served as the VocationalTechnical Program Director at Junior College (now Coahoma Community College). In addition to his other career accomplishments, he has several fraternal accomplishments, including the recipient of several Brother of the Year Awards, Oldest Active Chapter Senior Brother Award, and a 2021 MLK Gala Honoree. S
BROTHER HICKS APPOINTED TO GEOGRIA GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY AND CAMPAIGN FINANCE
Brother Darryl A. Hicks was appointed by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp to serve as a member of the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission. Brother Hicks is a financial planner with MassMutual Financial Group. In 2010, he ran for Labor Commissioner for the State of Georgia, attracting over one million votes. Prior to the election, he served as the chief of staff to the chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. He is currently on the Fayette County Development Authority, where he serves as chair, and Fayette County Board of Elections. He is the most recent past chair of the board of directors of Atlanta Habitat for Humanity and a trustee of Young Harris College.
Previously, Brother Hicks served on the Atlanta Metropolitan College Foundation, where he served five years as its chairman, advisory council of Habitat for Humanity, the boards of Mutual Savings Credit Union, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Center for the Visually Impaired of Atlanta, and the Butler Street YMCA. He was also a member of the Atlanta Junior League Advisory Committee and chaired the South Metro March of Dimes annual drive.
President George W. Bush honored Brother Hicks as “Outstanding Volunteer of Georgia” in 2002. In 2003, Hicks earned an MBA in executive management from Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business—while working full time at AGL Resources. The school honored him with the Brook’s Community Award for his exemplary record in the field of community service and business ethics. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia. He and his wife, Shirelle, have three children.
Brother Hicks is a life member and charter member of Sigma Omicron Lambda Chapter in Fayetteville, GA. He was initiated in 1982 at Iota Chapter at Morris Brown College. S
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ISSUE 51 ALPHAS ON THE MOVE
LICENSED MANUFACTURERS AND VENDORS*
3 Sisters Embroidery, LLC
Cathy Sheppard 5410 NC Hwy 55 STE D Durham, NC 27713 919.572.6864 email@example.com www.monstergreek.com
AD Greek 179-10 Union Turnpike Fresh Meadows, NY 11366 718.454.4211 firstname.lastname@example.org www.adgreek.com
Alpha One Greek & Promotional Items LLC
Robert Jones 11 S. Vandeventer Ave St. Louis, MO 63108 314.534.4733 email@example.com www.alphaonegreek.com
Monica Allen 1339 Marietta Blvd, Suite C 6400 Powers Ferry Rd, NW Atlanta, GA 30318 404.792.2526 firstname.lastname@example.org www.s4g.com
Aphiliated, LLC 816.527.6489 email@example.com www.aphiliatedapparel.com
Erika Thomas Columbus, GA 706.780.1023 firstname.lastname@example.org www.believeaccessories.com
Big Boy Headgear, Inc.**
Joanne Kim 1321 S. Burlington Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90006 213.388.2744 email@example.com www.bigboygear.com/
Bolton Business Services, LLC
Henry Bolton 443 Wilkins-Wise Road Columbus, MS 39705 662.386.2253 firstname.lastname@example.org www.boltonbiz.org
Burning Sands LLC** 2713 Natures Trail SE Owens Cross Roads, AL 35763 256.226.9592 email@example.com www.burning-sands.com* (website launch TBD)
Clotho Productions LLC
Steven Hoel 3844 S. Santa Fe Ave Vernon, CA 90058 310.901.1735 firstname.lastname@example.org www.fashiongreek.com
College Connection/The HBCU Store
Timothy Topps 334.201.1374 email@example.com www.thehbcustore.online
College Crib, Inc. T. O. Price 2719 Jefferson Street Price Plaza-Suite D Nashville, TN 37208 615.329.3885 CollegeCrib@gmail.com www.collegecrib.com
Craftique Mfg. Co.**
Dean Hogue PO Box 4422 Chattanooga, TN 37405 800.251.1014 firstname.lastname@example.org www.craftiquemfg.com/
Creative Options of America, LLC
Anita Harris PO Box 311497 Atlanta, GA 31131 404.349.2185 email@example.com www.creativeoptions.net
Charles “Chas” Brooks 116 Shannon Chase Drive Fairburn, GA 30213 678.592.1541 firstname.lastname@example.org
Custom Creations MFG. LLC**
8815 Conroy-Windermere Rd., Unit 201 Orlando, FL 32835 407.217.8009 email@example.com www.customcreationsmfg.com
Designed 2 Dribble, LLC**
Cheryl Sellers, CEO 3305 Anne De Bourgh Drive Triangle, VA 22172 719.963.0363 firstname.lastname@example.org www.designed2dribble.com
Distinctive Specialties (Greek Paraphernalia)
dba Rare Case, LLC LaVonne McDowell 7925 North Tyson Street, Suite 113 Charlotte, NC 28262 704.547.9005 email@example.com www.distinctivespecialties.com
Owings Mills, MD 443.447.2106 firstname.lastname@example.org www.div9nefitness.com
Divine Creations Clothing, Co.
DVN Co., LLC
Danielle Render 2070 Attic Parkway, Suite 302 Kennesaw, GA 30152 email@example.com www.dvn.co
* as of 9.10.22 ** Licensed Manufacturer
52 THE SPHINX® LICENSED MANUFACTURER & VENDOR DIRECTORY
Doom Wear Designs
Alain Uyidi 14 Mulholland Ct
Mission Viejo, CA 92692 949.278.7831 firstname.lastname@example.org www.doomwear.com
George Paasawe, Author 262.424.5013 email@example.com www.educarepublications.com
Amityville, NY 11701 516.986.7799 Esmiescloset@gmail.com www.esmiesclosetinc.com
Express Design Group, Inc
Joseph Tantilo 6 Commerce Drive
Freeburg, IL 62243 618.539.9998 firstname.lastname@example.org www.greekgear.com
Faith and Blessings 240.838.6508 BJoPayne@gmail.com www.faithandblessings2.com
Free Radical Labs, LLC dba Obsidian Mercantile Exchange Jason Robinson, PHD Athens, GA 706.521.3790 email@example.com www.obsidianmx.com
Genesis Business Solutions/ No2orious Gift Accessories
Bro. Robert L. Holmes 2679 Muscadine Dr. Augusta, Ga. 30909 firstname.lastname@example.org No2orious Gifts and accessories www.no2oriousice.com
Shedrick Warren 4231 East McCain Blvd. North Little Rock, AR 72117 501.955.8227 G4LCustomproduct@aol.com www.greek4life.com
Greek CertiPHIed Apparel
Kenyon Holley Philadelphia, PA 19142 267.716.7602 email@example.com www.greekcertiphied.com
P. O. Box 2053 Jonesboro, GA 30237 866.950.7373 firstname.lastname@example.org www.greekdynasty.com/
2801 S. Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA 90007 213.747.4442 email@example.com www.greekescape.com
Greek Occasions, LLC
Tommie Arnold, Jr. 1502 Kincross Street Flossmoor, IL 60422 firstname.lastname@example.org www.greekoccasions.com
Darrin Thomas 1806 Washington Street Columbia, SC 29201 803.254.6404 email@example.com www.greektraditions.net
House of A
Anthony J. Morina Drive Stony Point, NY 10980 646.373.5296 MyHouseofA@yahoo.com www.houseofA.net
J Mar Specialty/Greek Life Shop Inc. 1101 Belmar Street Columbus, GA 31907 770.484.1798 firstname.lastname@example.org www.jmargreeklife.com
Kendall’s Greek Duncan, SC 29334 864.304.7043 email@example.com www.kendallsgreek.com
The King McNeal Collection**
Kankakee, IL 815.351.9188 firstname.lastname@example.org www.kingmcneal.com
Michael Madison Design
Michael Madison 407.501.6083 email@example.com www.michaelmadisondesign.com
My Greek Letters**
Nicolas Cunningham Harrison, TN 423.475.9331 MyGreekLetter@gmail.com www.mygreekletter.com
Fort Lauderdale, FL 305.781.3248 firstname.lastname@example.org www.mywoodcanvas.com
National Convention Sales
Cory Davis 4857 Neal Ridge Atlanta, GA 30349 281.507.7776 404.632.4819 NationalConventionSales@gmail.com www.greekstore.org
Old Gold Fine Art
Old Gold Fine Art LLC Steven Patterson 830.345.0279 Oldgoldfineart@gmail.com
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ISSUE 53 LICENSED MANUFACTURER & VENDOR DIRECTORY
Old Gold Goods
Paul Vaughns 817.412.3418 Fort Worth, TX email@example.com www.oldgoldgoods.com
4810 Ashford Place Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 301.248.2882 firstname.lastname@example.org www.patsexclusives.net
Pegasus Promotional Products
110 Clifton PL., #3c Brooklyn, NY 11238 718.230.0991 email@example.com www.pegasuspromoproducts.com
Penz by Design
2180 Satellite Blvd, Suite 400 Duluth, GA 30097 877.736.7117 firstname.lastname@example.org www.stacyrobinsonstudios.com/
Perfect Apparel, LLC 8770 Commerce Park Place Suite C, Indianapolis, IN 46268 317.398.5553 www.perfectapparel.com
PhirstPham Greek Boutique LLC
Roland & Andrea Ridgeway 560 Peoples Plaza #279 Newark, DE 19702 202.656.1768 Service@phirstphamgreek.com www.phirstphamgreek.com
Phorever Phirst 707.344.2088 email@example.com www.phoreverphirst.com
Kelvin Thomas 757.602.4940 firstname.lastname@example.org www.phrontrunners.com
Real Greek Apparel Company
Robert Taylor 2912 N. MacArthur Blvd #103 Irving, TX 75062 815.454.5371 email@example.com www.realgreek.com
Red Light Group, LLC
House of Greeks 773.559.6598 Laronwas@gmail.com www.houseofgreeks.com
Johnny King III 72 Palmero Way Manvel, TX 77578 346.253.6342 JKing@aroyalwork.com www.divinegiftaccessories.com
Royalty & Beads
dba Forever Southern Royalty Victoria Evans 1610 Danube Court Atlanta, GA 30349 901.218.8721 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sandz, Inc.
Dedric Benton 704.975.3900 email@example.com www.thesandz.com
Savage Promotions, Inc.**
Kim Savage 300 S Front St. Steelton, PA 17113 717.939.1152
Schaffes’s Wooden Treasures
Schaffe Smith 2302 Brookhaven Drive Champaign, IL 61821 217.369.0508 Schaffes@comcast.net www.Schaffeswood.com
Sharp Crisp Clean
9614 Summer Point Avenue Baton, LA 70810 954.243.5764 firstname.lastname@example.org www.sharpcrispclean.com
2110 The Oaks Blvd. Kissimmee, FL 34746 407.818.7971 email@example.com www.sororbling.com
3324 S. Halsted Chicago, IL 773.801.1529 www.sororitique.com Info@sororitique.com
Stuart Consulting Group, Inc.**
Brad Aboff 4191 Dairy Court Port Orange, FL 32127 386.236.2236 firstname.lastname@example.org www.nsemblem.com
The Tatum Group, LLC 2266 Canterbury Cir. Akron, OH 44319 330.807.4973 email@example.com www.tatumgroup514.com
TCE Shop 800.336.2719 firstname.lastname@example.org www.tceshop.co
Tenets Apparel LLC** 917.744.2757 email@example.com www.tenetsco.com
Three J’s Products
James Bennett 1301 Edgebrook Lane Snellville, GA 30078 678.467.2093 firstname.lastname@example.org www.threejproducts.com
54 THE SPHINX® LICENSED MANUFACTURER & VENDOR DIRECTORY
Gerald J. Brown 10255 Lisco Ct. Las Vegas, NV 89183 510.633.9870 email@example.com www.turfgear.com
Uzuri Kd Kidz/ Uzuri Greek 6262 Alissa Lane Columbus, OH 43213 614.440.4601 firstname.lastname@example.org www.uzuri-greek.myshopify.com
Varsity Apparel, LLC
Aaron Givens 3831 Vaile Avenue Florissant, MO 63034 501.920.4497 Aaron@varsityapparelstl.com www.varsityapparelstl.com
Vintage the Collection, Inc.
Bro. Craig Burney 3909 Soutel Drive Jacksonville, FL 32208 904.993.8998 email@example.com www.vintagethecollection.com
Worldwide Origins, LLC 314.749.2534 firstname.lastname@example.org www.worldwideorigins.com
X-Press Yourself Worldwide Arlington, TX 817-269-5767 email@example.com www.xpressyourselfgear.com
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ISSUE 55 LICENSED MANUFACTURER & VENDOR DIRECTORY
BY BROTHER NEHEMIAH BESTER [THETA IOTA ’16]
A Timeless King of Music
Brother Howard Lee Franklin, Jr. was born on December 20, 1969, to Linda Ann Franklin and Howard Lee Franklin, Sr. in Takoma Park, Maryland. He graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School.
After completing high school, Brother Franklin continued his education at the University of the District of Columbia where he received his Bachelor of Arts and later went on to earn a Master’s in Music Education. Additionally, Brother Franklin was bestowed two nicknames – “Mayor of UDC” by his beloved community and “KingFish” by his fatherfigure and mentor, Dr. Calvin Jones, founder, and director of the jazz studies program at the University of the District of Columbia.
While attending the University of the District of Columbia, Brother Franklin was initiated into the
Omicron Omicron Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. on March 6, 2004. He was also a proud member of the Omicron Lambda Alpha and Zeta Nu Lambda Chapters and held several executive leadership positions.
Brother Franklin was the embodiment of manly deeds as a leader and pillar to his family and community. His immense musical talent earned him the respect of countless jazz greats. Brother Franklin and his band, Wildflower, performed at jazz clubs across DC. In addition, he, himself, has played on national and international stages, taught music education at the highest level of musicianship, and served as a mentor and inspiration to an entire generation of up-and-coming artists and musicians.
Brother Franklin transitioned into Omega Chapter on August 16, 2021. S
OMEGA CHAPTER 56 THE SPHINX®
BY BROTHER RASHAD SOREL [ZETA KAPPA LAMBDA ’16]
A Brother’s Brother
Brother Broderick (Boo) Richard Daye was born October 29, 1964 in Waukegan, Illinois. He was the third child of the late R.L. Daye and Carol Ann Daye. He was initiated as part of the SS Soul Survivor line and will be forever known as Brother SOS Crusader through the Alpha Nu chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. at Drake University on August 12, 1986.
At his passing he was a member of the Zeta Kappa Lambda chapter in Des Moines, Iowa. He held numerous positions in the ZKL chapter including Dean of Pledges/Director of Membership Intake, Corresponding Secretary and Sergeant at Arms. He was also a board member of the ZKL Educational Foundation. He was also voted ZKL brother of the year.
Brother Daye is and was considered a “brother’s brother”. He was a man of high integrity that knew being an Alpha man wasn’t about status but about the work you put in. He dedicated his life to helping show youth in the Des Moines area a better way. He also took an active role in new brothers in the ZKL chapter. Whether it was holding his brothers accountable to the charge every Alpha man is given, being a listening ear, or just a friend, he was always present.
Brother Daye entered Omega Chapter on August 28, 2021. S
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ISSUE 57 OMEGA CHAPTER
BY BROTHER KENT MYRON ROGERS, JR. [ALPHA PSI LAMBDA ’19]
A South Carolina Alpha Living Legend
Brother King Benjamin Lindbergh Jeffcoat was born September 21, 1930. He was the fifth of six children of Dave and Carrie B. Crumpton Jeffcoat Tyler. He was educated in the public schools of Richland County, and was president of the first graduating class of C.A. Johnson High School. Brother Jeffcoat continued his education at Benedict College, where he was initiated into the Gamma Pi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. on November 1, 1954, and later earned a Bachelor of Science degree. He received a master’s degree from Atlanta University. A lifetime student, he also completed additional studies at Pennsylvania State College, South Carolina State College, and the University of South Carolina.
In addition to his formal education, het was an honor graduate of the Army Drill Sergeant School and achieved the highest enlisted rank of Command Sergeant Major.
During his forty-year military career, he was the first African American commandant of the 120th ARCOM Drill Sergeant School at Fort Jackson, and he was the first African American reservist qualified trainer to operate the “Live Bay” hand grenade range. Among his many military accolades, he received the Meritorious Service Medal (two) oak leaf clusters.
Brother Jeffcoat, a Life member of the Fraternity, was a South Carolina Alpha Living Legend. Upon his graduation from Benedict College, he joined the Alpha Psi Lambda Chapter and performed the duties of the treasurer and chair of the budget committee
for 67 years. He was actively involved in all facets of fraternity life and served on numerous committees and in 2006, Brother Jeffcoat received the Alpha Psi Lambda Chapter Isaac C. Brown Service Award.
Passionate about the field of education, he was widely known for the 33 years he spent in public service as a teacher of mathematics, an assistant principal, a counselor, and a principal.
Brother Jeffcoat continued this tradition of dedication and commitment with a fourteen-year tenure on the board of school commissioners for Richland County School District One, where he influenced policy that affected more than twenty-five thousand students annually. He was the treasurer of the Richland County Retired Educators Association.
An active community leader, he served the students of Richland One on the W.A. Perry Task Force of community volunteers of health initiatives, and the C.A. Johnson Health Sciences Magnet Advisory Committee. Philanthropy and the betterment of others was incredibly important to Brother Jeffcoat. He contributed to the local theaters, the Columbia Historical Society, Riverbanks Zoo, city and state museums, and EdVenture Children’s Museum. He also contributed his time and personal efforts as a Little League coach, Cub Scout and Boy Scout Master, executive committeeman and president of Ward 19, (voting precinct) and acted as advisor and campaign chairman for a number of political leaders. S
OMEGA CHAPTER 58 THE SPHINX®
A Recognized Career Educator and Administrator
Brother John A. Werthing Sr., 92, a native of Lexington, Tennessee, was born to Austin and Ida Werthing on November 14, 1928, and transitioned to Omega Chapter on August 13, 2021.
He graduated from Montgomery High School in Lexington, Tennessee. and received his bachelor’s degree from Lane College in 1952 and completed his master’s degree from Indiana University. He also did further study at Tennessee State University, Tuskegee Institute, University of Detroit, and Memphis State University.
He was initiated into the Beta Pi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. at Lane College in 1950. Brother Werthing was a Life member of the fraternity and received his 70-year membership pin from the Brothers of Beta Upsilon Lambda in 2021, becoming the first member of the Chapter to reach that milestone. Until shortly before his passing, he was very active in the fraternity. He attended Chapter, Area, District, Regional, and General Meetings, Conferences and Conventions. He attended his last General Convention in 2019 in Las Vegas, NV.
Brother Werthing, who accepted Christ at an early age at St. Paul Baptist Church in Lexington, TN, later joined Macedonia Baptist Church, where he was a faithful member, Deacon, and member of the Men’s Choir.
Active in the community, he was also a charter member of the 100 Black Men of West Tennessee. Brother Werthing was a member of his beloved Lane College Local and National Alumni Associations, where he served as both local and national association presidents, treasurer, and other offices. He served as a member of several civic organizations including the Jackson Rotary Club, Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Club, American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), Community Housing Relations Board, Community Multicultural Action Team, and the Jackson Airport Authority Board.
Aside from his military service in the U.S. Army in Korean, his professional career spanned many successful years as an educator and administrator, where he impacted the lives of so many. He began his career as a teacher at Montgomery High School in Lexington, TN and Merry High School in Jackson, TN. He later became the principal of Washington-Douglass Elementary School, Merry Junior High School, Parkway Middle School, and Northeast Middle School, all of Jackson, TN.
Brother Werthing was recognized by the City of Jackson with Labelle Street named in his honor – John Austin Werthing, Sr. Blvd. Other awards include Lane College National Alumni Outstanding Parliamentarian, Alpha Phi Alpha Golden Brother Award, Tennessee Middle School Administrator of the Year, Outstanding Rotarian, and Jackson Community Treasurer. S
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ISSUE 59 OMEGA CHAPTER
An Amazing Singer and Longest-Serving Area 3 District Director in Illinois
Brother Fred Louis Miller, Jr.,75, was born in Decatur, Illinois on January 28, 1946, and transitioned to Omega Chapter on September 1, 2021, at home in Oswego, Illinois.
For 48 years, Brother Miller had been a committed member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. since his initiation into the Theta Omicron Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, inc. at Milliken University on May 1, 1973, making him one of its charter members.
He received a bachelor’s degree in music education from Millikin University, and went on to study Music Ed-Choral at the University of Illinois in UrbanaChampaign, IL, receiving a Master of Science degree. In August 1980, he became an admired and popular music teacher at Valley View Community Unit School District 365 in Oswego, Illinois, until he retired in June 2011.
Brother Miller, who had been a Life member since June 1, 1982, faithfully served as president of Mu Mu Lambda Chapter from 1988-1990; served on several committees, including the education committee and for the committee for our nationally acclaimed, Beautillion. Brother Miller also served as delegate for the chapter innumerous times. In addition, he was also the longest-serving Area 3 District Director in the state of Illinois.
An amazing singer, he frequently led the singing of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Hymn at the Chapter, District and Regional levels. As a faithful servant and leader in Alpha, Brother Miller maintained the importance of Brotherhood being known to many as a “Brother’s Brother.”
Brother Miller received Christ at an early age and was baptized at New Salem Baptist Church in Decatur, IL. As a teen, he was the director of the Youth Choir, along with many other activities.
In 1965, he graduated from Douglas MacArthur High School, where he was junior class vice president. Other activities included: cadet band; concert band; concert choir; All-State Music Festival; German club; football; baseball; and wrestling.
After graduation, Brother Miller joined the U.S. Marines. His final location where he served was the Moffett Naval Air Station, near San Francisco. He would always remember his fellow Marines on social media.
Upon moving to Oswego, IL, Brother Miller and his wife became members St. John AME Church in Aurora, where they served as undershepards for the couples ministry, sang in the choir, participated in the men and women ministries, and where he also served on the church’s trustee board.
Brother Miller was also a Lifetime member of the NAACP, Connecting Link of the West Towns (IL) Chapter of the Links Incorporated and leader, advocate and member of the Aurora Quad County Urban League as well as a committed TSTM volunteer. He was the recipient of numerous awards for his leadership, service, mentorship, and advocacy.
For almost 20 years, Brother Miller was an active Prince Hall Mason and member of Keystone Lodge #1, where he served a term as secretary. In addition, he was a member of the Marquette-Joliet Consistory. S
OMEGA CHAPTER 60 THE SPHINX®
A Testament to Tenacity and Perseverance
Brother John-Marc Parsons was born on January 27, 1976, in Philadelphia, PA. and transitioned to Omega Chapter on July 21, 2021. At three years old, he faced his first medical challenge when he was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a cancer of the eye, which left him with a loss of vision in one eye. Even as a young child, he exhibited strength and resilience as he overcame this obstacle set before him.
He developed a love for music and his passions were the piano, the violin, and photography. He moved to Albany, NY in 1996 and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1997. He started college at the University at Albany, where he was initiated in the Rho Sigma Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. on October 31, 1998. His initiation restored the College chapter to active status and his fees were paid by the Brotherhood for the impact that he made on everyone that he interacted with. Brother Parsons was
a champion of fellowship with an infectious smile and a warm personality.
During his junior year, he moved to Atlanta, GA to continue his education at Georgia State University, where he later obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech communication in 2009. He subsequently, entered a master’s program at Emory University Candler School of Theology. Throughout the many obstacles faced in his educational pursuit and despite this disease, he managed to battle the multiple medical complications of MS to complete his Master of Divinity degree in 2016. His dream was to pursue his PhD in Social Ethics with a focus on the role of the church versus the government in caring for the hungry and the impoverished.
Following his latest hospitalization with complications of MS, Brother Parsons transitioned to Omega Chapter, exemplifying the courage and tenacity to push himself far beyond his physical limitations. S
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ISSUE 61 OMEGA CHAPTER
BY BROTHER EMANUEL L. GARCIA [ETA PSI LAMBDA ’19]
The Last Two Charter Members of Eta Psi Lambda
Transitioned to the Omega Chapter
In the span of almost 13 months, the Tucson Alphas have said goodbye to the last remaining charter members of the Eta Psi Lambda Chapter, founded on March 20, 1962, in Tucson, Arizona. Brother Morgan Maxwell Jr. passed away on July 26, 2020, at 91. Brother Charles Todd passed away on August 18, 2021, at 105. Both Brothers broke racial barriers and made tremendous contributions to their communities during their time with us and they will never be forgotten. The Tucson Alphas will continue to strive to honor their legacies as we prepare to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the chapter’s founding.
Brother Morgan Maxwell, Jr. Brother Morgan Maxwell, Jr., born in Okmulgee, Oklahoma on August 25, 1928. His father, Brother Morgan Maxwell Sr. (another charter member of the Eta Psi Lambda Chapter) moved the family to Tucson in 1940 when he became principal of the historical Dunbar School. Dunbar was the first Black school in the Tucson Unified School District. Brother Maxwell’s mother, Kathryn, was the only Black teacher in the Marana School District during the same period.
After graduating from Tucson High School in 1945, Brother Maxwell attended the University of Arizona, and earned a bachelor’s degree in finance in 1949. After serving two years in the US Army, he earned an MBA in finance from the University of Southern California in 1955. He studied at New York University and taught at several historically Black universities before returning to Tucson in 1961 to start a business in real estate appraisal.
Brother Maxwell was a leader in the local civil rights movement in Tucson. He was a co-founder of the Tucson Chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality. He was also the Chairman of the Arizona State Civil Rights Commission under two governors as well as a lifetime member of the NAACP. After retirement, Brother Maxwell helped restore the Dunbar School
into a cultural center as the treasurer of the Dunbar Coalition.
Brother Morgan Maxwell Jr. was initiated into the Epsilon Psi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. on October 29, 1950.
Brother Charles O. Todd
Brother Charles Odessa Todd was born in Lawrence, Kansas on November 12, 1915. After graduating from Topeka High School, Brother Todd attended the Kansas State Teacher’s College at Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas. In 1940 he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education with a major in mathematics. Brother Todd was drafted into the US Army Air Corps during World War II and served two years, with an honorable discharge in 1946. He completed his master’s degree in art education in 1948 from Kansas University.
In 1947, he was hired by Brother Morgan Maxwell Sr., who was the principal of the Dunbar School in Tucson. He taught at Dunbar until the schools in Tucson were desegregated in 1951. He earned his second master’s degree in fine arts from the University of Southern California in 1957. Brother Todd then taught at Mansfeld Junior High School in Tucson and then Tucson High School where he retired from teaching in 1982.
He was an officer in the Tucson branch of the NAACP, as well as the president of the NAACP Tucson Credit Union and treasurer of the Tucson Fine Arts Association. He was a mentor in the Big Brothers Program, a member of several teacher’s organizations and unions, as well as a member of the Tucson Foster Care Review Board and the Links. Inc.
Brother Charles O. Todd was initiated into the Delta Tau Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. on November 25, 1948. S
OMEGA CHAPTER 62 THE SPHINX®
TO ALL OUR BROTHERS IN OMEGA CHAPTER, MAY YOU REST IN PEACE.
A COMPREHENSIVE MEMORIAL LIST OF BROTHERS TRANSITIONING TO OMEGA CHAPTER BETWEEN THE FRATERNITY’S 95TH AND 96TH GENERAL CONVENTIONS
For each member, included is his name, chapter of initiation, date of initiation, and date of death or date of reporting of death. All of the information is based on what is submitted by chapters and family members, which has been reconciled with the Fraternity’s records.
Louie F. Allen
Delta Alpha Lambda 5/20/88 10/15/21
Arthur L. Banks Rho Tau 4/8/89 8/14/21
Donald A. Bonner Gamma Beta 3/5/53 9/10/21
Herman F. Bostick Alpha Rho 12/6/47 8/3/21
Brandon Bryant Nu Upsilon 3/22/89 11/27/21
Napoleon Byrd Alpha Phi Lambda 4/1/74 7/31/21
Robert N. Cann Beta Tau 5/21/38 7/21/21
Virgil L. Chancy Alpha Xi Lambda 8/20/48 11/26/21
Harold R. Clay Epsilon Iota Lambda 4/1/59 11/5/21
Dwight E. Clayton Zeta Theta 5/3/84 9/1/21
Theodore Rudolph Cosey Delta Kappa 12/15/56 8/5/21
Philip J. Dabney Gamma Theta 12/6/69 7/18/21
Gussie L. Daniels
Delta Theta 12/9/61 10/24/21
Broderick R. Daye Alpha Nu 8/12/86 8/28/21
Albert R. Dixon Pi 5/1/63 8/4/21
Cedrick DeWayne Ellis Xi Beta Lambda 12/14/02 9/24/21
Carl Evans Delta Rho 4/11/71 11/13/21
Kevin Fauntleroy Gamma Beta 3/21/86 9/24/21
Todd Fleming Beta Alpha 11/29/79 11/30/21
Harold D. Foster Alpha Sigma 12/17/64 11/11/21
Reginald Foster Gamma Gamma 11/1/49 11/17/21
Howard Lee Franklin Omicron Omicron 3/6/04 8/18/21
Larry D. Hardaway Mu Zeta Lambda 7/22/89 9/9/21
Darryl L. Harris Iota Mu Lambda 9/25/82 11/3/21
Richard A. Hartsfield Beta Nu 11/15/73 9/7/21
Eric A. Hazel Kappa Rho 12/1/79 8/11/21
Kenneth Walter Hill Eta Sigma Lambda 11/14/92 11/3/21
Jimmy Leverne Hodges Iota 4/17/75 9/17/21
Henry A. Hopkins Alpha Tau 9/22/83 9/16/21
Ralph E. Howard Beta Omicron Lambda 5/1/63 9/28/21
Thomas A. Hyde Epsilon Upsilon 9/15/72 8/12/21
King Benjamin Lindbergh Jeffcoat Gamma Pi 11/1/54 7/30/21
Everette Jerome Jefferies Gamma Beta 4/12/92 9/13/21
Alvis T. Jeffers Gamma Beta 2/25/90 10/16/21
Emmitt E. Jimmar Delta Gamma 4/25/59 11/18/21
Darrell G. Johnson Delta Eta 5/28/83 9/14/21
Lee W. Jones Theta Zeta Lambda 4/1/69 9/6/21
Nathan E. Jordan Mu Xi Lambda 4/24/21 9/16/21
Patrick O. Kelley Xi Eta 3/23/88 11/17/21
TO ALL OUR BROTHERS IN OMEGA CHAPTER, MAY YOU REST IN PEACE.
Travis Lavern Lucas Beta Epsilon 3/18/93 10/22/21
Earl Mc Hugh Mabry Delta Tau 12/1/62 10/21/21
Levon Charles Manzie Theta Delta 11/19/06 9/20/21
Stan McKenzie Delta Lambda 6/21/97 7/21/21
Fred L. Miller Theta Omicron 5/1/73 9/1/21
Frederick H. Miller General Organization 9/1/21
William J. Milton Delta Eta 3/31/63 11/20/21
Eldridge Mitchell Beta Sigma 4/1/55 9/17/21
Clarence W. Mixon Epsilon Delta 12/14/57 11/26/21
Chris Moore Mu Tau 1/17/85 8/10/21
Robert A. Morrison Alpha Xi Lambda 6/8/46 9/23/21
George P. Murphy Beta Rho 12/3/56 8/3/21
H. Steven L. Newbold Kappa Epsilon Lambda 9/26/78 7/29/21
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ISSUE 63
Roy Chester Noble Delta Zeta 11/11/67 11/13/21
Claude M. Odom Beta Upsilon 11/1/48 11/16/21
William F. Ogletree Iota Delta Lambda 4/1/81 10/23/21
Shade J. Palmer Zeta Lambda 12/1/72 11/14/21
Phil W. Petrie Beta Omicron 11/17/56 9/11/21 Franklin L. Pinckney Kappa Tau Lambda 4/10/88 10/2/21
Bryan A. Pippin Xi Alpha 10/26/88 9/9/21
Anderson Potts Iota Chi Lambda 12/6/77 11/19/21
James J. Prestage Beta Sigma 4/10/48 10/13/21
Anthony Brian Richardson Kappa Iota Lambda 11/21/81 7/22/21
Donald W. Rushing Delta Upsilon Lambda 4/30/05 8/23/21
Delta Eta 4/28/49 11/14/21
Charles L. Smith Theta Delta 12/1/75 8/31/21
Perry C. Smith Gamma Nu 5/1/47 9/4/21
Dameon D. Smith Beta Nu Lambda 4/13/13 9/11/21
Vanthony J.B. Smith Eta Lambda 4/26/97 10/27/21
Troy Fernando Statton Omicron Kappa 5/1/92 9/7/21 John Stevenson Zeta Rho Lambda 3/11/18 11/1/21
Orlando R. Stovall Gamma Beta 12/1/42 9/9/21
Melvin F. Stringer Epsilon Phi 5/4/68 10/9/21
Twitty J. Styles Gamma 12/1/46 8/19/21
Sylvester Taylor Iota Delta 6/2/81 9/4/21
Randolf A. Tobias Gamma 5/11/59 7/18/21 Charles O. Todd Delta Tau Lambda 11/1/48 8/18/21
Jerry W. Varnado Delta Omicron 9/1/65 9/8/21
John A. Werthing Beta Pi 5/15/50 8/13/21
Claude M. Wilson Theta 4/7/63 10/21/21
James A. Winstead Epsilon Nu Lambda 3/10/67 8/8/21
TO ALL OUR BROTHERS IN OMEGA CHAPTER, MAY YOU REST IN PEACE.
OMEGA CHAPTER 64 THE SPHINX®
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
GENERAL PRESIDENT Willis L. Lonzer, III, Ph.D. GeneralPresident@1906.net
IMMEDIATE PAST GENERAL PRESIDENT Everett B. Ward, Ph.D. firstname.lastname@example.org
GENERAL TREASURER Densel Fleming General.email@example.com
GENERAL COMPTROLLER Donald E. Jackson firstname.lastname@example.org
EASTERN REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENT Christopher G. Ellis, Jr. email@example.com
MIDWESTERN REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENT Ronald Stovall, Jr. firstname.lastname@example.org
SOUTHERN REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENT Cecil E. Howard email@example.com
SOUTHWESTERN REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENT Jeramaine O. Netherly firstname.lastname@example.org
WESTERN REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENT Wayne M. Kimball email@example.com
EASTERN REGIONAL ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT Tamir D. Harper firstname.lastname@example.org
MIDWESTERN REGIONAL ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT Cartier B. Stewart email@example.com
SOUTHERN REGIONAL ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT Donavan I. McLean firstname.lastname@example.org
SOUTHWESTERN REGIONAL ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT Ayowolemi Akinyamoju email@example.com
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INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Sean McCaskill SeanMcCaskill@apa1906.net
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SERGEANT AT ARMS Eugene L. Aiken email@example.com
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Luscious Turner, III email@example.com
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SPECIAL COMMITTEES CHAIRMEN
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ALPHA UNIVERSITY Cecil M. Brookins AlphaU@apa1906.net
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BELFORD V. LAWSON ORATORICAL CONTEST R. Sylvester Owens email@example.com
BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS Dale H. Long BBBSA@apa1906.net
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COLLEGE LIFE TO CORPORATE LIFE Dennis Hatchett C2C@apa1906.net
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GO-TO-HIGH SCHOOL GO-TO-COLLEGE Dr. Anthony Graham GTHGTC@apa1906.net
HBCUS TASK FORCE Dr. David H. Jackson, Jr. HBCU@apa1906.net
HEALTH AND WELLNESS Dr. Michael A. Smith email@example.com
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HOBART S. JARRETT DEBATE COMPETITION Dr. Michael D. McClain firstname.lastname@example.org
INTERNAL AUDIT REVIEW TEAM Dexter Leon A. Taylor email@example.com
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INTERNATIONAL IMPACT DAYS Pierre Rutledge email@example.com
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JOHN HOPE FRANKLIN COLLEGIATE SCHOLARS’ BOWL Gregory L. Bailey email@example.com
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31ST GENERAL PRESIDENT Harry E. Johnson Sr. firstname.lastname@example.org
30TH GENERAL PRESIDENT Adrian L. Wallace email@example.com
29TH GENERAL PRESIDENT Milton C. Davis firstname.lastname@example.org
28TH GENERAL PRESIDENT Henry Ponder email@example.com
27TH GENERAL PRESIDENT Charles C. Teamer Sr. firstname.lastname@example.org
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ALPHA PHI ALPHA FRATERNITY JEWEL FOUNDERS
Henry Arthur Callis
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George Biddle Kelley
Nathaniel Allison Murray
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OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ISSUE 65 ALPHA PHI ALPHA FRATERNITY LEADERSHIP DIRECTORY
Brother, Are You the missing piece? Come BaCk to the house. go to
THE SPHINX | SPRING 2017 | INAUGURATION ISSUE ALPHA PHI ALPHA FRATERNITY | WWW.APA1906.NET THE SPHINX ® | FALL 2021 | OPERATIONAL EXELLENCE ISSUE ALPHA PHI ALPHA FRATERNITY, INC. ® | APA1906.NET