THE WALL ST. ALPHA REPORT The official Wall Street Alphas newsletter, Kappa Xi Lambda Chapter, NYC
Special Edition â€“ Fall 2008
THE WALL ST. ALPHA REPORT The official Wall Street Alphas newsletter, Kappa Xi Lambda Chapter, NYC
Special Edition – Fall 2008
Bro. Herman “Skip” Mason elected 33rd General President of ΑΦΑ
By Bro. Brian Pruitt As a Reverend, author, historian, and the interim Vice President of Student Services at Morehouse College, Bro. Skip Mason wears many hats. But his biggest challenge may lie ahead when he accepts leadership as the 33rd General President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity in January 2009, joining the ranks of other accomplished men who felt a calling to lead our great fraternity. Being a noted historian of African-American life and in particular, the history of our fraternity, Bro. Mason may well be known best for his incredible exhibit at the 2006 Centennial Convention. Any brother who witnessed that exhibit could not help but come away with a better appreciation of how the fraternity developed throughout the years and the many contributions that were made to society by so many Alpha brothers. Restoring a sense of the embracement of the foundations of the fraternity was central to his campaign theme as brothers were reminded again and again to “believe in the 7.” I was recently fortunate enough to have the opportunity to Continued on page 14
NFL Legend Bro. Gene Upshaw succumbs to pancreatic cancer By Bro. Brian Pruitt On August 21, shocking news filled the sports world in the announcement of the passing of Bro. Gene Upshaw due to pancreatic cancer. Bro. Upshaw who had just learned of the seriousness of his condition only days prior, informed very few people, and chose to spend his last days with his family. He leaves behind a wife and three sons. The first African-American to lead a major players’ union, Upshaw accomplished a lot in his 25 year tenure as Executive Director of the NFL Player’s Association. During his tenure the average player's salary rose from $120,000 to approximately $1.4 million in 2005; an increase of more than 1,000 percent.
Dear Brothers and Guests, Welcome to a Special Edition to the Wall Street Alpha Report. The First General Meeting of the new Fraternal Year is upon us. It's a new year and we have new challenges to face. Personally, I think we're in store for another fantastic year. On Monday, September 1, 2008 we got off to a fantastic start. The Wall Street Alphas teamed up with the Brooklyn Alphas (Gamma Iota Lambda chapter) to host "A Voteless People Is A Hopeless People" voter registration drive at the West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn, NY. Our first campaign was very successful as we were able to register 85 new voters. It’s no wonder why the voter registration drive was a success. During a historic election year where we will either elect our first AfricanAmerican President or our first female Vice President our fellow American citizens are passionate and are anxious to be involved. We as Servants of All must do everything we can to ensure that our community is prepared and empowered to take action regardless of our political views. Community Service will continue to play a huge part of this year's programming. For the Wall Continued on Page 3
Inside this Edition 9 9 9 9 9 9
President’s Letter Editor’s Report A Voteless People is a Hopeless People 7 Questions – Bro. Herman “Skip” Mason Remembering Bro. Gene Upshaw A Medical Minute – Prostate Cancer
Contact Us: WSANews@gmail.com
Continued on page 6
President’s Letter Continued from Page 2
Street Alphas, that means a recharged Alpha G.E.N.T.S. program. This year, we're certainly going to need all hands on deck. In addition to the 10 or so dedicated students from Martha Valle Model High School on the Lower East Side, we plan to add 10 more from the High School of Graphic Communication & Arts located on 49th Street between 9th and 10th Aves. These young men have benefited greatly from our activities and mentorship over the years. And it means a lot to them personally to have such positive role models that care. That is one reason why Think Black will be the Premier Black Tie Event this Fall. Lino Solis, Shawn Curwen and the rest of the Think Black planning committee have worked extremely hard to make this event truly memorable for our guests and raise funds for the Wall Street Alphas Charitable Foundation that funds our educational efforts. Circle Wednesday, November 19th on the calendar as we celebrate the importance of education at Steiner Studios in Brooklyn, NY. This year, we've also dedicated ourselves to placing a special importance on Brotherhood. What makes our short time on this Earth sweet and worthwhile are the relationships we share with God, our family and our friends. The Jewels understood this. As we follow in their footsteps, we will continue to engage in activities that strengthen our bonds. On July 24th, Derrick Weatherspoon opened his home to us to watch and discuss CNN's special: Black in America. On August 16th, we went Paintballin' at Fireball Mountain in Old Bridge, NJ. Both were fun and enlightening activities that we will continue throughout the year. More important, they gave us opportunities to get to know one another more personally. We are ALL Brothers, so we must provide a House where "men unacquainted, enter, shake hands, exchange greetings and depart friends". Kappa Xi Lambda is that House of Alpha. Fraternally, Jioha Amatokwu President, KXL Chapter “Wall Street Alphas”
Bro. Tony Thompson helped register new voters on Labor Day during the West Indian Day Parade. Read more on page 5.
Mark your Calendar! 9/9: 9/9: 9/11: 9/13: 9/18: 9/21: 9/26: 10/2: 10/5: 10/10: 10/14: 11/4: 11/11: 11/15: penalty 11/19:
1st Chapter Meeting PRIMARY ELECTION – Remember to Vote! Remember, Reflect, Never Forget! Alpha G.E.N.T.S. – CARE Program Wall Street Alphas Happy Hour – Sofritos Voter Registration w/ Harlem Alphas 1st Presidential debate Vice Presidential debate KXL Re-chartering – 6 Year Anniversary Deadline to Register to Vote - NY Chapter Meeting GENERAL ELECTION DAY – PLEASE VOTE Chapter Meeting Last day to pay National dues with no Think Black – Steiner Studios, Brooklyn
Visit the “Wall Street Alphas” on Facebook or My Space or at www.wallstreetalphas.com
THE EDITOR’S REPORT Greetings Brothers, Congratulations to Bro. Skip Mason on his successful election as the 33rd General President to lead our great fraternity. This comes at a time of economic upheaval, world unrest, an unfortunate (and unnecessary) war, and many challenges that are specific to African Americans especially on a college campus. After viewing the CNN special “Black in America” a few weeks ago I think we can all appreciate that there are many problems in the community and many ways that Alpha brothers can have a positive impact. On a local level, the Wall Street bros joined forces with the Brooklyn Alphas (GIL) and worked on voter registration during the West Indian Day Parade on Labor Day. Voting in this and future elections is just one way to try to make things a little better for everyone. Please encourage your friends and family to be sure to vote and consider helping to educate your own community by registering people to vote in the coming election. Have you ever played a game of “what if”? It’s a kid’s game to be sure, but it’s powerful when you stop to think of how different things could be if a variable or two turned out differently. What if in
What if we woke up on November 5 and found that Senator Obama had prevailed? Well in my case I would wake up with a hangover from partying all night long, but my hope would be that there would be a new sense of optimism in the Black community. We are all well aware of the dismal stats on plummeting black education, increasing drug use, fatherlessness, and prison incarceration rates. Maybe an Obama Presidency will inspire little Black kids in school to stick it out and aim higher. Go into any elementary school and you’ll see Bro. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the wall right next to the ABC’s. What if right next to Dr. King there was a picture of a President Obama on the wall? A prominent Black American who is still alive and they can see on their TV everyday when they go home. No more will you hear that all they know about are rappers and basketball players. And just as important is seeing Michelle Obama right by his side….an attorney, a mom, and a supporter of his dream. I think that alone is reason to support an Obama Presidency, all things being equal. But that’s just one man’s opinion. You are certainly free to choose that other guy, Senator McSame. And speaking of Black role models, why not begin by educating our black males about a man
2000 there had been no Ralph Nader, or if Florida had electronic voting machines which alleviated it’s “hanging chad” debacle. I think we’d have had a Democrat in the White House and presumably no Iraq War as diplomacy instead of aggression may have been the more favored policy of the President. But on the flip side, there probably would have still been a 9/11 and the economy may have still bottomed out, thus setting the stage for Republicans who’d be screaming about it’s time for a change.
who started off picking cotton, became arguably the best professional football player at his position ever, and then did amazing things in an executive capacity to benefit so many others. Be sure to read about Bro. Gene Upshaw who recently passed into Omega Chapter after loosing a battle with pancreatic cancer. ‘06, Brian Pruitt Newsletter Editor in Chief Wall St. Alphas Inspirational like JFK? Motivational like MLK? Or just the right man at the right time? We’ll soon see.
Note: The Editor’s report reflects thoughts or opinions of the Editor and are not necessarily shared by the chapter or the Fraternity as a whole. 4
GIL and KXL educate the community with voter registration at the West Indian Day Parade A sunny Labor Day made for a great collaborative effort involving Gamma Iota Lambda and Kappa Xi Lambda as the two alumni chapters teamed up at the West Indian Day Parade to register people to vote. KXL Community Service Chairman Bro. Christian Robinson led the effort. "Our goal as a committee was to reach out to a segment of our community that may not be as exposed to the election process and to find a venue that would have a large group of people. The West Indian Day Parade was a perfect venue to have us accomplish our goals. This was the first of several registration drives that we would like to do. We also plan to work with Zeta Eta (Pace / NYU) as well as Alpha Gamma Lambda during the month of September. Special shout-out goes to Bro. Ted Ingram and the other members of the community service committee to make it all happen."
The Alphas will be coming to a borough near you!
A Voteless People is a Hopeless People" was initiated as a National Program of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. during the 1930's when many African-Americans had the right to vote but were prevented from voting because of poll taxes, threats of reprisal, and lack of education about the voting process. Click here for NYC voting info!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BROTHERS!! Richard Cassells – Sept 5 Shawn Curwen – Sept 11 Brent Kastenbaum – Sept 11 Russell Malbrough – Sept 13 Derrick Weatherspoon – Sept 16 Brandon V. Ray – Sept 18 Ted Ingram – Sept 23
ΚΞΛ If you have any comments on the Newsletter or would like to submit content, reply to WSANews@gmail.com Visit us at www.wallstreetalphas.com 5
Bro. Gene Upshaw enters Omega Chapter Continued from page 2 Bro. Upshaw’s leadership of the union has led it to being known as the most powerful union in professional sports. Through his efforts, the players have reaped the benefits of free agency and enjoyed the fruits of revenue sharing. On the issue of free agency, Bro. Upshaw is quoted as saying: "Until we achieved free agency, I always viewed the NFL as the last plantation. The players need to have their freedom. I knew that once they got that, they'd get everything else. It was after all that I'd been through growing up that I was able to see that.“1 Ironically, what was probably a key to his success as union leader, his working relationship with Commissioner Tagliabue, was often a source of criticism, as some thought he was too close to NFL ownership. When Commissioner Pete Rozelle was succeeded by Paul Tagliabue in 1989, he received some advice from Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis: "It was about how to change the relationship with the players' association and to make it less adversarial and less confrontational, and build a relationship of respect and trust. We've tried to do that over the years, Gene Upshaw and I, and the owners and the Players Association Executive Committee. He and I have always been on the same page when it comes to trying to make this system work fairly.“1 “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too …” At some point or another those words
"You just knew Gene Upshaw was eventually going to go on to something great..... we'd take trips to our capital at Sacramento and I'd watch him moving among those politicians and just marvel. Sometimes, sort of halfkidding, half-serious, I used to call him 'Governor,' because that's what I always guessed he'd be.“
His commitment to excellence began in his service to Alpha, continued with his tenure with the Oakland Raiders, and concluded as Executive Director of the NFL Players Association.
--John Madden, Oakland Raiders former Head Coach1
Continued on page 7 6
Bro. Gene Upshaw enters Omega Chapter Continued from page 6
"Unfortunately, there are still people who have racist feelings. It's a sad, lingering part of our society. The reality is that Gene Upshaw and [NBA union chief] Billy Hunter don't always get the credit they deserve. They are effective, powerful leaders who have gotten extraordinary gains for their players."
Bro. Upshaw with then NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue in 1999.
--Jeffrey Kessler, attorney, commenting on the challenges faced by Black leaders in professional sports1
have resonated with each and every Alpha man. And for the leader of the NFLPA, there may have been no more appropriate words to turn to in times of crisis. In 1981, Bro. Upshaw crossed the burning sands at Gamma Chi Lambda in San Francisco, CA and from there went on to become arguably one of the most prominent African-American leaders in the country. KXL Bro. Derrick Crawford, League Counsel for the NFL for the past 10 years knew Bro. Upshaw well. “I can’t recall the exact date and time that I met Bro. Gene Upshaw, but it was some time during my first year of employment with the NFL in 1998. I had heard a great deal about Gene prior to meeting him, and not all that I had heard was positive. But like most people, I like to make up my own mind about people based on my interactions with them. When I finally met Gene later that year, I was immediately struck by his size. Gene was a big man, both literally and figuratively. He had a quick wit, great laugh and easy going disposition – unless provoked. LOL What I remember most about Gene was his friendliness and his giving me the Alpha handshake whenever we ran into each other. Gene was proud to be an Alphaman and those
Career Highlights 16 year NFL player 7 time Pro Bowl selection 11 time All-Pro 2 time Super Bowl champ (XI, XV); played in 3 the only player to play in three Super Bowls in different decades -- '60s, '70s and '80s The first exclusive Guard to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987 25 year leader of the NFLPA Won NFL players the right to free agency in 1983 and revenue sharing in 2006 Avoided MLB’s steroids scandal; led the push for steroids testing in the NFL in the 1980’s
Continued on page 8 1
“CBA extension latest accomplishment for Upshaw,” ESPN.com, August 21, 2008 7
Bro. Gene Upshaw enters Omega Chapter Continued from page 7
"There was never any question because he embodied all the things you'd admire in a man… great integrity, extraordinary intelligence, great judgment, and he had an unbending will.“ --Tom Condon, an NFLPA executive committee member commenting on Upshaw’s appointment as Executive Director of the NFLPA1
Gene Upshaw played his entire 16 year career with the Oakland Raiders.
who knew him best could attest to that. Gene was truly one of the pillars of the modern day NFL and so much of the NFL’s success is directly attributable to his leadership of the NFL Players Association and for his ability to build consensus and to “get things done.” Roughly two weeks after his death I still find it very difficult to comprehend that he’s gone. I keep thinking that I’ll see him at an NFL meeting or game and that it will be just like old times. It just doesn’t seem right that he was taken from us at 63 years young. I will miss Gene for so many reasons, but primarily because he was a very decent man in a business that is not always known for decency. Gene will be impossible to replace and so dearly missed!” Upshaw celebrates Super Bowl XV, a 27-10 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on January 25, 1981. 1
“CBA extension latest accomplishment for Upshaw,” ESPN.com, August 21, 2008 8
IF by Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated, don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise: If you can dream - and not make dreams your master; If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build them up with wornworn-out tools: If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitchpitch-andand-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!' If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, ' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch, if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!
**NYC ALPHA NEWS**
The Brooklyn Paper endorses Bro. Kevin Powell for Congress September 3, 2008 “It has been wisely said that only a foolish man makes the same decisions over and over again, yet expects different results. But that is what voters do all too often: pick the same tired leaders, send them back to Albany or to Washington for decades, then somehow expect these incumbents to bring about change. What we get instead, of course, is the same old politics. But on Primary Day, Tuesday, Sept. 9, voters in several Brownstone Brooklyn neighborhoods will have a rare opportunity to alter that sad political calculus…
Primary Day is Tuesday, Sept. 9th
Rep. Ed Towns has been in office since 1982. Yet in those 26 years, he has achieved so little that it is shocking that he has only rarely faced a Democratic challenger.
Towns has been in the House longer than more than 400 congressmen — yet he does not even chair a committee! In an interview with The Brooklyn Paper’s editorial board, he touted his leadership of a government oversight subcommittee — one that reviews every single government purchase, he said. When questioned, he conceded that he has not even held hearings to investigate the cronyism and overpayments that have been rampant during the Bush Administration. Two years ago, when this newspaper reluctantly endorsed Towns for reelection, we wrote that “if the Democrats take back the House, Towns’ seniority will give him added clout.” The Democrats did take back the House, yet Towns’ seniority has meant little to his Brooklyn constituents. Indeed, when asked to name his major achievements, he ticked off the same two bills that he mentioned at his endorsement interview two years ago! Newcomer Kevin Powell, a rap music writer, inspirational lecturer and community organizer, has the kind of fire in the belly to shake up the doldrums that Towns tolerates. In his interview with The Brooklyn Paper’s editorial board, he put forth a vision of the kind of hard-working, easily accessible, knowledgeable and committed congressman he hopes to be. We endorse Kevin Powell for Congress in his uphill challenge to the status quo in the 10th congressional district.” Excerpts taken from the complete endorsement which may be found here.
A Medical Minute by Bro. Dr. Brian A. Stone, MD Itâ€™s Not Always Prostate Cancer Just in case you didnâ€™t know, prostate cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed cancer in American men. Over 200,000 cases are diagnosed and almost 30,000 men die from this disease annually. The bad news is that men of African descent in America die from prostate cancer three times the rate of Caucasians. Prostate cancer is typically a silent invader. The majority of cases are detected based on an abnormal blood test called PSA or prostate specific antigen. The normal range for PSA in a man between 40 and 60 years of age is 0 to 2.5. When this test is elevated, the diagnosis of prostate cancer is made based on a biopsy of the gland. Some patients with prostate cancer develop problems with urination such as frequency, waking at night to urinate, a weak flow, severe urgency, hesitation of flow, incomplete emptying, deviated stream and difficulty postponing urination. The good news is that there are other non-cancerous conditions that can affect the prostate and cause the same symptoms as prostate cancer. The prostate gland is a small, chestnut shaped organ, found only in the male. It is located beneath the bladder and acts as a conduit through which urine flows. The prostate is a part of the urethra which is the tube that passes from the bladder to the penis. Conditions that affect the urethra can also cause symptoms that can be seen in prostate cancer. The bladder is a muscular sack that store urine. When it fills with urine a signal is sent triggering urination. Conditions that irritate the bladder will cause frequency, urgent urination, waking a night to urinate, loss of control of urine, blood in the urine and burning. These conditions include (but are not limited to) bladder infections, bladder stones, bladder cancer, pelvic radiation, neurological diseases, and prostate enlargement. The prostate begins to enlarge annually when a man reaches his mid-thirties. The enlarging prostate or BPH affects almost 40 million men in the U.S. This enlargement is a natural component of the aging process that affects over 70% of men in their seventies. Normal cells of the prostate also produce PSA which can become elevated due to this enlargement. The enlarging prostate compresses the urethra and base of the bladder. This enlargement can result in irritation of the bladder and blockage of the flow of urine. This results in irritation of the bladder with the previously described symptoms. But also weakened flow, dribbling, intermittent flow, hesitancy, incomplete emptying, and deviated stream. The prostate can also become inflamed resulting in a condition known as prostatitis. This inflammation can be bacterial, viral or idiopathic. Bacterial and viral prostatitis can be the result of a sexually transmitted disease, a urine infection, or any condition that facilitates the entry of bacteria into the prostate gland. Idiopathic prostatitis is inflammation of unknown origin and is probably the most common. This condition can elevate PSA levels and result in irritative and obstructive urination symptoms. The urethra, below the prostate, can be affected by scar tissue also called stricture disease. This scarring results in narrowing of the urethra and obstruction of the flow of urine. The blockage of normal flow results in the same symptoms as seen in obstruction by an enlarged prostate. There are obviously several conditions that can affect prostate and urinary tract in men. Black men can be very reluctant when it comes to health issues. All of these conditions are easily treated when identified early in their evolution. However, if untreated, these conditions often result in significant complications including erectile dysfunction, inability to pass urine, severe infection and in rare cases, kidney failure. Please seek the consultation of an urologist or your primary physician. Ignore theses symptoms and you may find yourself in an emergency room. For more information on prostate cancer, visit www.prostatecancerfoundation.org
2008-2009 Chapter Officers and Board Members Executive Board President:
Brother Jioha Amatokwu
Brother Damon Culcleasure
Brother Christopher Hunt
Brother Tony Thompson
Brother Brandon Ray
Brother Allen Moton
Brother Wiky Toussaint
Brother Sean Gayle
Coordinator of Intake:
Brother Nicolas Rosello, Jr.
Brother David Williams
Brother Esu Maâ€™at
Dir. of Educational Activity:
Brother Plemmie Lawson
Assoc. Editor to the Sphinx:
Brother Corey A. McDougle
Wall Street Alphas Charitable Foundation Board of Directors President & Chairman:
Brother Shawn A. Curwen
Brother Tony Johnson
Brother Roy A. Williams
Brother Brent Cohen
Fundraising/Sponsorship Chair: Brother Brandon V. Ray Board Member:
Brother Gerard Brogdon
Brother Derrick Crawford
Brother Elvin Dowling
Brother Samuel Parker
Newsletter Committee Editor in Chief:
Brother Brian Pruitt
Brother Chris Hunt
Brother Corey A. McDougle Brother Lino Solis
7 Questions…. with Bro. Herman “Skip” Mason, 33rd General President of ΑΦΑ Continued from page 2 pose a few questions to Bro. Mason to help gain a better understanding of his thoughts on some of the issues within Alpha and on a national stage as well. WSA: Bro. Mason, congratulations on your election. There are many things that I know that you want to work on during your term. However, at the end of your four years, what one thing would you like to accomplish that might leave Alpha in a better state than when you took office? At the end of my four year term, I would like for more brothers who have been away from the “house” to return back because the “true spirit of fraternity” was restored and that collectively we are more committed and focused on issues which affect young African-American boys. Alpha Phi Alpha is many things, but essentially it remains a brotherhood of some of the best minds in the country. Many brothers have accomplished many great things since crossing the burning sands and hold important positions in various professions. Do you have any thoughts on how to better utilize our networking potential on a local and national basis from C2C to experienced professional? I am amazed as I have traveled during the campaign and since that time on how well connected and diverse our brothers are across the country. We have brothers in high level, decision making positions that are “calling shots” and making decisions that have an impact on the world. We must master effectively a process, which allows us to tap into their busy schedules and their vast resources for the good of the fraternity. Once we reconnect with them, then we are able to secure their support of the College to Corporate Life initiative and create opportunities for our college and recently graduated brothers. When it comes to BGLO's, the pink elephant in the room is underground pledging. All of the national bodies have formally denounced pledging, but I'm sure that leadership recognizes that pledging in some form is still going on from time to time underground. Do you see any room for movement to allow some of the "old traditions" to return to the process while safeguarding the fraternities' liability? There is absolutely no room for old traditions to return “to this House of Alpha” under my administration that degrades, dehumanizes and humiliates any young African American man of potential seeking to become a member of this organization. Brothers must realize that as society and culture values change, so does the process of becoming an Alpha. We must hold to the tenet that our purpose in membership intake is to make a brother that is well versed in the history, purpose and meaning of the fraternity, understand the responsibility and commitment that it takes to sustain membership and to be committed to lifting up humanity through our causes, maintaining high academic performance in the spirit of scholarship that our Continued on page 15
7 Questions…. with Bro. Herman “Skip” Mason, 33rd General President of ΑΦΑ Continued from page 14 Jewels emphasized in the creation of this fraternity. Hazing will not be tolerated under any circumstance. I have an inherited responsibility to protect the integrity of the fraternity and protect it from those whose motives are greater than the fraternity itself. A central theme of your campaign was encouraging brothers to get back to the foundations of the fraternity and believe in what the 7 Jewels represented. How will you carry forward this theme in your administration?
Bro. Charles H. Wesley and Bro. Mason
Brothers will hear, see and absorb a lot of the Jewels thoughts, ideas and issues as we forge ahead with the agenda for the 21st Century in Alpha. Like the founding
fathers of our country, the spirit of the Jewels will reign throughout my administration. I dare anyone to say to me that “they have had enough of the Jewels.” Our Jewels spoke profound words of wisdom and laid a strong foundation to create an organization that we are responsible for maintaining. Bro. Mason can you discuss the daily and weekly obligations that come with being General President and how one manages that in addition to their family responsibilities and their normal 9 – 5 job? Though I have not taken office yet, I can already sense the magnitude and obligation that the position details. I have been overwhelmed (in a good way) with letters, emails, and texts from brothers wishing good will in the administration. I have received numerous invitations to speak which I enjoy doing. Currently, we are doing multi layered planning including an ambitious transitional plan, planning for the Inauguration in January which will introduce my initiative addressing the plight of African-American boys in conjunction with our partners (March of
In the not too distant future Americans will be able to visit the memorial of Bro. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the only African-American with a memorial on the National Mall.
Continued on page 16 15
7 Questions…. with Bro. Herman “Skip” Mason, 33rd General President of ΑΦΑ Continued from page 15 Dimes, Big Brothers) and a new partner which will be announced in January, and the planning of the New Orleans convention in July which we are billing as the “greatest convention of the fraternity in this new century of leadership and service.” In addition to handling the business of the fraternity, it will be a spectacular display of Alpha’s connection to the world. We are calling for 10,000 brothers to join us in New Orleans. Your ability to identify with the college brother has no doubt been an asset to your campaign. What are your thoughts on ways that we can bring together the college brother and alumni brother to team their efforts in community and fraternal endeavors? Bro. Charles H. Wesley and Bro. Mason
The new 1st family of Alpha
I love my college brothers. Someone remarked that I won the election because of Facebook. While I chuckled, I want it to be known that I am committed to being where the college brothers are and meeting them as we work to make this great house better. College brothers are hungry to learn about the fraternity and we must feed them on the buffet of fraternal life. Our Conventions must encourage the socialization
of both college and Alumni brothers. We must do more things together both in “the House of Alpha” and outside the House of Alpha! What started out as a "feel good story" some months ago, in a black Senator from Illinois competing for the Democratic nomination for President, has become an exciting possibility as we move closer to November. Should Alpha Phi Alpha, being one of the leading organizations representing black men, consider taking an official position in the Presidential race? For obvious reasons we cannot take an official stance or endorse a candidate because we are a nonpartisan organization as we should be. Alpha Phi Alpha recognizes a wide diversity of interests and political interest is one of them. What then shall we do with the excitement created by this “Black Senator” from Illinois? We return back to our political activism roots and we not only tell them that “A Voteless People Is A Hopeless People,” we encourage folks to get out to vote and then we help to get them there. We educate them on the candidates and we deliver. That is the spirit of Alpha. In the 1920’s, we were the only organization of African-Americans who had a concentrated effort in a time when there were risks and challenges to remind people of the importance of voting. We are joined at the hip to the struggle for citizenship and voter rights. Continued on page 17
7 Questions…. with Bro. Herman “Skip” Mason, 33rd General President of ΑΦΑ Continued from page 16
The recent CNN special "Black in America" highlighted several challenges in the black community. Unfortunately, nothing was really "news" to most black people. Might there be one issue where Alpha Phi Alpha as a national organization can either develop programming or partner with an existing organization to try to make a difference? The only words that should be pouring out of the mouth of Alphas across this country is “what can we (Alphas) do and what will we do collectively and individually to inspire, support, raise, lift and educate our young black boys.” This will be the rallying cry for Alpha in the next four years. Why, because each day as I look at my five year old son I am reminded of this commitment and our need to forge ahead with our partners, other Greek letter fraternities and all of the stake holders to build strong men. Our daughters are depending on it, and the future of our fraternity is at stake if we do not have educated young men to choose from. What must be about prevention and intervention? It begins in the high chair!
ΑΦΑ - A Century of Leadership - ΑΦΑ
All work and no play makes for a boring Wall Street Chapter. So can you blame the bruhs for getting their paint ballin’ on this summer?
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Kappa Xi Lambda Chapter P.O. Box 5382 New York, NY 10185-5382
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