On a cold winter’s day, December 4th of the year 1906 to be exact, seven young men on the campus of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY came together to do more than provide support for each other on a hostile campus and community environment. They humbly and gradually proceeded to lay the foundation in which they would be an invaluable resource for each other and the communities from which they come from and are a part of.
104 years later, this “movement” results in the formation and longevity of the first intercollegiate fraternity for African-American men. From historical icons such as (but not limited to) Martin Luther King, Jr, W.E.B. DuBois, Thurgood Marshall, John Hope Franklin, and Maynard Jackson, to living legends such as (but again, not limited to) Andrew Young, Ozell Sutton, Cornel West, Roland Martin, and current General President Skip Mason, manly deeds, scholarship, and love for all mankind are paramount to the existence of one of the finest collection of social and civic servants in the community, state, country, and some would argue, internationally.
Indeed, these are the men of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
With national partnerships with organizations such as Big Brothers-Big Sisters and the March of Dimes, to establishment of local initiatives and programs, the eight undergraduate and eight alumni chapters in the area rededicated themselves to their overall mission and purpose as they do each and every year on their Founders’ Day (i.e. anniversary of their establishment). Coming off of a weekend of reflection and rededication (i.e. their candlelight vigil and roundtable at the Atlanta University Center) and work with youth (lock-in working with young men), members of the chapter clearly draw strength from their legacy of leadership, and encouragement for embarking on doing the work which is needed and desired in their communities.
Alumni chapters based in Atlanta, Carrolton, Decatur, Duluth, East Point/College Park, Ft McPherson, Marietta, and Stockbridge provide a myriad of services regarding scholarship opportunities and community development. And the undergraduate chapters at metro-area campuses at Clark-Atlanta, Clayton State, Emory, Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Kennesaw State, Morehouse, and West Georgia provide equally sound programs and outreach to the campus and immediate communities which form the larger mosaic of the city of Atlanta and the surrounding areas. And community-based organizations such as (but not limited to) the Dukes Foundation and the LEAD Foundation have members of the fraternity serving on their boards and key leadership roles in regards to the year-round outreach and services provided to the metro-Atlanta community.
With the needs of the community ever-present, for 104 years, the men of Alpha, through multiple ways and means, have, are, and will continue to respond and heed the call to serve. Manly deeds, scholarship, and love for all mankind isn’t just a phrase; based on the work of this collective of college-educated men, it is a way of life which enriches the lives of those in our communities.