Members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc, gathered at Revolutions @ Penn Treaty in the city's Fishtown neighborhood on April 21 for a year-end reflection of the chapter's accomplishments and contributions to the community. Even though the event's focus was serious, Robert Bruce Hill, Rho Chapter vice president, organized the event for everyone to enjoy a casual, laid back evening. There was even a little competitive bowling along with good food and drink.
Darrell Tiller, the chapter's immediate past president, said, "The chapter continues to grow as we mentor and give direction and support to the younger brothers in the chapter who will lead us in the years to come. With the initiation and participation of our newer brothers the chapter looks to be more contemporary in thinking and infused with new ideas and energy to serve our communities in bolder ways."
The fraternity's official history states in part, "Alpha Phi Alpha chapters were established at other colleges and universities, many of them historically Black institutions, soon after the founding at Cornell University in 1906. The first alumni chapter was established in 1911. While continuing to stress academic excellence among its members, Alpha also recognized the need to help correct the educational, economic, political and social injustices faced by African Americans. Alpha Phi Alpha has long stood at the forefront of the African-American community's fight for civil rights through leaders such as W.E.B. DuBois, Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Edward Brooke, Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Andrew Young, William Gray, Paul Robeson and many others. True to its form as the "first of firsts," Alpha Phi Alpha has been interracial since 1945. Since its founding on Dec. 4, 1906, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. has supplied voice and vision to the struggle of African Americans and people of color around the world."
The Rho Chapter's fraternal year accomplishments and milestones for 2016-2017 were highlighted by celebrating the chapter's 102nd Chartering Anniversary on Nov. 3, 2016 and reflecting upon the strides made as a chapter in Philadelphia.
With the efforts of the Rho Education Foundation Inc., the chapter is prepared to award more than $10,000 in scholarships to deserving young men in pursuit of a college education. The Rho Chapter will also award more than $1,000 in book awards to its mentees. This marks the last event of the fraternal year.
Other initiatives and services to the community included the 3rd annual Project Cold War Coat Drive that raised $3,700 and provided coats to 75 kids. Through a $1 million Department of Justice Grant awarded to Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the Rho Chapter received $22,000 of that grant to continue its educational and mentoring programs.
The chapter participated in the St. Jude's Walk, Dragon Boat Race, the AIDS Walk and the Deaf Women's Tea where members served as escorts for the ladies and helped serve sandwiches and tea. This was a unique and uplifting experience for all involved.
The Rho Chapter's next program, Project Alpha, which is a national program of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc, will take place in May. This program is a collaboration with the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, which began in 1980. This collaborative project is designed to provide education, motivation and skill-building on issues of responsibility, relationships, teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases for young males ages 12-15. The program is designed to provide young men with current and accurate information about teen pregnancy prevention and consists of a series of workshops and informational sessions conducted by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity members.
The three goals of Project Alpha programs are: Sharing knowledge by combating ignorance and fear with factual information; changing attitudes by providing motivation toward positive changes in sexual behavior; and providing skills by creating a sense of empowerment and self-esteem. Project Alpha week, which started in 2000, targets the second week of October every year. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. chapters all across the country execute the program with their local March of Dimes to implement Project Alpha programs.
Congratulations to all members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Rho Chapter!
Have a fantastic week "Out & About" everyone!