The annual MAAC Conference was good. With all the recent campaigning in other districts, its good to come home and speak with the Brothers you see on a quasi-regular basis. Moreover, it was good to come home and lead the Brothers chapter of Delta Lambda in our comeptition for chapter of the year. While I’m happy to travel throughout the Eastern Region and speak with Brothers regarding future service to the Region, there’s nothing like coming home to assist your home chapter in efforts to prove how we’re one of the best at what we do for and within Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
While this was not our year, we were happy to come in as runner-up. Next year, its ours! Hopefully we’ll have the submitted information digitized and placed on line (on the forthcoming, NEW and improved chapter website) for you all to view.
Overall, the conference was good. There was plenty of opportunity to speak with Brothers from throughout the district, and answer their questions. Speaking in front of a group is good, however, there’s nothing like responding directly to Brothers’ questions, thoughts or concerns.
In just a little over a month from now the Brothers of the Eastern Region will cast their votes for the Brother they believe will take the Region to the next level. The Mills 4 ERVP campaign team is very hopeful that we’ll be successful in our quest to elect the best candidate for the job.
In every city you go to there’s a young man, a little boy lost, weary not certain of what way to go in life. Whether it is because he’s in a single family household or whether it is because he’s just disenfranchised with what he sees around him, he’s lost. Somewhere along the line he runs into someone who says, “Attend college, you’ll find what you’re looking for there.” So he decides to attend a school, and he does. And as he’s there, he comes upon men who are examples of the light. What is Alpha Phi Alpha.
For each of us we’ve had a similar story, we’ve gone to school, we’ve seen men of Alpha in the Black & Gold, and they’ve attracted us in some way; and we’ve ventured to become a part of that body. We submit our applications and we become aspirants, and we go through an interview process. And during that process, as we sit behind the table with the Brothers in front of us, we’re trembling and we’re not certain what to say or what they’re looking for. But there’s one thing we all know and one thing that we expressed, How much I can do for Alpha Phi Alpha. What Alpha Phi Alpha would be like if I had the opportunity to become a member. How everything that Alpha looks to do in the future can happen, because I will become a member.
Esprit de Fraternité.
When we all joined and we were initiated, we all went through the same initiation process; and what we learned through that process is that it’s not about what Alpha will do for us, but what we will do for Alpha. So Esprit de Fraternité Brothers, is about thinking of that feeling you felt when you wanted to be an Alpha; when you wanted to have the privilege of wearing Black & Old Gold letters and A-Phi-A across your chest. Think about those feelings and close your eyes and kind of think about how you felt, how you would look if you had the chance to step as a member of Alpha. Think about that feeling and bring it back to nowadays. Rekindle that spirit of Alpha in you. Think about what you can do for Fraternity, Leadership and Service for Alpha Phi Alpha.
Esprit de Fraternité. This is a Brotherhood. Everything we do is about Brotherhood. I am my Brothers’ keeper. I am here to make certain, to ensure that my Brother becomes the best Brother he can. Not because I want to chastise him; not because I want to penalize him; but because he is my Brother, and this is about building stronger men for our community.
Leadership. Alpha exists to train leaders. However we do it, whether we mentor college Brothers, whether we mentor a younger Brother in the organization, we are here to train leaders. Whether we establish leadership tracks, to make certain that every Brother learns what the responsibility is as an officer of your chapter, of your district, of the region, and of the General Organization. It’s about service, because everything we do is service. We give service to our community. We give service to one another. We give…everything we do, we give. We give money. We give time. We give energy. But it’s about uplifting and building the community.
So what is Alpha Phi Alpha? In every city where there’s a young lady who needs a shining example of manhood, Alpha Phi Alpha is there. In every city where there’s a little boy who’s not sure what to do, where some man may tell him, “learn the words of ‘If’ and you’ll understand a little more in life,” Alpha Phi Alpha is there. In every city where there’s a community in despair, Alpha Phi Alpha is there.
What is Alpha Phi Alpha? Alpha Phi Alpha is each and every one of us that sits in this room. Whether we’re financial or not, we are Alpha Phi Alpha. Each day we wake up, we represent Alpha Phi Alpha. When we go to our jobs, yes we are who we are individually, but as soon as they find out we’re a member of a Fraternity, we are Alpha Phi Alpha.
So Brothers, what is Alpha Phi Alpha to you? Is it Fraternity? Is it Leadership? Is it Service? Or is it all of that and more? Your next Eastern Region Vice President is going to be tasked with taking us from where we’ve been, because over the last few years we’ve had wonderful leadership. Whether you say 8, 12, 16 or however [many], we’ve had good leadership. Its time now to catapult forward, not just stay the course.
What do you want, in Alpha Phi Alpha? If you can answer that, you can decide what you want in your next Eastern Region Vice President; and Brothers I submit myself to you and I ask for your vote and your support on April 4th to be the next Eastern Region Vice President of the Eastern Region.
When you’re serious about doing the work of Alpha, you’ll do whatever it takes.
Last night, I made a visit to the Brothers of Rho Chapter in Philadelphia – “The City of Brotherly Love.” And after braving the elements, almost felt as if I’d begun upholding the post office’s slogan, “through rain, and sleet, and snow…”
As soon as we made it into the Philly metro area, the snow just began to pour. Now loving snow as much as I do, it was a pleasure to welcome it, however, by the time we made it to the Belmont Mansion, at least 2″ – 3″ had to have fallen.
Though the chapter meeting had a little less attendance than normal, it was good to be amongst the Brothers of Rho chapter and to take an oppportunity to speak with them regarding the Esprit de Fraternite – Mills for Eastern Region VP – campaign. The Brothers were very welcoming and receptive to the message.
Most of all, Brothers showed a keen interest in how other chapter’s are operating, as we discussed dues structures of various chapters, and whether or not the current economy has impacted Brothers’ ability to remain financial.
In the end, we resolved, Brothers will do “whatever it takes” to support and uphold the banner and light of Alpha. Our history has shown that in times of economic depression and recession, Alpha Phi Alpha continues to move forward with very little to no impact.
This is the essence of Alpha. This is the true measure of Brotherhood. Will we do “whatever it takes” to further the aims and goals of our Fraternity. If driving through a minor snow blast/storm and supporting the organization during tight economic times is any indication, the answer is a resounding YES. (Did I mention it took about an hour or more just to get out of Philadelphia?)
Continue dedicating your self to service for all mankind – in the name of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.