Historic Alpha Days on Hill Leads to National Civic Engagement Program and Introduction of Legislation

Historic Alpha Days on Hill Leads to National Civic Engagement Program and Introduction of Legislation

Fraternity Members Pay Tribute to Legendary Alpha Brother and Congressman Ron Dellums

WASHINGTON – As part of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.’s historic inaugural Alpha Days on the Hill, the Fraternity announced its new national civic engagement program, one of its Members of Congress introduced legislation recognizing the first African American professional Senate Committee staff person and paid tribute to the late Alpha Brother and Congressman Ron Dellums this week.

This week, more than 100 Alpha brothers participated in the Alpha Days on the Hill, held in conjunction with the National Urban League’s State of Black America Summit from May 6 through May 8, which also uniquely featured Alpha Members of Congress as well as Alpha National Urban League and Alpha United Negro College Fund leadership. Among them, Congressmen Brothers Al Green, Robert C. “Bobby” Scott and Steven Horsford as well as 31st Past General President Harry E. Johnson, who is also a National Urban League Trustee, and Brother Dr. Michael Lomax, UNCF President and CEO participated in the issues forum and discussed pertinent legislation.

In addition, Alpha leadership and brothers met with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, other Members of Congress, staff and NUL CEO Brother Marc Morial about legislative issues of concern.

“Brother Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated that ‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter,’” said President Ward. “Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity will not be silent on things that matter, and we will continue to be the leading voice for the voiceless.”

General President Dr. Everett B. Ward announced the Fraternity’s new national civic engagement program at its Issues forum on Wednesday, which will encompass efforts to address voter’s rights protections, critical legislation advocacy, and census integrity.

“Secure The Vote,” which partners with the NAACP, the National Urban League, and other members of the Divine Nine will combat organized voter suppression strategically directed towards African American voters and other people of color; “Alpha Phi Alpha: Advocacy In Action” specifically advocates for state and federal legislation that: protects the right to vote, ensures access to quality education, provides affordable healthcare, and offers an adequate minimum wage for working Americans; and lastly, “I Am Counted,” which utilize social media, door to door canvassing, and a national media campaign to ensure African American citizens and other people of color are counted during the 2020 Census.

President Ward also added that the Fraternity would also support the United Negro College Fund’s top priorities for Historically Black Colleges & Universities, which include a strong Executive Order on HBCUs, fully funding Title III for HBCU programs, federal student aid reform, HBCU facilities and infrastructure investment, funding for new HBCU Centers of Innovation for National Needs as well as repeal and reform of burdensome higher education regulations under its advocacy component.

Other brothers, Congressmen Gregory Meeks, Danny Davis as well as Bobby Scott joined the Alpha contingent on the steps of the Capitol for an historic photo.

Earlier that day, Alpha Brother Congressman Scott introduced legislation to honor the life and legacy of Jewel Brother Robert Harold Ogle, who was the first professional African American Senate Committee staffer. According to Senate records, he was originally hired in 1919 as a “laborer” for the Senate Appropriations Committee, then as a “messenger” in 1921 and finally an “additional clerk” in 1930.

“It is important that we honor Jewel Ogle, who a century ago, paved the way for African American congressional staffers today,” said Brother Scott. “He established and exemplified the ideals of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity in leadership, scholarship, and service . . . As members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity visit the United States Capitol this week for Alpha Days on the Hill with a commitment to “Advocacy and Action,” Jewel Ogle’s “fighting spirit” goes with them, as well as with each of the Members of Congress who are proud members of this fraternity.”

On Friday, members of the Fraternity held its ‘Omega Service’ tribute for legendary Alpha Brother and Congressman Ron Dellums, who died last July. Dellums’ career in politics spanned over 40 years as a Berkeley City Councilman, U.S. Congressman and Oakland, Ca. mayor. The 11-term Congressman and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee was known for his outspoken anti-war stances and was the one of the foremost Anti-Apartheid advocates beginning as early as 1972.

Brother Dellums opposed every major American military intervention, except for emergency relief in Somalia in 1992, and his fight against Apartheid eventually led to his legislation finally being passed 14 years later, which called for sanctions against South Africa and immediate divestment by American corporations. While President Reagan vetoed the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, that veto was overridden – the first the first override in the 20th century of a presidential foreign policy veto. Brother Dellums, whose fight against apartheid in South Africa was the subject of a Disney Channel made-for-TV film, The Color of Friendship released in 2000, was also a member of the Fraternity’s World Policy Council, a think-tank whose purpose is to expand the fraternity’s involvement in politics, as well as analyze social, domestic and international policy concerns.


Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., headquartered in Baltimore, MD, was founded on December 4, 1906, at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. The Fraternity has long stood at the forefront of the African-American community’s fight for civil rights through Alpha men such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Adam Clayton Powell, Thurgood Marshall, Paul Robeson, Andrew Young, Edward Brooke and Cornel West. The fraternity, through its more than 720 college and alumni chapters and general-organization members, serves communities in the United States, Canada, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. Visit http://www.apa1906.net and follow on Twitter @apa1906network.