Alpha Men Provide Backpacks to Youth in Queen City


Baltimore, MD (July 31, 2015)—The world’s oldest intercollegiate fraternity founded by African-American men—Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity—will be heading to the “Queen City,” Charlotte, North Carolina. Alpha Phi Alpha will host its 109th anniversary convention at the Charlotte Convention Center. The Queen City will welcome Alpha and its more than 700 chapters from four continents, who will take part in five days of leadership development and service projects. “We look forward to holding our first convention in Charlotte and having a positive impact on the local community,” explained 34th general president of Alpha Phi Alpha, Mark S. Tillman.

Tillman, a longtime mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, along with the local Charlotte convention activities committee members, leads efforts to participate in a community service project to donate 1,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to local Charlotte youth as part of Alpha Phi Alpha’s national “Go to High School, Go to College” program. The school supply drive will be held Saturday, August 8, 2015, and donations are currently being accepted. In conjunction with the school supply drive, the immediate past North Carolina teacher of the year, Brother James Ford, will facilitate a youth leadership development program. The fraternity will also participate in a week-long voter registration and education program as part of its “A Voteless People is a Hopeless People” program designed to increase civic engagement. On Friday, August 7, Alpha Phi Alpha will also be holding a community health fair at the Charlotte Convention Center that will feature resources for health awareness such as screenings for diabetes, blood pressure and obesity as well as a blood drive. The health fair will include games and other activities, giveaways and health care information. Alpha Phi Alpha looks forward to serving and empowering the community during this event.

As previously planned, this year’s recipients of the Alpha Award of Merit will be presented to North Carolina’s son and ESPN Sports anchor, Stuart Scott; former Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry and Warren M. Washington, world-renowned atmospheric scientist and climate researcher. Their outstanding accomplishments in their professional careers, impactful leadership and service to their community deems them worthy to be this year’s award recipients. It is because of members like these that the Alpha Award of Merit exists, to recognize extraordinary brothers who are contributing to the betterment of society in all walks of life. On Wednesday, August 5, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity will host a public program in the ballroom at the Charlotte Convention Center. The focus of the public program will mirror the theme of the convention “Focused on the Future: Investing in Community, Health, Wealth and Self.” The master of ceremonies will be ESPN anchor and member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Stan Verett. This event is open to everyone in the Charlotte community, including the media. Please be aware that space and seating is limited.

Roland Martin, host of TV One’s News One Now and also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, will facilitate a panel on School Choice in African-American Communities. Other special guests include Russlyn Ali, the former assistant secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education; Kevin Johnson, the 55th mayor of Sacramento, California, and Pamela Jolly, founder and CEO of Torch Enterprises.

“Since our last general convention, recent events across the country have required our presence and advocacy more than ever,” said Tillman. “In Charlotte, we are laying the groundwork for future Alpha men to stand upon as we remain focused on the future. We will gather to develop a plan to continue the work of Alpha nationally and internationally. Each member has a unique and vital role to play in the empowerment of our communities.”

Charlotte tourism officials project the convention will result in an economic impact of $5 million. Convention top-level partners include Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Novant Health, Nationwide Insurance and AARP.

“The brothers of Beta Nu Lambda are very excited to welcome our brothers from all over the world to Charlotte. We have been working hard for over a year now to ensure that this is the biggest and best convention experience Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity has ever seen,” stated Jonathan Lindsay, president of Beta Nu Lambda Chapter of Charlotte, one of many local convention host chapters.

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity’s mission is to develop leaders, promote brotherhood and academic excellence, while providing service and advocacy to the community. Alpha has served the community in multiple facets including its members being outspoken political advocates for the African-American community. Prominent members include Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Cornel West, Hill Harper, Harry E. Johnson, John H. Johnson and many more. In-service efforts to the community, national programs and partnerships include Big Brothers Big Sisters of America; Boy Scouts of America; March of Dimes; A Voteless People is a Hopeless People; Go To High School, Go To College; and Project Alpha.

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About Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity

Founded on December 4, 1906, at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity has continued to supply voice and vision to the struggle of African Americans and people of color around the world. 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 600 college and alumni chapters and general organization members, serves communities in the United States, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. Visit and follow on Twitter @apa1906network.

About Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity in North Carolina

Alpha Phi Alpha serves the Charlotte area and surrounding cities/communities through 41 chapters. Of this total, 17 are alumni chapters, which are located in Charlotte, Winston Salem, Greensboro, Raleigh, Durham, Elizabeth City, Greenville, Goldsboro, Kinston, Jacksonville, Henderson, and Rocky Mount. Four chapters seated in North Carolina are also serving as host chapters. The remaining 24 college chapters are seated at Johnson C. Smith university, NC A&T State University, Elizabeth City State University, Winston-Salem State University, Shaw University, NC Central University, Livingstone College, St. Augustine’s College, Fayetteville State University, East Carolina University, NC State University, Duke University, University of NC – Chapel Hill, University of NC – Charlotte, West Carolina University, Wake Forest University, North Carolina Wesleyan College, University of NC – Wilmington, University of NC – Greensboro, Appalachian State University, Elon University, University of NC – Pembroke, Davidson College, and Chowan University. All of these chapters, both college and alumni, serve the communities through a wide range of programs including Go-To-Highschool, Go-To-College which concentrates on the importance of completing secondary and collegiate education as a road to advancement. Chapters also service the community through a host of other programs and initiatives including providing scholarships to college-bound students, mentoring young men, and promoting voter registration and education. ESPN sports anchor Stuart Scott is among the most notable brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha from North Carolina. The host chapters are part of Alpha Phi Alpha’s S