Statement on Recent Police Shootings in Chicago and Birmingham

Statement on Recent Police Shootings in Chicago and Birmingham Suburbs

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. urges thorough and transparent investigations

The killing of Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford, Jr. in a mall in Hoover, Alabama marks the second recent shootings where police have mistaken a Black licensed gun holder for a gunman and shot him.

Two weeks ago, a white police officer wrongfully killed security officer, Jemel Roberson, after he helped subdue a gunman outside a night club in a Chicago suburb.

Whether they are would-be heroes or fleeing civilians, African American men continue to be deemed criminals or threats within milliseconds.

We, as members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., urge that a thorough and transparent investigation be conducted into both shooting deaths and that all body-worn camera and other video evidence be released to the public immediately.

The shoot first and ask questions later mentality when police encounter African American men, particularly those who lawfully exercise their constitutional rights as lawful gun owners, must be stopped.

Both Mr. Roberson and Mr. Bradford are victims, and law enforcement authorities should treat them and their families as such. Like all victims, their families deserve prompt updates and real time information as more details are learned.

In addition, law enforcement must move immediately to prevent any further such tragedies. One step forward is the establishment of community advisory boards to provide guidance to local police departments.

Overall, incidents, like these, underscore the importance of our advocacy in the face of injustice. Laws and policies, whether written or implied, that justify our mistreatment must be confronted and eradicated.

Most of all, the Fraternity must remain vigilant in both its collective and individual efforts, from our voter education and engagement campaigns to our brothers seeking election – to ensure that those in office will not only ensure fair treatment but pursue justice even when it is those who wear a badge are wrong. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. is committed to ensuring that our communities receive the justice, respect and humanity that they deserve.

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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 Brookeand Cornel West. The fraternity, through its more than 720 college and alumni chapters and general-organization members, serves communities in the United States, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. Visit http://www.apa1906.net and follow on Twitter @apa1906network


Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc ® responds to Domestic Terrorism & Acts of Hate

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc ® responds to Domestic Terrorism & Acts of Hate

General President Ward denounces mass shooting violence and urges gun control.

BALTIMORE, MD (October 31) – The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. offers its sincerest condolences to the families and friends of the those killed recently in multiple acts of hate and domestic terrorism across the country.  We also stand with those whose lives were targeted and threatened simply for their race, political beliefs, and affiliations.

Beyond the need for common sense gun control and mental health reforms, these acts are symptoms of a sickness in the greater political environment that not only harbors, but encourages intolerance, divisiveness, bigotry, and unnervingly, in veiled language, violence.

As those of moral character, we must change that.  Alpha Phi Alpha and our allies remain committed in our advocacy and our fight for equality and justice. We all must ensure that our voices are heard in and through the processes and platforms afforded us.

We are not powerless, and we are not victims. We will not let cowards or those who use fear and terror to triumph.

I urge every brother and every chapter of our Fraternity to join in the movement to fight against racial violence, bigotry, and hatred by engaging in the mid-term elections and advocating for policies that strive to protect our communities.


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, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. Visit http://www.apa1906.net and follow on Twitter @apa1906network.


VOTER ENGAGEMENT STRATEGIES FOR 2018 MIDTERM ELECTIONS

ALPHA ADVOCACY IN ACTION ALERT:

VOTER ENGAGEMENT STRATEGIES FOR

2018 MIDTERM ELECTIONS

WATCH A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM GENERAL PRESIDENT EVERETT B. WARD, Ph.D. ON THE IMPORTANCE OF VOTER ENGAGEMENT AND TURNOUT FOR THE 2018 MIDTERM ELECTIONS

The 2018 midterm elections are fast approaching and pose a critical impact on the future of our communities. This is all about the Urgency of NOW and Alpha Advocacy In Action!

Over the past few months, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. has been deeply involved and engaged in voter registration, voter education and voter engagement activities under our national program, A Voteless People Is A Hopeless People” as well as our First of All, We Vote” initiative.

Recently, we launched our VOTER OPERATION I.C.E. 2018 that addresses voter engagement activities that focuses on how our communities should Inform, Collaborate, and Execute in anticipation of the midterm elections. Continued to follow our official social media platforms for more on this engagement.

In addition, the Fraternity is also collaborating with the National Urban League, the NAACP as well as our brothers and sisters of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), affectionately referred to as the “Divine Nine,” in multiple efforts and campaigns to ensure our communities voter turnout reshapes the future socio-political climate in this nation.

Next week, U.S. Congressman James (Jim) Clyburn, D-SC, is asking that members of the Divine Nine assist in raising awareness to increase African American voter turnout across the country through the following ways:

  • Vote early so that you can assist and engage on Election Day.
  • Encourage and assist the elderly or relatives and friends, who may require assistance to vote early or take them to vote absentee in person.
  • Join chapter members in your D-9 paraphernalia to canvass on election day.
  • Post and share The Divine Nine Week of Action graphic on social media and post in your neighborhoods, places of worship and campuses. See Below.

  • Volunteer to assist with Get Out the Vote efforts in your state, county, or municipality on Election Day.

As a resource, please visit the following link for an early voting calendar for your state to ensure the effectiveness of your efforts.

Lastly, the Fraternity is asking that you use the hashtags #Firstofallwevote and #Getoutthevote when sharing your various voter engagement efforts on social media so that we can track and repost to our official social media platforms.

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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, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. Visit http://www.apa1906.net and follow on Twitter @apa1906network.


Statement on Hazing Allegations

Statement on Hazing Allegations

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Tyler Hilliard, a student at the University of California – Riverside. “The Fraternity shares our deepest condolences to his family, loved ones, and the entire university community, as their loss is unimaginable,” said Executive Director Jamie R. Riley.

Working with the University, the Fraternity has launched an investigation into the situation and has placed the chapter on an immediate cease and desist status, suspending all activities. The Fraternity is cooperating fully with law enforcement authorities as they investigate.

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. does not condone and strictly prohibits any illegal acts, including hazing in any form, whether physical or mental, as a term or condition of membership in the organization. Any member found violating the fraternity’s anti-hazing policy will be immediately suspended with a recommendation for expulsion.

To be clear, any individual found to have participated in or knowingly allowed any hazing activity or any illegal act does not support the mission, vision, or aims of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity has taken several steps in efforts to prevent and eliminate hazing. As an advocate, supporter, and participant in hazing prevention initiatives with organizations like Hazingprevention.org, the Novak Institute, and the Greek Anti-Hazing Hotline, Alpha Phi Alpha is educating members and those who are interested in membership about this issue. The following provides a snapshot of current anti-hazing efforts:

  1. All chapters must receive state, regional, and national approval before engaging in sanctioned new member activities. All active members of the Fraternity are required to attend an annual immersive risk-management, anti-hazing training before participating in sanctioned new member activities. This training provides very detailed information regarding the Fraternity’s anti-hazing policies, an overview of applicable laws, and engages members in case studies about eradicating hazing culture.
  2. All new member applicants are guided through the Fraternity’s anti-hazing policies as part of membership application process.
  3. During the Fraternity’s international, regional, and state conventions, active members of the Fraternity are required to attend additional in person anti-hazing trainings.
  4. Each of the five regions of the Fraternity’s membership host a College Brothers Leadership Retreat, where anti-hazing education and training are the primary components of the core curriculum.
  5. The Fraternity has a long-standing partnership with HazingPrevention.Org, and most recently participated in an intense three-day national anti-hazing institute, where members learned about the root cause of hazing and developed strategic approaches to eradicating hazing culture.
  6. The Fraternity has long-standing participation and partnerships with several anti-hazing organizations, including the Fraternal Law Conference, Association of Fraternity & Sorority Advisors (AFA), and the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC).
  7. The Fraternity has several anti-hazing resources available on the national website.
  8. The Fraternity has a National Committee on Risk Management Education and Prevention, which focuses on implementing innovative educational and awareness curriculum and providing cuttingedge recommendations on new anti-hazing policies.


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.


Alpha Phi Alpha Denounces The Separation And Detainment Of Families

Alpha Phi Alpha Denounces The Separation And Detainment Of Families

ALPHA PHI ALPHA FRATERNITY, INC. URGES TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TO END IMMIGRANT FAMILY SEPARATION

General President Ward asks its members to urge their Congressional lawmakers to act

BALTIMORE, MD. (June 20) –  Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. General President Dr. Everett B. Ward today urged the Trump administration and Congress to immediately end the practice of forcible separation of immigrant children from their families along the Mexican border and reunite them.
In April, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a “zero tolerance policy” requiring arrest of all immigrants who attempted to enter the country along the Mexican border illegally.  Under previous administrations, those adults who crossed the border illegally by themselves often faced arrest, but anyone who travelled with a child would not be prosecuted.

“The heart-wrenching images of immigrant children being separated from their families conjures other images of our country’s troubled past when African Americans were brought here in bondage and they and their children were torn from their families,” said President Ward. “The Trump administration and Congress must end this practice immediately and find a humane and just deterrent and solution to illegal immigration.”

Recently, President Trump signed an executive order to end the separation of families at the border by indefinitely detaining parents and children together. Congressional Republicans have also attempted to develop an immigration plan to alter Trump’s contentious “zero tolerance policy.”

Ward said that President Trump’s proposed executive order to detain children and parents collectively is unacceptable as well and urges him to work with Congress to craft an immigration policy that does not punish children, but instead, provides a common-sense approach to reform. In the meantime, Ward is asking the more than 150,000 members of the nation’s first intercollegiate fraternity founded by African American men to urge their members of Congress to support legislation that will end the practice immediately and reunite families.

“We cannot stand idly by and watch children of all ages being separated from their families while their parents are caged in detention centers,” Ward said. “The voice of every member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. should be heard on this matter.  This is not the America any compassionate human being wants or believes in.”


Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. President Everett B. Ward Calls NFL Owners' Decision an Attack on Patriotism and Democracy

ALPHA PHI ALPHA FRATERNITY, INC. PRESIDENT EVERETT B. WARD CALLS NFL OWNERS’ DECISION AN ATTACK ON PATRIOTISM AND DEMOCRACY

BALTIMORE, MD. – Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. President Everett B. Ward called the National Football League’s owners’ unanimous decision to require players to stand when on the field during the performance of the national anthem, an attack on “the very concepts of patriotism and democracy” and urged them to reverse their decision.

In a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, President Ward expressed his deep concern on behalf of the more than 150,000 members of the nation’s first intercollegiate Greek-lettered Fraternity for African American men and see the decision as effort to stifle player protests raising awareness about police brutality, hate crimes as well as hateful rhetoric.

“Protests are meant to be disruptive, inconvenient, provocative, and uncomfortable to stir the collective consciousness of people of goodwill to act for the betterment of society,” he wrote. “Peaceful protests, such as those led by our fraternity brother Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., influenced civil rights legislation and U.S. Supreme Court constitutional precedent during times of great civil unrest in American society. We should never lose sight of the aims of the protest because of the methods of the protest. Civil rights icon Rosa Parks was not anti-bus; she was anti-segregation and inequality in public accommodations. Likewise, NFL athletes and their millions of supporters are not opposed to the flag and all of the hope and promise that it stands for, but instead opposed to the brutal and often dehumanizing mistreatment of African Americans and other marginalized groups in our society.”

In addition, President Ward called on the NFL to not only reverse their decision regarding the anthem policy, but to enact an anthem policy that allows players to continue their peaceful protests of the racial injustice that exists in this country. The NFL should also join forces with organizations and individuals (including its athletes) that are committed to addressing this important issue. Alpha Phi Alpha is ready, willing, and able to work with the NFL if the NFL will make this commitment.

“Rather than react to social pressures or threats to its profitability, the NFL must instead be visionaries and a force to shape the discussion and attitudes around issues of racial inequality that persists in this country since the institution of slavery,” Ward wrote. “Reactionary policies may appear to be financially prudent in the short run, but in the long run may prove costly.”


The Derogatory Meaning of the Ape: A Perspective From The National Historian

The Derogatory Meaning of the Ape: A Perspective From The National Historian

When racists want to denigrate African Americans, they usually compare us to animals, more specifically “apes,” as Roseanne Barr tweeted on Monday, May 28th, about Valerie Jarrett, who served in the White House as Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama. White racists, who could not stomach the presence of African Americans in the White House in any capacity other than as servants, often referred to Barack and Michelle Obama as “apes.” More insidious, especially in the context of Roseanne Barr’s scurrilous comment, was the idea that Black men and women copulated with apes.

Pseudoscientific racism, which emerged in the eighteenth century during the so-called Enlightenment in Europe or the Age of Reason, advanced the idea of race and racial hierarchy. Johan Blumenbach, a German anthropologist and physiologist, published his On the Natural Varieties of Mankind in 1776, which categorized five races of mankind based on pseudoscientific measures such as cranial profile and skin color. He placed Caucasians at the top and Africans at the bottom. Apologists for enslavement in the United States and elsewhere used racial classifications to enslave, colonize, and oppress Black people. Racial apartheid in the United States and abroad was based on theories of racial inferiority, that biogenetically Africans and people of African ancestry were less intelligent, more emotional, more promiscuous, and more imitative than Caucasians. When Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859 about evolution, proponents of white supremacy used his ideas to argue that Black people were in a state of “arrested development”, that we had not evolved as far as White people, and were therefore closer to “apes.”

The idea of Black inferiority was reinforced through minstrelsy in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and through schoolbooks, postcards, movies, and advertising for products from shoe polish to tooth paste. African Americans were depicted as slow, dimwitted, clumsy, and without a mind of their own. They were shown with thick red lips, bulging eyes, big feet, and small heads.

Lawn jockeys were one of the most ubiquitous forms of Black stereotype, with Black men in a subservient role and usually with exaggerated features. The American theater, which grew out of vaudeville, was based in large measure on minstrelsy, especially White men in blackface, who made fun of Black men. Minstrelsy was a means of comic relief to let White Americans, especially European immigrants, know what was expected of them. White America defined itself in contradistinction to Black people. They identified themselves not so much by what they were, but by what they considered themselves not to be. The cardinal rule was not to act like Negroes, not to be an “ape.” They told their children that Black people had tails. I can remember being in a department store and a little White kid feeling my friend’s buttocks. When my friend asked the kid what he was doing, the kid said he was trying to feel his tail. The first talking movie in this country featured the White actor, Al Jolson, in blackface. This legacy has been so deeply ingrained in American popular culture and in American society, that it is part of White America’s DNA. That is why Roseanne Barr could so easily denigrate Valerie Jarrett and earlier Susan Rice, a Rhodes Scholar, who served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in the Obama Administration. It is difficult to fathom why she selected these two important and accomplished Black women, except that for Roseanne Barr, they are “Uppity Negroes” and need to be pulled down and put in their “place” by comparing them to “apes.”

Many Brothers want to use some form of transformation to mark the transition from pledge to member of Alpha Phi Alpha. They have seized on the metaphor of evolution from “ape” to “man.” But that metaphor is fraught with stereotypical dangers with which we should not want to be associated. Other than evolution, we could use other models such as metamorphosis. Or, we could use qualifications for membership in a guild from apprenticeship, to journeyman, to master craftsman. We could adapt rites of passage programs that avoid stereotypes. Stereotypes die hard, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity of all organizations should not be complicit in perpetuating them. The image of the “ape” is not one with which we should want to be associated. It runs counter to everything that Alpha Phi Alpha was built on and stands for. In its verb form, “to ape,” means to imitate. While others might base their organizations on brute strength, men of Alpha are leaders and men of intellect who set the standard for others to follow. We do not “ape” anyone or anything and need to abandon the image of the “ape.”

Bro. Robert L. Harris Jr., Ph.D.

National Historian

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity


Waffle House Hero and Alpha Phi Alpha Brother James Shaw Jr. Honored at Alma Mater

WAFFLE HOUSE HERO AND ALPHA PHI ALPHA BROTHER JAMES SHAW, JR. HONORED AT ALMA MATER

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. contributes $11K toward HBCU scholarship in his honor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Alpha Brother James Shaw, Jr., who disarmed the Waffle House mass shooter on April 22, was honored last night for his heroism at a special event at Tennessee State University, his alma mater.

Brother Shaw, a 2011 Beta Omicron Chapter initiate of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., wrestled an assault rifle from a gunman and tossed it over the counter before shoving the shooter out the door after the shooter killed four people and wounded several others at a Waffle House in the Nashville suburb of Antioch. Authorities have said there would have likely been more casualties had it not been for Shaw’s actions.

“Like I’ve said, I was just trying to save myself . . . It seems like its inspires so many people throughout the world, and not only throughout the world, but in this room. For that, I am greatly, greatly appreciative,” said Brother Shaw during the ceremony. “To the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., thank you for being there. . . . There’s only one poem that comes to mind and that’s ‘Test of A Man.’ ‘The test of a man is the fight that he makes, The grit that he daily shows . . .’ Thank you for that!”

Brother Dr. Everett B. Ward, general president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., praised his bravery in a statement.

“The well-being and viability of our communities has often been predicated on the willingness of strong men to put themselves in harm’s way. In like manner, the men of Alpha Phil Alpha Fraternity Inc. have established a legacy of service and sacrifice to serve the greater good that was continued by our brother James Shaw Jr., whose actions prevented further loss of life.”

Brother Dr. Jamie Riley, executive director of the Fraternity and himself, a 2003 Beta Omicron Chapter initiate and TSU alumnus, who was present, recognized Brother Shaw’s heroism and bravery with a special fraternity proclamation.

“Your example challenges me and others to be our best even in the most uncomfortable circumstances,” said Brother Dr. Riley. In addition, he added that the Fraternity, including the local alumni chapter, District, Southern Region, and the General organization was contributing $11K toward an HBCU scholarship in Brother Shaw’s honor.

The new scholarship, which will benefit a TSU student is a component of the Fraternity’s national Onward HBCU initiative involving three strategic actions to designed to strengthen access, secure assets, and engage in strategic advocacy work to ensure capacity and sustainability of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges & Universities, among them Tennessee State University.


Statement of the Fraternity on Waffle House Mass Shooting and Heroism of Brother James Shaw Jr.

STATEMENT OF THE FRATERNITY ON WAFFLE HOUSE MASS SHOOTING AND HEROISM OF BROTHER JAMES SHAW, JR.

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. would like to express our sincerest condolences and prayers to the families of the victims killed and those injured in the Waffle House mass shooting in Antioch, Tennessee early Sunday morning, where a gunman armed with an AR-15 assault rifle killed four people and injured four others.

Had it not been for the quick action and courage of Brother James Shaw, Jr., a 2011 Beta Omicron chapter initiate at Tennessee State University and a restaurant patron at the time, who unarmed, wrestled the weapon from the gunman as he attempted to reload, disarmed him and forced him outside, more lives would have undoubtedly been lost.

As a Fraternity, we commend and recognize Brother Shaw for his heroism in the face of life-threatening odds. While he has humbly, declared that he is “not a hero,” his unselfish actions are a testament to “Manly Deeds” and “Love For All Mankind,” two of our Fraternal Aims and embodies what our Fraternal Hymn heralds as “the true and courageous.” Brother Shaw’s example provides increased pride among all in our Brotherhood.

Sadly, this gunman’s senseless act of domestic terrorism and hate once again underscores the need for action involving gun control and gun violence in this nation. Less than a month ago, hundreds of thousands of Alpha brothers and chapters, students, teachers, parents and victims rallied in Washington, D.C., and across the country to demand tougher gun control measures, spurred by the political activism of young people and others impacted by recent school shootings.

The Urgency of Now demands we, as Brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., remain steadfast in our advocacy on issues that ensure that our community is safe, and that justice will be served.


Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Mourns Civil Rights Trailblazer

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Mourns Civil Rights Trailblazer

The men of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. express our sincere sympathy at passing to Ms. Linda Brown. Ms. Brown is an important figure in history as she serves as the main plaintiff in the Brown v Board of Education case argued by our dear brother Thurgood Marshall. This landmark case overturned the 1896 Plessy v Ferguson decision that legalized the separate but equal doctrine. We are grateful to Ms. Brown for their willingness to stand against inequality and injustice.