Outreach mentoring initiatives
The "Go-to-High-School, Go-to-College" program, established in 1922, concentrates on the importance of completing secondary and collegiate education as a road to advancement. Statistics prove the value of this extra impetus in making the difference in the success of young African-American men, given that school completion is the single best predictor of future economic success. Through the Go-to-High-School, Go-to-College educational initiative, young men receive information and learn strategies that facilitate success. Alpha men provide youth participants with excellent role models to emulate.
This is a collaborative effort between the March of Dimes (MOD) Birth Defects Foundation and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. The initiation of Project Alpha Began in the late 70s in Chicago by the Brothers of Iota Delta Lambda Chapter. It was developed to increase the knowledge of the African-American male of the consequences of teenage pregnancy from the male perspective. This program seeks to assist young men in developing an understanding of their role in preventing untimely pregnancies through responsible attitudes and behaviors. The relationship with the MOD came later in 1982, which led to the program becoming a national program. Project Alpha week, which started in 2000, targets the second week of October every year. Fraternity chapters all across the country work with their local MOD to execute the program and take it hundreds of communities and thousands of teen males.
The goals of Project Alpha are to: Reduce the rate of adolescent sex and pregnancy; stress the concept of abstinence as a personal choice while promoting the use of contraceptives to those that choose to be sexually active; increase the knowledge of anatomy and physiology of the human body and the awareness of sexually transmitted diseases; clarify and emphasize the roles and responsibilities of fatherhood; and reduce the rate of sexual abuse and violence among African-American teens.
The Project Alpha curriculum focuses on five key topics: Responsibility, Respect and the Role of Males in Relationships Adolescent Pregnancy and Fatherhood Protecting Yourself and Your Partner Sexually Transmitted Diseases Intimate Violence in Relationships
"A Voteless People is a Hopeless People" was initiated as a National Program of Alpha during the 1930's when many African-Americans had the right to vote but were prevented from voting because of poll taxes, threats of reprisal, and lack of education about the voting process. Voter education and registration has remained a dominant focus of this outreach activity for over 65 years. In the 1990's, the focus has shifted to include political awareness and empowerment, delivered most frequently through town meetings and candidate forums.
In November of 1999, the Alpha Eta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. held its usually scheduled monthly meeting. The brothers of the Alpha Eta Lambda Chapter had no idea that this meeting would give birth to a new opportunity to provide much needed community service. At this meeting, Brother Charles Haston, a 1934 initiate of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, expressed his disappointment with the manner in which mature brothers were treated in our fraternity. Brother Ron “Pepper” Peters who served as the Chairman of National Programs at the time was present at the meeting and was extremely touched by Brother Haston’s message.
Brother Peters thought about the concerns brought up at the meeting and decided that the fraternity needed to do something to address these issues. In a collaborative effort between the Alpha Eta Lambda, Delta Theta (Texas Southern University), and Eta Mu (University of Houston) chapters, mature or disabled brothers and their widows were provided with help in varying capacities starting in December of 1999. The services offered ranged from yard work to minor home repairs to painting, but also included fellowship and sharing of the rich history of our fraternity through warm conversations. Alpha wives also participated by accompanying the brothers as they visited some of the Alpha widows and learned from them also. The spirit of this program was then diffused to other chapters in the District of Texas and eventually adopted as a state program at the 2001 state convention.
At the 2002 southwestern regional convention in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Brothers’ Keeper program was recommended for consideration as a regional program for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Over the past ten years, the spirit and good works of the program have touched the lives of many people. In the spring of 2009, 33rd President Herman “Skip” Mason recognized the merits of the program for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Under his stewardship, he empowered the fraternity to operationalize the Brother’s Keeper program throughout the country. At the90th General Convention (104th Anniversary Convention) the delegates approved a motion to adopt this program as our fourth national project.
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