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117 years in the community and beyond: the Metro ATL Chapters of Alpha Phi Alpha Founders' Week

On December 4, 1906 on the campus of Cornell University in Ithica, NY, the first intercollegiate fraternity created by and designed for African-American men, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., is founded. From its humble orgins via 7-college aged men to a global membership including historical powerhouses including (but not limited to) Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Adam Clayton Powell, and Thurgood Marshall, to contemporary figures including (but not limited to) Jay Harris (ESPN anchor) and Omari Hardwick, their reach across the private and public sectors is one grounded in the mantra of "Manly Deed, Scholarship, and Love for All Mankind" immersed in the focus of "First of All, Servants of All, We Shall Transcend All" (click HERE to visit the fraternity's website).

Coming off a highly successful District Convention in Augusta, GA, the Metro-Atlanta chapters are preparing for their Founders' Week Celebration. On the advent of their 117th Founders' Day, their programming is a blend of service and social-oriented events, many of which are open to the public (including ticketed events which are close to being sold out).

On Thursday, November 30th, the week opens with the Men's Mental Health Seminar from 7-9pm at the Ron Clark Academy (228 Margaret St in Atlanta, GA). Given the importance of having not only an on-going conversation of this health issue, but due to how the holiday season at times creates a "spike" in stressors and other situations which can adversely impact men's (or anyone's) mental health, this truly sets the tone for speaking to community areas of concern. With a slate of 6 health professionals identifying best and better practices along with the call for continued access to resources, the community is encouraged to be a part of the conversation and hopeful problem-solving process.

On Friday evening (December 1st starting at 9pm), programming takes on a more social and networking theme via the highly anticipated "Ice House" Social. Taking place at the Blue Martini Buckhead (3402 Piedmont Rd NE in Atlanta), the nearly sold-out event provides a special for women (free with RSVP) along with table/VIP seating options available for mature/professional audiences (21 and older).

The Annie C. Singleton Founders' Day Breakfast (on December 2, 2023 at the Reinaissance Concourse Atlanta Airport Hotel/One Hartsfield Centre Parkway in Atlanta) gets off to a mid-morning start (10am). With a balance of networking, reflection on the call for service, and a means to celebrate, the event features keynote speaker Nicole Love Hendrickson (the Chairwoman of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners) as a way to continue making connections and more with the general public.

The Sunday 10am worship service at Berean Christian Church Gwinnett on December 3rd (1465 Highpoint Road in Snellville, GA) is open to the general public and larger community. As a way of bringing together the faith community and larger segments of the general community, it provides a public means for all to come together and take root to the call and charge for stewardship and service during the holiday season and beyond.

To conclude the celebration on the actual Founders' Day (December 4th), there are two events which are open to the public.

The Candlelight Vigil on the Atlanta University Center campus (commencing at the W.E.B. DuBois Statue on the campus of Clark Atlanta University and concluding at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Chapel on the campus of Morehouse College) not only helps capture the spirit of the fraternity, but in marching with members of the fraternity, fellow members of the Divine 9 (the collective of African-American founded Greek Letter Organizations/fraternities and sororities), provides a solemn moment of where and how things started, what has been done, what is being done, and what remains to be done in the larger call for community, national, and global uplift. The final event of the evening and week is a gathering starting at 8:06pm (on December 4th) at Highland Cigar Factory. This provides another relaxed yet professional setting for all to meet, greet, network, and build constructive professional relationships extending the day, week, holiday season, and beyond.

With a high number of events open to the public and with the dates fast approaching, it is highly recommended to RSVP and/or purchase your ticket in as timely a manner as possible (click HERE to visit the website for more details).

Taking a moment to pause and celebrate can truly be a good thing. In capturing these and related moments, the potential for using this as a positive springboard for members of the fraternity and all to simply "heed the call" to serve truly generates "win-wins" in the larger community.

117 years is something to celebrate.

However, to continue to do so while moving "Onward and Upward Toward the Light" is a greater reason to do so.

Notes: All images are provided by the Metro Atlanta Chapters of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. along with the Alphas of Atlanta. To learn more, you may visit Alphas of Atlanta on Instagram (click HERE for more details).


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