Alpha Rho Chapter Alumni's Fall 2023 Digest + Centennial Funding/Staffing Updates
This Edition of the APCAA Digest features updates on 32 Brothers from the Alpha Rho Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and their professional developments, transitions, artistic pursuits, industry projects, awards and recognitions.
Also — we announce several leadership enhancements for AP100, and provide updates on Brothers who are leading the way in providing sponsorship for Centennial Week 2024.
HUD Awards Birmingham $50 million Federal Grant To Revitalize Smithfield (Bro. Randall L. Woodfin — Spring 2002)
By Greg Garrison www.al.com
HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge announced this morning that Birmingham had received a $50 million federal grant that the city plans to use to kickstart a $294 million investment in the Graymont, Smithfield and College Hills neighborhoods, providing 1,000 subsidized, affordable and market-value homes to replace the 900 units of the aging Smithfield Court.
“This investment represents HUD’s commitment to creating new housing for Birmingham residents and communities across the country,” Fudge said. Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said that when he first ran for mayor, he campaigned door to door in those neighborhoods, and the Smithfield Choice plan addresses their concerns.
“Since my first day in office my number one priority has been neighborhood revitalization,” Woodfin said. “It was our choice to make every one of our neighborhoods great places to live.” Smithfield Court, which dates to 1937, is one of the nation’s oldest public housing communities. It will gradually be demolished and replaced with mixed-use housing under the plan.
The City of Birmingham submitted a grant application to the U.S. Department of Housing and Development’s CHOICE Neighborhood program.
“When we envision the future of public housing investment, we think of programs like Choice Neighborhoods,” Fudge said. “These awards promote the innovative collaboration needed to tackle the affordable housing crisis. A community-driven, whole-of-government approach to neighborhood revitalization is what leads to impactful changes in the neighborhoods that need it the most.”
Birmingham area officials said the $50 million grant was needed to get funding off the ground for revitalization efforts in the historic Smithfield community.
MORE CENTENNIAL NEWS:
Brothers E. David Ballard (Fall 1974), Darrell L. Crapps (Fall 1987), Gordon D. Greenwood (Spring 1984), Rahn K. Bailey (Spring 1984), and Curley M. Dossman (Fall 1970) Top Leaderboard For Centennial Captains
By Bro. BMaynard Scarborough, APCAA President
We are now at 85% of our participation goal for underwriting the core elements of our Centennial Celebration. And we're confident that each of you already have plans to support AP100 ... but this note is to encourage you join the good Brothers below who have inked their names inside of the archival materials that will enter the Alpha Rho Chapter Archives at The Atlanta University Robert W. Woodruff Library.
To date, our Centennial Captains range in years from 1970 to 2013!
Please consider investing in all that we've built, and everything we're planning to celebrate in January 2024 by joining as a Centennial Captain. All levels of captain participation receive signature recognition and access to the weekend events, but as with any tax-deductible contribution to a worthy cause ... the higher the level of contribution, the more shine!
Visit: www.givebutter.com/APCAA where you'll will find special payment options for contributions at the Silver, Platinum, and Gold levels. To preview the weekend events visit www.alpharhoalumni.org/centennial
Thank you all ... and please know that we're grateful for the encouragement you've provided as we've built this thing ... together!
Bro. David Hardin (Spring 2008) Highlights 7-Year Journey As Founder and Executive Director at East Oakland's Aurum Preparatory Academy
"It's almost unfathomable to be writing this, as the journey to get to this point has been inexpressible, arduous, and one of the most fulfilling things I've ever done. When I moved to Oakland, I worked closely with parents, community members, and the Aurum Prep Board to develop a vision for a school that would be transformational for the East Oakland community. Getting authorized seemed far-fetched and unlikely at best. And yet, true to the spirit of Oakland, Aurum Prep is a small and scrappy miracle.
After 7 years, as Founder and Executive Director of Aurum Prep, I have decided to step down. I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish and the challenges we have overcome as a school community. We have been able to significantly exceed a year's worth of learning in English and Math in almost every grade level, every year. Anecdotally, one of my favorite things is seeing our graduates return to campus and share how they are continuing to grow and thrive as young adults.
The Aurum Prep Board has engaged with a seasoned executive search firm and has found a new Executive Director. I am excited and will be cheering for Aurum Prep in its next chapter!
Lastly, I'm honored to announce that there is now a scholarship in my name for Aurum Prep graduates! Every year, 3 Aurum Prep graduates will be granted a scholarship towards college. I'm so grateful and humbled to have worked alongside so many amazing people."
Washingtonian Magazine Names Bro. Frederick S. Humphries (Fall 1980) To 2023 Washington, DC’s Tech Titans Roster
By Nancy Scola www.washingtonian.com
Washington’s tech landscape hasn’t been spared the upheaval that has marked the American tech industry of late — from the drying-up of venture capital and the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank to the roller coaster that is crypto to layoffs at Amazon, Alphabet, Meta, and other seemingly inviolable internet giants.
But there’s one particular bright spot for the region — artificial intelligence. AI’s evolution has long been intertwined with Washington: In the early 1960s, pioneering AI researchers got their first meaningful boost of funding in the form of a grant from a wing of the Defense Department known as the Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Entrepreneurs, government officials, cybersecurity experts, venture capitalists, and others to know: Microsoft’s longtime US policy chief, Frederick S. Humphries, Jr. (Corporate Vice President, US Government Affairs) has been advancing the company’s call for what he describes as the “ethical creation and deployment” of artificial intelligence.
Atlanta Magazine Names Bro. Keith D. Wright (Spring 1985) To 2023 Top Doctors List
Georgia Dermatology Partners has four locations in Brookhaven, Snellville, Loganville, and Braselton. In addition to full service dermatologic treatments, the practice has a cosmetic and laser center offering the most innovative, cutting- edge technology, a research center where clinical trials are conducted, a Mohs micrographic skin cancer surgery unit, and a dermatopathology laboratory.
Each of their board-certified physicians bring unique expertise, gaining themregional and national recognition. All providers have an unwavering commitment to excellence in medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology. This dedication is sharedequally by the practice's team of nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and aesthetic professionals.
We would like to congratulate our honorees Dr. Jonathan Weiss, Dr. Keith Wright, Dr. Alia Brown, and Dr. Jessica Mercer on their Top Doctors nomination selection.
Dr. Keith Wright is a highly skilled dermatologic surgeon who has been with GDP formore than 25 years. Dr. Wright is double boarded in Mohs micrographic surgery and general dermatology, receiving his training at Brown University and Emory University School of Medicine. He has gained an outstanding reputation for exceptional surgical skills, meticulous technique, and affable bedside manner.
MORE CENTENNIAL NEWS:
In-Person Alpha Rho Chapter Centennial Experience Kick-Off Happening Sunday, October 22nd 3-6pm (w/ Link For Remote Viewing)
By APCAA Staff
SGA Executive Director Rollin "RJ" Jackson, Jr. (Spring 2023) Featured On Boston Globe's Front Page Coverage Of HBCUs Reaction To Election 2024
ATLANTA October 11 2023 — Asher Clarke and Sanzia Pearman, seniors at Spelman College, were emotionally rocked last year when they heard that the federal right to an abortion had been overturned by the Supreme Court. Within their community, “you could just see the shock, the anger,” Clarke said recently. The Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, said Pearman, was a moment that caused her to second-guess democracy.
“It’s so crazy how so many politicians are speaking on our behalf but aren’t talking to us,” Pearman said. “We can’t leave our future in the hands of people who aren’t us, that’s why it’s so important that Black voters, young voters in general speak their mind, register to vote, and tick the right box.”
The 2024 election will mark the voting debut of a generation of college students who grew into adulthood during a tumultuous decade of American politics and are quickly becoming key to victories nationally, especially in swing states like Georgia. Interviews with two dozen students from historically Black colleges and universities in Atlanta, many of whom were on the campus of Morehouse College for a recent event featuring Vice President Kamala Harris, show they have been galvanized by national politics, and recognize their powerful role in the electorate.
Like many of her peers, Sydney Smith, a second-year student at Spelman, understands that the demographic she belongs to is set to be a key voting bloc — if only candidates take the time to listen to their concerns and get them fired up. “Young Black voters have a lot of power in this next election,” Smith said. “If we turn out, that’s a thing. There’s so many of us, we have such strong opinions, and we’re growing as a community. And so as we get older and there are more of us who are able to vote, I think it will make a lot of change.”
The exact details of what that presidential matchup will look like have yet to be determined: President Biden and Harris are running for reelection, but a GOP primary that former president Donald Trump is leading is still playing out. Despite being at the beginning of the electoral process, students expressed some fatigue.
“This election . . . is so polarized right now, I’m not sure if the real issues really matter at this point because, like, if you’re a Democrat you’re just trying to make sure Trump doesn’t get into office,” said Paul Sprowl, a junior at Morehouse College. “Even though I like the vice president and the president, there are things that I feel like are getting put on the back burner right now just for the sake of making sure we stay in the White House.
“I feel like voters in general aren’t excited about this election,” he said.
But here, urgency is often more deeply felt than excitement due to the constant reminders of how the federal government’s action — or inaction — affects them. Whether Democrats can harness the power of a generation that they can’t take for granted is an open question, at a time when there are worries of erosion in support from some of the key parts of Biden and Harris’s winning coalition. According to an analysis of AP VoteCast data by Tufts’ Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, nationally 87 percent of Black voters between ages 18 and 29 supported Biden and Harris in the 2020 election. Black voters in those same age ranges with some college education and who had bachelor’s degrees supported them at 86 percent and 88 percent respectively.
There are more than 240,000 registered Black voters between 18 and 24 in Georgia, out of a total 7.9 million registered voters statewide, according to data available on the secretary of state’s website from February 2023. Georgia’s electoral shift to blue, which helped deliver Biden the White House in 2020, was determined by fewer than 12,000 votes.
Harris recently made Morehouse a stop for her “Fight for Our Freedoms” college tour, an effort to mobilize young voters. “Your generation is, I think, a very special one. You all have experienced so much already,” Harris said, ticking through the climate crisis, the pandemic’s disruption of education, active shooter drills, and the murder of George Floyd. “One of the ways that you’re also going to make a difference in our country and this world is to vote. And so I’m also here to remind you of the power of your vote, the importance of registering to vote, and then voting.”
In August, the Biden-Harris campaign announced a 16-week, $25 million ad buy, which it said included the “largest, earliest investment in Hispanic and African American media for a reelection in history.” The ad buy targeted voters in swing states; the Biden campaign was unable to say how much was spent specifically on outreach to Black voters.
The Democratic National Committee also touted its “sustained” outreach to and investment in Black voters, throughout the 2022 cycle and into this year. “Everything that we are doing this year helps not only with this year’s elections, but 2024 as well,” said Tracy Falon King, a spokesperson for the DNC, in an email. King pointed to “targeted outreach through our distributed organizing programs” in key 2023 races, like the state Supreme Court race centered around abortion rights in Wisconsin, ballot initiatives also centered around abortion in Ohio, and the upcoming gubernatorial race in Kentucky where the Democratic incumbent is up for reelection. DNC chair Jaime Harrison has gone to Howard University, a HBCU in Washington, D.C., as part of outreach to young Black voters.
“I know that Biden was trying to do something with student loans. I think talking about that again would definitely be beneficial for college-age students since debt is really hard,” said Gabriella Wiggins, a freshman at Clark Atlanta University. “And just being able to understand that not everything is about the older generation.” Wiggins said she thinks Biden and Harris are doing an “efficient” job of reaching out to young Black voters, in particular given Harris’s tour of campuses. But that was not necessarily a widespread sentiment. “Overall with their initiatives, I do feel like they could improve,” said Randal Burks, a senior at Spelman. “I haven’t heard anything too significant, especially as a person who uses social media. And in the things that are being promoted, I haven’t seen much change or anything like that.”
Laila Johnson, a first-year student at Spelman, said she wanted to be at the Harris event to show support. But as she waited in line to get in, she said Harris and Biden weren’t doing enough to reach out to young Black voters. “I think this is why this initiative is so important,” Johnson said of the Harris event. “Because even if they are having different initiatives to reach out to Black voters, or young Black voters in particular, it doesn’t seem like that from our standpoint, so there seems to be a disconnect in communication there.”
The week of midterm exams, Joshua Williams, a junior at Morehouse, sat working on his laptop on a concrete table. He said part of his reason for choosing to go to school in Georgia was because he knew his vote would hold more weight. “We can change certain outcomes,” said Williams of young Black voters. “We could probably change an entire outcome. Once you understand that voting power, that collectivism ideology, it can be very powerful.”
Oakland’s The Bussdown To Debut First-Ever Brick And Mortar Location, Bringing Pan-African Soul Food To D.C. (Bro. Jeffrey D. Tate — Fall 2002)
By Chelsea Davis www.forbes.com
The Bussdown burst on to the food scene mid-pandemic as a cloud kitchen in Oakland, California. The concept focuses on Pan African soul food, inspired by what Co-Owners and Chefs Solomon “Swoop” Johnson and Mike Woods grew up eating; Chef Swoop’s Jamaican culture; as well as Chef Wood’s travels through New Orleans and the Caribbean. Whether they are in their hometowns or traveling, Chef Woods from Oakland and Chef Swoop from Maryland, are passionate about sharing their culinary talent and heritage with those both familiar and new to the bold flavors of Caribbean and Cajun-Creole cuisine.
This time around, they’ll be debuting their innovative and thoughtfully curated cuisine with a fresh East Coast demographic through their soon-to-be opened brick and mortar establishment in D.C. Slated to open this month, July 2023, The Bussdown will be located in the new Western Market conveniently located nearby George Washington University and the World Bank. Inspired by the Southern “meat & three” style establishments, the menu at the D.C. outpost of the Bussdown will feature fan favorites like the Spicy Jerk Yard Bird and Sofrito Shrimp.
The Bussdown’s Chef De Cuisine will be Chef Swoop’s long time friend, Luis Gomez, who brings with him 10 years of professional cooking in the D.C. area, along with experience in fine dining at Michelin rated establishments, Masseria and Maydan.
“I’m truly honored to be a part of Chef Solomon’s first endeavor on the East Coast, ever since his pilgrimage to California, he’s only been growing,” says Chef Gomez. “I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m excited to be assisting in bringing his food/concept to the city.”
The team behind The Bussdown opening are a tight-knit group of friends and business partners, each of whom are passionate about the future of this brand and stand behind its mission. “None of this would be possible without my team,” says Chef Swoop. “I spend time away on business in California and my boys in D.C. are my boots on the ground and the driving force of OKO Hospitality Group when I’m away.”
Chef Swoop and Chef Mike are bringing with them a talented team to launch The Bussdown including D.C. native Jeff Tate, as the Chief Operating Officer for the OKO Hospitality Group (which houses The Bussdown) and Brandon Scott, as the Head of Marketing and Branding.
“This project means a lot to me as a D.C. native,” explains Tate. “Not only as a believer in Chef Solomon’s talent and drive, but I can also recognize the accomplishment of an up and coming brand like The Bussdown making it to such a major undertaking. We’re super excited for the city to try this cuisine and to get a taste of how we pour love into everything we do!”
“The Bussdown represents a full circle moment,” continues Scott, who grew up cooking with Chef Swoop when they were teens. “Me and Solomon have been as close as can be since a very young age and as we grew up committed to supporting and pushing each other in our entrepreneurial endeavors. Jeff has been a friend to us both for over a decade and is one of those people who also just loves to support and see his friends win. I’m grateful to be on a journey that brings us back to the familial aspect of how we grew up and have evolved over these years together.”
We chatted with Chef Solomon “Swoop” Johnson on The Bussdown opening in D.C., humble beginnings and more. Here’s what he had to say.
Bro. Cameron D. Hawkins, Esq. (Fall 2003) Selected To Serve As Judge Pro Tempore Of The Juvenile Court Of DeKalb County, Georgia
Bro. Hawkins was sworn in on October 19, 2023, and The Honorable Fatima A. El-Amin, Chief Judge, Juvenile Court of DeKalb County, administered the Oath of Office.
The Juvenile Court Division of the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office prosecutes individuals under age 17 who are accused of committing a crime in DeKalb County. The Division's mission is to restore and redirect youth so they will become law abiding citizens. Juvenile Court's goal is to protect both a child's and the community's best interest. The Division also recommends appropriate services for children and families who are in crisis. Juvenile Court hearings are held before a judge and not a jury.
Earlier this year Attorney Hawkins opened The Law Office of Cameron Hawkins, a full service, minority-owned litigation firm in Atlanta. A minority-owned boutique litigation firm that represents injured individuals as well as businesses, governmental entities and insurance companies, his team uses decades of combined experience in major personal injury and commercial litigation negotiations and trials to provide personalized and compassionate representation to people and businesses in the Atlanta area.
Opinion: "Now That Affirmative Action Is Banned, The Way To Level The Field Is One Black Student At A Time" (Bro. Ibert G. Schultz — Fall 2002)
Opinion By Ibert Shultz www.latimes.com
When the Supreme Court banned affirmative action in June, it triggered a new “colorblind” college admissions paradigm that will add to the burden of students who are already loaded down with challenges.
In California, we’ve witnessed the consequences of a colorblind approach since the passage of Proposition 209, in 1996. The lessons here are instructive. The ballot measure claimed to end “preferential treatment” in state schools. It resulted in a 25% reduction in Black student enrollment at state colleges and universities — the largest decline among all groups. Two decades later, UC’s Black enrollment is about 5%; it was slightly more than 7% pre-Prop. 209.
As the executive director of Black College Success — a community-based nonprofit that provides academic pathways to colleges and universities for hundreds of Black students in South Los Angeles — I’m forced to reckon with the difficulty of improving such statistics. You should know that 75% of Black students from the Los Angeles Unified School District don’t enroll in and 85% don’t graduate from a four-year college or university. They come from communities where the median family income is less than $48,000 a year, and where less than 10% of community members have a college degree.
Despite these terrible odds, in May, the Black College Success team celebrated the admission of 208 students to more than 40 colleges and universities, including prestigious institutions such as Stanford, Pepperdine, Pitzer, Tulane and New York University. It was far from easy for these students. For instance, Jackson, 18 and headed to a competitive school in the northeast, grew up in a single-parent household with a hardworking father who drives for Amazon, faced the challenges of being a Black man in L.A., avoiding gang life and supporting his siblings. With its authentic taste and vibrant atmosphere, Spain adds a touch of Mediterranean charm and culinary excellence to your next get-together. Your guests will be treated to a sensory journey that captures the essence of Spanish culture.
Ibert Schultz is the executive director of Black College Success, a project of the LA Promise Fund.
City Of LaGrange Honored Men With Local Park Naming Ribbon Cutting On Thursday, July 27th (Bro. Otis Moss, Jr. — Fall 1955)
The City of LaGrange held an official ribbon cutting for Moss and Wood Park on Thursday, July 27th. The park is named after two men with LaGrange ties, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. and Dr. Benjamin T. Wood. LaGrange native Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. was born and raised in LaGrange and has become a world-renowned Civil Rights leader.
Moss rose to national and international prominence as a minister, lecturer, civic leader, and civic rights advocate. Son of a Troup County sharecropper who tried unsuccessfully to vote in 1946, Moss excelled at Morehouse College, became friends with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and organized lunch counter sit-ins in the 1950s. He pastored Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in Troup County, then co-pastored Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church with Dr. M.L. King Sr., before moving to Cleveland, Ohio’s largest and most influential black Baptist church, Olivet Institutional. He retired in 2008 but has continued leadership in church, civil rights, and social justice issues.
For more than 40 years, Dr. Benjamin T. Wood was the most prominent Black physician in LaGrange. A graduate of Fisk University, Dr. Wood received his medical training at Nashville’s Meharry Medical College, the South’s first medical school for people of color. Following additional training at Tuskegee Institute and Florida A&M University, he served patients in LaGrange and surrounding areas from 1927 until his death in 1970. Dr. Wood and his wife, Mrs. Mina Wood, were local community leaders and active in the National Medical Association, a professional organization established for Black physicians.
The City of LaGrange established Moss and Wood Park in 2022 as an amenity-rich community space named to honor the two leaders who significantly impacted LaGrange’s history. The park features playground and fitness equipment, pavilions, a covered stage for community events, adult swings, BBQ grills, and game tables, making it an ideal gathering place for people of all ages.
AI Sports Course Arrives At Atlanta HBCUs (Bro. Alfred R. Watkins — Spring 1984)
A new Artificial Intelligence (AI) sports analytics course at Morehouse College may be among the first of its kind at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
The Student Freedom Initiative announced a long-term partnership with Morehouse and Stats Perform, a world leader in AI solutions for the sports industry, to create an “AI in Basketball” course. “The promise of AI in sports is emerging; leveraging sports is a perfect pathway to expose our HBCU students to the foundational principles of AI and address the wealth gap by better positioning them for the in-demand jobs of the future,” Student Freedom Initiative Executive Director Dr. Mark A. Brown said in a news release.
Brown leads this nonprofit organization, which works to reduce the wealth gap through the lens of education.
The for-credit pilot-year course is housed at the all-male Morehouse College but is open to students at Morehouse, Clark Atlanta University, and the all-women’s Spelman College who are majoring in math, physics, and engineering. Stats Perform’s chief scientist, Dr. Patrick Lucey, will teach the course, working in connection with Morehouse faculty.
Dr. Alfred R. Watkins, computer science department chair at Morehouse, said the partnership with Student Freedom Initiative and Stats Perform was “very intentional” to benefit students from these three Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC) HBCUs to harness “specific learning and career opportunities within high-demand, high-growth sectors of the economy.” Students who complete the AI in Basketball course can apply for a limited number of internships with Stats Perform, with the potential for these internships to transition into full-time employment.
Deemed “the leading provider in sports data collection and predictive analysis,” Stats Perform is a portfolio company of Vista Equity Partners, whose chairman and CEO Robert F. Smith paid off the student debt for the Morehouse graduating class of 2019, thus making this current partnership a fit. Additionally, BLACK ENTERPRISE reported that Smith’s $50 million gift helped launch the Student Freedom Initiative in 2021.
Adventist HealthCare Taps Bro. Vincent B. Orange, Jr. (Spring 2006) As Chief Operating Officer — Howard University
Bro. Vincent Orange assumed his new role as Associate Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Howard University FFP at Adventist HealthCare in September, following his tenure as Regional Director — Rutgers Medical Group at RWJBarnabas Health.
Adventist HealthCare, based in Gaithersburg, Md., is a faith-based, not-for-profit organization of dedicated professionals who work together each day to improve the health and well-being of people and communities through a ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing.
Orange earned a Masters of Health Services Administration, Management and Executive Leadership from George Washington University in 2012, an MBA from Georgetown University in 2020, and a Bachelor of Science from Morehouse College in 2016.
Alpha Rho Chapter Brothers Gather For Annual Atlanta Summer Smoker
By APCAA Staff
Atlanta-are Brothers continued their annual summer tradition of the summer smoker at the Buckhead home of Bro. Keith D. Wright (Spring 1985).
Alpha Rho Chapter Brothers Gather For Annual Los Angeles Summer Smoker
By APCAA Staff
Los Angeles-are Brothers continued their annual summer tradition of the summer smoker at the home of Bro. Robert Lee Cole (Spring 1986).
Bro. Edward T. Brice (Spring 2001) 2024 Named To Signature Fellows Program Of Leadership Greater Chicago
CHICAGO, IL (August 1, 2023) – Today, Leadership Greater Chicago (LGC) announced the 2024 Class of its Signature Fellows Program, the greater Chicago area’s premier civic leadership development program. These 45 accomplished and diverse individuals represent a cross-section of professionals from the corporate, nonprofit, government and education sectors. During the 10-month program, with the city as a classroom, they will be immersed in major socioeconomic issues facing the region through full-day seminars, neighborhood site visits, conversations with subject matter experts and cultural events.
AllState Director of Talent/People Analytics Edward T. Brice is included in the 2024 Class of Signature Leaders Program.
Selection into the LGC Signature Fellows Program is based on a record of professional accomplishment, evidence of leadership skills, the potential to influence positive change and a commitment to the region. This year’s Class advanced through a highly competitive process that included a written application, an online assessment and, in some cases, an interview with graduates of the LGC Signature Fellows Program. Those selected for the 2024 Signature Fellows Program share the organization’s commitment to lead bold, transformative change in the community
Esoteric 13 (Spring 2000) Celebrates 'Delayed ... But Not Denied' 2oth Anniversary
By APCAA Staff
The Esoteric 13 (Spring 2000) finally got the opportunity to celebrate it's 20th anniversary in-person, in August of this year. Their 2020 anniversary fell in the center of the pandemic. At that time, they safely reminisced and reflected via Zoom. But once it was safe, they assembled in Franklin, Tennessee, hosted by our line president Benjamin Crowder and his wife Carly. They visited the nearby Uncle Nearest distillery, and heard stories of black entrepreneurship. They created new family memories, in some cases met wives and children for the first time.
And of course, they plotted the next generation of Alpha Rho Chapter – counting the years when our sons will be ready to join our special Brotherhood. There’s at least one candidate ready in the coming season!
FROM THE APCAA ARCHIVES AT THE AUC WOODRUFF LIBRARY:
Alpha Rho Chapter Alumni Association Dedicates 90th Anniversary Memorial Obelisk On The Campus Of Morehouse College — Sunday, October 27 2015
Bro. Kenneth Hymes (Spring 1985) Throws Hat In The Ring For Smyrna Mayoral Contest
Ken Hymes officially launched his campaign to become the next Mayor of Smyrna (November 7 2023 election) at the Vineyard Wine Market in front of a packed room of family, friends, and supporters. Hymes, a Director of Product Management, is running to unseat current Mayor Derick Norton. A third candidate in the mayor’s race is Alex Backry, who is retired.
During his campaign launch, Hymes talked about servant leadership as he pledged to keep citizens and their interest as his top priority. He shared background information about himself before explaining to the enthusiastic crowd why he decided to run for Mayor. He also shared why he is the better candidate to represent the citizens of Smyrna as he pointed to fiscal responsibility, strategic vision, and trust and transparency. Hymes told the crowd that one of the key points of his campaign is a focus on transparency in government. He emphasized the importance of open and accountable government practices as a differentiating factor between himself and the current mayor. To learn more about Hymes’ campaign for Smyrna Mayor, visit his website at hymes4smyrna.com.
Bro. Amal Yamusah (Spring 2013) Inks Professorship Deal With Long Island University's Roc Nation School
Bro. Amal Yamusah has joined Long Island University's staff as the newest Professor of Legal & Ethical Issues in Sports within the Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment. Yamusah is also the Founder of Make-A-Play Foundation (MAP) – a not‐for‐profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2019 to prepare underrepresented athletes for executive careers in competitive industries, including Fortune 500 companies. A 2014 Morehouse College graduate, Yamusah earned his master's degree in print journalism from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 2015, and in 2019 he received his J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School.
Roc Nation, a preeminent global entertainment company, and Long Island University, a nationally ranked university, collaborated to form the Roc Nation School of Music Sports & Entertainment in 2021. The Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment prepares its students for various careers in performance, entrepreneurship, all aspects of music, and sports business management.
MORE CENTENNIAL NEWS:
Alpha Rho Centennial Ecumenical Service To Unite Metro-Atlanta Chapters At Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church (Bro. Rev. Raphael G. Warnock — Alpha Gamma Lambda, Fall 1993)
By APCAA Staff
A highlight of Centennial Weekend will be the First Sunday Public Ecumenical Service hosted at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, now pastored by fellow Morehouse College Alumnus and Alpha Phi Alpa Fraternity, Inc. Brother Senator Raphael G. Warnock (Alpha Gamma Lambda, Fall 1993).
This fellowship will bring together fraternity brothers from Atlanta graduate chapter Eta Lambda, Alpha Phi (Clark Atlanta University, Iota (Morris Brown College), Zeta Mu (Georgia State University), Mu Alpha (Emory University), Nu Mu (Georgia Institute of Technology), Tau Zeta (Kennesaw State University), Zeta Pi (University of Georgia), Upsilon Omicron (Oglethorpe University), and the legions of Morehouse College men who joined the fraternity following undergrad.
The gathering is co-chaired by Rev. Brothers M. Lavell Sanders (Fall 1979) Senior Pastor at Stockbridge First (A United Methodist Church), and George B. Walker, Jr. (Fall 1989) of Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington, DC.
***Service open to all Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Brothers and guests.
MORE CENTENNIAL NEWS:
Alpha Rho's Centennial Display & Memorabilia Caucus Sets Out To Catalog Chapter's 100-Year Legacy At Atlanta University Woodruff Library
By Bro. James S.Brown (Fall 2013)
The Alpha Rho Chapter Alumni Association proudly introduces our Display & Memorabilia Initiative. We understand the power of history and the rich tapestry of stories it holds, and we're asking for your help to illuminate our collective past.
We invite you to share photos of your historic memorabilia. Whether it's an antique postcard, a cherished family heirloom, a vintage piece of paraphernalia, historic documents, prized photos, or a unique school memento – every artifact tells a story. By contributing to the archive, you allow these stories to be celebrated and remembered by the entire Brotherhood, and beyond.
These photos will allow the Display & Memorabilia Caucus to archive your submissions and select which pieces should be included in the APCAA official archives at The Atlanta University Robert Woodruff Library. Your submissions will make up part of both a physical exhibition and a comprehensive digital archive. This is your chance to ensure your keepsakes become an integral part of Alpha Rho Chapter's shared narrative.
To participate, simply upload your photo and information using the form below:
MORE CENTENNIAL NEWS:
First Look: Official Centennial Keepsake: For Delivery January 5, 2024
By APCAA Staff
The "Alpha Rho Chapter Centennial Keepsake" is a 124-page comprehensive special publication that commemorates the "Great Gathering" of our 1,344 initiates dating back to 1924. It will undoubtedly provide valuable insights into the chapter's accurate history, our traditions, and the individuals who have contributed to its success over the years, from our founding members to the organizers of the celebratory weekend. It will also serve as a great resource for new members and anyone interested in the chapter's storied history.
Brothers who have invested in the Centennial celebration as a Centennial Captain will be featured individually in the volume, along with the picture.
🏆 97th General Convention Sees Alpha Rho Chapter Shine — And Take Home Win, After Win, After Win 🏆
By APCAA Staff and @ap_1924
Alpha Rho Chapter undergraduate Brothers presented well at the 97th General Convention/117th Anniversary Convention in Dallas, Texas this past July. The undergrads were recognized for outstanding collaboration among alumni (Eta Lambda) and college chapters, and recognized with the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.’s 2023 International Charles H. Wesley Award. As winners of the Georgia District and Southern Region Awards, Alpha Rho was honored to represent the city of Atlanta and the campuses of Morehouse College, Clark Atlanta University, and Georgia State University.
Alpha Rho's Queen, Miss Tania Smith was crowned National Miss Old Gold and Black for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Not only did she bring home another crown but she also received most photogenic and the scholarship award for having the highest grade point average.
Miss Smith is a recent graduate of the Spelman College. During her matriculation at Spelman, she served as one of the college's Student Ambassadors, a SpelREADS Reading Guide, and director of public relations for Spelman’s 81st Administration of the Student Government Association. Miss Smith is a member of Mu Pi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated and was crowned Miss Black and Gold for the Alpha Rho Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, Miss Black and Old Gold for the Georgia District of the Fraternity, and Miss Black and Gold for the Southern Region of the Fraternity.
This fall, Miss Smith entered Vanderbilt University to pursue a master of marketing degree.
The undergrad Brothers captured 2nd place at the annual step competition, featured below:
The Endowment Project Invests In Bro. Desmond Martin Diggs (Spring 2007) To Invest In Public Schools
The Endowment Project has named insitutional advancement executive Desmond M. Diggs as Major Gifts and Partnerships Director. The Endowment Project is a purpose-driven for-profit education technology company that builds the philanthropic infrastructures for public schools.
"Public and Private colleges, universities, and private high schools have dedicated alumni development organizations that nurture strong community and allegiance and then harvest donations from these communities that further the school's mission. Public high schools do not have this. Why? We couldn’t come up with a good reason, so we’re building The Endowment Project to ensure that public high school students, faculty, and staff have a more robust high school experience. We are building the infrastructure to enable public high schools to create strong and loyal communities and steward the generosity of those communities. And we think we will change the face of public education in America. This is The Endowment Project."
Bro. Deshaun Bennett's (Spring 2013) Sovereign Sounds Rings In First Anniversary
Bro. Deshaun Bennett recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of the opening of the
multimedia creative studio Sovereign Sounds – a full-service community based creative agency, that also offers a safe space for audio and visual storytelling. Sovereign Sounds' mission is to provide creatives and brands with the knowledge and resources needed to share creative narratives through audio and visual storytelling.
In the 365 days since opening in the new location, Sovereign Sounds has been able to acquire clients including Hennessy Moet, City of East Point, Georgia Department of Public Health, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Jimmy Rocket, Erica Banks, Mimosa Boys, First Floor Productions, and various fashion brands, creatives, artists, podcasters, YouTubers. In the first year Sovereign was able to host and sponsor 6 community events, 2 concerts, 1 art show, and provide discount studio time to more than 150 creatives.
To celebrate 1-year, Sovereign hosted a 90s and 2000s fundraiser to raise money and school supplies for the learning centers and K-12 schools near their studio. Through the fundraiser, Sovereign was able to generate over $1500 in funds.
MORE CENTENNIAL NEWS:
Saturday, December 9, 2023: Alpha Rho Chapter Day Of National Community Service
By Bro. Kraig L. Golden (Spring 1985)
This is the mission statement of our great fraternity. And we as Alpha Rho Alumni Brothers must live up to this call as we prepare to celebrate our Centennial come January 2024.
As I announced at the smoker last night, Saturday, December 9, 2023 will be the National Day of Service for all Alpha Rho Alumni Brothers. A Rho Alums all over the country will be called upon to do some kind of community service on this day. For the Brothers who are here in the Los Angeles area, there is an opportunity to volunteer at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. The service project will consist of packing food and produce (assembly line style) which will be distributed to low-income seniors, women and children in Los Angeles County.
Our volunteer assignment will be from 9am until 12noon at the Los Angeles location. Please remember you MUST register in order to participate. Walk-in volunteers will not be allowed to participate.
So please, Brothers, I encourage you to go ahead and take a couple of minutes to register for this community service event on behalf of AP Alumni. It will be a good warmup activity just less than one month before the Centennial festivities take place in Atlanta in January.
PACE Recordings Takes The Stage At Black Sports Business Symposium (Bro. Kennard L. Garrett — Spring 1999)
As producers, musicians, Morehouse College professors, and founders of PACE Recordings, they joined our “Best of Both Worlds: Hip Hop and Sports” panel to discuss the importance of owning your masters, controlling your narrative, and maintaining professional partnerships. Some never thought that Hip Hop would take it this far, but Justin and Kennard are examples of music execs creating an impact in their communities and taking it worldwide.
The Black Sports Business Symposium (BlackSportsBiz) is a disruptive, invitation-only, annual event that unites, cultivates, illuminates, and celebrates Black professionals and students in the sports business industry.
Modular Moon Hosts Brennen Michael Buckner (Fall 2011)
Modular Moon welcomes you to a second ever studio concert, with worldwide known artists who will perform and reveal their secrets of audio art! This time we welcome Categal - all the way from Equador and Brennen - USA born modular artist!
CATEGAL : The project was born in 2020, in the Andean valleys of Ecuador. Root music inspired by nature that creates an organic sound through its instruments. The diversity of mantric rhythms allows Categal to travel us and perceive different sounds and images.
BRENNEN : Brennen[!] fuses together a variety of rhythms from across the African diaspora with a trap music sensibility, creating a unique sound that is both atmospheric and grounded. Drawing inspiration from 90's glitch, ambient music and the creative possibilities of modbap and modular synthesizers, they craft a blend of Afrofuturism that honors the past while imagining the future.
Coming up next at @modular.moon Amsterdam: Categal @categal_music + Brennen @creatingbrennenLIVE performance + workshop at Modular Moon class. 18th of august 2023, start at 18:00. Location: Modular Moon Amsterdam.
"Something Moving: A Meditation on Maynard" Premiers At Historic Ford's Theatre In DC And Celebrates The 50th Anniversary Of Maynard Jackson's (Spring 1956) Election To Mayor Of Atlanta in 1974
Ford’s Theatre is launched a brand new Legacy Commission Series - an artistic initiative for BIPOC playwrights, with the world premier of Something Moving: A Meditation on Maynard written by famous author and playwright Pearl Cleage (Spelman Alumnae). The play ran from September 22 - October 15th and will featured the election of Maynard Jackson, through the eyes and experiences of Atlanta citizens.
This timely and poignant world premiere production is part of our ongoing Ford’s Theatre Legacy Commissions program. Playwright Pearl Cleage explores the election of Maynard Jackson, Atlanta’s first Black mayor. Cleage sets the play in present-day Atlanta, but soon the story travels back 50 years as citizens of the city recollect and reflect upon the significance of the once-in-a-lifetime election that turned Atlanta into a progressive example of the New South. Cleage’s unique theatrical voice turns Atlanta into a full-blooded character while allowing her audience to feel what it was like to be part of a true historic moment in the Southern capital city. As we mark the 50th anniversary of Jackson’s election of a lifetime, explore Cleage’s evocative depiction of this monumental moment, directed by Seema Sueko (Silent Sky).
ALPHA RHO BROTHERS @ WORK:
Bro. John Olu Baiyewu (Spring 1999) Returns AgLanta Eats Food Festival To Atlanta Botanical Gardens
Hundreds of foodies gathered at the Atlanta Botanical gardens this week for tastings prepared by top chefs utilizing the freshest ingredients from AgLanta food producers and metro Atlanta farms.
AgLanta Eats, the hyper-local food festival returned to the Atlanta Botanical Garden on Monday, August 21, 2023 featuring a variety of tastings prepared by top, local chefs utilizing the freshest ingredients from AgLanta growers and metro Atlanta farms. Attendees had full access to the Atlanta Botanical Garden while enjoying farm fresh food tastings, a selection of beverages, live music, garden tours, and more.
Proceeds from the evening benefit the AgLanta "Grows-A-Lot" program, in association with Groundwork Atlanta and the Atlanta Mayor's Office of Sustainability and Resilience which supports the conversion of vacant and underutilized parcels in low-food access areas in Atlanta to productive urban farms and gardens. The AgLanta "Grows-A-Lot" team supports seven (7) urban agriculture sites operated by local growers through technical support and provision of insurance and supplies as resources allow.
Bro. John Olu Baiyewu serves as the Urban Agriculture Director for AgLanta, a division of City of Atlanta’s One Atlanta Office and Department of City Planning.
MORE CENTENNIAL NEWS:
Alpha Rho Chapter Undergrads Stroll Into Centennial School Year
By IG: ap_1924
The ON THE YARD BROTHERS for Centennial school year 2023-24:
Trey M. A. Causey (Fall 2021), Miles Clifton Colbert (Spring 2023), Ke'Aun Damone Dent (Spring 2023), Keith Nathaniel Gabbidon (Spring 2023), Miles Nevon Hicks (Spring 2023), Roney Howard II (Fall 2021), Rollin Fitzgerald Jackson, Jr., Kingsley Reese John (Spring 2023), Jace David La Saint (Spring 2023), Dawit Abera Mesele (Spring 2023), President Kamar Montgomery (Spring 2023), Justice Ross (Spring 2023), Horace Ryans III (Spring 2023), and Matthew N. Seawood (Spring 2023).