on February 1, 2019

Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first Greek-lettered sorority established by African American college women—and sorority of presidential candidate Kamala Harris, has pledged $1.6 million to HBCUs.

The sorority has established the AKA-HBCU Endowment Fund in partnership with the Educational Advancement Foundation (EAF). Over the next decade, the fund will distribute $10M to 96 schools.

From a press release from the sorority:

On February 28, 2019, presidents from 32 of the participating HBCUs will receive the first installment of the endowment gift in the amount of $50,000 at the Alpha Kappa Alpha International Headquarters in Chicago, Illinois

“As an HBCU graduate and someone who has dedicated my life’s work to the HBCU community, I personally know that the financial challenges of many institutions have an impact on student enrollment, retention, and graduation rates,” said Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. International President Dr. Glenda Glover via the press release. “Implementing an endowment fund is a critical need and has been a priority for my administration since I took office last year. Alpha Kappa Alpha’s 111-year history is deeply interwoven into the history of HBCUs and therefore it is imperative that we continue to invest in these treasured institutions.”

The 32 participating schools include:

Albany State University

Alcorn State University

American Baptist College

Bennett College for Women

Chicago State University

Coppin State University

Fayetteville State University

Florida Memorial University

Fort Valley State University

Grambling State University

Harris-Stowe State University

Le Moyne-Owen College

Lincoln University

Livingstone College

Miles College

Mississippi Valley State University

Norfolk State University

North Carolina Central University

Philander Smith College

Savannah State University

Shaw University

South Carolina State University

Southern University at New Orleans

St. Augustine’s University

Stillman College

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Voorhees College

West Virginia State University

Wilberforce University

Wiley College

Paul Quinn College

Edward Waters College

HBCUs have been struggling for funding. In December 2018, Bennett College for Women lost its accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) due to its inability to remain financially stable. Pizza corporation Papa John’s recently donated $500,000 to the school. At least six HBCUs have closed since 1988 due to financial reasons.

source: /

Phi Beta Sigma Names Actor Malik Yoba The New Spokesman For Their Youth Auxiliary Program

Phi Beta Sigma Names Actor Malik Yoba The New Spokesman For Their Youth Auxiliary Program

on January 12, 2019

It was just announced that actor Malik Yoba has been named the new spokesperson for Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.’s auxiliary program that mentors young men, the Sigma Beta Club.

The fraternity made the announcement on social media on January 4th, as a part of National Mentorship Month and Sigma’s “Trilogy of Change” a strategic plan by the fraternity to impact the African American community that starts with enhancing the lives of youth through mentorship in the Sigma Beta Club.

Malik Yoba will take over the charge as an official spokesperson for the program. You may know Yoba as Lucious Lyons’ fix-it-man on “Empire”; the street savvy detective on “New York Undercover”; or a Jamaican bobsledder in “Cool Runnings” but you might not know that he is a highly engaged community activist and educator.

A member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., Yoba’s full-time commitment to community organizations, education, and underprivileged youth dates back to the 80’s.  He served as Vice President of The CityKids Foundation, a New York-based organization that worked in conjunction with New York City public schools to assess students, faculty, and parents in an effort to improve school attendance, and the quality of education.  In 1994, he founded Nature Boy Enterprises as a vehicle to offer keynote addresses, motivational workshops, and the “Why Are You On This Planet” self-esteem program.

His work as an educator has extended internationally to schools in South Africa, Canada, Jamaica, Central America, and Ethiopia.  The Honorable Bill Clinton, the Congress of United States, and the UNICEF, are some of the dignitaries and organizations that have recognized his humanitarian work and advocacy for the youth.

Yoba was born and raised in the Bronx in 1967.  He became an honorary member of Phi Beta Sigma in 2009.  At the age of fifteen he was shot and it ultimately changed his perspective and led him into a life of community activism.  Since the 90’s, he has served as a board member and committee member for such organizations as Reach New York and Hale House.  Yoba is an author of two books and has worked as an educator at Long Island University.

The Sigma Beta Club goes all the way back to the early 1950s when Phi Beta Sigma became the first Greek organization to develop a youth auxiliary group. “Under the direction of Dr. Parlett L. Moore  the Sigma Beta Club was founded. While as National Director of Education, Brother Moore was concerned about our changing needs in our communities and recognized the important role that Sigma men could play in the lives of our youth,” the Sigma Beta Club’s website states.

“Throughout its existence, Sigma Beta Clubs have been an essential part of the total organizational structure of many of the Alumni chapters of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and offers men of Sigma a unique opportunity to develop wholesome value, leadership skills, and social and cultural awareness of youth at a most critical stage in the youth’s personal development.”

According to the fraternity, “Sigma is rewriting the narrative on what service to humanity looks like.”


Kappa Alpha Psi Alumni Chapter closes holiday season in style

Kappa Alpha Psi Alumni Chapter closes holiday season in style

on January 2, 2019

Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., Philadelphia Alumni Chapter hosted a party of all parties at Lulu Shriners on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018.

It would be easier to tell you who wasn’t at the sold-out affair. Everyone was ready for the upbeat cabaret-style party chaired by Erick Pullian and Clarence Lewis. The well-supported event raised funds for the Kappa Achievement Center.

The fraternity states, “The Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. Philadelphia Alumni Chapter established the Achievement Academy in 1992. The fraternity’s nationally mandated Guide Right program provides for the development and training of young African-American male students. The Achievement Academy seeks to combat the negative influences in the lives of our impressionable youth with positive values, direction and enhanced self-esteem. The college-educated men of Kappa Alpha Psi have accepted the challenge to motivate the students to assume responsibility for their future success.”

Polemarch Douglas Harrell Jr., immediate past polemarch Darryl Stephens and his wife Linda Stephens, Philadelphia City Councilman-at-Large Derek Green and his wife Sheila Green were among the outstanding members seen having a great time.

Officers serving with the 48th polemarch are: 1st Vice Polemarch Damian Jackson; 2nd Vice Polemarch Clarence IzzardDarren LipscombRodney JacksKenneth LesesneJerome DeanJohn W. Nelson Jr.John Cunningham and Dennis Butler.

Board members are: Darryl Stephens, Past Philadelphia Alumni Polemarch; Robert N. Hunter, past Philadelphia alumni polemarch; Albert WilkinsLouis A. Williams Jr., ast Philadelphia alumni polemarch and John Kirby.

W. Wilson Goode Sr. serves as chapter chaplin; the chapter reporter is Craig Walker; the nominating committee chairman is Ronald Johnson and the chapter historian is Rodney Whitmire.

There were hundreds of beautiful people “Out & About” to celebrate the holiday season and support a great cause. I’ll tell you just some of those familiar faces spotted enjoying music by DJ Toni B, great food and drink.

It was great to see Shelly PullianDonna and Tim RoderickKelly Bethea, Dr. Ramseyand Kristine ChewDeborah Chew JamesByron and Pat BrooksDoyt and Sandy JonesCharles “Butch” and Deana MinnisSkip and Robin KilsonDerek Bowks and Kari Smith.

Other party-goers, including Kappa brothers and friends were: Lou Williams and Claudia Averett WilliamsLouis DeVaughn and Elaine Evans DeVaughnLarry and Carmen SkinnerBill and April RawlingsRenee and Chris ManceStanley and Marie SimpkinsMichael White and Dr. Kimberly Bridges WhiteJay HallKelly BetheaDena CapersRick and Gloria HawkinsNiki Hawkins and Devon Allen.

Other highlights of the relaxed, fun evening showcased amazing gift baskets and raffles. There was also a variety of fabulous vendors.

Congratulations to the men of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., Philadelphia Alumni Chapter and all who supported this very successful event. It was a blast!

Have a fantastic week “Out & About” everyone! Have a very healthy, happy and safe new year!


The Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. hosts ‘Pride in Our Heritage Tour’

The Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. hosts ‘Pride in Our Heritage Tour’

on December 21, 2018

The Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. hosted the fifth stop in the “Pride in Our Heritage Tour” at The Moore College of Art & Design last Saturday.

The tour was envisioned by Beverly Evans Smith, national president and CEO of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., who was inspired to present a program in which each of the sororities’ seven regions celebrated African-American heritage in the creative and performing arts and explored the lives and work of luminary Delta artists.

Smith introduced the tour, which is a signature program of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and National Arts and Letters Commission. The commission is co-chaired by Johnnetta B. Cole and Gwendolyn A. Mason.

The dynamic president of the Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter, Monica Johnson Taylor, with co-chair Sheila Phillips Hawes, Esq. and program chairs Emilee J. Taylor and Lynada Martinez Colburn provided local coordination.

Cole — who was the first female African-American president of Spelman College, an American anthropologist, director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art Museum and from 2002 to 2007 president of Bennett College for Women, where she chaired the Johnnetta B. Cole Global Diversity & Inclusion Institute — has been leading the tour on an amazing journey across the country. She pulls audiences into intriguing discussions with Deltas who have overcome adversity to achieve national recognition.

Her event in Philadelphia featured one of America’s foremost poets, writers and commentators, Nikki Giovanni. Giovanni has published numerous collections of poetry, from her first self-published volume entitled “Black Feeling Black Talk” (1968) to “New York Times” best-seller, ”Bicycles: Love Poems” (2009). Her poems helped to define the African-American experience of the 1960s through the 1970s and beyond. This civil rights activist, poet, and television personality was also a major force in the Black Arts Movement.

This exciting evening of music, dance, poetry and art in Philadelphia began with a wonderful reception where guests enjoyed delicious food, fellowship, and conversation while listening to the smooth sounds of The Stephen Mitnaul Trio. The audience was delighted with an exhilarating African cultural experience performed by drummers, dancers, stilt walkers and singers who comprise the Sisters Laying Down Hands Collective. Maureen Hennighan Booker, a member of the Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter, presented a special dance performance.

Emmy award-winning Poet Laureate Hank Stewart, who has performed at the Trumpet Awards and Essence Music Festival, recited his inspirational poem, “Mad”, which lifted the heart and captured the crisis of the times we live in.

There was also a visual arts exhibit featuring the works of talented local artists. Other artists in the exhibit included: Nannette Clark, C. Gloria Akers, Nancy Churchville, Leslye Clemons-Carr, Jimmy Mance, Tiffany Murphy, Jose Sebourne, Jacqui Gilmore Stallworth, Quincy Stallworth, and Emilee J. Taylor. Esteemed artist Tim Caison captured the momentous occasion by painting live at the event. His one-of-a-kind masterpiece was auctioned live onsite.

Proud attendees included Eastern Regional Director Rosia Blackwell Lawrence; past Regional Director–Farwest Region, Sandra Phillips Johnson; past Eastern Regional Directors, Dr. Constance E. Clayton and Theljewa Garrett and past and present members of the Delta National Committee, Kimberly Lloyd, Cynthia Muse, Tianna Phillips, and Victoria Mosley Rivers.

More familiar faces “Around Town in Philly” at the event were: former Philadelphia City Councilwoman and Delta Marian B. Tasco, Delta Community College of Philadelphia trustee Dorothy Sumners Rush; Philadelphia Kappa Polemarch L. Douglas Harrell and Richard Lee Snow, past executive director, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. 

Also present were Canara Price and Joe Ann Oatis, members of the Delta National Arts and Letters Commission, and Kim Jordan, Delta Sigma Theta’s Pennsylvania state coordinator.

The tour began in September in Kansas City, Missouri, and will culminate on December 1 in New Orleans.  It is traveling to one city in each of the Delta’s seven regions, where Cole engages a celebrity Delta in an in-depth and intriguing conversation regarding her life, successes, afflictions, triumphs, and pivotal life-altering moments.

“We write because we believe the human spirit cannot be tamed and should not be trained.” –Nikki Giovanni

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Rho Chapter Raises $7,800 To Provide Winter Coats For under served Youth

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Rho Chapter Raises $7,800 To Provide Winter Coats For under served Youth

on December 21, 2018

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – On Saturday, members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity helped make the holiday season a little warmer for some Philadelphia children. 

Volunteers with the fraternity’s Rho Chapter spent the morning at the Burlington Coat Factory in Center City.  They raised $7,800 to provide 155 under served youth with brand new winter attire. The children were given a $50 stipend to buy coats, hats, and other accessories to keep warm this winter. 

“Kids actually get to go shopping throughout the store,” said Robert Hill Jr. with the Alpha Phi Alpa – Rho Chaper. “They are paired up with a volunteer, who is volunteering through our organization, and they can go up and down the aisles and say, ‘hey, I like this coat’ or ‘no, I don’t like this coat.’ And one of the things we found is that kids are more inclined to wear coats of their choice that they are able to pick up verses the ones that mom or dad bring home for them to wear.”

Operation Cold War Coat Drive is now in its fifth year.

Delta Sigma Theta hosts “Power in our Voice” forum in Philadelphia area

on October 16, 2018

With midterm elections approaching, leaders of the Divine Nine are pushing for Black citizens to register to vote and get to the polls.

“We know why we have to vote,” said Rosia Blackwell Lawrence, regional director of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., on Friday evening at a town hall meeting.

Blackwell Lawrence organized the meeting held at Academy Park High School in Sharon Hill, Delaware County, to connect other sororities and fraternities in efforts to push the African-American community to vote in the national and local elections.

“As Greek sororities and fraternities, it is incumbent upon us to do this type of work,” Blackwell Lawrence said.

The panel was moderated by Delta Sigma Theta co-chairs Rhonda Briggins and the Rev. Shavon Arline-Bradley. It included John Jordan, community relations chairman for the Pennsylvania State NAACP; Gmerice Welch Dandrige, co-chairwoman of the Policy & Advocacy Committee of NExT Philadelphia for the National Urban League; and state Rep. Jordan Harris, D-186, chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus and a member of Phi Beta Sigma.

Lansdowne Councilman Wardell Holt, Sharon Hill Councilwoman Sharon Booker and Councilman Keith Martinez, Darby Councilwoman Darlene Hill, a representative for U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, and state Sen. Anthony Williams were among the audience of more than 200 people.

Midterm elections, which are held halfway through the president’s four-year term, allow voters to elect their representatives in the United States House of Representatives and United State Senate.

This year, the midterms are set to be held on Nov. 6.

“We always come out strong,” Blackwell Lawrence said. “We are so dependable. But it’s important for us to connect with our community to let them know why it’s so important for them to come out and vote.”

Williams said, “The power of voting has been what has held African Americans back in moving forward. The reality is that this conversation we’re going to have tonight is also about the fact that even in 2018, people are trying to take that right away from us.”

African Americans have had to fight for voting rights for decades. Marches, sit-ins and other peaceful protests that took place (mainly in the southern states) in the 1960s paved the way for the enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibited discriminatory voting practices many states had.

“My father was not able to vote until 1965,” said the Rev. Douglas Banks, pastor of Union Baptist Church in Morristown, N.J., and a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc. “He was 32 years old when he gained the right to vote. There were 12 years which he already could not vote. We’re not talking about ancient history. We’re not talking about something that is far removed from our recent history and is trying to be taken away from us now.”

Jordan recalled the voter ID law that was proposed in 2012.

“Most people didn’t see anything wrong with it, but when [the NAACP] looked at it, what we saw was a coordinated attacked on us — on all of the voters that were the highest percentage voters in the previous presidential election,” he said.

Jordan continued that the NAACP, the Pan-Hellenic Council, and multiple sororities and fraternities got the law overturned in Pennsylvania. He suggested each person should try to get five others to register to vote.

“If we can see the bigger picture, then we can really come together and do some really amazing things,” said Rep. Margo L. Davidson. “Ego and pride stops us from working together. We need to move from marching to canvassing to make sure candidates get elected to office.”

Davidson said there are not a lot of African Americans knocking on doors in Delaware County and “we need to start activating ourselves in that way.”

Harris said 26 percent of Philadelphians are in poverty and community activists cannot expect to get people wanting to vote because “they feel they don’t matter.”

“We have to empower them,” Harris said. “We have to make better connections, showing them how their vote directly connects with their daily lives. The things that affect their daily life come from Harrisburg. Trump isn’t doing this. It’s Harrisburg and their vote is directly connected to their daily lives.”

Williams said voting is just the beginning of the conversation.

“The only thing that changes a life in America is changing a law,” Banks said.


NPHC SEPA Members tapped for board governance program

on September 5, 2018

The National Pan Hellenic Council of Southeastern Pennsylvania would like to congratulate the members of its respective chapters on acceptance into the DiverseForce of Boards Training Program. DiverseForce on Boards trains mid- to senior-level professionals on the ins and outs of nonprofit board leadership over seven months in partnership with Penn’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies and ImpactED.

DiverseForce on Boards (DFOB), named for its partnership with Sulaiman Rahman’s workforce diversity consulting company, DiverseForce, the program specifically trains mid- to senior-level professionals of color on the ins and outs of nonprofit board leadership over seven months. Participants are matched with board placement opportunities at the end of the program.

DFOB is housed by the University of Pennsylvania’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies while continuing to work in partnership with social impact evaluation and development org ImpactED, Rahman said.

“In addition to the comprehensive board governance training and matching program, we have added a structured leadership lunch and learn series that will provide our cohort participants with the critical leadership competencies that will help them to serve on boards more effectively, and will be transferable to their personal and professionals lives,” the founder wrote in an email.