The most remarkable leadership in the African American community in the 20th century (and beyond) has without question come from the ranks of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Since its founding on an ICE COLD Tuesday, December 4, 1906, the Fraternity has supplied voice and vision to the struggle of African Americans and people of color around the world.
Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity in the United States established for men of African descent, was founded at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York by seven college men who recognized the need for a strong bond of Brotherhood between African Americans. The visionary founders, known as the Jewels of the Fraternity, are: Henry Arthur Callis, Charles Henry Chapman, Eugene Kinckle Jones, George Biddle Kelley, Nathaniel Allison Murray , Robert Harold Ogle and Vertner Woodson Tandy.
The Fraternity initially served as a study and support group for minority students who faced racial prejudice-educationally and socially- at Cornell. During those beginning days, the Jewel founders and early leaders of the Fraternity worked to lay a solid foundation for Alpha Phi Alpha’s principles of scholarship, fellowship, good character and the uplifting of humanity.
Education and scholarship remain major focuses for Alpha Phi Alpha today. The College Scholarship Bowl testing the intellect of Brothers was introduced as a feature of recent General Conventions. The Fraternity’s "Go to High School, Go to College" program, first established in 1919, was reintroduced; and a General Presidents’ Scholarship was endowed as part of Alpha Phi Alpha’s Education Foundation.
Today, Alpha Phi Alpha continues its commitment to the African American community through the Fraternity’s Education and Building foundations which provide scholarships to outstanding students and shelter to underprivileged families. The Fraternity also has dedicated itself to training a new generation of leaders with national mentoring programs and partnerships designed to ensure the success of our children and you.
While continuing to stress academic excellence and pursuit among its members, the Fraternity also recognized the need to help correct the educational, economic, political and social injustices faced by African Americans.
About Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Alpha continues to demonstrate the vision necessary for the next millennium. In addition, the Fraternity continues to serve as a light to the community, standing at the forefront of the African American community’s fight for civil rights and human dignity. From the it’s ranks have come outstanding civil rights leaders such as: W.E.B. DuBois, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Edward Brooke, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Andrew Young, William Gray, Paul Robeson, Julius Chambers, Maynard Jackson and many others. More information can be found here.