I think, therefore I am.
Building upon the quote by Descartes which emphasizes one’s state of being and state of mind, a group of men in the metro-Atlanta area not only think about things, but actually do their share and then some. Most times it is in a quiet, understated, “matter-of-fact” manner, but this weekend, their calm, low-key, and cooler voice gets a little louder, especially at they move towards celebrating 106 years of leadership and service to the immediate and extended communities.
This fraternal organization, established at the campus of Cornell University in Ithica, NY, is none other than Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Through the collaborative efforts of the metro-Atlanta Alphas, Alphas of Atlanta, and iPartyATL, the weekend is a balanced effort of social events and service projects. Friday evening at Aurum Lonuge, Saturday evening at the Museum Bar, and Monday night’s Monday Night Football viewing at Barley’s are creative social outings and outlets for members of the fraternity, as well as their friends and associates.
The weekend kicks-off with a professional mixer on Friday, November 30th, from 6-9pm at Organix Lounge. The venue is owed by Je’ Wesley, who is a member of the fraternity.
“All of our events are open to the public, and we readily invite our friends from our fellow fraternities, sororities, and all other public and private sector arenas to come out and enjoy themselves”, notes Carlos Neal, one of the fraternity’s members who is helping plan and coordinate the events.
However, there’s more than just a party. A number of the area chapters are doing service projects on Saturday, December 1st. Some members are partnering with the Marietta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. through its Christmas Store at the Marietta Sixth Grade Academy. This provides members the opportunity to help setup, donate, and distribute clothing items, toys, and other items for young children and families during the holidays.
“We are making sure to give back and take time to support some great programs and causes”, notes Keith Varnado (contact email of email@example.com), one of the members of the fraternity assisting with the Christmas Store.
The Northeast Georgia Area Alpha Men are partnering with the LEAD Foundation through its REEL Project for its Bowties and Breakfast program. This provides young men the opportunity to learn and practice appropriate attire and etiquette, as well as the essential skill set of how to properly tie ties.
On Sunday morning, members of the fraternity and their guests are invited to attend service at Ebenezer Baptist Church. After the service, fraternity members are performing the ceremony of laying wreaths at the crypts of both Martin Luther King, Jr. (who is a member of the fraternity) and Coretta Scott King (a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.).
“It’s a good way to not only worship and fellowship together, but to take time to remember the contributions of one of our fraternity’s most respected members”, adds Michael Jones, another member of the planning committee.
The weekend of events conclude on Tuesday, December 4th, which is the date of the fraternity’s founding and establishment. The Founders’ Day banquet takes place at the Henderson Student Center at the campus of Clark-Atlanta University starting at 6pm with a reception, and then the banquet at 7:30pm. The professional attired event is $15 per person for alumni members and their guests, and $10 per person for collegiate members and their guest.
The majority of events for the weekend have no cover charge up through a specific time. Those who are interested in attending are encouraged to register on-line.
With a balance of social and service events that are reflective of the fraternity’s motto of “First of All, Servants of All, We Shall Transcend All” and involve multiple social and civic arenas, many of the members are focused and committed in not only providing accessible
“We are making sure to remain focused and entrenched in the community”, adds Christopher Banks, one of the brothers working with one of the service projects.
A balance of service and social-based outings to enrich and integrate the immediate community is what the weekend’s events are all about. I am, and we are is the underlying mindset of the weekend; be a part of it instead of apart from it.