The Delta Sigma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. will celebrate its 114th founders day virtually via Zoom at 7:06 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4.
Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek letter fraternity established for African-American men, was founded Dec. 4, 1906, according to a news release.
The guest speaker will be Denny N. Johnson, the corporate senior director of the Brotherhood Engagement and Outreach Team for Alpha Phi Alpha. He is a cum laude graduate of Alabama A&M University, where he received his bachelor of science degrees in agricultural education and agricultural business management in 1992. He was initiated into Alpha Phi Alpha via the Delta Gamma Chapter on March 5, 1989.
Johnson is an active member of The Sanctuary at Kingdom Square Church in Upper Marlboro, Md., where he serves in various ministries, including the deacons ministry, the security ministry, the Ministry Assimilation Council, the Boys 2 Men Mentoring Ministry, the scholarship and secular education ministry, and as a Sunday School teacher to the male youth, according to the release.
Known as a Brother’s Brother throughout the fraternity worldwide, he is married to the former Deborah T. Crosby, a native of Washington, D.C., and they reside in Bowie, Md.
This year’s program will honor Calvin Thomas as its 2020 Brother of the year. Thomas is a 1991 graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff where he received a bachelor of science degree in business education. He is currently employed with the Pine Bluff School District as a JAG Specialist at Pine Bluff High. He was initiated into the Delta Sigma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. in Spring 2005 and is currently serving as director of educational activities and the Brothers Keepers program as well as treasurer of the chapter’s Southeast Arkansas Jewel Foundation and a board member. He is currently serving as co-administrator of the VITA (Volunteer Income Assistance Program) and has also served as the chapter’s corresponding and financial secretary. He is a member of The New Life Christian Church and is married to Genevia Kelsey Thomas.
Alpha Phi Alpha was founded on Dec. 4, 1906 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York by seven college men who recognized the need for a strong bond of brotherhood among African descendants in this country. The fraternity initially served as a study and support group for minority students who faced racial prejudices, both educationally and socially at Cornell. The Jewel founders and early leaders of the fraternity succeeded in laying a firm foundation for Alpha Phi Alpha’s principles of scholarship, fellowship, good character and the uplifting of humanity.
Alpha Phi Alpha chapters were established at other colleges and universities, many of them historically black institutions, soon after the founding at Cornell. The first alumni chapter was established in 1911. While continuing to stress academic excellence among its members, Alpha also recognized the need to help correct the educational, economic, political, and social injustices faced by African Americans. Alpha Phi Alpha has long stood at the forefront of the African-American community’s fight for civil rights through 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, and many others. True to its form as the “first of firsts,” Alpha Phi Alpha has been interracial since 1945.
For more information and the link for this year’s program, Contact William Campbell, program chair, at 870-723-4262 or email@example.com or any member of the Delta Sigma Lambda Chapter.
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