Nationwide — Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. received the Congressional Black Caucus Foundations’ esteemed “Chair Award” during the 45TH Annual ALC Phoenix Awards Dinner on September 19, 2015. The fraternity was recognized for its global focus on service, advocacy and diligence in cementing their fraternity member, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy with a memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
In 1986, the fraternity’s efforts gained momentum once King’s birthday was designated a national holiday. In 1996, the United States Congress authorized the Secretary of the Interior to permit Alpha Phi Alpha to establish a memorial on Department of Interior lands in the District of Columbia, giving the fraternity until November 2003 to raise $100 million and break ground. In 1998, Congress authorized the fraternity to establish a foundation—the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation—to manage the memorial’s fundraising and design, and approved the building of the memorial on the National Mall. In 1999, the United States Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) and the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) approved the site location for the memorial.
Alpha Phi Alpha is credited for spearheading the fund raising exertions needed to raise the $120 million USD needed to erect the moment. Although this is not the first memorial to an African American in Washington, D.C., King is the first African American honored with a memorial on or near the National Mall and only the fourth non-President to be memorialized in such a way.
“It is truly an honor to be recognized for a century of developing leaders, service and advocacy for our communities by such a prominent and august body such as the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation,” said Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity General President Mark S. Tillman.
Recognized as the world’s oldest intercollegiate fraternity founded by African-American men, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity was founded on December 4, 1906 at Cornell University. Since its inception, the organization has truly established itself on leadership and service.
About Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
Founded on December 4, 1906, at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity has continued to supply voice and vision to the struggle of African Americans and people of color around the world. The fraternity has long stood at the forefront of the African-American community’s fight for civil rights through Alpha men such as Martin Luther King Jr., Adam Clayton Powell, Thurgood Marshall, Paul Robeson, Andrew Young, Edward Brooke and Cornel West. The fraternity, through its more than 600 college and alumni chapters and general organization members, serves communities in the United States, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. Visit www.apa1906.net and follow on Twitter @apa1906network.
Bryan J. A. Kelly