The word sometimes evokes images based on the 1978 film Animal House or something of a puerile nature. However, when speaking of a fraternal organization established in the year of 1906 at the campus of Cornell University (in Ithica, New York), the image is far different. In addition to being the first intercollegiate fraternity established for African-American men, and having a membership comprised of historical and present day figures such as (but not limited to) ESPN anchors Stuart Scott and Stan Verrett, legendary Grambling football coach Eddie Robinson, former New Orleans mayor Marc Morial, GA congressman David Scott, and other iconic figures including Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King, Jr, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc, then and now, have a focus and resolve on advocacy and leadership within and beyond their communities.
This weekend, members of the fraternity, specifically through the collaborative work of the Alphas of Atlanta (a collective of members from all of the metro-Atlanta graduate chapters), are hosting their Memorial Day Weekend series. The events, which coincide with the Atlanta Jazz Festival. provide a solid blend of networking opportunities, fellowship, and family related outings for their members, friends, families, and associates.
"We want to put together a weekend of activities that appeal to as many people as possible", notes lead coordinator Michael Jones.
On Friday, May 23rd, members of "AOA" are hosting a networking mixer at the W (188 14th Street in Atlanta) from 6-9pm. Their "Ice Lounge" theme provides a mature and relaxed setting for their colleagues and others to encourage the formation of business and community relationships at one of the city's more well known venues.
Afterward, starting at 9pm, guests are invited to join them at the W's Whiskey Park section for an extended social outing.
Saturday, May 24th, the organization is having a "tent event" at Piedmont Park. Fraternal members, their families, friends, and associates are invited to join them starting at 2pm for additional fellowship. Their section is located at Grady High School (10th Street and Charles Allen Drive). Attendees are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs, refreshments, and beverages (akin to an outing at Chastain Park) for additional fellowship which is fun and family friendly. As an added bonus, for fraternal members who are looking for information for chapters in their area, representation from the metro-area chapters (Atlanta, East Point, Riverdale, Henry County, Marietta, Decatur, Duluth, and Loganville-Conyers) are scheduled to be present.
"We want to reach out to our brothers who are not affiliated with a chapter, as well as interact with the public so they are more aware of who we are and where we are", adds Jones.
Patrons are encouraged to visit the organization's site (click here) for additional details.
With the holiday weekend upon us, the 107 year old fraternal organization is taking the lead in providing a mature, professional, and adult based program for Friday (May 23rd) and a family themed event for Saturday (May 24th) which coincides with one of the more festive events around, the Atlanta Jazz Festival. In moving "onward and upward", the Alphas of Atlanta, along with its member chapters, are doing their part in providing creative and constructive outlets for the benefit of the community.
And that's Ice Cold...