MAKING A DIFFERENCE THROUGH SERVICE
Alpha Phi Alpha’s four national programs and special projects are community outreach and mentoring initiatives that have been adopted by the national organization and mandated for implementation by all of its chapters.
Gamma Phi Lambda implements the fraternity's national programs at the local level through several initiatives.
Go-To-High School, Go-To-College
The Go-to-High-School, Go-to-College program, established in 1922, concentrates on the importance of completing secondary and collegiate education as a road to advancement. Statistics prove the value of this extra impetus in making the difference in the success of young African-American men, given that school completion is the single best predictor of future economic success. Through the Go-to-High-School, Go-to-College educational initiative, young men receive information and learn strategies that facilitate success. Alpha men provide youth participants with excellent role models to emulate.
Our Local Effort: Alpha Academy
The chapter manages the Alpha Academy program, a 3-year academic and leadership program for African American male students who are high school sophomores. Six (6) students are selected for the program and are paired with two mentors each – a college brother from one of our local undergraduate chapters and an alumni brother from Gamma Phi Lambda. Over the course of the three years, the cohort participates in various activities and a curriculum designed to promote academic excellence, develop leadership skills, and encourage community service. The curriculum and activities include:
College Preparedness Activities
Visits to Local Companies
Lectures from Community Leaders
Development and Execution of a Community Action Plan
Exploring Education Interests and Career Paths
The ultimate goal is to make every participant college ready. In 2016, 100% of the graduating cohort attended college!
Our Local Effort: Leadership, Technology, and Innovation (LTI) Conference
Each year the chapter hosts the Leadership, Technology, and Innovation (LTI) Conference to build a bridge between young men of color in the City of Oakland and the technology industry. The conference offers participants hands-on workshops to develop applied technology skills, information about the exciting careers in the technology industry with a special emphasis on STEM-related positions, and networking opportunities with young professionals in the field.
A Voteless People Is A Hopeless People
A Voteless People Is A Hopeless People was initiated as a National Program of Alpha during the 1930’s when many African-Americans had the right to vote but were prevented from voting because of poll taxes, threats of reprisal, and lack of education about the voting process. Voter education and registration has remained a dominant focus of this outreach activity for over 65 years. In the 1990’s, the focus has shifted to include political awareness and empowerment, delivered most frequently through town meetings and candidate forums.
Our Local Effort: Voter Education
In support of A Voteless People Is A Hopeless People, 10 chapter members participated in the Color of Change PAC Black Battleground State Text-a-Thon. This effort engaged black voters across the country days before the November 2016 elections on key issues and provided them with information about races up and down the ballot. Using groundbreaking digital technology, we were able to connect with over 44,000 Black voters in battleground states.
In addition, the Gamma Phi Lambda chapter provides election and voting information to its chapter members. Also, several brothers are actively involved in the Bay Area community in the areas of civil rights and social action and advocacy. And brothers regularly participate in voter registration drives, peaceful protests for various causes, and serve in key leadership roles in organizations such as the Bay Area Urban League Young Professionals.
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the March of Dimes began collaboratively implementing Project Alpha in 1980. This collaborative project is designed to provide education, motivation and skill-building on issues of responsibility, relationships, teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases for young males ages 12-15 years. Designed to provide young men with current and accurate information about teen pregnancy prevention, Project Alpha consists of a series of workshops and informational sessions conducted by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity brothers.
Our Local Effort: March of Dimes Partnership
The chapter supports Project Alpha as part of our Alpha Academy curriculum. During various peer mentoring sessions with the six (6) members of the Alpha Academy cohort, brothers provide the young men with skill building tools and information on issues related to responsibility, respect, and the role of males in relationships. These sessions reinforce our Project Alpha goal to equip the young men to make responsible decisions that will support their personal development.
Gamma Phi Lambda works with our local March of Dimes (MOD) chapter to support Project Alpha aims. Most notably, during the past fraternal year, a total of nine (9) brothers participated in the MOD Walk for Babies event, and the chapter raised more than $800 to support March of Dimes-sponsored research and other programs to prevent premature birth, birth defects, and infant mortality.
The mission of the Brother’s Keeper National Program is to advocate for and improve the quality of life for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. brothers, their spouses, and widows who are retired, elderly, have disabilities, and are ailing. Upon identification of need, the Brother’s Keeper Program also provides assistance to mature and ailing members of its communities.
Our Local Effort: Supporting Our Brothers
Gamma Phi Lambda chapter brother Nathan Johnson serves as the chairman of Alpha Phi Alpha’s Western Region Brother’s Keeper Program Committee. Three chapter brothers are members of this regional committee. These brothers lead Gamma Phi Lambda’s efforts to advocate and improve the quality of life for Alpha brothers and their spouses and/or widows who are retired, are elders, have disabilities, or are ailing. As part of the chapter’s program, once a month brothers identify the person in need of support, and will typically spend 1 hour with this brother or family member. During the visit, the chapter members serve as companions, take pictures, present the person with a yellow rose, sing the Alpha hymn and recite poems. The oldest brother that the chapter has visited with is 98-year-old Lester Davis.
In addition to his work at the regional level for Brother’s Keeper, Bro. Nathan Johnson has helped to establish the Brother’s Keeper program at the Alpha Epsilon and Xi Pi chapters.