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Spring 15 initiates of the Gamma chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Jason Smart-El, Douglas Green & Avon Bryant, recently packed a car full of water and drove all the way from Richmond, VA to Flint, MI to drop off clean water to the city.

Jason Smart-El not only is a brother of Alpha Phi Alpha, but he also happens to be Mister Virginia Union University 2015-2016. He started raising money to help Flint in January,

“I was stunned to see not too many people taking the lead to want to help all of these families in need so I decide to take initiative and do what I can,” he told WatchTheYard.com.

After driving across the country for more than 10 hours, the brothers arrived in Flint and with the help of a local resident who went by the name of K, they went door to door delivering cases and gallons of water to as many families as possible.

“While doing so we were able to speak with families to see how this crisis has effected their lives and family. We also took a tour of Flint to see how it actually looked and not how the media portrayed it,” Smart-El told WatchTheYard.com.  “It was crazy to see all the houses that were abandoned, schools and stores that were closed down. It honestly looked like a ghost town. I took my camera with me to take video clips and pictures and created a YouTube video so that people will be able to see what I experienced. I believe that you must be the change you wish to see so hopefully what I did will influence others to do the same.”

Watch the video the brothers shot below to see the interviews.

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Activism

20 Powerful Quotes From the Legendary Dick Gregory

  1. I never learned hate at home, or shame. I had to go to school for that.
  2. I never believed in Santa Claus because I knew no white dude would come into my neighborhood after dark.
  3. Hell hath no fury like a liberal scorned.
  4. I am really enjoying the new Martin Luther King Jr stamp – just think about all those white bigots, licking the backside of a black man.
  5. Political promises are much like marriage vows. They are made at the beginning of the relationship between candidate and voter, but are quickly forgotten.
  6. In most places in the country, voting is looked upon as a right and a duty, but in Chicago it’s a sport.
  7. Just being a Negro doesn’t qualify you to understand the race situation any more than being sick makes you an expert on medicine.
  8. When you have a good mother and no father, God kind of sits in. It’s not enough, but it helps.
  9. And we love to dance, especially that new one called the Civil War Twist. The Northern part of you stands still while the Southern part tries to secede.
  10. I wouldn’t mind paying taxes – if I knew they were going to a friendly country.
  11. Revolution ain’t nothing but an extent of evolution; Evolution is a fact of nature. So when old folks tell me that they don’t understand hip hop and the music is too loud, well I guess it means you’re not supposed to be in there.
  12. Because I’m a civil rights activist, I am also an animal rights activist. Animals and humans suffer and die alike. Violence causes the same pain, the same spilling of blood, the same stench of death, the same arrogant, cruel and vicious taking of life. We shouldn’t be a part of it.
  13. America will tolerate the taking of a human life without giving it a second thought. But don’t misuse a household pet.
  14. I waited at the counter of a white restaurant for eleven years. When they finally integrated, they didn’t have what I wanted.
  15. Last time I was down South I walked into this restaurant, and this white waitress came up to me and said: ‘We don’t serve colored people here.’ I said: ‘that’s all right, I don’t eat colored people. Bring me a whole fried chicken.’
  16. When you’ve got something really good, you don’t have to force it on people. They will steal it!
  17. If they took all the drugs, nicotine, alcohol and caffeine off the market for six days, they’d have to bring out the tanks to control you.
  18. I personally would say that the quickest way to wipe out a group of people is to put them on a soul food diet. One of the tragedies is that the very folks in the black community who are most sophisticated in terms of the political realities in this country are nonetheless advocates of “soul food.” They will lay down a heavy rap on genocide in America with regard to black folks, then walk into a soul food restaurant and help the genocide along.
  19. The only good thing about the good old days is they’re gone.
  20. If democracy is such a good thing, let’s have more of it.

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How Kappa Alpha Psi Helped Stop Richard Spencer’s White Nationalist Group From Speaking at Michigan State

A SPLC listed white nationalist group by the name of The National Policy Institute requested to reserve space for a speaker at Michigan State University and the brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi were not having it.

On Wednesday, Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon released a statement saying The National Policy Institute wants to have a speaker on campus, and that MSU was “reviewing the request closely in light of the deplorable violence in Charlottesville, Va. last weekend.

While the statement didn’t say who the group wanted to have speak, the Lansing State Journal notes that Richard Spencer, the high-profile white supremacist who has advocated for a white homeland for a “dispossessed white race” and called for “peaceful ethnic cleansing” to halt the “deconstruction” of European culture, is president and director of the The National Policy Institute.

The brothers of the Northern Province and specifically the Delta Pi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi issued a letter to the Michigan State University President urging her to deny The National Policy Institute’s request.

“We urge you in the strongest terms to DENY the request for the white nationalist group to speak on our beloved campus. We recognize that Michigan State University is a public institution and that “free speech” is a right of all Americans. However, after the most recent incidents at the University of Virginia, the saftey of our students, faculty and staff are far more important. We also must realize that “free speech” must be responsible. Spreading a message of hate, bigotry and anti-Semitism is not healthy for the campus of Michigan State University, nor our country, nor our world.”

They followed by stating that the Kappas would be there in numbers to support the university president’s denial of the request.

“We are proud to be holding our annual leadership conference September 15-16, 2017 at the James B. Henry Center for Executive Development on your campus. We will have over 200 Kappa Men from Michigan, N.W. Ohio and Western NY visiting the campus on that weekend. Please know that the more than 5,000 members of the Northern Province of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. are ready to stand with you and support you in denying this request.”

Other groups around campus and the community also issued their concern and this was part of a huge local outcry.

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, the university said it denied the request.

“This decision was made due to significant concerns about public safety in the wake of the tragic violence in Charlottesville last weekend,” the statement said. “While we remain firm in our commitment to freedom of expression, our first obligation is to the safety and security of our students and our community.”

We at Watch The Yard would like to commend these Kappas on standing up and speaking out. We believe that this letter can be used as an example for all D9 undergrad and graduate chapters when concerned about white supremacist at their schools or in their communities.

Read the full letter below:

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Alpha Phi Alpha Lawmaker Files Legislation to Remove All Confederate Monuments From Florida Public Property

Photo Credit: twitter.com/ShevrinJones

Florida Representative Shevrin Jones (D-West Park) a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. says he will file legislation to immediately remove all Confederate statues, signs and names from public property in Florida.

“William Faulkner once stated that ‘The past is never dead,’ but I’m here to tell you that it can damn well be buried,” the 33-year-old lawmaker said in a statement that he released this week.

“Rather than being held up as figures of celebration, it is past time we relegate these symbols of oppression and bigotry to the halls of museums where their proper context can be articulated. As one of the most proudly diverse states in our nation, Florida needs to show our citizens that we value everyone equally and will not be divided by the voices of bigotry and racism. Let’s move forward, not continue to look back, ” he stated.

While removing all of the Confederate statues, signs, and names from public property in Florida seems like a mammoth task.  Jones has succeeded at doing this on a smaller scale by being part of the successful fight to rename three streets in Hollywood, Florida, that were named after Confederate generals, Gen. Robert E. Lee, who led the Confederate Army during the Civil War, Gen. John B. Hood, a division commander at the Battle of Antietam, and Nathan Bedford Forrest, a lieutenant general said to be the first Grand Wizard of the KKK.

According to the statement he released, the vote will take place on August 30th.

Rep. Jones is a Democratic member of the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 101st District, which includes southeastern Broward County. Rep. Jones is a graduate of Florida A&M University and a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha.

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