The following is the official statement released by Alpha Phi Alpha, the original release can be found here.
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African American Men, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots civil rights organization, signed an historic memorandum of understanding (MOU) during its Annual Meeting on Saturday, February 16.
The MOU will allow the two advocacy organizations to formally collaborate nationally, regionally, statewide and locally on education & outreach, civic engagement, issue area advocacy priorities, leadership development, membership and community building.
“The signing of this memorandum of understanding is extremely special since it is the culmination of a week where we as a Fraternity recently sojourned to Paris, France to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the Pan African Congress which was established by our brother Dr. W.E.B. Dubois representing the NAACP,” said Dr. Everett B. Ward, general president of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Interestingly, the NAACP was founded by Dubois, one of the Alpha’s earliest and most pre- eminent members, as well as many of its top officials, including then-NAACP Legal Defense Fund attorneys, Thurgood Marshall and Robert Carter, were also men of the Fraternity.
The two organizations, which were founded in 1906 and 1909 respectively, share common priorities and interests in ensuring the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and eliminating race-based discrimination. Because of the shared principle commitment to equal rights and social justice, and the significant impact which can be made through the magnitude of combined resources, expanded core capacities, and infrastructure, the NAACP and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated are collaborating to fulfill the mission of both organizations, according to the memorandum.
Ward added: “We share similar goals so we share in your (NAACP) saying that ‘When we fight, we win,” but men of Alpha also have another saying that ‘Alpha men will fight until Hell freezes over and then we’ll fight on the ice.’ The men of Alpha will fight against discrimination. We will fight against injustice; we will fight against intolerance, and we will fight against ignorance because as intellectual people we are committed to service and making sure all people have access to power.”
Aside from the Fraternity, the Black Entertainment & Sports Lawyers Association, Kappa Epsilon Psi Military Sorority, Inc. and NID Housing Counseling Agency also signed agreements with the NAACP during this annual meeting.
Last year, the Fraternity, as part of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, signed a prior MOU with the NAACP designed to help mobilize voters for mid-term elections and increase membership.
“During our long history, the NAACP functions at its highest capacity when our partnerships with our allies, including those in our community and those with whom we have a strategic alignment, are operating with their highest potential,” said NAACP National Board Chairman Leon W. Russell.
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