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33rd General President, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Herman "Skip" Mason, Jr.

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity to Host Washington Commemoration

of Martin Luther King Jr., other civil rights icons on eve of

Inauguration of Barack Obama

( Baltimore, MD) - January 15, 2009 - On Monday, January 19th, the national holiday commemorating Dr. King and the eve of the nation's most historic presidential inauguration, Alpha Phi Alpha will honor yesterday's "firsts," those in history who paved the way for the nation to be able to celebrate the first African-American president. The program and reception will be held at the National Press Club, 529 14th St., NW, 13th floor at 1 p.m.

"For more than 100 years Alpha Phi Alpha has represented the essence of the African-American male and has been influential in advancing the cause of civil, educational, legal and human rights for all people,” said Herman "Skip" Mason, Jr., Alpha's 33rd General President. "Today, we continue to carry the torch of hope and progress for all mankind."

During the program, the fraternity will honor the accomplishments of the former Sen. Edward Brooke, an Alpha Brother, and the family of many "civil rights greats" including: Martin III and Bernice King, Oscar S. Depriest., Jr, Thurgood Marshall, Jr., Adam Clayton Powell, IV and Mrs. Jackie (Rachel) Robinson.

Special tributes will also be made to Dr. King by Ambassador Andrew Young, Congressman John Lewis, Honorable Judge Glenda Hatchett, Marc Morial and Dennis Archer.

CNN political analyst Roland Martin and Baltimore news anchor Vic Carter will emcee the program.

Guest speaker will be Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr., close friend and former staff member of Dr. King. Moss currently serves as a national board member and trustee for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change in Atlanta.

Special invited guests include Alpha Brothers Michael A. Blake, Brandon J Neal, Lee Goodall, Michael Brown, Jamal Pope, Doug Wilson and Fraternity Southern Regional-Vice President Everett Ward. They will receive a citation from Mason for their outstanding public service during the 2008 election promoting voter education.

The fraternity will also honor the tireless work of Alpha Phi Alpha members in Congress. They include Congressmen Emanuel Cleaver, II (Mo.), Charles B. Rangel (N.Y.), Danny K. Davis (Ill.), Chaka Fattah (Pa.), Al Green (Texas), Gregory Meeks (N.Y.), David Scott (Ga.), Robert C. Scott (Va.), and Senator Roland Burris (Ill.).

The Fraternity will also announce the start of significant collaborations with two important community organizations-the American Cancer Society (ACS) and Aetna both sponsors of the event. The Fraternity will join the American Cancer Society in advocating for more funding and generating greater awareness around colorectal cancer within the African-American community. Alpha Phi Alpha college chapters will play a role by participating in the American Cancer Society Colleges Against Cancer national program.

To ensure Dr. King's legacy lives on for generations to come, the Exelon Foundation will make a $1 million donation to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation. The memorial to King was the brainchild of Alpha Phi Alpha.

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Founded on December 4, 1906 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. 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, Andrew Young, Retired Senator Edward Brooke and Cornel West. Others include members of the 111th Congress including: Emanuel Cleaver, II (MO), Charles B. Rangel (NY), Danny K. Davis (IL), Chaka Fattah (PA), Al Green (TX), Gregory Meeks (NY), David Scott (GA), Robert C. Scott (VA). The fraternity through its college and alumni chapters serves the community through nearly a thousand chapters in the United States , Europe and the Caribbean. For more information visit

Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc.

 A Memorial honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be built on the National Mall, situated adjacent to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and in a direct line between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials.  Congress passed Joint Resolutions in 1996 authorizing Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. to establish a Memorial honoring Dr. King to be built in Washington, D.C.  The ceremonial groundbreaking took place on November 13, 2006 and the Memorial will be completed in 2010.  McKissack & McKissack / Turner Construction Company/ Gilford Corporation / Tompkins Builders, Inc. Joint Venture will serve as the Design-Build Team. McKissack & McKissack is the oldest minority-owned architectural firm in the United States .  For more information or to make a donation, please visit


The American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. Founded in 1913 and with national headquarters in Atlanta, the Society has 13 regional Divisions and local offices in 3,400 communities, involving millions of volunteers across the United States . For more information anytime, call toll free 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit

Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 37.2 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities and health care management services for Medicaid plans. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see

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The Founding Jewels of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. were no ordinary achievers. Given racial attitudes in 1906, their accomplishments were monumental.more ...

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