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South Jersey Chapters of Alpha Kappa Alpha and Kappa Alpha Psi To Co-Sponsor MLK Day Event
AKA Sorority to Honor Retired Philadelphia Daily News Columnist Elmer Smith at Annual King Day Service in Camden, N.J.
By: Burlington-Camden Alumni Chapter Kappa Alpha Psi
Sponsored by Theta Pi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the theme for the service is “Building the Dream by Empowering Young Black Men.” In an effort to dispel negative myths, the service will showcase young black men who are making a positive impact in their schools and communities. The Burlington-Camden (N.J.) Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. is a co-sponsor for this event. Black men from the community have also been invited to attend the service in a show of support and encouragement.
The sorority will also participate in the national King Day of Service to make the federal holiday not simply a day off, but a day to fulfill its commitment of service to the community.
“Today more than ever, we must work hard to fulfill Dr. King’s dream by uplifting those who have been disenfranchised and left behind,” noted AKA Chapter President Yvette M. Sample, of Mount Laurel. “The fight for equality and justice for all has not been achieved.”
The sorority’s “A Drum Major for Justice Award” will be given in recognition of the contributions that Smith has made to further the cause of civil rights in the field of journalism by breaking down barriers and writing about issues of significance to the black community. Smith, of Mount Laurel, spent nearly 40 years in journalism as a sports reporter, columnist and editorial board member at the Philadelphia Bulletin and the Daily News. Smith is a founding member of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. He retired last October.
Rev. Dennis L. Blackwell, pastor of the Asbury United Methodist Church in Woodlynne, N.J., will deliver the keynote address. Blackwell will also preside over a special altar call moment of prayer for all the young men in the audience.
“We, as black men – fathers, uncles and brothers, want to encourage our young men to live up to Dr. King’s dream and believe that out of a mountain of despair that there is hope that they can achieve great things,” said Lloyd Freeman, an attorney and president of the Burlington-Camden Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
In keeping with its tradition of service on this day, sorority members will prepare and serve breakfast at a Camden homeless shelter for adults and provide bag lunches. The sorority will also donate hats, gloves and scarves.
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Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority was established Jan. 15, 1908 at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and is the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African American college women. Driven by its commitment to service and sisterhood, Alpha Kappa Alpha has evolved into one of the world’s leading service organizations with 200,000 members worldwide. The South Jersey alumni chapter, Theta Pi Omega Chapter, was chartered in 1967 and has more than 170 members and serves the Burlington, Camden & Gloucester County communities.
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. is an international organization founded at Indiana University in 1911. Since its inception, it has trained over 125,000 men for leadership roles in their communities and consistently promoted achievement in every field of human endeavor. The Burlington-Camden (NJ) Alumni Chapter was chartered in 1969 and has 60 members.