Mr. OSBORNE. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 384) recognizing and honoring the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African Americans.
Mr. PETRI. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and to include extraneous material on H. Con. Res. 145.
Mr. OSBORNE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of House Concurrent Resolution 384 offered by my colleague, the gentleman from New York (Mr. Hinchey). House Concurrent Resolution 384 honors the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity on the occasion of its 100th anniversary.
The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity was founded in 1904 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York by seven young men who recognized the need to fill the void of social and cultural interaction on an Ivy League campus left behind by segregation. These founders, who came to be known as the Seven Jewels, were no ordinary achievers, for they had founded the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African Americans, no small feat given the racial attitudes of the time.
For 100 years, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity has initiated more than 175,000 men. The goals of the fraternity are manly deeds, scholarship, and love for all mankind. I might add parenthetically that several of my student athletes over a number of years joined this fraternity. The successes of the fraternity have continued through the establishment of 700 collegiate and alumni chapters in 44 States, the District of Columbia, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Europe.
Moreover, aside from being the first African American Greek-letter organization for college men, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity was the first to integrate its membership in 1945. By doing so, they proved to the world that people of different ethnic backgrounds could effectively work together in peace.
In addition, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity has implemented a number of national programs which have benefited the African-American community and all communities as a whole. The programs include, ``A Voteless People is a Hopeless People,'' which concentrates on voter registration and awareness, and the ``Go to High School, Go to College'' program, which focuses on the educational enrichment of African American youth. The fraternity also jointly leads programming initiatives with March of Dimes,
Head Start, Boy Scouts of America, and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America.
Lastly, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity has played a fundamental role in the positive development in the character and education of these young men that has served as a foundation for success and achievements in all fields of endeavor, from the sciences, to education, to business, to professional athletics, and to public service.
Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to recognize and honor the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity for the celebration of its 100th anniversary, and commends all Alpha Phi Alpha brothers, past and present, for their bond of friendship, common ideals and beliefs, and service to community.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to yield 3 1/2 minutes to the sponsor of this resolution who represents the area where Alpha Phi Alpha was indeed founded, Representative Maurice Hinchey from New York.
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding. Thank you, Brother Davis.
Mr. Speaker, it is truly an honor for me to congratulate Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity on our centennial celebration, commemorating 100 years of civil service and social progress.
Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity was founded on December 4, 1906, at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, by seven young men known as the Seven Jewels. As the first intercollegiate Greek letter fraternity established for African Americans, Alpha Phi Alpha initially served as a brotherhood and study and support group for minority students at Cornell, but it also recognized the need to help correct the educational, economic, political and social injustices faced by African Americans.
From that, the foundation of Alpha Phi Alpha principles of scholarship, fellowship, good character and the uplifting of humanity were laid. Alpha Phi Alpha now has a presence on hundreds of college campuses as well as in hundreds of alumni chapters in 44 States, the District of Columbia, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean islands.
Over the years, Alpha Phi Alpha has played a fundamental role in the positive development of the character and education of more than 175,000 men, and it has been paramount in the fight to advance civil rights and enhance the socioeconomic status of all in American society.
Notable Alphas include Thurgood Marshall, W.E.B. DuBois, Adam Clayton Powell, Martin Luther King, Jr., Edward Brooke, Andrew Young, William Gray, Paul Robeson, and there are countless others who have served or now serve as leaders in government, business, entertainment, science and education.
Today, in Congress, the eight Members have already been identified, but I would like to mention at this time three national programs that have been designed by Alpha Phi Alpha to benefit the future of African Americans and humanity as a whole. Every Alpha chapter is committed to the implementation of these programs.
The Go-to-High-School, Go-to-College program was established in 1922 and focuses on the importance of African American youth completing secondary and collegiate education as a road to advancement. Statistics prove that school completion is the single best predictor for future success, and Alpha Phi Alpha is committed to promoting education among African American youth and the importance of completing one's education.
``A Voteless People is a Hopeless People'' began as an Alpha Phi Alpha program during the 1930s when many African Americans had the right to vote, but were prevented from doing so due to poll taxes, threats of reprisal, and lack of education about the voting process. The program, which focus on voter education and voter registration, also facilitates town meetings and candidate forums to improve political awareness and empowerment.
Project Alpha was started by a chapter in Chicago in the late 1970s and is now a national Alpha program implemented in collaboration with the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation. It is designed to provide education, motivation, and skill-building on issues of responsibility, relationships, teen pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases for young males 12 to 15 years of age. Project Alpha reaches hundreds of communities and thousands of teen males to teach them the importance of responsibility
in their personal lives.
Mr. Speaker, on this centennial anniversary, it is my privilege to recognize the 100th anniversary of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity; to commend all Alpha brothers, past and present, for their bond of friendship, common ideals and service to the community; and to wish Alpha Phi Alpha success in the next 100 years as it continues to enrich the lives of its members, its alumni, and through them, communities around the world.
Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to yield 3 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Scott), an Alpha brother who holds a master's degree in business administration from the Wharton School of Business, a distinguished businessman before becoming an elected official, who hails from Atlanta, Georgia.
Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to yield 3 1/2 minutes to the distinguished gentlewoman from the great State of Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee) who, of course, is not an Alpha, but of course, she could indeed marry an Alpha man if she chose to do so, but a tremendous leader from the State of Texas.
(Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas asked and was given permission to revise and extend her remarks.)
Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, although this esteemed body is filled with aura and history, I might imagine that today there is more history, more aura, more feeling, more acknowledgment of the struggles and the success of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. How many can claim 100 years?
And so today I rise to add my appreciation to the Members of Congress who are Alphas, in particular the men that are on this floor today, Mr. Scott of Georgia, Mr. Davis of Illinois, and Mr. Scott of Virginia, representing a wide array of men who are in the United States Congress who are Alpha brothers.
Might I just for a moment claim to be a sister of their fraternity as a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, but that is not why we rise today.
It is worth noting Alpha brothers who are founding members of the Houston chapter and others who are part of that great chapter such as Gerald Womack, Prince Cartwright, Larry Green, James Ward and, yes, the former national President, Mr. Harry Johnson. Additionally, other such leaders are Horace William, Walter Criner, Lew Don Buney, Sr. and L.W. Garrett, and many, many other good brothers.
I salute the Alphas who has been here for 100 years of life and liberty and freedom and salute them for understanding the first line of defense is an education in their Go-to-High-School, Go-to-College program, and of course, A Voteless People is a Hopeless People.
Doing that for 100 years, 175,000 African American men have been educated in the fundamental role of developing character and education; but I think if we speak to the heart and soul of Alphas, I want to speak to their commitment to civil rights.
Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time, and, first of all, I want to thank Representative Hinchey from New York for introducing this resolution. I also want to thank my colleague from Nebraska for his management of the bill, Representative Osborne, a tremendous educator and legislator. And let me thank all of those who have spoken.
Mr. Speaker, when I think of Alpha Phi Alpha I think of its motto: First of all, servants of all, we shall transcend all. Alpha is a great service organization, and I want to congratulate our national president Daryl Matthews and brother Harry Johnson, who is leading the effort to build the Martin Luther King monument on the mall.
Alpha is a great role model for young boys and men seeking manhood. Every chapter has mentoring programs, educational programs, creating opportunity for young boys to become young men, and then to become the distinguished leaders that our country is so greatly in need of.
One of the things that I always liked about Alpha was that it helped one learn to communicate. And, of course, in my chapter, in order to get in, you had to say these poems and you had to go through all these processes. So I will end with this one:
Out of the night that covers me, black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried allowed. Under the bludgeonings of chance, my head is bloody but unbowed. It matters not how straight the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.
That is the teaching of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. We commend Alpha for its 100 years of existence.
Mr. Speaker, I yield my next 30 seconds to end to Mr. Chaka Fattah, from the great City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia.
Mr. OSBORNE. Mr. Speaker, I would like to once again congratulate Alpha Phi Alpha on their 100 years of service. I thank Mr. Hinchey for introducing the legislation, Mr. Davis for his management, and also his recitation, which was quite inspiring, and the other members of Alpha Phi Alpha.