Just One Black Man's Tweets

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Alpha Phi Alpha to send humanitarian mission to Haiti

Fraternity to assess situation, develop long-term support plan

BALTIMORE--Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the world’s oldest intercollegiate Greek-lettered organization of African Americans, will send a team of its members on a humanitarian mission, next week, February 1 - 5, to provide assistance to families of their members in Haiti. The delegation of Alpha men will also assess the situation and evaluate the need for long-term assistance and support for the Haitian people.

Leading this fact-finding mission will be Herman “Skip” Mason, Jr, (national) general president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Mason will be joined by several members of the fraternity who are practitioners in the health and medical fields. This team of brothers will add to the fraternity members who are already in Port-Au-Prince working with the U.S. military and non-governmental organizations.

“We have a brother who is a doctor on the USNS Comfort working to save lives, and we have brothers who are on the ground too,” said Mason. “Our goal with this mission is to reinforce our powerful ties to this impoverished country, and help our members’ families there who have been impacted. If we can help them get back on their feet, they can in turn help others and the country as a whole.”

During this humanitarian trip brothers will explore ways to continue working in Haiti--including providing future medical support and participating in the rebuilding of the infrastructure.

Alpha’s main assignment in Haiti will be to locate and provide assistance to families of Alpha members affected by the earthquake. Brothers will also tour the capital city to see firsthand the scope of the damage and assess ways to participate in the rebuilding process, and also volunteer at a local mobile hospital where those with medical expertise on the trip can assist.

While raising over $25,000 for its Haiti disaster relief effort, the fraternity is also planning to “adopt” a school in Haiti. The organization sees this as a great opportunity for the first black intercollegiate fraternity to stand in solidarity with the first independent black Republic. Haiti will continue to need assistance after the aid workers have left and Alpha promises to position itself in such a way to help Haiti in the short term and in the years to come.

“As a brother of Alpha Phi Alpha who was born in Haiti, I am extremely proud of the work that Alpha has begun,” said Brother Sam Darguin, a Haitian-born member of the fraternity. “With the skills and talent of brothers within the fraternity I am confident that Haiti will benefit greatly. This is truly a demonstration of our organization living up to its motto of being, ‘servants of all and love for all mankind.’ ”

Other members of the delegation include: Joseph Gambrell, M.D.; Maurice Gilbert, M.D.; Ronald Peters, DrPH., associate professor, University of Texas Health Science Center and School of Public Health; Ricardo R. Jefferson, attorney at law and native of the Dominican Republic; U. Grant Baldwin, Jr., mental health social worker; Samuel Karl Darguin, partnership specialist, U.S Census Bureau; Jean McGianni Celestin, business development manager, writer and activist; Ferrel "FC" Bonner, cyber-security practitioner and information-security officer; and Bryan J. A. Kelly, director of communications for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

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