Local Alpha Phi Alpha Chapter Honors Dr. King

John Jones, Kristian Brown and Calvin Burney, Jr.

By Tricia Hall
The Truth Reporter

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, Alpha Xi Lambda Chapter of Toledo, has honored the legacy of Dr. King for over 30 years by hosting the chapter’s annual breakfast. The 2024 scholarship breakfast was held on Saturday, January 13 at the Pinnacle. The 32nd annual event incorporated the theme, “Called to Be a Voice to the Voiceless, in a World of Selective Silence,” and was once again sold out.

During the annual breakfast the chapter awards scholarships to high school seniors, acknowledges a community changemaker known as the Drum Major for Justice Award and receives inspiration from a notable speaker. The 2024 breakfast awarded nine scholarships for a cumulative total of $18,000 to the following local high school seniors: Ward Barnett Jr., Isaiah Brenneman, Jaden Bridgett, Lathan Fitzpatrick, Jamon Green, Aiden Owens, Brandon Payne, Alexander Syeh and Joseph Taylor. Since conception, the breakfast has awarded $56,000 in scholarships.

“Nine scholarships were awarded this year. These scholarships each say that there is more work that needs to be done and that we all play a role to make this happen.” said Calvin Burney Jr. EdD. “We are also proud that we will begin to offer a renewable scholarship named in honor of our brother who recently passed away, Brother Joseph Sansbury. The recipient will receive a renewable scholarship in the amount of $3,000 for the next four years.”

The Drum Major for Justice Award recipient has demonstrated a long history of service to the Toledo community. “This person has a deep passion for people, justice and this community. This person utilizes their platform to address challenge,” shared Rev. John Jones, Alpha Xi Lambda president during the introduction.

Scholarship winners

The 2024 recipient of the Drum Major for Justice Award is 13abc anchor and annual scholarship breakfast mistress of ceremonies Kristian Brown. “It is truly an honor to do what I love, in my hometown. I know practically everyone in this room. It is an honor to do this event because I believe in education. Thank you. I appreciate this award,” shared Brown.

The 2024 keynote speaker was Rev. Otis Moss III, DMin, who was unable to attend in person but delivered his speech via video message.

The program concluded with closing remarks.

“I want to thank the sponsors, we’re grateful for the sponsors. We couldn’t do what we do without the sponsors,” said Rev. Jones. “Thank you to our elected officials, from the state, city and county. The work that they do isn’t easy. Like Dr. Moss said we need to hold them accountable, but we also need to support them. I also appreciate the prayers that we receive from this community, we wouldn’t have made it this far without them. I also want to have all the members of the Divine Nine, thank you for our collective works.”

The presenting sponsor was Huntington Bank, and the additional sponsors and partners: Books 4 Buddies, Castillo Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Erie Home Roofing Solutions, HOPE Toledo, LiUNA! Local 500, Mann Insurance, Mercy Health, Ohio Council of Community Schools, Owens Community College, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., SSOE, The Andersons,  The University of Toledo, Toledo Lucas County Port Authority, Toledo Lucas County Public Library, Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo Zoo, Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union, United Way of Greater Toledo, Washtenaw Community College, and 13 Action News.

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated was founded on December 4,1906 at Cornell University in New York. The Toledo chapter known as Alpha Xi Lambda was established on November 3, 1928. The fraternity has many local and national renown members including Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. The fraternity is also a member of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, also known as the Divine Nine, with eight other organizations: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.