HARTFORD, CONN., April 23, 2018 – Alpha Phi Alpha, the nation’s first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African American men, will hold its 86th Eastern Region Convention from Wednesday, April 25 to Sunday, April 29, 2018 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.
More than 2,000 Brothers of the fraternity and guests from across the U.S. and as far away as Germany, the United Kingdom, South Africa and the U.S. Virgin Islands are expected to attend. The Marriott Hartford Downtown will serve as the host hotel with Hilton Hartford and several area hotels will accommodate additional bookings.
Beta Sigma Lambda – the Greater Hartford chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, in conjunction with the University of Connecticut’s Kappa Delta chapter and the Organization of New England Chapters of Alpha, will host the Convention whose theme is “Our Task Is Endless – Engaged Excellence across the East.” The event’s agenda features a robust schedule of committee meetings, public and private social programs and a speaker series, as well as several community service projects in Hartford schools.
“Our local alumni in the Beta Sigma Lambda chapter look forward to introducing the Brothers of our fraternity to the many wonderful assets of Hartford, Connecticut’s Capital City,” explained Rep. Brandon L. McGee Jr., Assistant Majority Leader of the Connecticut House of Representatives and an Alpha Phi Alpha member. “Alpha Phi Alpha was founded in 1906 at Cornell University by seven college men who recognized the need for a strong bond of brotherhood among African descendants in this country. Since its inception, more than 290,000 young men have joined the fraternity, including the Rev. Martin Luther King, Adam Clayton Powell, Jesse Owens, and Judge Thurgood Marshall, among others.”
The Alpha Phi Alpha Convention is expected to generate 2.2 million in revenue for the Greater Hartford region as attendees and their guests stay in hotels, dine in restaurants, shop, and enjoy attractions, according to the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau. An estimated 550 jobs in the hospitality industry will be supported by this event, and $115,561 in Connecticut Sales Tax will be generated over the five-day period.
Convention festivities will commence with an “Inaugural Alpha Day at the State Capitol” on Wednesday, April 25 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Fraternity members will be welcomed by the State officials and members of the Connecticut General Assembly, will receive a tour of the Capitol building and enjoy lunch with legislators including Rep. McGee and several Connecticut corporate leaders who also are Brothers.
Book Reading Project in Local Schools: On Wednesday, April 25 at 8:30 a.m. and Friday, April 27 at 9 a.m., fraternity Brothers will visit five elementary and middle schools in Hartford, East Hartford and Windsor, and read to classrooms. They also will present local superintendents from Hartford, East Hartford and Windsor with over 500 books donated by the Brothers of the Eastern Region.
Free Panel Discussion on Social Issues: On Thursday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m. at the Connecticut Convention Center, a panel discussion entitled “From Compliance to Action” will tackle the civic engagement and mobilization efforts of the larger black community in addressing social issues. Panelists will include: Jay Williams, President of Hartford Foundation for Public Giving; David Rosado, Hartford Chief of Police; Charlene Russell-Tucker, Chief Operating Officer of the Connecticut State Department of Education; Scot X. Esdaile, President of the Connecticut NAACP; Jill Spineti, President of the Governor’s Prevention Partnership; and Rev. Ron Holmes, President of the Greater Hartford Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance. Admission is free and reservations are not required.
Leadership Development Institute for Young Boys: On Friday, April 27, Beta Sigma Lambda and its Beta Sigma Lambda Educational Foundation, Inc. will sponsor a Leadership Development Institute (LDI) at the Connecticut Convention Center 20 young boys of color from the Greater Hartford community. The LDI program aims to instill in the participants the importance of civic engagement, build leadership skills and provide the tools necessary to become active leaders in their communities. Once they complete LDI, these future young leaders will have the tools necessary to confront their communities’ most pressing issues.
For a full agenda and schedule of Alpha Phi Alpha Convention activities, visit www.convention.alphaeast.com.