Season’s greetings, Alpha East!
I write to you in the true spirit of Fraternity on the eve of what we all are wishing will be an elevating New Year for our families, friends, and of course, the Brotherhood. As I do, in what are difficult and trying times, I invite you to join me in reflecting on the “first steps of expansion” towards the progression of our beloved Fraternity. Ironically, my run for the Office of Eastern Region Vice President was inspired by the actions of our Jewels towards advancing fraternal ideas beyond Cornell University. Their consideration for a sustainable Fraternity is why I offer myself before you today to lead and help construct a path that each chapter of Alpha East, as well as the Fraternity at large, may travel to be far stronger than they were before the appearance of the Coronavirus and its related mobility restrictions.
In this instance, the legacy of our Jewels is undeniable. Each one was as courageous as he was noble, if not more, as evidenced by their travels to new and unfamiliar higher education worlds—as they were to them—to plant what was a highly revolutionary and disruptive idea in the hearts of other college men. In so doing, the goodwill of the Jewels would ultimately take root and now flourishes all around the globe. With eyes towards a bright and more expansive future for Alpha Phi Alpha, they put themselves on a path to support those beyond Ithaca, NY in transcending the myriad of constraints and challenges limiting their growth and opportunities. Arguably, the Jewels implemented the first strategic plan of the Fraternity through the establishment of the first chapters from Alpha to Psi, of which a sizeable proportion find their homes in Alpha East as you well know.
My heart pumps directly to the above truth and to my creative imagination. Chartering milestones are being recognized across Alpha East, which includes several of our international chapters, and we will bear witness to so many more in the days leading up to our Convention in April. Whether spectacular or modest, each recognition moment signals our undying devotion to “manly deeds, scholarship, and love for all mankind,” which are the pillars upon which our Fraternity has stood for over a century. More importantly, every charter celebration speaks to the strategic alliances and partnerships that the Jewels made in those early years as well, which are strong considerations of my campaign for Eastern Region Vice President. The Virtual Eastern Region Support Network, for example, serves to aid chapters in dealing with place-based dilemmas from COVID-19 restrictions to handling other impacts like economic loss in their communities; as well as to help Brothers in their transitioning from a College to an Alumni Chapter. With the intent to make our fraternal competitions greatly more accessible and useful, The Digital Storytelling Chapter of the Year Series is also meant to replicate, market and broadcast externally, the best practices of champion college and alumni chapters from each district throughout Alpha East and possibly other regions. This component will help guarantee our success internationally in the provision of service to all our communities just as the Jewels in all likelihood envisioned, as they connected to aspiring Fraternity men campus after campus towards mission expansion. To learn more about my strategic plan for Alpha East and how your chapter connects to its Alpha Path goals, please visit my website at www.advancingasone.com.
Brothers of Alpha East, as we prepare ourselves for the New Year, I kindly ask you to applaud each chapter in Alpha East for its resilience. These are harrowing times, indeed. Join me. As my hope and prayer is to be your Vice President and work with you towards collective success, I invite each chapter of Alpha East to be an ally for the other to advance as one. You will read and hear many ideas and proposals, from each candidate, for what they may or would like to accomplish. However, I offer you an opportunity to elect in me, a proven leader who has already implemented some of these alliances and partnerships at the chapter, district and regional levels. Each strategic plan component in my campaign is designed to fulfill that goal – to Advance as ONE. To that end, in the coming months and years as COVID-19 matters continue to unfold along with so many other disturbances that threaten the health and well-being of the Fraternity as a whole, every chapter must work side-by-side with the other to avoid unimaginable reductions and losses.
The legacy of Alpha East, is that of the path our Jewels constructed and took towards the establishment of each chapter they rooted in unified fraternal purpose. As one, with the clarity of vision my campaign reflects and the beacon of hope we regard as Alpha Phi Alpha, we can successfully put Alpha East on a path that leads every chapter out of what has perhaps been the darkest and longest night since its creation. I embrace everything that accompanies this most important leadership task, including all of the reflection, refocusing, and repurposing work we must do together as a region to triumph as “the first of all” others.
One heart. One vision. One spirit.
Advancing As ONE.
Steven King, Jr.
29th Eastern Region Vice President Candidate
Made at Gamma Nu
Matured at Beta Sigma Lambda