Black Belt Alphas advance

Published 11:48 pm Tuesday, March 27, 2018

By: Adam Dodson

Members of the Delta Pi Lambda chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, known as the “Black Belt Alphas,” are getting ready for their upcoming regional competition for best chapter after winning the state level of the contest.

In order to win best chapter in state, the members had to undergo a judgement process pitting them against 16 other Alabama chapters. Criterion used to judge the chapters for all levels of the competition include the individual chapter’s commitment to the community, to academics and for their overall hard work.

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After the judges took a look at the Black Belt Alpha’s merits, they were sent on to the regional level, where they will now face off against the winners from six other states: Mississippi, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

For a chapter that was on the brink of dissolving, president Billy Young is overcome with joy.

“Our chapter was almost gone,” he said. “Now, we are up from seven members to 27.”

The success story highlights the commitment the Black Belt Alphas have towards actively participating in the community. According to Young, four major projects and a bunch of smaller tasks attributed to their regional recognition.

Community projects performed by the Black Belt Alphas include:

• Getting the Dallas County homeless registered to vote

• Project Alpha, aimed at educating youth on drunk driving

• Brother’s Keeper, where Alphas pledge their support towards families of Alphas after they are elderly and have passed away

• March of Dimes

Additionally, the Black Belt Alphas receive appreciation for their commitment to contributing in young men’s academic lives. Through their education program, Alpha Academy, the Alphas are able to positively impact the lives of Dallas County youth by preparing them for college programs, how to dress and act appropriately in the business world and practical life knowledge.

According to Alpha Academy director Collin Lett, his passion comes from guiding youth in the right direction, who would otherwise have little to do.

“The stereotype is that you can’t get young men to do anything without some entertainment, like a step team involved, but that isn’t true,” said Lett. “I enjoy seeing them grow and seeing their confidence grow. I enjoy seeing them make better grades and decisions, growing from boyhood to manhood.”

Alpha Academy’s method paid off, as they will be unveiling their new facility in the next few mew months, which is a big step in the right direction for the continuance and expansion of the program.

Additionally, the Black Belt Alphas are being recognized in other areas. In the next few weeks, Young will travel to Tuscaloosa, where he is scheduled to receive the Augustus Witherspoon Leadership Award. According to Young, his nomination comes from his leadership in Alpha Phi Alpha, leadership in the community and leadership in his law profession.

According to the Black Belt Alphas, the competition takes place on April 5 in Memphis, Tennessee. The national level of the competition, which takes place every other year, is in an off year, meaning that the regional level is as high up as this competition goes.

For a group that almost disbanded, those days appear to be over. The Alphas credit this to a collective belief in their common goal.

“It shows you the power of a few good men who bind together for a common purpose. We all have a single mind to help our community. We can be an example for the world.”