Since January 5, 1911, the noble men of Kappa Alpha Psi, Incorporated have celebrated its motto of “achievement”, which dates back to its founders, Elder Watson Diggs, Dr. Ezra D. Alexander, Dr. Byron Kenneth Armstrong, Atty. Henry Turn Asher, Dr Marcus Peter Blakemore, Paul Waymond Caine, George Wesley Edmonds, Dr Guy Levis Grant, Edward Giles Irvin and Sgt. John Milton Lee.
According to Kappa’s story, therefore, the young men met for the purpose of organizing such a brotherhood. During its founding, African Americans faced racism, prejudice and discrimination. Because black men mainly attended White Indiana University, black students were isolated from each other. The founders sought each other’s company between classes and abandoned each other’s accommodations to further discuss ways to formulate the burgeoning fellowship with the goal of alleviating the depressing isolation. They discovered that through these close interactions, they had common interests and a close bond began to emerge.
The founders of the fraternity wanted to increase the ambition of black youth and encourage them to achieve more than what was otherwise planned or even imagined.
As the second oldest university fraternity of black Greek letters and the first intercollegiate fraternity established as a national body, Kappa Alpha Psi has continued to embody the mission of its founder with more than 175,000 members worldwide and 700 chapters of undergraduate and alumni in the United States and abroad.
Members of this fellowship are well known for their support and participation in leadership programs that evoke change in areas such as education in political and social causes. Some of the programs include Room to Read, Achievement Academy, Military and Veteran’s Affairs, Guide Right, and the Kappa League.
Curtis R. Silvers, Jr., former (21st) Polemarch of the Western Region (President) of Kappa Alpha Psi and current member of the Pasadena Elders chapter, considers joining the fellowship to be a hallmark of his life. “One of the greatest joys of my life was being able to join the ‘Brotherhood’ to which my father belonged for 50 years. Another fraternal joy was the opportunity to meet so many successful Kappa men across the Los Angeles area, as well as across the country, ”he commented.
Christopher Nolan, Polemarch of the Pasadena Alumni Chapter, pondered the idea of joining a fellowship that has given him more than he could have imagined. “I joined Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. over 30 years ago, seeking to bond with strong-minded men who shared common interests and goals. What I found was this and so much more from my Bond brothers as iron sharpens iron, bringing out the best in us all, ”he said.
“Additionally, our level of service to our respective communities across the country, as well as internationally, and support for young men through mentorship through our Guide Right program. I am proud to be a Kappa. Nolan joined the fellowship in 1990 through the Upsilon Chapter.
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated is one of the nine organizations that make up the Pan-Hellenic National Council. NPHC or The Divine Nine is a collaboration of nine African-American fraternities and sororities of historically international Greek letters. Since its founding, members of these organizations have been committed to providing their communities with service, leadership and scholarship.
Notable Southern California members past and present include 1st African American Tournament of Roses President Gerald Freeney, former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley (deceased), Assembly members Reggie Jones-Sawyer and Mike Gipson, Judge John L. Meigs (retired), Attorney Johnnie L. Cochran (deceased), former Lieutenant Governor Mervyn Dymally (deceased), Attorney Clifton Albright, Attorney Rodney Diggs, Departmental Attorney General Damon Brown, Cedric ” The Entertainer ”, John Singleton (deceased), Daniel Tabor, Councilor Jawane Hilton (Carson), Kevin Harbor, businessman Cedric Price and many more.
Leonardo Cablayan says his decision to become Kappa was based on their early influence from his teenage years. “From an early age, I had the chance to be influenced and mentored by incredible Kappa men! As a member of the Baldwin Hills Little League, I met then City Councilor Thomas Bradley (Grand Polemarch). Later, while attending Dorsey High School, I competed in the Kappa League and was influenced by various esteemed members like Johnny Cochran, Randall Bacon, Ron Sweeney and Edgar Bishop. Of course, after all these real-life success stories, when I first enrolled at Cal State University in Long Beach, the first thing I asked my advisor was, “Where are the Kappa?” And guess who my advisor was, yes, a Kappa man! The feat personified, the men of Kappa Alpha Psi! said Leonardo Cablayan, EK Spring ’77.
“I joined the link to be part of a group of men reaching the highest level! A fellowship with a long history of serving our community and training leaders through our Guide Right and Kappa League programs, ”said Wendell Younkins, Pasadena Alumni Fall of 2016.
111 years after its inception, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated continues to unite, educate and uplift young black men by carrying the torch of its founders. To learn more about the Kappa Alpha Psi, Incorporated organization, visit https://kappaalphapsi1911.com