Is Kappa Alpha Psi Taking Over HBCU Leadership?

Because social media says ‘yes.’

Because social media says ‘yes.’

You see them on Instagram during HBCU week.

You see them on Facebook at the Texas Southern homecoming.

You see them on YouTube.

And you see them on television.

It’s quite upsetting news for members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., which has long held distinction for its members holding the lion’s share of HBCU executive leadership positions. But the good news is that the fraternal ties that bond open up wider networks of support and interest for HBCUs as a result of members leading these campuses.

And the members are performing a high levels in these roles.

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Alumni associations with large Greek-affiliated membership become activated to support a fellow brother, and in the friendly Pan Hellenic wars for HBCU support and advocacy, having a leader who can connect with these groups of affluent, politically-minded supporters can go a long way.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. has made tremendous gains in this area with its national ‘Think HBCU’ national program. Instituted by Benedict College and Atlanta University alumna and AKA National President Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson, it is the first and largest BGLO initiative dedicated specifically to building HBCU philanthropy and awareness in the collective 110-year history of these organizations.

One of the unspoken secrets of BGLO life is the friendly-but-still-antagonistic division between members made at historically black colleges, and those made at predominantly white campuses. Some of it has to do with pledging, some of it has to do with attitudes about affluence, privilege and educational hierarchies.

All of it would be shelved in a heartbeat if more members understood the business and political impact HBCUs create for black communities, and how they play an intimate role in the positive promotion of the HBCU product — both from examples of individual achievement, and collective investment.

It may suck for Alphas, Sigmas and Omegas at Greek cookouts and at HBCU Week in Washington D.C. for Kappas to have an emerging leadership brand in historically black higher ed. But for HBCUs, any access to a network with hundreds of thousands of potential donors and advocates is a good look.

Even if it comes with a cane.