Everett Ward, Ph.D., president of St. Augustine’s University and general president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. reminded FAMU students that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a young man when he challenged a double standard system that treated African Americans as second class citizens during the 1950’s and ‘60’s. He challenged millennial’s not to wait until they are older to become activists.
Ward delivered FAMU’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation keynote address and challenged students and the HBCU community to keep fighting for what King called “the promised land.”
Ward highlighted two FAMUans he says are providing “servant leadership,” in Florida. State Representative Ramon Alexander, the minority whip in the Florida House of Representatives and attorney Daryl Parks, who is the General Counsel for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Both Alexander and Parks served as Student Government Association president while students at FAMU.
Ward was appointed the 11th president of St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina, in April 2015 and was elected the 35th general president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., in 2016.
He has incorporated King’s call for action on civil rights in his Alpha Phi Alpha national theme, “The Urgency of Now,” and advocates on behalf of causes affecting the African-American community, specifically black men.
Ward challenged the sororities and fraternities of “The Divine Nine” to move beyond step shows and wearing their colors, to uplifting the community. He said in this movement, “we must work together and that no one cares what colors you wear when young black men are dying in the streets.”
See the gallery of photos from the MLK Convocation below