Southwest Tennessee Community College

For Immediate Release

Date: March 19, 2009

For More Information: Brenda J. Rayner, (901) 333-4247


Project Alpha Comes to Southwest

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. joined forces with Southwest to present the “Project Alpha” conference for Southwest Upward Bound participants on March 7 at the Union Avenue Campus. Project Alpha is a collaboration between Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation. It was designed to provide education, motivation and skill-building on issues of responsibility, relationships, teen pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases for young men and women, including current and accurate information about teen pregnancy prevention. Project Alpha consists of a series of workshops and informational sessions conducted by the men of Alpha Phi Alpha, the Memphis Center for Reproductive Health, the Community HIV Network, and the St. Andrew Community Life Center.

During the conference breakout sessions, participants engaged in open discussions about their relationships and sexuality, with male and female students separated into two groups. They were exposed to a range of topics from the Project Alpha Curriculum that included Responsibility, Respect and the Role of the Male in Relationships, The Male Reproductive System, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, HIV AIDS, Protecting Yourself and Your Partner, and HIV Testing.

Southwest Upward Bound Director Willie D. Clark Jr. indicated that he was pleased to co-sponsor the conference. “It was very humbling and great to collaborate with an organization that has had men such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall, David Dinkins, and W.E.B Dubois as members. It was beneficial and informative for the students,” Clark said.

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. is the first intercollegiate fraternity established by African Americans. Founded on December 4, 1906, on the campus of Cornell University, Alpha Phi Alpha currently has more than 680 active Alpha chapters in North and South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, the West Indies, and the Virgin Islands.

The conference included a distinguished list of presenters from various community organizations and agencies: Jamie Russell, liaison for the Southeast AIDS Training and Education Center; Ana Miranda, youth educator for the Community HIV Network; Charsha Ewing, outreach educator for the Community HIV Network; Jennifer Warren, Project Hope coordinator for St. Andrew Community Life Center; Alpha Delta Lambda President Bradley Thomas; and Project Alpha Chairman and Southwest Associate Professor Kenneth Carpenter. Both Russell and Miranda are Southwest nursing students.

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Alpha Project Chairman and Southwest Associate Professor Kenneth Carpenter (standing right) addresses Upward Bound students.

Members of Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc.