The motto of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated is: “Achievement In Every Field Of Human Endeavor.” The Kappas of the Detroit Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and Alpha Beta Chapter exude every word of the creed. For National Reading Month, the chapters assembled at Dixon Educational Learning Academy to read to elementary and middle schoolers, an initiative they titled “Real Nupes Read.”
“This is the third year that we’ve had the Real Nupes Read initiative,” said Emmanuel Idowu, who was initiated at Wayne State University in 2001. “We’ve tried to partner with Detroit Public Schools each year to advocate for literacy, reading to elementary school students.”
“Most of our community efforts are based in Detroit and because of the challenges that Detroit Public Schools has, we wanted to make certain that we gave back to the school system most of us were educated in.”
The Detroit Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. read the book, “Donovan’s College Adventure” to the students at Dixon. Ironically, it was written by one of the Kappas and educator, Jahquan Hawkins. The book is actually based on Hawkins’ 6-year-old son, Donovan, and geared to introduce children his age to the world of higher education. He was on hand to walk classroom to classroom with his fraternity brothers, stressing the importance of reading and education.
“As an author, DPS graduate, and someone that wants to invest back into the city, because the city has given so much to me, I thought it was important to share literacy with our youth,” said Hawkins, who was also initiated at Wayne State University in 2001. “We have a literacy crisis in Detroit and having the men of Kappa Alpha Psi here is more than about reading, it’s showing our young men that there are professional men with degrees that have been in the trenches and have dealt with the struggles they deal with.”
Hawkins and the Detroit Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. not only read Donovan’s College Adventure to the Dixon students, they donated 50 books to the school’s library.
“To see this book come to fruition and the impact that it has had, I’m grateful to be a part of it,” said Idowu, who is best friends with Hawkins. “Ironically, my daughter, his goddaughter, was a part of the commercial that was filmed for the book.”
After about an hour of reading, the Detroit Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. held a mentoring session in the school’s lunchroom. Dozens of Kappas of all ages and all walks of life shared their stories with middle school boys at Dixon. They told their stories of triumph and failure, as well taught the boys how to deliver a firm handshake with direct eye contact, the importance of education, and respecting one another, among other things.
“I’m a kinesiology major and I want to give back to kids,” said Ray’Jon Williams-Jackson, a junior at Wayne State University who was initiated last fall. “Sometimes, it takes someone around the younger kids’ age to show them actual impact in the community. They seemed as if they received my message, but as long as I can impact one and he can impact a few more, I feel as if I made the world a better place.”
The boys of Dixon have members of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. all around them. Their principal is one and the residents of their Cody-Rouge neighborhood are members. Marlon Ector grew up down the road from Dixon on Artesian and Dover and graduated from Cody High School. When he was younger, he got into a lot of trouble and was placed in juvenile detention, where his uncle and fellow Detroit Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. member Randy Brooks works. Brooks was one of the people that helped Ector turn his life around and made sure he never landed in juvenile detention again. Ector returned to his roots to assure his uncle never sees the boys at Dixon at his job in the future.
“This is my neighborhood, so I know some of the struggles that these kids have and what they have to overcome in this neighborhood,” said Ector, who obtained two master’s degrees and is working on a doctorate degree. “I wanted to come back to show them that as long as you put forth the effort, you can be whatever it is that you want to be.”