Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. partners with National Disability Institute

BALTIMORE, MD — Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the nation’s oldest intercollegiate fraternity for African-American college men in the nation, has established a partnership this month with National Disability Institute (NDI) the first and only national organization exclusively focused on the financial health and well-being of people with disabilities. Notably, October is National Employment Disability Awareness Month.

The partnership, which aims to raise awareness of the social, economic, and attitudinal barriers faced by those with disabilities and their families, will help to advance the financial, physical, and mental health for members of the fraternity as well as for students, family members, coworkers, and other individuals through social and community relationships. It also hopes to institute concrete methods and initiatives to combat and alter the stigma around disability and those it affects.

“Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. is excited to partner with National Disability Institute,” said Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. General President Dr. Willis L. Lonzer, III. “This partnership leverages our collective power to increase awareness, create opportunities and combat the stigma surrounding disabilities for our members, their families, and the communities we serve.”

Members of the fraternity will also be given exclusive opportunities to engage and advance their education and outreach of National Disability Institute and its mission. This includes competitive invitations each summer for members to participate in NDI internships to learn about policy development and implementation with executive and legislative branches of the federal government to develop and increase leadership skills as well as expand opportunities to Alpha Phi Alpha places of employment for talented African-American youth and young adults with disabilities identified with NDI support.

“National Disability Institute is honored and thrilled to announce our strategic partnership with Alpha Phi Alpha,” said Thomas Foley, National Disability Institute Executive Director. “There is tremendous synergy between our organizations, especially our shared advocacy and commitment to economic reform and social justice. The partnership, through APA’s Leadership Development Institute, will deliver an increased awareness and understanding of the societal, economic and attitudinal barriers faced by people with disabilities and their families.”

NDI, which has been addressing issues impacting the financial futures of people with disabilities since 2005, has a unique and continually evolving approach to financial health allows for continued changed behavior and policy modifications at a local, state, and national level.

Most recently, the U.S. Small Business Administration has awarded the partners the newly funded Community Navigator grant to advance entrepreneurship and small business development by individuals with disabilities. Under the grant, Alpha Phi Alpha will help identify fraternity members and alumni to serve as mentors to Black entrepreneurs and small business owners with disabilities in the greater Washington, D.C. area.

“It is an honor to work closely with Alpha Phi Alpha, an organization whose members include civil rights leaders Martin Luther King, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, W.E.B. DuBois and Cornel West,” said William Gould, National Disability Institute Director of Equity and Inclusion. “This partnership will further strengthen and sustain our organizations’ work at the intersection of race, ethnicity, and disability.”