Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. held its Public Meeting on Tuesday evening at the Pennsylvania Convention Center to welcome the community to its 84th Grand Chapter Meeting here.

The Public Meeting welcomed Philadelphia’s leaders and fellow (NPHC) leaders to the biennial convention.

“I think we should rename the City of Philadelphia to the City of Fraternity Love and Sorority Affection,” said Councilman Derek Green, a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi.

Harold Epps, director of commerce for the city, said Kappa Alpha Psi’s long connection with Philadelphia has shaped the city’s future. The fraternity's international headquarters is located here at 2322 N Broad St.

The city previously hosted three Grand Chapter meetings — in 1930, 1959 and 1995 — but this year's meeting will be the first of the 21st century, according to the fraternity.

“If we can host the pope, we can host Kappa Alpha Psi,” he said, speaking on behalf of Mayor Jim Kenney. “We thank you for choosing Philly for your Grand Chapter Meeting.”

The Kappas, or Nupes as they are also called, arrived at Tuesday night’s meeting dressed in crimson Kappa Alpha Psi blazers and cream dress pants.

“The Public Meeting is our introduction to everybody in Philadelphia. We are greeting all the other Greek organizations as well as the public at large,” said Damian Jackson, first vice polemarch of the Philadelphia Alumni Chapter.

“The Philadelphia Alumni Chapter is one of our oldest chapters. It was founded in 1922 and we’ve been here serving in the community since that time,” Jackson said. “We’ve had such notable people as Rev. Leon Sullivan, former Mayor W. Wilson Goode, former Mayor John Street and several representatives and judges throughout the city who have taken their time to give back to the fraternity and community at large.”

Between 10,000 and 15,000 Kappas and their families are estimated to be in Philadelphia during the conclave. The fraternity has already donated $75,000 to the School District of Philadelphia and is projected to spend $2.5 million in restaurants, hotels and social engagements.

“Philadelphia means a lot to Kappas,” said Sam Patterson, chairman of the 84th Grand Chapter Meeting.

He and his fraternity brothers have been planning the conclave for four years.

“In addition to our donations to the school district, we have several business opportunities where we’re working with local African-American businesses in transportation and security,” Patterson said.

It’s always good for African-Americans to come to a city like Philadelphia to make an economic and cultural impact, said Darryl Stephens, the immediate past polemarch of the fraternity’s Philadelphia Alumni Chapter.

“The conclave is about fellowship,” he said. “It allows brothers to unite.”

“That’s the beauty of it,” Stephens added. “Philadelphia is a wonderful place for the conclave because of the social environment and restaurants.”

Contact Johann Calhoun at newseditor@phillytrib.com or call at (215) 893-5739

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