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West headlines Alpha Week celebrations

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Community advocate Mason West III is to speak at the Black and Gold Ball hosted by the Epsilon Theta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc on Saturday.

Mr West, a pastor of Building Communities First Ministry in Georgia and former Bermuda Institute teacher, said: “The focus is a celebration of brotherhood, a celebration of leadership and also to motivate those who hold positions of leadership, influential leadership and authoritative leadership in Bermuda, motivate them to work together to solve some of the problems that exist here in Bermuda.”

Mr West, who became a member of the Epsilon Theta Lambda Chapter in 2003, started his career in education, serving as a teacher and administrator in Georgia, Alabama, and Bermuda.

He created the Mason West Group, a company specialising in academically based and community based youth leadership programmes that train participants to influence their peers, their government, and their economy as agents of social change in 2005.

His programmes have been used by schools and local and national governments as prevention, intervention, and restoration programmes to counter gang and terrorist activities.

A fraternity spokesman said: “Mr West is a pathmaker and also what we call a pipeline builder. When we saw his track record, his track record of leadership, his track record of success and the diverse communities he has operated in, we thought it would be a good time to bring one of our adopted sons back home.”

He explained that the annual event was part of the Alpha Week celebrations and was a way for the organisation to give back to the community and “to create pathways for success”.

As part of Alpha Week, which highlight’s the organisation’s service in the community, the fraternity will also host a leadership breakfast at St Paul AME Centennial Hall on Friday.

The spokesman said: “We are expecting 250 boys from the island’s senior schools, where we connect them with men in the community who are in the fields they aspire to be in.

“It’s basically to give them a path or as they say in business, a pipeline.”

Mason West (Photograph by Akil Simmons)