State Rep. Mike Sparks of Smyrna was honored by the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Association of Tennessee Alphamen for his work as a state legislator during the 111th General Assembly.
The Association of Tennessee Alphamen presented Sparks with a proclamation praising his "commitment to aiding the poor and disenfranchised, seeking common sense solutions to our state's most pressing issues and representing the communities that you serve with valor, courage, and dignity."
The fraternity, established in 1906 at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, includes W.E.B. DuBois, Thurgood Marshall, Andrew Young, Lionel Richie and civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., along with many others among its influential alumni.
"This honor is one of the most important to me. Most issues are not Republican or Democrat, black or white. Working together, discussing solutions for freedom and civil rights is something all leaders should strive for," Sparks said.
"I will always be open to conversations--no matter how difficult they are," he continued. "The issue of over incarceration, addiction, fatherless and more are of great importance to me. The scriptures tell us in the Parable of the Lost Sheep as well as the Good Samaritan. The example of Jesus is something we all should highlight—not censor."