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Alpha Rho Chapter Alumni's Late-Summer 2022 Digest

This Edition of the APCAA Digest features updates on 28 Alumni Brothers from the Alpha Rho Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and their professional developments, industry projects, awards and recognitions.

Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael Defeated as City Court Judge Tarik Sugarmon (Fall 1976) Wins Highly Contested Race

Memphis City Court Judge Tarik Sugarmon upset Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael Thursday, Aug. 4, in one of several upsets in the long slate of judicial races.

The victory by Sugarmon in the nonpartisan race breaks a chain of Juvenile Court judges that stretches more than 50 years to the late Kenneth Turner and his handpicked successor, Curtis Person Jr., and Michael, who was first hired to work at the court by Turner.

Sugarmon beat Michael in a rematch of the 2014 election that Michael won as the hand-picked successor to Person. The race also included attorneys Dee Shawn Peoples and William Ray Glasgow.

Michael, who inherited a 2012 agreement for U.S. Justice Department oversight of Juvenile Court following findings of due process violations and disproportionately harsher treatment of Black children than white children, portrayed himself as a reformer of the court from within.

That was despite Michael’s vocal opposition to the federal oversight and him seeking an end to the oversight with Trump administration officials who granted the wish.

With all 142 precincts reporting, the totals were:

  • Sugarmon 52,360

  • Michael 39,974

  • Glasgow 16,139

  • Peoples 10,916

Sugarmon said the talk of reform by Michael wasn’t sincere and campaigned as he did eight years ago on changes in the way the court works without advocating a wholesale house- cleaning at the court.


Brother Ibert G. Schultz (Fall 2002) Joins Black College Success

Initiative as Executive Director -- Leads Program Launch at L.A.'s Getty Museum

A new initiative, the Black College Success Initiative, held its kick-off event on September 19, 2022 at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California. Ibert Schultz is the inaugural Executive Director of organization, a college-access and career success initiative dedicated to increasing opportunities for African American students in South Los Angeles through higher education. The project will cultivate strategic partnerships with key partners and universities that coordinate to successfully transition students to college and that support their persistence to degree attainment and preparation for job readiness.

This includes the potential of partnering with employers, corporations and firms across health, bioscience, technology and other industries to actively hire Black students for apprenticeship and internship opportunities.

The Black College Success Initiative will focus on calling on colleges and universities, various groups within each campus, and numerous outside agencies as partners in this work. A robust data tracking system and ongoing evaluation will be integral elements of the comprehensive college success initiative.

Schultz brings more than a decade of experience from the public and private sectors to this initiative. Previously, he has held senior roles at the Los Angeles City Council and Los Angeles Board of Supervisors where he focused on a diversity of policy issues and strategic matters. Schultz has also worked at a fast-growing venture-backed Silicon Beach start-up.

After beginning his career as an associate at Hughes, Hubbard & Reed LLP in New York, Schultz served in the Obama Administration at The White House, United States Department of Homeland Security, and the United States Department of Transportation. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Michigan Law School and Bachelor of Arts from Morehouse College where he graduated cum laude. He is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer, serving in Nicaragua, Central America.

An avid art collector and consumer of culture, he leads and lives by the principle of “empowerment through academic opportunity.”


Julie Bowen and Chad Sanders (Spring 2008) on New Podcast ‘Quitters’

By Jim Ryan,

Amidst pandemic, Americans famously quit their jobs in droves last year. While the word “quit” has often carried a negative connotation in the U.S., more than half of the 47 million who moved forth in 2021 went on to earn a greater income.

The new podcast, co-hosted by actress and director Julie Bowen and writer, director, actor and musician Chad Sanders, seeks to destigmatize the word. Focusing on a wide array of topics, like marriage, addiction or career, Quitters shines a light on the positives that can be found when people move on from often self-defining things that become toxic over time.

The podcast hosts come from radically different backgrounds. Bowen is a successful white TV star who’s appeared in series like Modern Family and Boston Legalwhile Sanders is a Black author who examines race in the revelatory book Black Magic. Candid conversations move fast during each episode of the Quitters podcast, now available for streaming via platforms like Apple, Spotify and Audacy, with bells occasionally forcing the hosts to pause and reflect.

“When Julie and I started to have a friendship, there is a dynamic,” explained Sanders. “When we started to do these interviews… I brought these bells. So that I, or Julie, could ring the bell if ever one of us felt microaggressed or macroagressed or hurt - if one of us had done something that pained the other,” he continued. “Because the conversations move so quickly. And there’s moments where we need to stop and re-calibrate and talk about our human feelings. It really is important to the show.”

Bowen is candid about the end of a marriage and quitting an early eating disorder, destigmatizing the idea of therapy throughout the course of bold Quitters conversations. Sanders focuses more directly on the workplace, breaking down his experience out of college as an employee at Google. The hosts examine the human condition during conversations with guests like actor Lamorne Morris, Modern Family co-stars Ty Burrell, Sarah Hyland and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, musician Meghan Trainor and late night host Jimmy Kimmel.

“Being candid about it was really scary and painful. But I was so tired of carrying around the whole, ‘You have to be perfect in public. You can’t share your messy, dirty secrets’ thing,” said Bowen. “That was one of the big things I wanted to quit - to quit having the shame of talking about it. Just say it. We’re all just humans trying to do our best.”

I spoke with Chad Sanders and Julie Bowen about the dichotomy that informs the Quitters podcast, the importance of curiosity and storytelling and creating a safe podcast space where people can share. A transcript of our video call, lightly edited for length and clarity, follows below.

Chad, the podcast was your idea, right? What made Julie the right partner?

CHAD SANDERS: Julie and I were talking about a bunch of stuff. We were actually just talking about life really more than anything. And I think we both probably had the light bulb moment around the same time - that our conversations had sort of an electricity and a tension and a curiosity to them that I thought would do well as the voice of this show concept that I was already developing. And Julie was like, “What?! Yeah!” She was really into it. I pitched her two concepts actually. And this was the one that she really hooked onto.

JULIE BOWEN: We spent a bunch of hours just talking and talking, thinking, “Is there something there?” We couldn’t stop talking to each other - but we couldn’t figure out if there was anything anybody would want to listen to. When he came with this idea, I was like, “Yeah. That’s it! Everybody wants to quit something - or they have.” And there’s a freedom in talking about it. I liked that. Chad and I come from very different places, different points of view. But we have this intersection of not being straight, white men. And it felt like that was always a way that we looked at problems and it was always a way that we were able to talk. And we sort of thought, “This allows us to talk to almost anyone.”


Brother CEO Justin Q. Croxton's (Fall 2003) Propellant Media Makes 3rd Consecutive Showing on INC Magazine's 2021 List of Fast Growing Companies in the U.S.

Brains, bravery, and optimism propelled these businesses to our annual fast-growth list, even amid the pandemic.

Inc. Best Workplaces: Propellant Media2020, 2021

Our leadership tries to create a place of inclusion, open ideas, and connectedness. We’ve accomplished this via many initiatives, including holding an open forum for everyone to discuss the social unrest when Brianna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery were killed. During the

pandemic, we've held Zoom luncheons, parties, and gatherings. The CEO, who was a bartender in college, conducted a virtual bartending class for the entire company. Our employees provide feedback that the culture and environment is the best they've experienced in their professional careers.

About Propellant Media:

Propellant Media, LLC is a digital marketing and media solutions provider. We help our Clients maximize leads, elevate customer and prospect engagement, and increase sales in a highly competitive digital, search and mobile first world. We were founded on the idea that small to midsize companies that don’t have access to enterprise level solutions can gain access through. Here, we’ve built a foundation of helping small to midsize companies grow through our digital solutions. Many companies we work with can benefit from each individual solution we implement beit Paid Search or Programmatic. But what we pride ourselves on is creating cost effective multi-channel campaigns that simply explodes growth for our clients.


Brother Ted R. Sparks (Spring 1955) Leads High School Basketball Court Naming Ceremony for NBA Hall of Famer Walt "Clyde" Frazier

By Emil Mofatt,

Before he won NBA titles, before his seven all-star appearances, Walt “Clyde” Frazier was the oldest of nine children, growing up in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. “I grew up maybe seven blocks from here, so I was just sitting there thinking how much time I’ve spent in this gym,” said Frazier. The gym is now a part of David T. Howard Middle School. Before, it was an all-Black elementary school, then a high school, where Frazier graduated, class of 1963.

The NBA Hall of Famer received a hero’s welcome Tuesday in Atlanta as the school held a ceremony to name the basketball court in his honor. “I remember the pep rallies, I used to sit over the in the corner get psyched up, guys on the team would have our shoes over our shoulders, stylin’ and profilin’,” Frazier said.

Among those in attendance Tuesday, were many of Frazier’s high school classmates and his former coach Ted Sparks, now 91. He says not only was Frazier a star basketball and football player, but he volunteered to catch for the baseball team when no one else would. “The truth being told, Walt made me a good coach,” Sparks said with a grin.

Frazier wiped away tears as he listened to praise from one of his sisters, Mary Frazier Ward. She says her brother has used his successful career to help his family. “He is the wheel that makes this Frazier thing turn. And we are so proud of you,” she said. Already in the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player, Frazier will be inducted this year for his work in the New York Knicks broadcast booth, too. Ward closed her remarks, by saying how thrilling it was to hear her brother’s named announced as part of an NBA lineup. “So as I return to my seat, I will say Walt Fraaaaazier!” she exclaimed to cheers from the crowd.


Bro. Devon J. Crawford (Spring 2013) Named to Inaugural Alpha Class of 40 Under 40 Initiative

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. recently announced the selection of its inaugural Alpha Class of the 40 Under 40 Initiative, and Alpha Rho Chapter Alum Brother Devon Jerome Crawford was included on the roster of fraternity members from throughout the world. The initiative recognizes 40 influential Alpha Brothers in each of the following seven professional categories, including: Finance, Healthcare, Civic Engagement, Education, Media/Broadcasting, Technology, and Entertainment.

Brother Crawford is the Director, William Monroe Trotter Collaborative for Social Justice, Harvard Kennedy School [Center for Public Leadership], and a licensed minister and non-violent activist, who provided public leadership in the cases of Troy Davis, Trayvon Martin, and Michael Brown. Early in his career, Crawford served as the inaugural Humanity in Action Fellow for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The William Monroe Trotter Collaborative for Social Justice is an innovative, new initiative of the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) to promote excellence in the practice of social justice by supporting applied research and the use of evidence in advocacy and activism.

Pictured above: The William Monroe Trotter Collaborative for Social Justice team.

Crawford is an honors graduate of Morehouse College and earned a Master's Degree in Religious Ethics from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 2019.


New Chief of People, Equity, and Culture Joins Arts for Learning Maryland (Bro. Darrell W. Brooks, Jr. Spring 2006)

Arts for Learning Maryland, the Baltimore-based nonprofit that transforms student learning in Maryland through arts integration, announced the hiring of DJ Brooks as its new Chief of People, Equity, and Culture — a new position for the 72-year-old organization.

As Chief of People, Equity, and Culture, Brooks will lead the organization’s work around diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as the strategic development and implementation of Arts for Learning’s talent management, recruitment, retention, onboarding and offboarding.

Brooks is a highly trained leader with 10 years of experience in public education and nonprofit sectors. He brings strong expertise in business operations, organizational development, talent management, strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. He was most recently the Director of Strategy and Logistics at Cardozo Education Campus for the DC Public School System.

Arts for Learning Maryland reaches thousands of students in every Maryland county with engaging, arts-integrated learning experiences, connecting students and educators with teaching artists. The unique approach transforms learning and encourages exploration, expression, and engagement in traditional academic content as well as creative fields.

“At Arts for Learning we are on a mission to intentionally create office and classroom learning environments of belonging. Where every person in and served by this organization, especially Black, brown, indigenous and people of color, feel loved, valued, affirmed, and included,” said Stacie Sanders Evans, President and CEO of Arts for Learning Maryland. “To ensure greater accountability, and to create a deeper and more sustainable capacity for our equity work, we created a senior level position, Chief of People, Equity, and Culture. We’re thrilled to welcome DJ to the team.”

About Arts for Learning Maryland:

Arts for Learning Maryland (formerly Young Audiences of Maryland) is a nonprofit organization devoted to enriching the lives and education of Maryland’s youth through educational and culturally diverse arts programs. Through Arts for Learning, professional teaching artists from all disciplines partner with educators, schools, and school districts to provide, on average, over 300,000 hours of learning in, through, and about the arts to more than 185,000 Maryland students annually.


Catalyte Partners with OneTen to Drive Economic Prosperity for Black Tech Talent (Bro. Carlton E. Gordon Spring 2007)

Historically, the economy in general, and the tech industry in particular, have excluded Black talent. This has resulted in an America where Black people own only 1.5% of the country’s wealth, and staff only 5.4% of all software developer positions.

To change the tide and combat these inequities, Catalyte has partnered with OneTen to train and employ top Black tech talent from across the country, regardless of their educational background. This continues their 20+ year history of supplying the opportunity for a tech career to anyone with the aptitude and attitude to succeed.

Catalyte partnered with OneTen to hire, advance and promote top Black technology talent without four-year degrees. Catalyte joins this coalition as both an endorsed talent developer and employer of Black tech talent. Through this strategic partnership, Catalyte is poised to share and shape best practices for sourcing, developing and hiring Black talent.

"As both an employer and endorsed talent developer, we can share and shape best practices for sourcing, developing and hiring Black talent throughout OneTen’s nearly 200-member coalition." Carlton Gordon, Jr., director of talent partnerships.

“This partnership continues our twenty-plus-year mission to unleash untapped human potential and develop extraordinary tech talent from unexpected places,” said Jacob Hsu, CEO of Catalyte. “Catalyte sits at the nexus of OneTen’s coalition of talent developers and employers. As a company that develops and hires our own entry-level tech talent, we are a case study on the power that diversity brings to a company. We can work with partners on both sides of the OneTen network and be a resource to help build bridges between talent developers and employers.”

OneTen is a coalition designed to close the opportunity gap for Black talent in the United States. It works with America’s leading executives, companies and talent developers to upskill, hire and advance one million Black Americans without four-year degrees into family-sustaining roles. Catalyte joins more than 70 companies and 100 talent developers that have committed to significantly increase the hiring of Black talent without four-year college degrees into family-sustaining jobs by improving their hiring, retention, upskilling and advancement practices to support a more diverse workforce and advance economic prosperity for all.

“Catalyte is a great example of a company that’s both developing and hiring top Black tech talent,” said Maurice Jones, CEO of OneTen. “Through this unique partnership, OneTen and Catalyte will be able to thoughtfully upskill and hire Black talent without four-year degrees across the country, expanding the pathways to family-sustaining jobs and taking meaningful action to close the racial wealth gap.”

While the job market continues to grow, the racial wealth gap in America remains wide. This is largely due to the employment barriers created by college degrees: 79% of jobs paying more than $50,000 require a four-year college degree, which automatically disqualifies 76% of Black Americans over age 25 with relevant experience. With Black professionals representing less than 8% of the technology workforce, harnessing multi-stakeholder partnerships is vital to spearheading diversity and fostering pathways to success.


Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. (Fall 1955) Receives 2022 President’s Volunteer Service Award

The Atlanta Student Movement was recently recognized by President Joe Biden with the 2022 Volunteer Service Award. 1960s-era Civil Rights Leaders Dr. Frank Smith, Dr. Georgianne Thomas, Dr. Gwendolyn Middlebrooks, Dr. Herschelle S. Challenor, Dr. Johnny Parham (also Morehouse College Alum), Mrs. Xernona Clayton, Dr. Mary Ann Smith Wilson, Dr. Norma June W. Davis, and Dr. Roslyn Pope, were all honored alongside Brother Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr.

In early February 1960, Morehouse College students Lonnie King, Julian Bond, Joseph Pierce and other students met here at the site of the former Yates & Milton Drug Store - an informal gathering place for students of the Atlanta University Center. Inspired by a student sit-in at a Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, the three young men laid the groundwork for what would become a seminal phase in the Civil Rights Movement.

The Atlanta University Center, comprised of six historically black institutions of higher learning - Atlanta University, Clark College, Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College, Morris Brown College, and Spelman College - was philosophically committed to the principles of non-violent disobedience as taught by Ghandi and M.L. King Jr. Students conducted marches, picketing, and sit-ins that resulted in the desegregation of public and private facilities which had denied service or access to people of color. These included restaurants, businesses, schools, housing and hospitals. Thanks to the Atlanta Student Movement, the city began to live up to its slogan, "A city too busy to hate." (City of Atlanta Commission)

Video above: Reverend Otis Moss Jr. speaks of the role of faith in sustaining the Atlanta Student Movement during trying times.

In 2003, the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation founded the President’s Volunteer Service Award to recognize the important role of volunteers in America’s strength and national identity. The President’s Volunteer Service Award is an opportunity to honor the

most outstanding volunteers and recognize the impact they make. This award honors individuals whose service positively impacts communities in every corner of the nation and inspires those around them to take action, too. The PVSA has continued under each administration, honoring the volunteers who are using their time and talents to solve some of the toughest challenges facing our nation.

Led by the AmeriCorps and managed in partnership with Points of Light, this program allows Certifying Organizations to recognize their most exceptional volunteers.


Leadership Greater Chicago Announces LGC Class of 2023 (Bro. Jason T. Mercer Fall 2003) With 53 Cross-Sector Leaders Selected to Region’s Premier Civic Leadership Program

CHICAGO, IL (July 21, 2022) – Today, Leadership Greater Chicago (LGC) announced the 2023 Class of its Signature Fellows Program, the area’s premier civic leadership development program. These 53 accomplished and diverse individuals represent a cross-section of professionals from the corporate, nonprofit, government and education sectors. During the 10-month program, with the city as a classroom, they will be immersed in major socioeconomic issues facing the region through full-day seminars, neighborhood site visits, conversations with subject matter experts and cultural events. Jason T. Mercer – Principal, CAST US Due Diligence, Cleveland Avenue.

“The landscape of civic leadership is shifting, and it demands a shared responsibility across sectors to advance meaningful, sustainable change," said LGC Chief Executive Officer Maria Wynne. “We applaud the sponsors of the LGC Class of 2023 for embracing this approach to civic engagement and for investing in the ability of these leaders to change the world. On behalf of the LGC Board of Directors, I congratulate our newest Class and look forward to their contributions to ensure an inclusive future for all who call Chicago home.”

Selection into the LGC Signature Fellows Program is based on a record of professional accomplishment, evidence of leadership skills, the potential to influence positive change and a commitment to the region. This year’s Class advanced through a highly competitive process that included a written application, an online assessment and, in some cases, an interview with graduates of the LGC Signature Fellows Program. Those selected for the 2023 Signature Fellows Program share the organization’s commitment to lead bold, transformative change in the community.


Tour Elaine Welteroth’s Hollywood Hills Hideaway (Bro. Jonathan Singletary Spring 2008)

The Project Runway judge and bestselling author reflects on her family’s inspiring space

They say nothing in life is more stressful than moving, home renovations, and childbirth. Naturally, my husband, Jonathan, and I embarked on them all at the same time—in the middle of a pandemic, no less. Then, after spending my third trimester shuffling back and forth between our temporary rental and the construction zone formerly known as our house, we both tested positive for COVID just days before moving back in with our newborn. We didn’t plan for events to unfold this way, but if 2020 taught us anything, it’s to surrender, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

Our bumpy adventures in nesting began peak pandemic when we abandoned plans for a formal wedding and got married on our Brooklyn stoop. Our pared-down ceremony represented a joyful graduation of sorts—from the unrelenting grind of the city where I cut my teeth in fashion media and became editor in chief of Teen Vogue. On a practical level, it enabled us to reinvest our wedding budget into buying our first house. Ultimately, California—where we both grew up and met in church as preteens—was calling us home. If we landed in NYC as single 20-somethings with tunnel vision eager to build our careers, we were leaving as 30-something newlyweds ready to cultivate the rest of our lives.

We’re both writers (he writes songs; I write books, among other things), so our process began

with jotting down words that kept our intentions in focus: more space, more sunlight, more serenity. The dream was to go from the top floor of a Bed-Stuy brownstone to a chic hideaway in the Hollywood hills. But we were halfway up a particularly perilous, winding single-lane road when I said aloud to our real estate broker, Ikem Chukumerije: “I don’t care what this next house looks like; there is no way I’m doing this drive every day.” Of course, the moment I walked through the doors I just knew: This was our home.

The 13-foot pitched ceilings, the spacious, sun-drenched patios, the artful views, wood beams, and airy, open spaces—it instantly delivered on wow factor. It also possessed a certain creative soul we both immediately tapped into. Later we learned the contemporary Spanish-style dwelling, built in 1977, was previously owned by the prolific film director and actor Robert Townsend. We loved that there was enough space to grow into the 2.0 versions of ourselves. Little did we know then that less than a year later we would be designing the space with a new member of the family on the way.

In NYC you invest in what you put on to leave your house. In L.A. you invest in the things that make you never want to leave your house. As a first-time home buyer eager to redesign every aspect of our lives with intention, I Marie Kondo’d the hell out of my existence and refused to purchase anything I couldn’t envision sparking joy for years to come. This over- zealous plan inevitably backfired when six months later we were still living like college kids in an abandoned frat house, sleeping on oversized beanbags and eating pizza by the fire on a card table from Home Depot. It was sort of romantic for a while, but the charm quickly wore off and we were ready to feel like actual adults. With a burgeoning TV career requiring me to be bicoastal, we knew it was time to enlist help from professionals.

Enter Night Palm’s Tiffany Howell, an in-demand interior designer who brings a moody, cinematic flair to her projects. We met serendipitously over our mutual love affair with a sofa at Pop Up Home, a vintage-furniture store and gallery for underrepresented artists. I eventually pursued her after seeing her work in my dear friend Mara Brock Akil’s stunning office space. Luckily, the stars aligned, as well as our taste in sofas, and she signed on to help us get our act together. I knew it was a match made in design heaven when she scored us an even better version of that sofa at a fraction of the price (saving money is the ultimate joy!).

Howell’s love of music and fashion overlapped with our creative backgrounds; we spoke the same language. “I want the house to feel like a Stan Getz song,” she said, noticing we were having a bossa nova moment. We were all drawn to the home’s bones and Spanish soul, so it was important to pre- serve them at all costs. With the expansive rounded fireplace as our muse, we landed on the idea of creating a zen, modern sanctuary that gives Brazilian tree house vibes.

Like everyone else who migrates to L.A., we wanted to indulge in indoor-outdoor living. But with zero experience maintaining a yard, let alone keeping a single plant alive, we commissioned landscape designer John Sharp to elevate our curb appeal and create lush little worlds on our expansive decks that offer privacy while evoking a cool Jurassic-era ambience.

Because music is the heartbeat of our home, we made Jonathan’s grand piano the focal point of our great room. We love entertaining but we aren’t traditional people, so instead of a formal dining area, we created plenty of seating outdoors and built a custom banquette into an otherwise overlooked nook that’s become our absolute favorite hangout spot in the house. The walls are punctuated by custom fluted wood paneling that speaks to the home’s late-’70s design and bold art pieces that celebrate Black bodies.

As creative entrepreneurs we crave inspiring spaces to dream in. We turned a spare bedroom into an unabashedly colorful multipurpose “Zoom room,” glam room, and workspace where I’m currently writing my next book and crafting a weekly advice column for The Washington Post. We built the ultra-glam vanity of my childhood fantasies and blessed the walls with iconic portraits of my muse Grace Jones. Once we discovered we were expecting, Jonathan’s music studio was converted into a nursery with a Calico Wallpaper jungle print fit for a gender-neutral baby room but polished enough for an adult to appreciate spending time in.

Our primary bathroom became the pièce de résistance of the renovation project. Night Palm designed curved arches in the shower and doorways that transport you to an elevated Moroccan hammam. We discovered a mysterious old fireplace hidden in the walls and repurposed a portion of it to create a tiled altar for my best candles and crystals.

Demo began during my third trimester, so our impending due date mandated a strict three-month deadline for the construction team, led by Judd Burton. No one believed they’d bring our design to life in that time frame, but indeed they pulled it off. Three weeks after delivering our son, Silver Isley Singletary, in a home birth at our rental, we moved into our domestic sanctuary where he will take his first steps and make all of his earliest memories. While this journey was not for the faint of heart, just like childbirth, the struggle was worth it in the end.


Brothers Dr. Italo Brown (Fall 2004) and Dr. Ulysses Burley (Fall 2003) Discuss the Current State of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Podcast by

Bakari Sellers is joined by Dr. Italo Milton Brown and Dr. Ulysses W. Burley III to discuss the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic (3:18), the origins and myths surrounding monkeypox (7:29), and methods to prevent the spread of the virus (20:39).


Brother Gemayel L. Haynes (Spring 2001) Heads into General Election for Harris County District Court

Early Voting is Oct 24 - Nov 4 and Election Day is Nov 8

Candidate Haynes in his own words:

I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. My mother is a career public servant and has worked in the Physical Therapy Department of the Veterans Administration Medical Center helping military veterans for over 40 years. My father is a retired truck driver for UPS and a proud member of the Teamsters Local 270. My sister is a Licensed Vocational Nurse attending school to be a Registered Nurse. They all still live in New Orleans. My brother is a State Trooper in Lake Charles, LA.

My parents taught me the value of education and hard work. After graduating from St. Augustine High School at age 16, I attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. While at Morehouse, I joined Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. I graduated from Morehouse with a degree in Mathematics at age 20. After college, I attended Texas Tech University School of Law on a partial academic scholarship. During my second year of law school, personal tragedy struck my family. Hurricane Katrina devasted New Orleans. We lost everything and my parents were displaced for several months. We relied on the kindness of friends and strangers to get back on our feet. It was one of the most challenging times of my life and the kindness of strangers will never be forgotten. One of my goals in life has been to pay the kindness forward. It is also one of the main reasons I have dedicated so much of my legal career to public service.

Despite the trauma caused by Katrina, I was selected to serve as an Articles Editor for the Texas Administrative Law Journal during my second year, and later was the Executive Articles Editor. I was the first African American to serve on the Executive Board of a law journal at Texas Tech. After graduating from law school, I became a prosecutor for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. During my tenure, I worked in the Justice of the Peace, Misdemeanor, Juvenile, and Felony Trial Divisions. I sought justice on every case I touched and served as a voice for victims.

Haynes with Democratic nominee for the 2022 Texas gubernatorial election Beto O'Rourke.

After I left the DA's office, I was in private practice for approximately five years. I represented juvenile and adult clients charged with misdemeanors and felonies. I handled criminal appointments in Harris and the surrounding counties. During this time, I became a board member of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association, a position I’ve held since 2014.

Haynes with Morehouse Alum Chris Hollins, candidate in the 2023 Houston mayoral election.

I am currently an Assistant Public Defender serving as Senior Litigator and Team Lead in the Felony Trial Division of the Harris County Public Defender’s Office. I supervise and train my team of eight lawyers, I mentor other lawyers in our division, and I represent indigent clients charged with first- and second-degree felonies. I am in trial, either as first chair on my own clients’ cases or a second chair with younger lawyers, several times a year on everything ranging from state jail felonies to first degree murder and sex cases. I give trainings to criminal lawyers locally and across the state on topics ranging from bail, pretrial investigation, search and seizure, probation issues, trial prep and strategy, and sentencing issues. I have also taken hundreds of hours of classes throughout my career dedicated to criminal law.

I am running for Judge because I want to build trust between the community and the criminal justice system. I want to create a court system where fairness is the court’s priority and all sides have an opportunity to be heard. I want to end the days of courts being just for some instead of being fair and just for all. Every person will be treated like a human being, with respect and dignity. Decisions in criminal courts have human lives and community safety at stake. There is a delicate balance between protecting the community and respecting the rights of those accused. It takes a Criminal District Judge with experience as a criminal lawyer to know and understand that balance. I have dedicated every day of my fourteen-year legal career building that experience.


Brother Keyon S. Payton (Fall 1998) Launches The Institute of Trauma and Economic Justice

The Institute of Trauma and Economic Justice was developed to break the cycle of trauma in communities one county at a time by bringing together the collective resources of the community to repair, reward, reconcile and renew those most affected by trauma and by introducing evidence based strategies that eliminate barriers to equitable health and prosperity.

Renewed Communities: The Institute of Trauma and Economic Justice’s transdisciplinary approach to increasing positive experiences in both children and adults will bring communities closer together - county by county, one city at a time, particularly within BIPOC communities that have shared lived experiences marked by the trauma of systemic racism and discrimination. It aims to shift the paradigm away from creating a one size-fits all solution to leverage the good already being done in a community and amplifying it which will in turn be a catalyst for more

programs creating a multiplier effect. In essence, it hopes to create a supply and demand economy around positive experiences. In the process ITEJ makes access to these experiences equitable to those who need the healing doses the most. ITEJ aims to remove obstacles as they are identified and generate new opportunities for shared positive experiences to become the norm. They believe the benefits to the community will be measurable in the form of youth violence reduction, overall crime reduction, improved perceived health, and better health outcomes.

The Institute of Trauma and Economic Justice is the vision manifested by Reverend Keyon S. Payton after more than 2 decades of public service, human and civil rights activism, and pastoral leadership. Inspired by fellow Morehouse College alumnus and his childhood hero - the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - the Institute intertwines environmental, economic, and social justice with civic and ecumenical faith in action. Based on the notion of the Beloved Community made famous by Dr. King and the many speeches and writings throughout the world on “the way of nonviolence,” the Institute will uplift communities by advocating what Rev. Payton refers to as:

The 7 jewels of literacy: Cultural Literacy, Environmental Literacy, Civic/Social Literacy, Financial Literacy, Digital Literacy, Physical Health Literacy, and Mental Health Literacy.

Rev. Payton is a Doctorate of Ministry Candidate at Garrett-Evangelical Seminary in Strategic Leadership for Black Congregations. In 2001 Keyon graduated from Morehouse College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion and Philosophy and obtained his Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theology Seminary. In addition, Rev. Payton holds special certifications in Nonprofit Management from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University; Theology and Racialized Policing, and Justice Reform from Howard University; and as a Master Trainer of Trainers in Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) from ACE Interface founded by Dr. Rob Anda. In addition to serving as Social Justice Commission Chairman for the National Baptist Convention of America, for more than 15 years Rev. Payton continues to lead the New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Pontiac, Michigan as Senior Pastor.


5 Facts: The Infamous Bel-Air Alpha Phi Alpha Episode (Bro. Robert L. Cole Spring 1986)

Defender Managing Editor ReShonda Tate is in Martha’s Vineyard vacationing, working, covering the 20th annual Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival. During a panel Monday night (August 8, 2022), she got the answers to some questions viewers across the country had about the infamous Bel-Air scene when Uncle Phil shows off his Alpha Phi Alpha Skills.

1. The actor who plays Uncle Phil is not Greek. The actor, Adrian Holmes, who plays the reimagined Uncle Phil is NOT a member of a Greek organization.

2. Did the Alphas know about the scene? Executive Producer Rasheed Newson says not only did they know, they gave their approval. “We reached out to the Alpha’s leadership with our request. They requested to see the script and we did something you NEVER do in film, we let them read the script. They only had one show note – instead of having the Alphas play dominoes, leadership requested they play chess. We happily obliged.”

3. How did Adrian get the steps down? Holmes says they brought in a choreographer and members of APhiA to teach him the steps. Holmes said when he learned all the steps, the choreographer changed it. “I had one day to learn all the new steps, like that day. I’m just grateful that I was able to learn it.” Holmes says the biggest takeaway, next time wear gels in his shoes. “I had on dress shoes that were flat. By the end of all the takes (like 15), my knees were sore for two weeks.”

Pictured above: Brother Cole is shown in the background of the epic scene.

4. Were those actual Alphas in the scene? Yes, all of the men in the scene in Alpha paraphernalia are real Alphas. “I was standing off camera crying behind the monitor because I don’t remember the last time I’d seen that many Black men in a scene and there was no crime, there was no violence,” Newson said.

5. Why did the show choose to focus on the Alphas? In the original, James Avery, who played Uncle Phil, was a member of a fraternity. In this reimagined version, Newson said they wanted to shine a light on HBCUs.

Executive produced by Will Smith and inspired by Morgan Cooper’s viral trailer that reimagined the iconic ’90s sitcom, “Bel-Air” takes a fresh and raw approach to this world of swagger, style, and aspiration while exploring Will’s complex journey through a current lens.


32 Courageous DEI and Recruiting Leaders You Need to Know (Bro. Christopher D. Gooding Fall 2011)

For its entire existence, the tech industry has had a long-standing problem with diversity and inclusion. Let’s take a look at the numbers. As of 2022, only 25% of women hold jobs in tech. 62% of tech jobs are held by White Americans while 8% and 7% of jobs are held by Latinx and Black Americans, respectively, in the US tech sector.

Anyone else hear those alarm bells ringing? 🚨

Recruiting diverse talent is critical for the success and longevity of any business. With the right teams, businesses are able to understand their customers better and create better products. However, recruiting the best talent is a fierce competition and not an easy task.

The best recruiters require motivation, persistence, critical thinking skills, stellar communication skills, and confidence.

We’ve compiled a list of recruiters who check all of those boxes and many more. These recruiters know that good people make good companies, but great people can change the world. Check them out below!


Christopher Gooding is an experienced recruiter with skills in leadership development, public speaking, and community outreach. He is a University Recruiter at Roku, Inc., where he plays a part in professionally developing emerging talent. As a Diversity & Inclusion advocate, he aspires to work with the brightest minds no matter their background.


Foster Garvey Welcomes Brother Arrin Richards (Spring 2009) to the Firm's Business & Corporate Finance Practice

Foster Garvey is pleased to announce the addition of Arrin Richards as an Associate* in the Business & Corporate Finance practice, based in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Arrin is a DC-area native with robust experience advising early- and growth-stage businesses. He joins the firm from Mitchell Sandler where he provided counsel to a wide range of clients on commercial, regulatory, risk, strategy, corporate and governance matters.

Arrin also previously served as Associate General Counsel for his law school alma mater, Vanderbilt University. There, he focused his practice on Vanderbilt’s technology commercialization center, trademark licensing department, office of sponsored research, athletic department, and innovation and entrepreneurship center.

“Arrin offers our clients a full spectrum of corporate, commercial and intellectual property counsel to take their businesses to the next level,” said Hillary Hughes, leader of Foster Garvey’s Business & Corporate Finance practice. “His insight from both his law firm and in-house experience is a perfect mix to help our emerging company, established business and sports & entertainment clients position themselves for future growth and success.”

Arrin earned his J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, cum laude, from Morehouse College where he concentrated his studies in Accounting.


Brother Mikal Driver (Spring 2015) Joins Usher's New Look as Moguls in Training Program Manager

Brother Mikal Driver has been tapped to lead Usher's New Look Foundation's signature program, Moguls in Training, as Training Program Manager. Mikal will lead programming for their college students and create partnerships that will enable them to gain exposure to leading organizations and mentors.

About Usher's New Look:

Usher's New Look, a 501c3, founded by Usher Raymond IV in 1999, certifies young people in four leadership pillars talent, education, career and service – to ensure their success as leaders throughout the world. We are on a mission to develop global youth leaders and change the world, one youth at a time. Our program begins in 7th and 8th grade and follows students until they graduate college, or obtain full-time careers. Our program is unique because it is peer-to-peer led by students who matriculate through the program.

How they do it: Step 1- Powered by Service Training (7th & 8th Grade). Step 2- New Look Leadership Academy (9th-12th Grade). Step 3- Moguls in Training Program (College). Our Impact: Since its establishment, New Look has trained over 42,000 youth in over 8 different countries. Youth engaged with New Look demonstrate significant outcomes in all four areas including: 100% of youth graduate high school, 98% go on to college, 86% are first-generation college students, 100% of youth recognize they have the power to encourage others to create change in the community, 100% of youth can identify a personal talent or passion, 100% feel they are equipped to engage in formal business events.

Our commitment to empowering the next generation of leaders is strong. We support youth through our 10-year leadership program, providing students with the skills and resources they need to thrive while also allowing them to earn local, national, and global Leadership Certification backed by Emory University.


Brother Romen R. Richardson (Spring 2019) Takes a Shot With The Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball League has drafted Brother Romen Richardson to serve as the Hawks' Global Partnerships Trainee. Previously, Richardson served as a Fellow with Excel Sports Management, an Intern with Priority Sports & Entertainment, and is a Forbes Under 30 Forbes Scholar.


Brother Bryant Harper Thomas (Fall 2004) Pumps Up Tribeca with Opening of JDIBarbell

Brother Thomas' new fitness venture held its grand opening on September 17, 2022 at its New York City location at 93 Worth Street in Tribeca. JDI Barbell’s mission is to create amazing communities and to provide high-level coaching to strength athletes in NYC. According to the new owner, "JDI Barbell is a community, not just a gym. You don’t just sign up here. You become a part of the JDI Fam! Anyone who understands the importance of free-weight training — including Powerlifters, Olympic Weightlifters, and anyone else with strength goals — is welcome here!

The proprietor, Bryant “Harper” Thomas, is an NSCA-accredited Strength and Conditioning Specialist, EXOS Sports Performance Specialist, and PrecisionNutrition™ coach. He designs bespoke movement and nutrition plans that can be incorporated into your lifestyle that will change your physical and mental state. His constant pursuit of information and his 5 years of experience training persons who span the spectrum of athleticism — from Division 1 athletes at LIU to the diverse clientele at Equinox — he's created a data-informed fitness system that can be customized for those of all types and fitness levels.


Brother DeShaun Bennett (Spring 2013) Hosts Mega-Watt Soft Opening for Sovereign Sounds Studios -- A Full-Service Talent Management & Development Agency

Saturday, August 7 marked the soft opening of Sovereign Sounds Studios in East Point-Atlanta. Sovereign Sounds is a creative and entertainment agency which leverages creativity, affordability, and analytics, and offers 4 mains services in their one stop shop: Creative Services, Media & Production Services, Talent Management and Development, and Studio space rentals. Their mission is to provide rising creatives with the knowledge and resources needed to enable creativity while ultimately retaining their creations and ownership.


Brother Micah Holmes (Spring 2018) Pivots Back to Home Base (Morehouse College) as an Adjunct Professor

Brother Micah Holmes is making an impressive return to the Morehouse College Campus — this fall he assumes the role of Adjunct Professor to further develop the Crown Forum experience for all Men of Morehouse. He currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Wisdom Passage, and has previously worked in Sports Sponsorships - Growth & Strategy for KPMG US, and previous to that he served as the Coordinator for marketing & content integration for the National Football League (NFL).


Brother Tavis A. Thompson (Spring 2019) is Officially Under Contract with Zillow

The Zillow Group has added Brother Tavis Thompson to their administrative team as Product Manager. Thompson is also a Co-Founder/Vice President at CodeHouse Corporation, and spent 1.8 years as a Product Manager at MicroSoft Corporation.


Brother Tariq McAlister (Spring 2019) Takes a Spin at Legendary Motown Records

Brother Tariq McAllister answered the call to go West — landing strong as the Marketing Administrative Assistant to the Executive Vice President at Motown Records. He is also Co-Founder of OneTwo Entertainment Ltd., and previously served as a Strategic Partnerships Representative for UMG °1824.


Brother Dominique T. Everett, Ph.D. (Fall 2011) Takes Flight with GE Aviation

Brother Everett has joined the aeronautical giant as a Senior Engineer, Product Line focal, Large Commercial Engineering Material Systems. He is an experienced engineer/scientist with a demonstrated history of leading projects within various industries (i.e. automotive, aviation, construction & biomaterials) in a research and development capacity, and is skilled in Materials Characterization, Data Analysis, Physics, Collaboration and Leadership.


Brother Michael F. James (Fall 1989) Takes a Seat at the Table for Target's 2022 'Black Beyond Measure' Promotion

Target Corporation partnered with Black-owned business brand 1863 Ventures to raise $1 billion by 2030, and the partnership resulted in Target's new campaign, Black Beyond Measure, which features Black-owned clothing, beauty and skincare brands that aim to celebrate Black entrepreneurs. The partnership between Target and 1863 Ventures came from a shared determination to generate wealth opportunities for Black entrepreneurs. For his participation in the venture, Brother Michael James worked with Target Takeoff in 2021 to develop the next generation of quality grooming products for men of color.

About Frederick Benjamin:

Inspired by the legacy of his grandfather –– the original Frederick Benjamin –– Michael developed a regimen of grooming products to help every man sculpt his best self, no matter his style. Since 2010, Frederick Benjamin has owned the conversation about men of color and their grooming experience.


Undergrad Brother Ari Brendan Wright-Thompson (Fall 2021) Named 7th Guardian of The Obelisk

By APCAA Staff

The APCAA has tapped Undergraduate Brother Ari Wright-Thompson, a senior Political Science major from Sanford, North Carolina, as the 7th "Guardian of The Obelisk" on the campus of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. The guardian post originated in 2015 with the installation of the 90th Anniversary Obelisk, and is responsible for the protection and maintenance of the Chapter's most sacred ediface.

Bro. Wright-Thompson currently serves as the Dean of Membership Intake for the Undergraduate Alpha Rho Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity Inc., and is also active in the Student Government Association's 91st administration. This past summer Bro. Wright-Thompson was a Chicago-Kent College of Law plus program scholar where he was able to participate in a fully immersive course of study. He was then able to go on to intern with the National Hockey League (NHL) with the Social Impact, Growth Initiatives and Legislative Affairs department.

The Guardian of The Obelisk Legacy (2015-2021)

Theatrically speaking, Brother Wright-Thompson played the character Javon in the motion picture feature film "Overcomer" in 2019, and earlier in his acting career was featured in the Tyler Perry Studios television series "House Of Payne" as K-Dub (2011).

Pictured above: Undergraduate members of the Alpha Rho Chapter pictured with the the 7th Guardian of The Obelisk (Wright-Thompson) as he receives the legacy plaque and the Brother Henry Allen Steward Memorial Medallion.


Alpha Rho's Atlanta-based Brotherhood Hosts Annual Summer Smoker

By APCAA Staff

APCAA's Vice President Darren A. Armstrong pulled together this summer's Atlanta Summer Smoker at the Atlantucky Brewery on the SW Side. And as always –– the delegation from neighboring Charlotte, North Carolina made the trek down to join the gathering (Brothers Morris McDaniel and Whitney Cain).



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