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 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, www.forbes.com
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 Media — 2020, 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, www.wabe.org
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.”