The White House Turns Black And Gold Thanks To The Men Of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, HBCU, White House, BLACK ENTERPRISE Image

Alpha Phi Alpha™ Members in the Biden-Harris Administration Celebrate Founders’ Day

The White House halls became “ice cold” with the presence of stately men donned in their signature colors of black and gold as members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. celebrated their 117th Founder’s Day.

Alpha Phi Alpha™ is the oldest intercollegiate historically African American fraternity. Initially organized as a study and support group during the 1905–1906 school year for minority students who faced racial prejudice at Cornell University, it evolved into a fraternity focused on scholarship and social impact, with a founding date of December 4, 1906™.

Nearly two dozen members of the fraternity, who work under the leadership of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris within the Biden-Harris administration, gathered last Friday in a historic place: the ceremonial office of Vice President Harris, the nation’s first Black and South Asian woman to hold this role, and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., the sister organization to Alpha Phi Alpha™.

“An objective of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. is to prepare our members for the greatest usefulness in the causes of humanity, freedom, and dignity of the individual,” said Donald Cravins Jr., U.S. Commerce Under Secretary for Minority Business Development, who will soon celebrate 33 years in the fraternity.

“Living this objective through service in the Biden-Harris administration has been an honor. I am proud to stand with these leaders as we strive to improve and better the lives of all Americans.”

These distinguished Alphas actively contribute to empowering underserved communities from their national positions of power. Several are graduates of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), including Dillard, Howard, Hampton, Clark Atlanta, and South Carolina State universities. And this group also has some remarkable firsts.

  • Morehouse College alum Elliot Doomes is the Public Buildings Service (PBS) Commissioner at the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). He is the first African American to be appointed as PBS Commissioner in the 74-year history of the GSA and is currently responsible for managing the largest real estate portfolio in the United States: the GSA currently owns or leases more than 8,800 assets, maintains the workspace for 1.1 million federal employees, and preserves more than 500 historic properties.
  • Noah Harris was elected the first Black male student body president in Harvard University’s 386-year history. A Truman Scholar, Harris graduated from Harvard in 2022 with a degree in government and currently serves as a Confidential Assistant in the White House Office of Management and Budget.
  • Major Laterrious “Tony” Starks executes social and ceremonial events for the president and first lady, serving as the first White House Social Aide Program Manager and also serving in the U.S. Army for 13 years.

Roosevelt Holmes, who has extensive experience managing political, legislative, and grassroots campaigns, including working at the United Negro College Fund in the Office of Government Affairs and Public Policy, is flanked by his brothers, who are making “tangible accomplishments that uplift and transform lives,” he said, as they promote national safety, education, and business initiatives.

  • Gregory Jackson Jr. is the Deputy Director of The White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention and Special Assistant to the President, overseeing efforts to implement federal law and improve services for those traumatized by the crisis of gun violence.
  • Jimmy Anderson is the former White House Director of Veterans Engagement, where he hosted the White House’s inaugural HBCU student veterans and cadets forum, amplifying Biden’s support for Black service members and veterans by emphasizing investments through HBCUs.
  • Hampton University alum Preston Hardge is a Senior Advisor at the U.S. Small Business Administration, managing Entrepreneurial Development policy portfolio programs targeting underestimated communities, with a focus on disabled, rural, minority, and women-owned entrepreneurs.
  • And Cravins has had an extended career in politics, law, and supporting businesses. He leads the Minority Business Development Agency in serving the nation’s 9.7 million minority business enterprises. The Southern University Law Center alum was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 2004 and elected to the Louisiana State Senate in 2006, where he represented hundreds of businesses —many of which were minority-owned and in rural communities. Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Cravins assisted business owners with recovery and rebuilding as chair of the Senate Insurance Committee.

“Executing President Biden’s vision for a better America is not just a responsibility but a privilege,” said Holmes, currently a Senior Advisor in the White House Office of the National Cyber Director. “Collaborating with my fraternity brothers within this administration amplifies the impact of our endeavors, making every moment an extraordinary experience in the pursuit of a brighter future for everyone.”

The fraternity members recently took photos in front of the bust of Thurgood Marshall, the nation’s first Black Supreme Court Justice, who was also a fraternity member. They also gathered near a historic photo of former Vice President Hubert Humphrey and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as the then-Sen. Humphrey worked with Dr. King on the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Both men were members of Alpha Phi Alpha™.

Kamau M. Marshall has held several communications roles across government and presidential campaigns. He is currently Senior Advisor to the U.S. Education Secretary and works closely with the nation’s HBCUs. He realizes the tremendous shoulders of giants in his fraternity that he stands on and how he and his brothers today are making their mark to continually improve our nation for the better.

“As a public servant, it has been a joyous honor and unwavering commitment to fight and work vigorously within the Biden-Harris administration as this administration continues to make strong equity changes and economic impact across the board,” Marshall said, “making sure that all people have an opportunity at every part of the ladder.”

RELATED CONTENT: Morris Brown College Welcomes Back Its Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha After 20 Years

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