RANDY PARKER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA, SAYS HE IS ROOTED IN DIVINE NINE VALUES, AND HAS LAUNCHED AN INITIATIVE TO HIGHLIGHT BLACK GREEK ORGANIZATIONS’ IMPACT.
Like college, fraternities in the United States were originally founded for white male students. For years the elite networks excluded minorities, barring them from the socially lucrative opportunities that members enjoyed. So, as always, Black students created their own in answer to the pervasive racism they faced. On December 4, 1906, the first Black fraternity was created—Alpha Phi Alpha, and eight other organizations soon followed, birthing the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) otherwise known as the Divine Nine. The fraternities and sororities stand on the principles of brotherhood, sisterhood, service and Black excellence.
Randy Parker is a testament of this.
The Texas Christian University (TCU) alum pledged Alpha Phi Alpha as a younger man, he is now the chief executive officer of Hyundai Motor America. To this day he says he owes his storied career to the impactful organization he joined more than two decades ago.
“When I first got to TCU, my initial brotherhood was the basketball team,” Parker tells ESSENCE. “But when I did pledge in my junior year, it was by far one of the best things I ever did.”
He says the community he was welcomed into as a teen is one he still leans on.