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The History of the Foundation


The founders of the Foundation were nine UNIA stalwarts who were inspired and guided by the emphasis Marcus Garvey placed on education in seeking to effect his program of African redemption. Garvey viewed education as a lifelong process critical to the progress, well-being, and confraternity of persons of African descent throughout the world. He indeed wrote:

"We will train and educate our people to those essentials that will make them a more cultured and better race."


The Founders
  • Thomas W. Harvey: President General of the UNIA for a period of more than 20 years and President of Philadelphia Division #121. It was during his administration at President General that the Marcus Garvey Memorial Foundation was incorporated in the State of New York in l960. The establishment of the Foundation marked the realization of the dream of a former UNIA President General and longtime disciple, William L. Sherrill. Harvey was a member of the UNIA for 50 years.

  • Arnold L. Crawford: President of Brooklyn Division #404 for many years and an active and diligent member of the UNIA for over 50 years. Known as an independent and self made businessman, he conducted his business in the heart of the Bedford Stuyvesant community. His reputation as a longtime community activist and strong supporter of African students studying in the USA led many young Africans to seek him out.

  • Joseph A. Bailey, Esq.: Counsel General of the UNIA for more than 30 years, he envisioned the foundation as being a source to provide philanthropic support necessary to aid in the education of persons of African descent at the university level. [An autobiographical narrative by Attorney Bailey appears elsewhere on the site].


  • Solomon Fitzhugh: Member of UNIA Division #345 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was a member of the Executive Council of the UNIA and served as the International Organizer of the UNIA during the administration of Thomas W. Harvey.

  • George Willis: Devoted many years of his life to the cause of African freedom, at home and abroad. He was a strong financial support of the UNIA Parent Body. Although not a card carrying member of the Brooklyn Division, he and his wife were dedicated to the Brooklyn Unit and supported it financially.

  • Levi Lord: Once served as a stenographer for Marcus Garvey and had fond memories of his association with UNIA leadership. His activities as a businessman were well known because he founded a key financial institution known as Paragon Credit Union. He was active in business and civic affairs for many years in the borough of Brooklyn
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