Wilberforce Alum Will Head White House Initiative; Sees Potential for WU Students
President Biden has tapped a Wilberforce alumnus to lead a newly created international group. Rev. Doctor Silvester S. Beaman (’82) will lead the President’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement, a panel that has been created to increase communication among African, Caribbean, and African American communities and United States officials. Beaman presently serves the AME church as the bishop in parts of Africa.
In a printed article, the White House said, “The African Diaspora is a rich and diverse community made up of African Americans and African immigrants, and is foundational to our 21st century partnership with Africa.” The article also mentioned the council will “provide invaluable guidance to reinforce cultural, social, political and economic ties between the U.S. and Africa.”
“Africa is playing an important role in global society,” Dr. Beaman said. “Earlier civil rights leaders Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X had a full understanding of the impact of Africa on African Americans.” He also says some of the value in this initiative can potentially include his alma mater which he hopes will provide a path to academic and economic exchange between Wilberforce and African college students.
The White House further mentioned Bishop Beaman’s experience and deep roots in Africa will enable him to lead the council to its full potential. The council was established at the end of last year when President Biden signed an executive order to create it.
Bishop Beaman and President Biden have a long term friendship. The president often visited Dr. Beaman’s former church, Bethel AME in Wilmington, Delaware, and Bishop Beaman delivered the benediction at President Biden’s inauguration in 2021.