Thomas Leroy Battles, Jr. is a 1973 initiate of Kappa Alpha Psi at Alpha Xi, and the fraternity's 33rd Grand Polemarch. He is a former member of Tallahassee (FL) Alumni and Miami (FL) Alumni; he is currently a member of Stockbridge-Jonesboro (GA) Alumni.
Battles was born in March 1954, in Miami, Florida, and is the eldest son of Thomas and XXX Battles. His father was an XXX and his mother worked as a XXX. He and his brother, Isaac, were raised in Miami, Florida, where he graduated from XXX High School.
Battles attended Florida Agricultural and Mechanical Arts University in Tallahassee, Florida. As a student, he pursued a social science curriculum and was initiated into Kappa Alpha Psi. Battles earned a bachelor of science in sociology and corrections from Florida A&M University in June 1975. He also earned a masters of science in applied social science and a certification in ministerial studies from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia in XXXXX.
Battles is a regional director for the Community Relations Service (CRS) division of the United States Department of Justice. The unit was established by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to serve as a “peacemaker” in communities with tension from race, color and national origin-related conflicts. It is the only federal agency dedicated to working with state, local officials, and community groups in, "restoring racial stability and harmony" in regions impacted by racial tension. In 2009, the agency’s mission was broadened to include hate crimes related to gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion and disability.
Battles became a regional director in 2003 — overseeing eight states including Florida — after working more than two decades in a front line role in Miami, Florida. As a director, he is responsible for mediating racial and ethnic disputes. His unit gained national attention in 2012 during the racial unrest that erupted in Sanford, Florida, after an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin, was shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman.
Awards & Honors
The Miami City Commission passed a resolution declaring December 12, 2002, as “Thomas Battles Day” in recognition of Battles's 20 years of improving relations between racial and ethnic groups in South Florida.
In July 2000, Brother Battles received the United States Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service. In that year, he was also recognized by the St. Petersburg Times as Florida’s “Go to mediator & conciliator on racial and ethnic conflict.”
Battles was initiated into the Alpha Xi of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity on May 11, 1973; he was the fourth member of "The Family" pledge class. He is a life member of Grand Chapter and a member of Stockbridge-Jonesboro (GA) Alumni.
- Chaired of the constitution and statutes committee, and served on the membership status review commission and hearings and appeals committees.
- Provided oversight over alma mater, Alpha Xi (FAMU), and Epsilon Mu (Florida Memorial University)
- Elected 33rd Grand Polemarch at 82nd Grand Chapter in New Orleans, Louisiana, in August 2015.
- Elected Senior Grand Vice Polemarch at the Centennial National Convention of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. in July, 2011
- Re-elected to the Grand Board of Directors at the 79th Grand Chapter in August 2009.
- Re-elected to the Grand Board of Directors at the 78th Grand Chapter in August 2007.
- Re-elected to the Grand Board of Directors at the 77th Grand Chapter in August 2005.
- Elected to the Grand Board of Directors at the 76th Grand Chapter in July 2003.
- Re-appointed Southern Province Polemarch in August 1995 and elected vice chair on the Council of Province Polemarchs.
- Re-appointed Southern Province Polemarch in August 1993.
- Appointed Sixth Southern Province Polemarch in August 1991.
- Served as chief operating assistant to 26th Grand Polemarch Ulysses McBride
- Appointed assistant field secretary for Southern Province.
- Elected Senior Southern Province Vice Polemarch in December 1989
- Appointed historian and reporter for Miami (FL) Alumni
- Elected Vice Polemarch of Tallahassee (FL) Alumni
- Appointed chapter advisor over Alpha Xi (FAMU) and Epsilon Mu (Florida Memorial University)
- Elected Junior Southern Province Vice Polemarch in 1974
Battles is a member of Agape International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia, and his home church of Bethel Apostolic Temple in Miami, Florida. He is married to Geraldine Woods Battles and together they have five children, Thomas Eric (Lambda Lambda, 1991), Clarence, Eric, Artamesa, and Medina.
Community & Civic Involvement
Battles has been affiliated with the following organizations:
- Member, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives
- Board of Directors, George Washington Carver YMCA
- Board of Directors FAMU Boosters
- President, Miami Federal Credit Union
- Member and Past Chairman of the Metro-Dade Cultural Affairs Council
- Mentor, 5000 Role Model of Excellence
- Member, Urban League of Greater Miami
- Member, NAACP, South Florida Chapter
- Alumnus, Leadership Miami
- Minister of Stewardship, Bethel Apostolic Temple in Miami, Florida.
- Member, Agape International Ministries in McDonough, Georgia
Battles maintains a personal presence on the Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.