By Adam Zientarski
TPE Founder and Publisher Trish Brown will be awarded the NAACP Great Expectations Award Oct 7 at the Western Wayne County Chapter Dinner, according to WW NAACP President Aaron Sims. Past recipients in Detroit include Kid Rock and WDIV news anchor Rhonda Walker.
Brown, a tireless advocate for education and minorities, has spent the last 20 years fighting for education in the K-12 arena and higher education with her work with Wayne County Community College District.
In 1993, she was elected to the Wayne-Westland School District Board of Trustees at the age of 29, which makes her the youngest elected school board trustee in that district (1993-97) which is also the district from which she graduated. She is also the first openly lesbian school board president to serve in the State of Michigan (1996-97)
“ I am so honored and humbled by this news, and thankful to still be a part of our great and changing society, “ Brown said.
While on the school board, Brown voted to have schools closed on Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday making Wayne-Westland one of the first Michigan school districts to fully recognize the holiday in Michigan where there are more than 500 school districts.
Brown, a resident of Canton, who grew up in the City of Detroit until the age of nine and Westland, is the owner of the PR firm, Communication Concepts, and the founder of the national education foundation TippingPointEducation.com and the TPEPost.com.
She credits her success in life and intense conviction of the heart in wanting to help others to the adversities she has experienced.
“The sooner we all learn to embrace our adversities and make them our friends, the sooner we will overcome them, and become stronger, wiser and able to use those difficulties to help others, “ she added.
“As someone who has experienced child abuse and the insecurities of an unstable home environment, I decided to not allow my world to become bitter, but to try to make the world for myself and others better. Sometimes I have succeeded, but other times I have failed, “ Brown said. “The stability of school was my only constant, and though I was the worst student, I was grateful and loyal to that which served me like a family should have.
“ I knew what it was like to not have a voice and in so many realms of today’s society, I see that still exists, “ she added. “ The chance to help others has always helped me, and it has been a privilege.”
Prior to serving on the Wayne-Westland Board of Education, Brown was an award-winning news reporter and editor for Associated Newspapers in Wayne, MI
Despite being told by her high school counselor that she wasn’t college material because she missed an average of 30 plus days of school a year taking care of her mother who was an alcoholic, she graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a BS in Public Relations and minor in Industrial Technology and Construction Management.
The awards will be handed out Oct 7 at the Annual Western Wayne NAACP dinner at Burton Manor in Livonia.