My name is Dr. Brandy Brooks. I’m a daughter, granddaughter, niece, auntie, dog owner, friend, colleague, business owner and mentor.
I’m an educator and a mental health advocate and I’m running for Boston City Council for District 7.
Mark Twain once wrote the two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why. School was my why. It was my refuge. Teaching, learning and helping others gave me peace.
Anything I’ve experienced has served as motivation to put me in a position to make sure that others did not suffer the same fate.
When my maternal grandmother died of Stage IV Lymphoma and our house burned down within the same week, I made honor roll that term. When my paternal grandmother died of Lupus, I earned an award for academic distinction. When I had to call the police on my stepfather because he had been abusing my mother and struck me while trying to protect her, I was nominated and accepted into Who’s Who for Georgia. When we lost family members due to complications with AIDS, I was accepted into the Presidential Classroom and spent a week in our nation’s capital during the Clinton administration. I wanted to know why they weren’t doing more to support HIV/AIDS efforts. When I witnessed family members struggling with substance issues, I joined Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and was nominated as a SADD ambassador where I traveled to local schools and shared my story.
Fast forward a few years and I’m in college. I was blessed to earn what was essentially a full scholarship to Cornell University. While others were out partying, I was transcribing documents for a visually impaired peer or refereeing and mentoring one hundred, 13-25 year-olds for a municipal-run midnight basketball league. After four years of hard work and dedication, I managed to graduate with honors and special distinction and made my way to Boston to attend Tufts University and earn a Master’s in Planning and Policy. While a full-time student at Tufts, I also worked as a Peace and Justice Studies intern and later Education Coordinator for East Boston Social Center’s Boston Youth Network. When not working or studying, I volunteered with Horizons for Homeless Children and Building Educated Leaders for Life.
After completing my Master’s at Tufts University I served as Contract Manager within the Division of Violence & Injury Prevention at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. For more than fifteen years, I worked on a variety of public health issues including Suicide Prevention, Youth Violence Prevention, Sexual Assault, Intimate Partner Violence, Safe spaces for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning, intersex, asexual and/or allied, Older Adult Falls Prevention, Sports and Recreation Injury Prevention. While working full-time at The Department of Public Health, I earned two additional degrees, a Master’s in Law and Policy from Northeastern University and a Doctorate in Education from University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Today, I continue to help, teach, and learn at Bunker Hill Community College as an adjunct professor and administrator of a program providing educational and support services to adult English Language Learners and individuals completing their High School Equivalency Assessments (HiSET). Since 2018, I’ve served as the Director of Operations for the Roxbury Unity Parade, the first parade to honor Roxbury, the Black Heartbeat of the City of Boston and DeeDee’s Cry, a suicide prevention and family support program for communities of color within Boston.
I love Boston, a city I’ve called home for close to twenty years. This city and in particular District 7 is in a state of transition. The district has been ravaged by COVID-19, substance use disorders, increased demand for mental and behavioral health services, food and housing insecurity and unemployment. We need equity and fairness in our community. We need accountable and transparent leadership. We need to expand access to high-quality pre-kindergarten education and continue to work to close the race, class and geography based achievement gaps for middle and high school students. We need access to affordable housing and homeownership opportunities. We need a labor market that is responsive to and reflective of the community.
Roxbury may not be where I was born but it is my home and I want to see my home thrive.