Over the years, LGW has provided leadership opportunities not only for some of the region’s top leaders but also for high school students who are emerging leaders. This month, we are highlighting the dynamic mother-daughter duo of Marcia Brown and her daughter Lauren Brown, recent graduates of the LGW Signature Program and Youth Leadership Greater Washington.
Dr. Brown (’17) is the Executive Director of the Global Scholars Foundation (GSF), managing all facets of the language and cultural immersion program for District teens. She previously served as the Director of Parental Involvement for a public charter school in Washington, D.C., an editor for the U.S. Department of Commerce and American Diabetes Association, and the Editor-in-Chief/Web Content Manager and Confidential Assistant to the Secretary of Commerce. Dr. Brown received a doctorate in Educational Leadership in 2013. She is a Silver Star member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., Sorority, member of Hands of Praise (HOP) sign language ministry at New Life Worship Center, and a Member of Leadership Greater Washington’s Class of 2017. She lives in the Hillcrest neighborhood of Ward 7 with her husband Kwame Brown, daughter Lauren and so Kwame Brown, II
Her daughter, Lauren Brown is a recent graduate of the Youth Leadership Greater Washington Class of 2017. Lauren is an accomplished Senior honor roll student at Woodrow Wilson High School. She is a member of the National Honor Society and the Marion Barry Youth Leadership Institute (MYBLI) and has coordinated the event logistics for the Wilson Senior Prom for the last three years.
(Marcia (R) and Lauren (L) celebrate Lauren's completion of the YLGW program)
Can you give us some background or insight into your personal leadership path – including your sources of inspiration and most important lessons learned?
Marcia: My source of leadership inspiration is derived from people I have watched over the years who do not dwell on problems, but, instead, use all their energy finding solutions. I am inspired by people who are seen and not heard; people who work hard and do the right thing because it is right. These leaders do not need fanfare or compliments because they are dedicated to working hard, finding solutions, and inspiring others regardless the situation. I expose my leadership skills by always working to the best of my ability and doing the work instead of just talking about it.
Lauren: When it comes to leadership, my parents have been the most significant sources of inspiration for me.
How did you first become involved with Leadership Greater Washington?
Marcia: Kenneth J. Brewer, Sr. (’16), Chief Executive Officer of H Street Community Development Corporation (HSCDC) completed LGW in 2016 and was very instrumental in encouraging me to apply for the LGW Signature Program and supporting my efforts once I was accepted. I also knew several people who completed LGW, and they all praised the program. So, applying was almost mandatory!
Your daughter Lauren is a member of the Youth Leadership Greater Washington Class of 2017. How was it watching her go through the YLGW Program? What insights has she gained as a Young Leader in the region?
Marcia: At first, it was a tough sell, only because the offer came from her mother. However, after the first class, she was hooked! She gave me a play-by-play of each class, providing commentary on the information that was presented, the presenters, and student reactions. I really enjoyed watching her learn and grow with her peers and felt a great sense of pride watching her seriously ponder concepts like tolerance, social awareness and justice, disagreeing without being disagreeable, and how to connect with others in a group and society as a whole. I can definitely see new growth and development, and this experience proves yet again that Mama knows best!
Lauren, what was something that surprised you about YLGW? How would you describe the program in general?
Lauren: I was surprised by the diversity of my classmates. We are diverse in religion, race, schools, neighborhoods, and interests. The program was not what I expected. I didn’t really have expectations because it was recommended to me by my mom. It was wonderful meeting other teenagers from different places, and I enjoyed making many social connections. Overall, I think the program was both educational and fun. I recommend the program to all my friends.
How would you describe LGW - the alumni, leadership, staff, and overall mission of the organization?
Marcia: LGW can best be described as an extended family! We’re like a “Superhero Leadership Squad.” The LGW community is a group—members, alumni, leadership, and staff—that can do anything. The LGW staff are the most consistently professional team I’ve had the pleasure of working with. The overall mission will continue to be the catalyst for moving the organization and members forward as leaders not only in the region but around the world.
Can you describe a truly special LGW Moment from your experience - a connection you made, something you pursued because of LGW, or a distinctive memory?
Marcia: I made a lot of connections with members of the 2017 cohort, one of the most special and memorable memories from the program is the Year Book activity. We all signed and received a signed copy from everyone in the program. Every person wrote something unique about each member on a keepsake paper. This was memorable because it indicated that as I was watching, I was being watched—more than I had ever realized!
Lauren: The connections that I made and keep are the most memorable. The students in the program were from all over the area, and we all had different backgrounds. I really like how our class came together to form bonds that are still strong to this day.
How do you envision the future of the region? What about LGW’s role in that future?
Marcia: The Washington Metro area is an ever-changing region. The demographics, economic growth and expansion, and societal trends can change quickly and without warning. The future of this region, from my perspective, is bright. The Washington region is unique because we always have everything necessary to be successful. We have all the seats of power gathered in a few miles radius of each other; the brightest workforce; federal government; local governments; entrepreneurs and innovators and so much more. LGW, too, has a solid foundation, a progressive mission, and hard-working staff, which makes it an important facilitator for providing insight and opportunity for leaders to come together and tackle any issues and solve any problems.
How do your efforts and leadership at your current organization impact the future of the Greater Washington region?
Marcia: I work with the best, brightest and most talented collection of young people in Washington, DC. Whether it’s helping these young adults realize their own leadership style or modeling my leadership style for them, it is essential to introduce leadership concepts and skills to young people. Living in the metro area where local politics and the federal government, Congress and the President live and work, they are regularly exposed to “leaders” and those in leadership roles whose work and ideas have an impact on their lives. It is crucial that they have an idea of what their current leadership style is and how it may be altered by life’s event but establishing core beliefs and standards early in life will raise a standard of qualified leaders for the region.
Lauren, how do your efforts as a leader in your school or community, impact the future of the Greater Washington region?
Lauren: I try to be understanding of other perspectives and act as a catalyst for open-minded conversations as well as an outlet of information because ignorance is not bliss!
Please tell us something most people might not know about you.
Marcia: I went to college on a basketball scholarship.
Lauren: I am an active member of New Life Worship Center, where I perform short sermons and sign language with the Hands of Praise Ministry.