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Alfreda Brown

She was born in Rochester, NY.
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Dr. Alfreda Brown is a native of Rochester, New York, the seventh born and sibling of 14 brothers and sisters. She is a women called by God to make a difference in the lives of others which is her ultimate passion and purpose in life. She is a woman who is strong in her faith and belief that prayer changes things. She is one of seven sisters in her family that prays at 5:OO A.M. every weekday morning for the last eight years for people who have need. Dr. Brown is the Chief Diversity Officer at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Dr. Brown has responsibility for recommending and interpreting policy focused on cultural change and for monitoring the establishment and maintenance of a campus environment that is sensitive to all divergent groups.

Dr. Brown received a Bachelor of Science degree at Robertââ?¬â?¢s Wesleyan College in Organizational Management in Rochester, NY. She received a Master of Science degree in Career and Human Resource Development at Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY and a Doctor of Education degree focusing on higher education administration from Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Her dissertation is titled ââ?¬Å?Development of an Affirmative Action Resource Manual for Rochester Institute of Technology.ââ?¬

Dr. Brown serves on a number of community organizations. To name just a few, she is an active member of the Rochester Rotary Club; she serves on the boards of Rochester Hearing and Speech Center, The Advocacy Center and the National Kidney Foundation. She is the Chair of the Board of Directors for Workforce Diversity Network; and Chair of the Freedom Celebration Committee, which is a subcommittee of the Rochester/Monroe County Freedom Trail Commission in Rochester, NY. In addition, she serves as a faculty member as well as the chairperson of the Curriculum Committee for the Rochester African American Leadership Development Program under the auspices of the United Way of Greater Rochester.

Dr. Brown is the facilitator and mentor for RITââ?¬â?¢s Networking and Career Group of eight African American women; as well as facilitator and mentor for The Professional Mentoring Group for young African American female professionals within the City of Rochester. She is a mentor to a nine-year old scholar, who will be the recipient of a full scholarship for college when all requirements are met throughout elementary and high school. Dr. Brown is one of several mentors and Cell Leaders for New Life Fellowship Church, overseeing an assigned group of 12 women, assisting them in both spiritual and professional growth. She is a faculty member in the College of Applied Science and Technology at Rochester Institute of Technologyââ?¬â?¢s Executive Leader program, teaching ââ?¬Å?Service Leadership.ââ?¬ Dr. Brown is the wife of Retired Sergeant Major Lawrence D. Brown and the mother and step mother of six children and seven grandchildren. Dr. Brown has three ââ?¬Å?adoptedââ?¬ RIT graduate students; one from Ghana, one from India and one from Rochester, NY, all are considered members of her extended family. She is a member of New Life Fellowship church in the City of Rochester where she and her husband serve as Assistant Deans and faculty members for the School of Cell Leaders.


Provide specific examples of how the nominee has demonstrated excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession.


Dates Held

Contribution and organizational impact

Interim Chief Diversity Officer, Rochester Institute of Technology

December 2006 to May 2007

Initiated and implemented the Council on Diversity and Inclusion focusing on three major impact areas: creating a diversity plan for the institution; development and implementation of a university climate study and assessment of all RIT diversity programs. Initiatives are in process and have accomplished full engagement of the diversity focus and dialogue across the campus.

Implemented Diversity Day 2007, ââ?¬Å?Reaffirming RITââ?¬â?¢s Commitment to Diversity;ââ?¬ attended by more than 60% of managers and top leadership (approximately 350 leaders). The outcome is a comprehensive report detailing the dialogue officiated by members of the Board of Trustees and recommendations offered by faculty and staff for addressing a major challenge regarding dishonorable behavior. Implementation of recommendations is currently underway.

Interim Chief Diversity Officer, Rochester Institute of Technology

June 2007 to October 2007

Creation of innovative programs has provided an avenue for quick results in the diversity arena. Alfreda implemented a new governance structure for diversity, which involves engagement of a top down ââ?¬â?? bottom up leadership approach. The Executive Diversity Council is the leadership team (comprised of the President of RIT, one Board of Trustee member and three vice presidents); an administrative team (Council on Diversity and Inclusion) and a grass root functional team (Functional Diversity Partners Team) to ensure accountability of completed work and forward movement of diversity initiatives. This approach makes diversity ââ?¬Å?everybodyââ?¬â?¢s business.ââ?¬

Currently implementation is underway of a diversity scorecard process to monitor and enhance the success of two focused underrepresented areas: (AALANA) African American, Latino American and Native American faculty, staff and students, and Women. The university climate study process, focusing on the organizational climate will be implemented by spring quarter 2008.

As Interim Chief Diversity Officer, Alfreda is known as the person who provides oversight for all major diversity initiatives, serving on several university committees and providing guidance for diversity challenges that exist within the RIT community.

Chair, Commission for Promoting Pluralism, Rochester Institute of Technology

July 1995 -December 2006

Responsible for several major long-standing initiatives; Nine year program of Campus Week of Dialogue, using past president Bill Clintonââ?¬â?¢s initiative on Race Relations as a foundation model; Six years annual week-long Expressions of Diversity Conference; well over 40 programs each year throughout the week, bringing in top speakers from all over the United States including local and internal speakers. Twelve years of the Thomas Jefferson High School Career Conference; resulting from research done through Alfredaââ?¬â?¢s Master of Science Degree focused on creating a counseling initiative for young school children.

When compared with the early years, attendance and participation in diversity programs from the RIT community has increased well over 50%. Thomas Jefferson school students who began the program years ago (approximately 130 students visit each year) have younger brothers and sisters coming through the program and a few that are known have attended RIT. Each year the young students declare that this is a great program and that they feel connected to RITââ?¬â?¢s faculty and staff who participate as counselors. It is believed that the interactions with RIT faculty and staff are life changing moments.

More than half of all presenters at the Expressions for Diversity Conference are RIT faculty members who present current, exciting research in diversity topics. They also involve their students; therefore student participation has also increased, as well as the additional extracurricular learning opportunities.

Alfreda lead the implementation of Partnerships in Pluralism (pairing of faculty and staff by race and ethnicity in 2003. 2007 marks the fourth year implementation of the program; approximately 220 RIT faculty and staff have been involved in the program. The first year assessment has shown at least 95% of the 80 participants that year believe this program has made a difference in their perspectives about race and that it is good for building trust and credibility amongst members of the RIT family.

In 2006, Global Leadership Program was implemented for students; a similar concept to Partnerships in Pluralism. The second year implementation of the program has resulted in increased interest among the student population, having more than 40 students and 20 faculty and staff involved in leadership activities, peer mentoring, professional mentoring (by faculty and staff members) and engaged discussions regarding leadership concepts, race, ethnicity and globalization. The Global Leadership Certificate has proven to be an attraction for employers as students used it as part of their portfolio when interviewed.


List local, state, national and international level participation. Include length of service and offices held in civic and service organizations such as charitable activities, political pursuits, religious groups, chambers of commerce, merchantsââ?¬â?¢ associations, etc.

Leadership roles in community organizations or service of benefit to the organization.


Dates Held

Leadership demonstrated and benefit to the organization

Board of Directors for Campfire Boys and Girls


As Chair of Community Relations, Alfreda was responsible for heightened awareness and increased visibility of Campfire Boys and Girls through newspaper articles and increased community support, particularly since girls were added as a new focus for the Campfire association during this time.

Womenââ?¬â?¢s Foundation, Board of Directors

1996 ââ?¬â?? 2001

Chair of Nominations Committee, successfully recruited women of color onto the board; raised funds to help support grant initiatives for women.

United Way Loan Executive


On loan from RIT, provided three months of service, giving several presentations to small businesses throughout Rochester to raise funds to support the United Way Campaign.

Rochester 2010


Recruited by Democrat and Chronicle to be a member of a distinguished group think tank, the Rochester 2010 team, to dialogue and make recommendations on metropolitan solutions.

Leadership Rochester


Participant and graduate of the Leadership Rochester Class of 1995; this group has been well connected in Rochester and several from this class have gone on to do great things.

United Way African American Leadership Development Program

1996 - current

Participant and graduate of the African American Leadership Development Program, Class of 1996; subsequently taught courses as a faculty member in the program for the past five years; currently serve as Chair of the curriculum committee and a member of the Executive Committee. As chair, Alfreda develops curriculum and assign appropriate faculty for courses.

Pre-Trial Services, Board of Directors


Served as Chair of the Nominating Committee, achieved bringing in people of color to serve on the board.

Diversity Roundtable Community Discussion Group


Facilitated discussions about diversity with a diverse group of community members over a course of two years. The group felt there was a need to talk about the difficult challenges regarding race relations in Rochester.

United Way Community Conference Planning Committee


Participated as a committee member to design and implement a community conference for service agencies. The conference was a huge success in that there was record attendance and evaluations about presenters were better than average.

Community Conversations with the Board of Education


Facilitated several conversations with local city residents and parents of the school children regarding the challenges in the Rochester city schools. These conversations helped to smooth out much of the rising frustration experienced by the parents.

New Life Fellowship Church, Audio Visual Committee, School of Cell Leaders

1996 current

Worked as a volunteer for audio and visual needs during worship services; became administrative assistant for the School of Cell Leaders in 2002; currently and for the past four years serve as the Associate Dean and faculty member of the School of Cell Leaders at New Life Fellowship.

Workforce Diversity Network

1996 current

Served on Board of Directors, currently serve as Chair of the Board of the Board of Directors. Alfreda working with Mike Streeter have implemented several diversity conferences, all with great success.

The Advocacy Center

2005 current

Serve on Board of Directors; Long Range Planning Committee; provided diversity leadership training program to staff managers.

The National Kidney Foundation

2005 - current

Serve on Board of Directors; assist in KEEP screenings (assist in several community programs to help bring awareness to potential dangers of kidney disease). There is a great need to provide more outreach to the African American community. Alfreda has joined the Speakers Forum to do presentations about kidney disease.

Rotary Club of Rochester

2005 ââ?¬â?? current

Serve on the Scholarship Committee for School #8; organized a Parent Committee to help ensure children who are scholars are provided the support that is needed from parents, school officials and mentors.

Rochester Hearing and Speech Center

2007 ââ?¬â?? current

Board of Directors and Long Range Planning Committee. A new committee, however committed to supporting the goals and vision to help raise funds to support the needs of this population.

Black Womenââ?¬â?¢s Leadership Forum Steering Committee

2006 ââ?¬â??

Participate as member of a team to decide future directions and implement future programs targeting black women in Rochester. A need has been identified to bring professional women together to help those who need assistance, with professional growth and opportunities, particularly the younger women.

Pillars of Hope

2006 ââ?¬â?? current

Volunteer through monthly visits at School #29; implementing dialogue sessions and activities with elementary children (Grade 3), and serving as role models. Early signs of success have been expressed by the teacher of the third grade. The children are engaged and look forward to the groupââ?¬â?¢s visit.

Junior Achievement

01 -02 2005

04 ââ?¬â?? 05 2006

Volunteered as teacher for Junior Achievement fifth grade curriculum at School #12. These children were extremely bright and enjoyed the curriculum. The teacher of the class felt that the students learned much from the five sessions for each group.

Rochester / Monroe County Freedom Trail Commission

2004 - current

As Chair of the Freedom Celebration Committee, a subcommittee of the Freedom Trail Commission; Alfreda facilitated the implementation of a historic Rochester community event: The Frederick Douglass International Underground Railroad Freedom Conference and Heritage Festival. Coordinated efforts resulted in an outpouring of community support. Presenters came from several states to discuss the history of the underground railroad, relating it directly to the Rochester region and the Freedom Trails leading from the south into Rochester. Not only corporate businesses and not- for-profits gave willingly of their time and funds; schools and colleges throughout the Greater Rochester area took part in the event. Children, teen-agers and adults from all ethnicities, experiences, ages and backgrounds came together to learn about Frederick Douglass and the Underground Railroad. A freedom celebration ended the three day event with well over 1,100 people in attendance.


Provide specific examples of how the nominee has assisted women in reaching their full leadership potential, and/or demonstrated support for their professional advancement.

Contributions to the professional growth, development and advancement of women.



Contribution and impact

Mentor, RIT - Hillside School-to-Work Mentoring Project

2005 current

Alfreda successfully developed and implemented a mentoring project partnering with a community organization, Hillside School to Work Mentoring Project. This 11th grade student finished the school year with a 4.30 (out of a possible 5.0). She was employed in Alfredaââ?¬â?¢s department, gaining insight about diversity through programs and working as an office assistant throughout the entire school year. She graduated in June with honors. This student still works in Alfredaââ?¬â?¢s area and is now a freshman student enrolled in RITââ?¬â?¢s PA program.

Mentor, RIT Networking and Career Group


Alfreda successfully completed two years career-based mentoring project with nine RIT women. As facilitator for this group, she provided workshops for enhancing, developing and achieving career objectives. These women, meeting four times a month, have grown professionally and most have completed professional goals that were identified at the beginning of the year. Since coming to the program all have either completed a graduate degree or have been promoted to better positions. This group has entered its second year with new or revised personal and professional goals; they have completed a vision and mission statement for the group and have completed a plan of work for accomplishing initiatives for academic year 2007-2008. The group has facilitated a training program for RITââ?¬â?¢s Career and Professional Development Program; they coordinated training for a group of about 25 staff members. They currently have organized a speakerââ?¬â?¢s series focusing on overcoming career-related challenges and barriers for successful growth.

Mentor, Professional Mentoring Group, Rochester, NY

08/ 2006

This group of eight women works within the Rochester community at different places of employment. Meeting four times a month, this group has met for over the course of one year. Within the year, the group has developed the following vision and mission statements:
The Professional Mentoring Group is the impetus for change in the lives of women, transforming them into women of purpose and excellence while reaching the highest level of growth and development in their personal lives and careers.
Our mission is to engage in learning and experiential development through seminars and sharing of career and life experiences, to include practical measures for assessing growth, and ultimately achieving professionalism in every aspect of our lives.
The women in this group are growing and developing personally and professionally. The objective is to reach a stage of growth in which they can begin their own mentoring initiative with other women.

Cell Leader, New Life Fellowship School of Cell Leaders


As a cell leader of a group of 12 women, twice each month, Alfreda facilitates discussion about lessons from the Bible. This is a life-changing group. At least four women have witnessed a dramatic change in their lives as they are now more positive thinkers and lead enhanced peaceful lives. The women often discuss their growth and development and sometimes marvel at how much better they feel about their lives. The group believes that one can have peace in all situations; it is only a matter of oneââ?¬â?¢s faith and confidence in the promises that are held in the Word of God.

Mentor, School #8, Rochester Rotary Club

06/2007 current

Alfreda has been assigned to a nine year old student scholar from School #8. There are a variety of programs and activities that Alfreda is engaged with her young scholar. If the scholar continues to do well, she will be eligible for up to 75% of her tuition paid for college.

Speaker : Focusing on Women:

1. ââ?¬Å?Overcoming Bitternessââ?¬ (April, 2005)Womenââ?¬â?¢s Ministry, Bethesda Church of God in Christ (Rochester, NY)
2. ââ?¬Å?Overcoming Career Menopauseââ?¬ (June 2006) ââ?¬â?? Eastman Kodakââ?¬â?¢s 7th Annual North Star Network Womenââ?¬â?¢s Leadership Conference: Succeeding Amidst Corporate Change, Rochester, NY
3. ââ?¬Å?A Word of Friendshipââ?¬ ââ?¬â?? (November 2005) Rochester Genesee Valley Club of the Negro Business and Professional Womenââ?¬â?¢s Club, Inc. Annual Membership Tea, Rochester, NY

4. ââ?¬Å?Reaching for Excellenceââ?¬ ââ?¬â?? (July 2005) YWCA Staff Retreat, Womenââ?¬â?¢s Resource and Career, Rochester, NY
5. ââ?¬Å?Answering Godââ?¬â?¢s Callââ?¬ ââ?¬â?? (September 2005) Womenââ?¬â?¢s Net Meeting, New Life Fellowship, Rochester, NY

Several dates

Alfreda readily accepts offers to present or speak to a group of women. It is part of her passion and aligns directly with her purpose in life. She has spoken in a variety of venues about a variety of topics, all targeting women, for women and about women. These are just some of the recorded talks. It is Alfredaââ?¬â?¢s desire to support women in their success and assist in helping them to learn how to realize their ââ?¬Å?true northââ?¬ ââ?¬â?? the authenticity of who they really are.

Writer / Article:
Her say: Feminist Issues More than Black and White Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill.


When this article was written it received much publicity; even a call from the Montel Williams Show to find out if there was interest in discussing more about the topic. Several calls came from university women who were doing research on this topic and wanted to know more.

Chair, Commission for Promoting Pluralism, RIT Campus Week of Dialogue. October 24-28, 2005. ââ?¬Å?Focus on Women.ââ?¬

10/24 thru

Alfreda facilitated implementation of a week-long dialogue on women. There was high attendance in large and small group discussions (800 ââ?¬â?? 1000) overall. The topic of women became a primary focus of concern for the entire year within the RIT campus community. As a result, an Advisory Council on the Status of Women was created (now has become the Presidentââ?¬â?¢s Commission on Women Issues) and mandates were given by the president. Challenges persist, however due to this particular program, RIT is now much more aware than ever about the challenges experienced by women on the campus and has begun a forward approach to addressing the issues.

Interim Chief Diversity Officer., RIT
The Presidentââ?¬â?¢s Commission on Womenââ?¬â?¢s Issues

2006 - current

Alfreda serves as a member of this high level committee to share insight, support decision-making and bring change in the lives of women currently at RIT and those to come in RITââ?¬â?¢s future.

Interim Chief Diversity Officer,
RIT Womenââ?¬â?¢s Center

2005 ââ?¬â??

As an advocate for women, Alfreda serves as a member of this committee and has been instrumental in supporting all of their efforts.


Include any additional information you feel is important for consideration of your nominee. List awards, honors received publications or articles supporting service to their profession, industry or community.

Professional/business achievements, honors, awards and recognition



Description and scope

Professional Award ââ?¬â?? Rochester Genesee Valley Club, NANBPWC Inc. (National Association of Negro Business Professional Women Club, Inc.)


This award honored the accomplishments of black women known for professionalism and excellence.

RIT Jefferson Connection Educational Partnership Award


This award was the beginning of a long standing relationship with Thomas Jefferson Middle and High School. It was the result of implementing a career counseling program that is still in existence.

ââ?¬Å?Who Was Firstââ?¬ African American Greater Rochester Area (First Edition)


Listed in a book describing many ââ?¬Å?firstsââ?¬ ââ?¬â?? Alfreda was the first African American Chair and the first Chair of RITââ?¬â?¢s Staff Council

Outstanding Adult Student Award (Rochester Area Colleges)


With competition being quite high, Alfreda was chosen and honored for receiving this award.

Certificate of Appreciation, Association for the Advancement of Science, Black Church Health Connection Project - ââ?¬Å?Whoââ?¬â?¢s Responsible for My Actions & Reactions?ââ?¬


This project reached out to approximately 100 children from the inner city, designed to teach them about the importance of health. A day long event captured the hearts of many volunteers and made a difference in the lives of the young children.

Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society


This was an important day in Alfredaââ?¬â?¢s life; induction into Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society with all rights and privileges.

Faculty/Staff Advisor of the Year Black Awareness Coordinating Committee


There are many advisors; however advisor of the year was a special honor.

Kodak Brainpower Hall of Fame


Alfreda was inducted into Kodakââ?¬â?¢s Brainpower Hall of Fame given to graduates of the Rochester City School District who overcame significant challenges to complete their education and lead successful lives. The team assisted schools by meeting with high school students to discuss the importance of persisting through high school and college


2007 (November)

Alfreda recognizes that it is a special honor to be invited to teach in RITââ?¬â?¢s ACT College in Zagreb, Croatia. Students in the class stated it was one of the best classes they have had throughout their program. The class is ââ?¬Å?Service Leadership,ââ?¬ a special niche and passion for Alfreda. A new goal is to continue to teach.

Doctorate Degree

Alfreda received a Doctor of Education degree from Nova Southeastern University. This was a milestone for Alfreda after 18 years of college courses and the attached challenges. Perseverance paid off.