Community Advisory Board member spotlight: Brooke Floyd

Community Advisory Board member spotlight: Brooke Floyd

Since January 2022, Brooke Floyd has served as a Forge AHEAD Center Community Advisory Board member, representing Jackson, Mississippi. For over 20 years, Brooke has worked in the Jackson community ensuring children are able to receive a quality education and the support they need to be successful.

Brooke is director of the JXN People’s Assembly, a program in the People’s Advocacy Institute, where she engages the community through education on issues, providing access to information and resources, facilitating People’s Assemblies, and helping the community bring proposed solutions to elected officials.

“Through People’s Assemblies true change is possible, for our communities, giving our children a fighting chance,” Brooke says.

The Forge AHEAD Center communications team sat down with Brooke to get to know her and better understand her role as a Community Advisory Board member.

Q: Tell us about your background and current work.

I worked in children’s education for over 20 years. I taught elementary school, HeadStart, and directed a children’s program at a local non-profit in Jackson called Stewpot Community Services. The program provided a free after school and summer camp for children in Jackson.

Currently, I am the Director of JXN People’s Assembly Initiatives which is a part of People’s Advocacy Institute. JXN People’s Assembly aims to increase community access to information, to government, and to increase community engagement and voice in government decisions. We hold People’s Assemblies with community to provide residents a space to receive information, discuss the issues relevant to them, and to develop solutions to solve the issues. The solutions can then be made into programs (almost all of People’s Advocacy Institute’s programs were developed through People’s Assemblies) or if needed taken to the appropriate government level to try and be made into policy.

Q: How does your work with the People’s Advocacy Institute and Stewpot align with the work of Forge AHEAD Center?

I think all three are working to help alleviate the gap between those that have and those that don’t. People’s Advocacy Institute aims to create a more just society by building community capacity and governing power through helping those who are often most harmed by an unjust system. Stewpot cares for people by providing their most basic needs, food, clothing, housing, and most importantly love.

The Forge AHEAD Center focuses on the health disparities all the groups of people PAI and Stewpot work with and provide services for. We may be in different subsets, but we are part of a much larger purpose, to help people in our area that are constantly left out of the equation. We all want to ensure that everyone is able to not only live but thrive.

Q: What excites you most about working with Forge AHEAD Center?

I love learning about the research and the potential outcomes. I am excited to see what can happen, when the right people, minds, and resources work together for the greater good.

Q: What are some of your goals within the Jackson, MS community for 2024?

There are several issues I am working on, but one main goal is to have a public water system that includes community input and supplies Jackson residents with clean drinking water.

I am also looking forward to our Youth Action Initiative which will help to train young people around the issues that are important to them and get them involved in the electoral process. Of course, I always have the goal of engaging more Jackson residents, keeping them informed and helping them to become part of the electoral process.