Brandi T Brown

Brandi T. Brown

Lead-in-Residence Collaborations & Community Engagement

HYPE Freedom School Inc. / Black Impact Houston

Brandi T. Brown is the founder and Executive Director of   HYPE Freedom School, Inc. (HYPE). HYPE is a city-wide leader in offering culturally affirming, literacy-based programming that builds protective factors, closes   opportunity gaps and promote positive youth development.

Early in her career, Brandi recognized the urgent need for   children to engage and have access to productive out of school time activities in a safer environment, and how   critical it is to stop summer learning loss. During her   undergraduate studies at Southern Methodist University (SMU), Brandi was introduced to a cultural literacy   enrichment program, called Children’s Defense Fund (CDF)   Freedom Schools®.

After serving in the CDF Freedom Schools program in Dallas, Brandi was determined to bring the first CDF   Freedom Schools to Houston. In 1999, Brandi opened the   doors of Houston’s Youth Program for Enrichment (H.Y.P.E.) (Now known as HYPE Freedom School, Inc.)  and under her leadership, H.Y.P.E. was selected by the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) to join community organizations around the country, and serve  as a local sponsor for CDF’s six-week, literacy-rich summer programs called CDF Freedom  Schools®.

Brandi’s vision evolved to not just offering summer programming, but to partner with families as an extension of support year-round. Brandi’s love for people shows through her one on one engagement and group facilitation with families, providing job readiness and career training and mentorship to college students and partnering with faith leaders, churches, grassroots and established community organizations. One of Brandi’s proudest accomplishments has also  been dismantling mental and physical barriers about mental health services and seeing over 50 HYPE families and growing utilize HYPE’s therapy and support services.

 Brandi’s passion for community building and youth service has been a common thread throughout her career. Recently, Brandi developed Black Impact Houston after seeing a much after the shift and conversations following the inequities seen through the pandemic as well as the racial injustices that were highlighted through the murder of George Floyd. A year later, this group of nonprofit leaders formalized their partnership under the name Black Impact Houston. This membership  of 35 organizations is creating community with and for Black-led nonprofits in Houston.

Brandi Brown has her Bachelor’s Degree from SMU and a Masters in Counseling from Prairie View A & M University. She previously worked with parenting high-school students for Houston Independent School District, served as the Texas Youth Leadership Development Director with Children’s Defense Fund and she managed the oversight of the expansion of CDF Freedom Schools in the Texas area. She is a proud Houstonian, a loving wife, a nurturing mother and a  mentor to many. She is a humble leader who exemplifies excellence in all things.