NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — News 8 wants to recognize the significant contributions women have made to our nation and local communities. Remarkable Women is part of a nationwide Nexstar Media initiative to honor the influence that women have had on public policy, social progress and the quality of life.
Throughout Women’s History Month, News 8 will highlight four local women who inspire, lead and forge the way for other women.
Carroll E. Brown has spent decades bettering the lives of others, not only in her community but around the state.
Before there was the West Haven Black Coalition, which now is responsible for the disbursement of hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarship money to students, there was a woman who saw a problem.
“I never saw Black people’s names in the paper,” Brown said. “They were not sitting on city council, no boards or commissions. I noticed there were no African Americans involved in anything in West Haven. At least, I didn’t think they were.”
If you thought she’d be too busy raising her three boys to do something about it, you don’t know Brown.
“I decided that I was going to run for the board of ed,” she told News 8.
Brown made herself known in the West Haven community and schools, forming the West Haven Black Coalition she promised would change lives.
“She said, ‘why are you telling people we’re going to give out scholarships? We don’t even have a quarter to mail out a letter.’ I said, ‘if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen.’ And so it did.”
The former model and performer turned power woman, wife, mom, and community activist was on a mission that soon went well beyond West Haven.
“It’s my passion to help, just help, where needed.”
This year marks 37 years of the coalition. More than $200,000 in scholarship money has been awarded to students, honoring those doing good for others in their community.
“I think they’re called unsung heroes,” Brown said. “I don’t want to just give out community service awards to people who live in West Haven. I have friends who are never recognized by their community because of where they live. So, they get a chance to get recognized here in West Haven.”
She raised a family while lifting a community.
“Do unto others as you would have done unto you,” Brown said. “That’s what it’s all about.”
It’s what makes Carroll E. Brown so remarkable.
Tune in to News 8 every Wednesday to hear stories of remarkable Connecticut women. At the end of March, we’ll name our Connecticut woman of the year, who will be a national finalist for Nexstar Media Group’s Woman of the Year in Los Angeles.