Episode 75: Relational Politics with Brandy Brooks

We all have ideals, opinions, and expectations of our governing leaders---and sadly, often those ideals are not met because we elect “politicians.” Today’s show is about change---real change that can happen when the voice of the people is truly heard by community leaders and when the needs of every segment of the community are addressed and improved. This conversation is a breath of fresh air.  Brandy Brooks genuinely has the heart and the determination to make these changes into reality--for the good of ALL the people.

Brandy Brooks is an organizer and educator who has spent nearly 15 years working on social, environmental and economic justice. Her areas of focus include community organizing and empowerment, community-­based design, land use planning, food justice, and food sovereignty. She currently works as the Leadership Development Organizer for Progressive Maryland. Brandy has served on multiple nonprofit boards and planning committees locally and nationally. She continues to speak at local and national events on community design, community-­based food systems, and cooperative development. Brandy’s civic and professional leadership have been recognized through numerous awards and fellowships.

We are taught that we are powerless to change the systems that govern us, but Brandy strives to help people reclaim their power and break down false narratives that are used to divide, dehumanize, and control us. Her hope is to provide a “people-powered democracy” where the needs, hopes, and dreams of all are valued. In her words, “I want us to live into our boldest visions for a renewed, healed, and liberated world where we can all live in peace, love, and dignity.”

Brandy recently ran as a candidate for Montgomery County Council-At-Large in Maryland. Even though society tells her as a woman of color that she has a certain “place,” she says her life has a calling and she has a destiny to fulfill. Her goal is to “do politics” differently in a way that engages people in organizing them to tell their stories and experiences and build the vision they want in the world. Brandy’s theme is “relational politics,” based on how we build trust, protect each other, understand benefits and drawbacks, and make choices. When things in our society are broken, it ultimately comes down to fundamentally broken relationships. Unfortunately, some groups want to maintain power over others and keep groups of people “disconnected by design.”

You’ll be inspired by Brandy’s account of the moment when she realized she could not remain in the shadows any longer. She is open and transparent about her battle to maintain mental health in the face of depression. Brandy is an advocate for others who face mental health stigma and have been shamed and blamed. People need support in whatever their needs are, and they need to choose a space of freedom. Brandy’s other passions include improving “out-of-whack” relationships with farming, food, education, and community healing. Brandy dreams of building “a world that matches our values – a world where justice and love and dignity and care for one another are the bedrock for how we govern ourselves.”



Find Brandy on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram: @brandy4moco



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