Kevin Brown, now a social work professor at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, poured his life into the Hollygrove neighborhood as the director of Trinity Christian Community (TCC) from 1998 until 2013. At no time was his commitment to Hollygrove more evident than in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
While national media coverage surrounding the 10th anniversary of the storm virtually ignored the grassroots recovery efforts of local New Orleanians, local publications took notice. Preservation in Print, the official magazine of the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans, called Brown a “neighborhood champion” in its September 2015 edition in series titled “Heroes among Us.”
In the immediate aftermath, Brown secured the $2 million in funding needed to deploy 100 AmeriCorps members throughout the city to to assist with house gutting and reconstruction. Preservation in Print called the this AmeriCorps initiative “game-changing for the city’s recovery effort.”
The article also highlighted the community development work Brown has been a part of in his 15 years at TCC. The efforts include after-school tutoring, youth mentoring, prenatal health programs, and assisting in the development of the Hollygrove Market, a popular farmer’s market in Hollygrove. Brown was also instrumental in the opening of Dunbar Elementary School in the neighborhood.
“Every positive thing that has happened in Hollygrove in recent memory, Kevin played at least some role in it,” said Jon Skvarka, director of PRC’s Rebuilding Together New Orleans initiative, the magazine reported.
Brown, currently pursuing a Ph.D. in urban studies at the University of New Orleans, left TCC in 2013 to teach in the social work program at NOBTS. However, Brown said TCC will continue in community development efforts aimed at raising incomes and homeownership rates in the neighborhood under the leadership of Jarvain Bingmon.