Brenda Lawrence

Brenda L. Lawrence is this year’s recipient of the Summit for Civil Rights Shirley Chisholm Breakthrough Leader Award for her extraordinary and inspirational rise to power.

Ms. Lawrence is a breakthrough leader whose history and experience personifies the American Civil Rights Movement’s critical alliance of Organized Labor, and powerful Black Elected office holders.

Congresswoman Lawrence began career as a letter carrier with the U.S. Postal Service. A member of the powerful American Postal Workers Union (APWU), she rose to executive leadership in the Postal Service while rising to prominence in Southfield Michigan from School board to City Council President and eventually becoming the first African American and first female mayor of this important Detroit suburb.

As a Member of Congress, she represented her district and the American people. She was elected the Freshman Whip and later appointed Senior Whip. She was a Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on the Interior. She was also a member of the House Committee on Small Business and the powerful Committee on Appropriations.

Today, Congresswoman Lawrence is the Executive Director of Spill the Honey a national organization advancing and restoring the historic and powerful relationship between Black and Jewish communities and faith institutions and leaders during the American Civil Rights movement.

Former Congresswoman and recipient of Summit for Civil Rights Shirley Chisholm Breakthrough Leader Award
2020 Summit Speaker: 
Currently not speaking at summit
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