A Conversation with Porschea Brown
Who is the RPA? It’s made up of volunteers with passion, progressive values, and who love Richmond. In this series, we get to know the new faces on the RPA Steering Committee. This month, we had the pleasure of speaking with Porschea Brown. In her day job, she works as a financial coach and social worker with Rubicon programs, a nationally recognized non-profit that helps people break the cycle of poverty.
Please tell us about your involvement in the RPA and in progressive causes.
In 2014 I had the pleasure of meeting Melvin Willis and Juan Reardon out in the community and they introduced me to Richmond Progressive Alliance. During this time my grandmother like many home owners in the city had issues with Bank of America regarding their home loans and Melvin introduced us to a program called NACA (Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America). Juan also introduced me to Jovanka Beckles and BMOER (Black Mobilization Organization Education Richmond.) Over the years, I have been a supporter of BMOER, RPA and I have supported a few members at the polls in addition to many of the campaigns and initiatives. I am responsible for leading a restorative healing circle, a women's empowerment group and for overseeing a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program where we returned over $700,000 in federal and state refunds back to the community.
What are your ideas about how change and progress occur?
My idea of change and progress begins with an awareness of self and systems. Change and progress requires a desire to want to experience something new. When new ideas begin to surface for me I have to set a goal(s), create a plan, followed by action.
What are you interested in bringing to the RPA?
It is my understanding that RPA is seeking to include more African American women and men. I would like to bring that diversity to RPA and collectively build an alliance with other promising young women and men of color, create mentorship opportunities, and opportunities for upward social mobility.
What would you like the RPA to accomplish? What is your vision of where the RPA is headed?
I would like to see RPA tackle race relations issues and develop county-wide activities for our youth and young adults. I would also like to see RPA develop a social enterprise that the residents can benefit from.