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About Representative Tommie F. Brown

In 1992, Representative Tommie F. Brown was elected to represent the 28th District, a part Chattanooga in Hamilton County.  She is currently completing her seventh term in office.  She is Vice-Chair of the House of Representatives' Education Committee where she is the Chair of the Subcommittee on Higher Education.  Her other committee assignments include Finance Ways and Means and Children and Family where she sits on the Domestic Relations Subcommittee. 

Representative Brown earned her BA Degree from Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana, a Masters Degree in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and a Doctorate in Social Work from Columbia University, New York, New York.   Dr. Brown’s professional experience includes positions of Child Welfare Worker, Supervisor and Regional Field Director for Training for the Tennessee Department of Welfare. Also, Representative Brown held various academic and administrative positions at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga from 1971 – 1998, including the position of UC Foundation Associate Professor of Social Work.

Dr. Brown’s steadfast commitment to social and civic responsibility has been recognized in numerous ways. Among her awards are: her profession’s, the National Association of Social Workers, highest award--The 1970 National Social Worker of the Year Award.  Among more recent tributes has been the naming of a newly constructed Hamilton County Magnet Elementary School, "The Dr. Tommie F. Brown Academy for Classical Studies" which opened in August 2002.

Family Life

  • Representative Brown (age 71) was born Tommie Faye Brown on June 25, 1934 in Rome Georgia. 

  • She was the firstborn child of Mr. Phillip Brown, Sr. and Mrs. Mary Louise Brown.  And three years later, she gets a new baby sister – Ms. Mary Louise Brown. (Deceased)  And a few years after that, she also gets a new baby brother – Mr. Phillip Brown, Jr.  (Lives in Michigan).

  • She grew up in Chattanooga, TN and when she wasn’t playing with the neighborhood “gang” she was learning to be a servant from her Pentecostal grandmother known as Mother Florence Hicks.  Mother Hicks would take Tommie Faye out each Saturday morning to visit the sick – providing food, helping with chores, running errands, and providing prayer and comfort to those who were in need.

  • She never married or had any children.

Career Life

  • Representative Brown has received three degrees during her career – a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dillard University, a Masters of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis, and a Doctorate of Social Work from Columbia University. 

  • She was a social worker in Chattanooga for 12 years.

  • She was also an educator at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga – teaching Social Work Research for 27 years.

  • Though she is a retired educator, her life’s work has just begun…

Community Service

  • In 1994, Representative Tommie Brown was elected to serve as a member of the House of Representatives for the 98th Tennessee General Assembly.  She became the first woman to serve as State Legislator for Hamilton County – District 28 in Chattanooga where she resides in the heart of the inner-city.  (In the same house where her parents’ raised her)  She is currently serving the 104th Tennessee General Assembly and finishing up her 7th two-year term.  She has been serving the Democratic Party and her constituents in this role for nearly 14 years now.

  • The Tommie F. Brown Academy for Classical Studies located in Chattanooga was named in her honor.  “Brown Academy” serves grades K-5 and whenever Representative Brown is visiting, the children greet her with warm smiles and gracious hugs, and when she asks them who she is, they respond “Ms. Academy” since the school is named after her; logically her last name must be “Academy.”  She is also known to some students and staff as “Mama Brown” Or “Dr. Brown.”

  • She serves on the Hamilton County Delegation and many other boards in Chattanooga.  She is founder of the 28th Community Development Center.

  • The Chattanooga News – Free Press once referred to Representative Brown as “Professor, Social Advocate, and Activist” and I think that sums it up very well.  She once brought a case against Hamilton County on behalf of her community and she won.  She is known for speaking up and speaking out – it’s no wonder she was destined to become a law maker.

Miscellaneous Information

  • Representative Brown is a cancer survivor.

 

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