Dr. Leonie Brooks dreams of building bridges between immigrant, indigenous, racial, and ethnic minority populations and directly impacting public policy and legislation

Dr. Leonie Brooks dreams about building bridges between immigrant, indigenous, racial, and ethnic minority populations and directly impacting public policy and legislation

Dr. Leonie Brooks

Dr. Brooks earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is a proud native of the Caribbean island of Jamaica and has served as Acting Director and the Coordinator of Clinical Training for the Counseling Psychology Graduate Programs at Towson University. As a full-time faculty member, she teaches a variety of applied counseling courses in the graduate program, and is currently conducting research on factors that affect the adjustment of Black Caribbean immigrants in the United States, examining best practices in pedagogy and teaching multicultural counseling competencies to health and mental health professionals, and using social justice strategies to reduce health disparities amongst ethnic and racial minorities. Learn more about her here

A recently published article at www.bbc.comAmber Rudd: Windrush generation treatment ‘appalling’— caused Dr. Brooks to make another appeal for support of her work in accurately documenting some of the many issues which immigrants face in the USA, the UK, and other places around the world.

Dr. Leonie Brooks dreams about building bridges between immigrant, indigenous, racial, and ethnic minority populations and directly impacting public policy and legislation

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has been urged to quit over her role in the Windrush scandal.

Quoting briefly from the article, we learn that;

The home secretary has apologised for the treatment of the Windrush generation, saying it was “wrong” and “appalling” that some face deportation.” The article further stated, “Many immigrants who arrived from the Commonwealth decades ago as children have been told they are here illegally.

Amber Rudd said they would be helped to attain required documents for free and added she was concerned her department “sometimes loses sight” of individuals.

Labour’s David Lammy said it was a “day of national shame”. The Tottenham MP said it was “inhumane and cruel” that it had taken the government so long to act.

Thousands of people arrived in the UK as children in the first wave of Commonwealth immigration 70 years ago.

Dr. Leonie Brooks dreams about building bridges between immigrant, indigenous, racial, and ethnic minority populations and directly impacting public policy and legislation

Home Secretary Amber has been urged to quit (Picture: AFP)

They are known as the Windrush generation – a reference to the ship, the Empire Windrush, that brought workers from the West Indies to Britain in 1948.

Under the 1971 Immigration Act, all Commonwealth citizens already living in the UK were given indefinite leave to remain.

However, the Home Office did not keep a record of those granted leave to remain or issue any paperwork confirming it, meaning it is difficult for the individuals to now prove they are in the UK legally.”  Read the complete article here

Dr. Leonie Brooks wants to make a significant difference.  In responding to this article quoted above, she wrote on her Facebook timeline:

“This is why I remain committed to doing research on Black immigrants generally and Caribbean immigrants in particular. It’s been a challenging sabbatical year, trying earnestly to obtain funding for this research since November 2016 (elections have consequences). Trying everything from traditional foundations and outreach to other Caribbean scholars and consulting with Caribbean ambassadors and ministers to outside the box appeals to major companies (some of which have recently been in trouble for putting profit over security or maltreatment of racial minorities), and outreach to multi-millionaire philanthropists and Caribbean artists.

I failed in all of my efforts and have been discouraged and almost ready to give up. But I can’t and won’t stop.

I was unable to do this research as a graduate student because this Black Caribbean immigrant population I wanted to study was not valued. Making rum punch from those lemons, I gained valuable experience studying Southeast Asian refugees and first generation African American college-bound high school students instead.

I’ve been studying and advocating for immigrants for over a decade and I teach it in my classes, present the topic at conferences, publish book chapters on our strengths, contributions, challenges and identities, have hosted radio programs on WEAA (Morgan State University radio Caribbean Affair ) about immigration and our physical and mental health, hosted panels on Capitol Hill with the Institute of Caribbean Studies during Caribbean Heritage Month and always, I dream about building bridges between immigrant, indigenous and racial and ethnic minority populations and directly impacting public policy and legislation.

I have tried to stay true to this calling to tell our stories…and with God’s help, I’ll find a way to continue. It’s for Mama and Papa, and Uncle Squire and Grandma Victoria, and their parents, and the ancestors including Queen Nanny of the Maroons and Marcus Garvey, and my parents and my brother and sisters and their partners and especially my nephew Channie, and my extended family, and each and every immigrant who dared to leave the familiar to pursue an opportunity, every refugee who escaped the unimaginable and had the courage to begin again, and every enslaved human being stolen from their home land and whose forced, unpaid labor “made empires great”, and every indigenous human being who suffered and survived the atrocities of those who “discovered” your homeland…all of our stories, our histories, our struggles, our contributions and our triumphs must be told!”  #islandgirl #Godwillmakeaway

You may contact Dr. Brooks on Facebook @  https://www.facebook.com/drleebrooks?ref=br_rs

Compiled by Karl A. Haughton

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