Jesse W. Brown, Jr.
Reverend Jesse W. Brown, Jr. is the founder and executive
director of the National Association of African Americans
for Positive Imagery (NAAAPI), a national non-profit organization
based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NAAAPI has as its mission
the mobilization of African American communities throughout
the United States in the promotion of positive self-determination
and good health. Since its inception in 1991, much of NAAAPI's
focus has been in the prevention of tobacco use and alcohol
abuse. From 1994 to 2001, Brown also served as the vice president
of The Onyx Group, a marketing communications company with
a focus on social marketing and health-related research.
with his work in health and communications, Brown served as
a Lutheran pastor. For ten years, he was the senior pastor
at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, located in the Strawberry
Mansion community of North Philadelphia. In recent years,
he has served as an interim pastor for urban churches in Philadelphia
and Chester, Pennsylvania. Brown served as the president of
Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity, as the president
of the Philadelphia chapter of the African American Lutheran
Association, and as a founding member of Black Clergy for
Substance Abuse Prevention, a national association of activist
1990, Brown was one of the spokespersons for the Coalition
Against Uptown Cigarettes - a grassroots movement in Philadelphia.
His leadership helped the community gain the support of then-Secretary
of Health and Human Services Dr. Louis Sullivan in opposing
Uptown, a new brand of cigarettes that was targeted at the
Black community. The Coalition Against Uptown Cigarettes was
successful in pressuring the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
to withdraw the test market of the new brand. The energy generated
by the campaign led to the founding of the Philadelphia-based
Uptown Coalition for Tobacco Prevention and Public Health
in 1990, which Brown still chairs, and the founding of NAAAPI
in Greensboro, North Carolina a year later, in 1992.
point person for NAAAPI, initially as chair and currently
as executive director, Brown has been instrumental in a number
of community campaigns and crusades, including successful
campaigns to end the marketing of X cigarettes and PowerMaster.
Other community-based activities included the "Say No
to Menthol Joe" community crusade which helped set the
stage for the withdrawal of the cartoon Joe Camel and more
recent efforts against the Swisher Sweets mentholated cigars.
was also the lead plaintiff in an historic lawsuit brought
by NAAAPI against the tobacco companies for target marketing
menthol cigarettes to African Americans. While the lawsuit
did not reach a jury trial, the attention it generated led
to increased research into the dangers of menthol, including
a landmark research conference on mentholated cigarettes sponsored
by the Office on Smoking and Health, of the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Cancer Institute
of the US Institutes of Health.
has spoken on tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs, and other dangers
to health at hundred of venues around the country. He is frequently
quoted in local, national and international publications.
His activities have included: blackwashing tobacco and alcohol
billboards in urban communities, conducting T-shirt exchanges
which allowed people to exchange wearing apparel with tobacco
and alcohol logos for shirts and caps with positive health
messages, and community parades in support of good health.
has been active in tobacco control nationally, often as a
spokesperson for issues of people of color. He served on the
Koop-Kessler Advisory Committee on Tobacco Policy and Public
Health, the National Cancer Institute's ASSIST Coordinating
Committee, and the SmokeLess States Advisory Committee. In
Pennsylvania, Brown has been active with the Pennsylvania
Tobacco Prevention Network (PTPN), the Pennsylvania Alliance
for Control of Tobacco (PACT), the Tobacco Education and Action
Coalition for Health (TEACH), the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free
Pennsylvania and Pennsylvanians Against Underage Drinking
of Brown's most important activities has been his work with
"World No Tobacco Day" - one of four health dates
designated by the World Health Organization. Brown has galvanized
support for World No Tobacco Day, increasing the number of
participating communities from a few dozen to several hundred.
In 2000, Brown became chair of the nonprofit US World No Tobacco
Day Committee, an organization with more than 30 member organizations.
National World No Tobacco Day events have been held in Chicago,
Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. On October 13, 2000, Brown
provided testimony to the World Health Organization in Geneva,
Switzerland on the Tobacco Framework Convention.
addition to his work in tobacco use prevention and control,
Brown has been active in many health-related initiatives -
HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention, immunization, safe streets,
infant mortality prevention and drug abuse prevention, and
programs to assist former drug addicts and alcoholics.
was educated in the public schools of Greensboro, North Carolina
and received his bachelor of arts degree from Concordia College
(New York) in 1979. He is a 1987 graduate of the Lutheran
School of Theology in Chicago, Illinois with a master's degree
is married to the Reverend Sandra Brown, who is also a Lutheran
minister. The Brown's have four children and live in North