2004 No Wine Shop

2003 Philadelphia Alcohol Billboard Ban

2002
Stop Liquor Ads on NBC

2002 Community Partners

2001
Swisher Ain't Sweet

1999
Marlboro Mild

1998 African Amer. & Tobacco Settlement

1998 African Amer. Tobacco Ind. Lawsuit

1997 Say No to Menthol Joe

1996 Hands off Halloween

1995 X Cigarette

1994 World No Tobacco Day Activities

1993 Defeat of PowerMaster Malt Liquor

1990 Uptown Coalition

 

HOME > ABOUT NAAAPI > MEET OUR BOARD MEMBERS AND STAFF > REV JESSE BROWN

Rev. Jesse W. Brown, Jr.
Executive Director

The 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.

Along 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 clergy.

In 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.

As 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.

Brown 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.

Brown 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.

Brown 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 (PAUD).

One 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.

In 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.

Brown 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 in divinity.

Brown is married to the Reverend Sandra Brown, who is also a Lutheran minister. The Brown's have four children and live in North Philadelphia.



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National Association of African Americans for Positive Imagery
1231 N Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19122 P: 215-235-6488 F: 215-235-6491 E: info@naaapi.org