“I believe [it] is my calling and passion to bring upon health, healing and wholeness to individuals, families and communities, and I have and will continue to bring this to the table in my service to the NAACP.” Roslyn Brock
On February 20, 2010 the NAACP unanimously elected their new Board Chair to succeed Julian Bond. That chairwoman is Roslyn Brock. As the fourth woman and youngest to serve on their national Board of Directors, her position marks the first time that neither the president (37 year old Ben Jealous) nor chairman experienced segregation.
The oldest of three children, Roslyn was born in Fort Pierce, Florida. Her father owned an appliance store in Florida but, in 1973, he and her mother moved their family to Maryland’s Prince George’s County for better employment opportunities. Roslyn set her goals early in life. A junior high school aptitude test revealed that she would be best suited as a doctor, attorney or health care administrator. Thinking that there were enough lawyers and doctors out there, she set her eyes on health care administration and began learning what she needed to do in order to be successful in that career. And she did just that. She attended and graduated magna cum laude from Virginia Union University as her first step. Even her college classmate, Ruth Coles Harris, mentioned seeing her goal listed in the yearbook as “To become a successful health care administrator.” From there she went to earn a masters in health care administration from George Washington University. It was about that time when she met her husband, Randall Eugene Brock at an NAACP board meeting in Jackson, Mississippi. They were married in 1992. Tragically, three years later, Randall died suddenly from a blood clot to his lungs following a surgery to repair a jet skiing injury. This devastating event prompted her to go back to school for her MBA at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. For two years she traveled two and a half hours from Michigan every other weekend for their executive MBA program in Evanston, Illinois. While in Battle Creek, Michigan, she focused on health-related issues at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for 10 years. Roslyn’s current “day job” is working for Bon Secours Health Systems, located in Maryland, as vice president for advocacy and government relations. And, just last year, she received a Master of Divinity degree from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Theology at Virginia Union University.
At only 44 years old, she has spent an amazing 25 years serving the NAACP with her most recent role being vice chairman of the Board (he was also the youngest vice chairman to be elected). She first joined the organization during her first year at college at Virginia Union University. According to outgoing chair, Julian Bond, her selection comes from a “deliberate, but…also fortuitous,” move from the NAACP to elect a new generation of leaders. As the new chairman she is focusing on what she calls “PGA” which stands for “Policy, Government and Accountability,” as she revealed in an ESSENCE Magazine interview. Though the NAACP has faced trying times to maintain relevancy in this “post-racist” America, there is no question that Roslyn has the resilience and fortitude to lift up the organization. We anxiously look forward to more great things to come from Ms. Brock.