Oakwood University Alumnus Andell Brown is a seeker of justice. The Yonkers, New York native leads an awarding-winning boutique law firm in Aventura, Florida. He regularly appears as a legal analyst for Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, ABC and more. He is also the Founder of the Brown Justice Foundation, a non-partisan, inclusive, people-focused organization that leverages legal experience, expertise and networks with the goal of making “justice for all” a reality.
We recently interviewed Brown, with the goal of better understanding the foundation’s efforts. What follows is our conversation.
Tell me about the Brown Justice Foundation, what’s your mission?
Andell: The Brown Justice Foundation is the nonprofit arm of Andell Brown and Associates Law Offices. We’re dedicated to making justice for all a reality. We’re a nonpartisan inclusive, people focused organization and we leverage our legal experience, expertise and network on behalf of our community.
Can you offer insight into the origin story of this organization?
It came about through a lifetime of experience up to this point. Growing up in a single-parent household in Yonkers, New York, working class neighborhood; and going from that place in the various experiences through college, through law school, becoming an attorney, and owning my own practice. Being a legal analyst and commentator on numerous national and international platforms- it’s a journey that has shown me a lot.
When I first became an attorney, I worked for the public defender’s office in Miami, and I began working with juveniles. I saw a kid about eight years old coming into the courtroom in shackles; that was something I had never imagined. My mind was not prepared to see that. That left a lasting impression.
As a nonpartisan and inclusive organization, it must be challenging navigating everything happening right now, what principles keep your organization grounded and focused on your mission?
Andell: It is justice for all right? That means we’re here for everybody. For all people. We’re here for people of all colors, creed’s whatever you want to call it. We’re here for the people. We’re not here for the politics or none of the other stuff. We’re here for the people. And we’re not excluding people because of the color of their skin, their religion, or their politics. We just stick to what we do. That’s how we stay focused.
I read that your foundation not only provides communities with legal education but also focuses on improving relationships between law enforcement and different communities. First, what methods have you found are the best way to do that? And second, what has been the results or impact of that?
Andell: I think one of the most useful methods that I’ve encountered is always, always pressing for transparency and accountability. In order to serve the needs of the people, there must be transparency and the government must be held accountable.
We have some great partners in law enforcement that are holding our communities together. And that’s part of our message. We’re not demonizing anyone. But we’re not going to let you demonize us- which is why it’s important to foster good relationships and build bridges in the community.
Body cameras have made a big impact on the accountability and transparency front.
We have held events where we have young people from the community speak with law enforcement- to help them understand how to interact in a way that doesn’t cause a higher level of alertness or apprehension in dealing with a person.
I talk to them about their rights, what to say, what not to say. And if they say things, how it can be held against them, even if they are just a child. I also share how to remain safe, because the goal is always to make it home. We also talk to kids about careers in law enforcement.
End of Interview.
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