Department head, Economics
With the completion of the Public Affairs Conference, we are reminded the importance of Unity in Community. Dr. Ken Brown is modeling this theme throughout Springfield. For over 3 years, Ken has volunteered weekly at The Venues, from Chairing the Finance Committee to running tech slides and videos. The Venues became his gateway to working with the homeless. Ken began taking hot breakfast to The Vets Coming Home every Friday which led to him becoming known as the “egg man.” This experience opened his eyes to the realities of the people he was helping feed and began to know them as people.
He served as the President of Good to Go for a year and he is now on the Board of Directors for The Gathering Tree and is on the Capital Campaign for Eden Village. Over the past year, Ken has worked countless Saturdays and evenings helping develop Eden Village from budget advisement, to building garden boxes and pathways, to setting up computers and more. At The Gathering Tree, he spends time with our friends without homes or those who are at risk. He was the Project Leader for the Eden Village Venuespalooza team managing over 40 volunteers. In addition to all this Ken has also become the “expert” turkey carver for Rare Breed’s Thanksgiving dinner.
Ken has a given up evenings to relocate a homeless friend on short notice and has built trusted friendships with those who have learned not to trust most. Many homeless in Springfield now know him by name and recognize him as a friend. This is the key to Ken’s work with the unsheltered in our community – not just financially supporting these organizations, buying an individual a meal, providing tech support, or doing manual labor at Eden Village – it’s his attitude toward those who have faced challenges and find themselves in the darkest most vulnerable places amongst us. He sees them as people in bad circumstances who are someone’s son, brother, or father. He knows these people in the streets and sleeping in camps – who are overlooked by most – yearn to be heard and noticed, to feel worthy, and to simply have a friend. Ken is a friend to many in Springfield – those with homes and those without. Thank you, Ken, and congratulations on earning the October Public Affairs Faculty spotlight!