SAN ANTONIO – Akeem Brown holds many leadership roles in the San Antonio community, particularly in education, infrastructure, and public transportation.
Brown is involved in the development of the East Side and creating Essence Preparatory Public School, a charter public school that aims to open in 2022. He was also named the San Antonio Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Man of the Year.
Brown joined Leading SA on Sunday to discuss city developments and the future of education in the San Antonio area.
“What sparked my passion for education was really around the disparities that I see in classrooms. I moved around and I learned that, you know, not every child was being given that access to quality education. And sometimes that child was myself,” Brown said.
This passion led him to start the Essence Preparatory Public School.
“San Antonio is one of the fastest growing cities in America. We know that, but we are unfortunately one of the most economically segregated cities in our community across America. And so, where we have at least 64% of the population is Latin. Next in about 6%, identify African American. We have learned that overwhelmingly, students of color in San Antonio are struggling. Our schools are struggling in our communities,” Brown said. “And so, our focus is really to build skills... so students are raising their hands.”
Education is part of solving the problem, but so is the development on the East Side, according to Brown. He was also the interim CEO for San Antonio for the Growth on the Eastside (SAGE).
“Our focus was really to support small businesses on the East Side of San Antonio. And so, when we talk about economic vibrancy... we talk about making sure that folks are not just stable but thriving. We really have to talk about what that economic vehicle is to make sure that that is occurring. And on the East Side of San Antonio, really what’s happening is a lack of access and a lack of opportunities,” Brown said.
Now, Brown said he is working to change that and help those who need it.
“For me, it was a three-legged stool. You can’t sit on the stool without having three legs because it begins to wobble. Education, housing and economics. Those were the focuses, and that needs to continue to be the focus when we talk about revitalizing the East Side of San Antonio,” Brown said.
You can watch the full interview with Brown in the video player above.