Brian Cunningham

Brian Cunningham

Business and Political Consultant

Political and Business Consultant

Categories covered by Brian

Sessions covered by this speaker

27

Mental Health: Advocacy in Motion

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About this Speaker

Born in Flatbush and raised by a single mother, Brian learned that it takes both a strong family and a caring community to raise a child. Just like many other West Indian families, his Jamaican heritage informed his worldview, instilling in him a strong work ethic while understanding the obstacles faced by immigrants. As a student, Brian was formally educated at New York City public schools from kindergarten through college, while he learned valuable life lessons through his church and from the community. Inspired by what he saw was the lack of opportunity and the lack of resources within the community, Brian decided to dedicate his life towards directly bolstering the community and pursuing a mission of social justice. Brian began his career with CAMBA as a student advocate counselor in Brooklyn. Dismayed by the lack of resources available to underserved communities, Brian was inspired to affect political change, and began working as an Aide to State Senator Kevin Parker. As he flew up the ranks within the Senator’s office, Brian gained a comprehensive understanding of the legislative process, and the importance of building political consensus to affect positive change. Nonetheless, Brian continued to work directly within the community by providing vocational programming that trained underprivileged youth for green-color and tech careers. In 2013 Brian moved his legislative sights from Albany to City Hall, serving as Council Member Laurie Cumbo’s Chief of Staff. Within this capacity, Brian spearheaded numerous legislative and educational priorities in support of affordable housing, women’s issues, cultural preservation and supporting small businesses. Council Member Robert Cornegy, Jr. saw Brian’s passion for helping struggling small business owners, and worked with him to roll out the Chamber on the Go program that provides mobile assistance to a range of small businesses throughout the city. Before long, Brian went back into the nonprofit sector, helping to secure funding for affordable housing initiatives with Nazareth Housing. With his passion for serving the community, and his extensive professional experience on display, Brian took the opportunity of a lifetime to serve as an Aide to President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, again working mentor and helping to provide resources and funding to underserved youth.