Malik Brown was born and raised in Atlanta, the son of immigrants from Trinidad and Barbados. At 23, while Malik was working as a server, his grandmother passed away. Malik and his grandmother were close, and her death shook him to his core. He was left wondering, as those close to a death often do, how exactly he was going to make his mark on the world. He wanted to inject his life with meaning.
A chance encounter led Malik to a member of the Board of Governors of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ equality organization in the country. Malik came out to his family as a young man and wanted to get involved in the fight for human and civil rights, so he began volunteering with HRC. While working with the Human Rights Campaign, Malik got connected with the leadership at AID Atlanta, who hired him to manage their education and fundraising initiatives including hosting the largest fundraiser for HIV and AIDS in the Southeast.
After 2 years at AID Atlanta, another chance encounter brought a new challenge to Malik, and he spent the next year managing events and fundraisers for Atlanta mayoral candidate Cathy Woolard. Cathy came in third in the November 2017 election, and Malik was picked up by the campaign of Atlanta’s eventual 60th Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms for the December runoff. After Mayor Bottoms’ election, Malik was brought on full-time as the Mayor’s full-time LGBTQ Liaison - the FIRST such full time position in the history of the City of Atlanta.
Atlanta is the Capital of the South, and as the first full-time LGBTQ liaison in its history, Malik has the opportunity to advise its leadership as to how to make Atlanta into the inclusive beacon it strives to be. A metaphorical city on a hill.
In his time working for Mayor Bottoms, Malik has helped organize the City’s first ever Pride kickoff from the Mayor’s office, its largest ever Pride parade contingent and connected people all around Atlanta to the resources available to them.
From the time he was a kid spending Saturday mornings glued to the X-Men, Malik has wanted to help those around him that society has a habit of overlooking to be seen. He is a fighter for civil rights, and Atlanta is lucky to have him.
Until next time,
- John, Founder of IGWM
Pioneer Selects: Malik Brown
Currently Reading: The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House by Ben Rhodes, a former Deputy National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama
Currently Listening: “Always T. Swift and Beyonce, butJanelle Monae’s new record is the thing I have on repeat the most. It speaks to blackness and LGBTQ life, and is just a really good album.”
Current Inspiration: “With everything going on, I draw inspiration from people’s hope - From their sharing stories and getting involved and being vocal about the things that matter.”