The last couples weeks have been incredibly difficult for the Congo Initiative community. We lost two beloved members – CI-USA board member, Dr. W. Howard Brown, and UCBC staff member, Maman Marie Kercan.
On Sunday, September 16, 2018, Dr. Brown passed away suddenly in South Carolina. Howard was a man of deep faith, joy, and love. A scholar and long-time professor in African History, he spent 11 years in Kenya with St. Lawrence University’s Kenya Semester Program, introducing American college students to issues of culture and development through experiential education. Most recently, Dr. Brown served as the Director of Grants for Clemson University’s Youth Learning Institute and Coordinator of the Non Profit Leadership Program.
The son of missionary parents, he was raised in Kenya and developed a deep empathetic connection with the continent, its people, and their struggles. What drew him to join the CI-USA’s Board was the exciting prospect of being part of an authentic collaboration between the US and Africa, something new and different than a western dominated, paternalistic relationship familiar to many partnerships past and present. For nine years, he found great joy and fulfillment in active board membership and was able to contribute in significant ways by drawing on his experience in grant seeking and grant proposal development. But, beyond his role as a board member, Dr. Brown will be remembered as a friend deeply committed to helping others flourish in this world, whether in the U.S. or in Congo.
His three surviving children have asked Congo Initiative to honor his legacy by providing an opportunity for those touched by his life to give in his memory. Dr. Brown’s deep passion for higher education and Congo will continue through your generosity and gifts in support of the next 500 future leaders of Congo being trained at the Université Chrétienne Bilingue du Congo (UCBC).