Robert “Bubbie” Brown is November’s Coalition Member of the Month
Robert “Bubbie” Brown is November’s Coalition Member of the Month, representing our Religious/Fraternal Sector since 2012.
Bubbie was born in Aquebogue, New York and is the middle of five children. He graduated from Riverhead High School in 1958.
Bubbie is a member of First Baptist Church of Riverhead. He serves as deacon and has been a member of the choir for over sixty years. He is also a member of the leadership team and volunteers at the church’s food pantry, Open Arms Care Center.
Family is very important to Bubbie. He currently lives in Riverside with his dear and loving wife, Aramentis. He is grateful for his four children, Eric, Collene, Robert, and Alexa. Bubbie says his greatest role model is his father, who he describes as a soul that is “bigger than life.”
A distinguished Career
Bubbie worked at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) for most of his career. He served as a hospital orderly (1963-1969); Histology Technician (1973-1987); Medical Department Property Manager/Administrative Assistant (1987-1999); and Analytical Laboratory Sample Custodian (1999-2001). He served for over twenty years as Liaison to BNL Medical Department’s Affirmative Action Office, as well as several terms on the BNL Director’s AA Committee. In addition to Bubbie’s work at BNL, he also served as a Research Technician at Columbia University and completed a project in 2003 as a NASA Radiation Consultant.
A Love of Poetry
Bubbie is a poet and has been writing since 6th grade. For the last 37 years, he writes and delivers a poem at First Baptist Church’s annual “Gift to the Community” Christmas concert. In 2003, he published a book of poetry entitled, “It’s Time” and a CD of Christmas poems. Approximately five years ago, he collaborated with Susan Dingle, Maggie Bloomfield and Chip Williford to form Poetry Street. Poetry Street is open to all community members at Sunny’s Riverhead Diner & Grill on the 4th Sunday of every month from 3 to 5 PM.
Community Leadership and Youth Enrichment
Bubbie co-chairs the East End Voter Coalition, a group that aims to boost voter turnout by education and voter registration. This group also instituted an essay contest for fifth graders in Riverhead Central School District (RCSD) where three winners are presented with gifts at the annual Juneteeth celebration, which commemorates the end of slavery and honors African American education and achievement.
Bubbie was instrumental in forming the RCSD Fourth Grade Enrichment program. As part of this program, 4th grade students hear from inspirational speakers and role models from minority communities who have gone on to successful careers. They are also given the opportunity to have conversations with other fourth graders in Ghana, Africa through Skype.
Over the years, Bubbie has received many awards. These include the SCOPE (Suffolk County Organization for Professional Educators) award in 2008, the PDK International (Phi Delta Kappa) Stony Brook Chapter for Educational advances in his community, Omega Psi Phi Chi Rho Chapter Pride for Fatherhood Uplift Award, and Times News Review “Person of the Year” Public Servant award in 2010. He also received the Star of the Community Award from the Kiwanis Club of Riverhead in 2012 and was honored with the First Baptist Church of Riverhead Martin Luther King Meritorious Award in 2015. Most recently, he was a Suffolk County Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission Award Honoree in 2019.
Riverhead Community Coalition Coordinator Kelly Miloski sat down with Bubbie to talk about his experience with the coalition. Here are the highlights:
why did you become involved in the coalition?
“Several years ago, Pastor Coverdale asked me to attend a Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth meeting to provide spiritual input. After attending a few meetings and learning about the coalition’s goals and its members, it was a no brainer that I wanted to be part of this amazing group. Working with other people to promote a healthy and safe community has always been something that is important to me.”
What is your favorite coalition Activity?
“My favorite coalition activity in the annual Meet and Greet. The purpose of the Meet and Greet is to increase collaboration among members and showcase our accomplishments to the community. I love the event because it is very educational and it is also driven by the Riverhead Youth Coalition. Over the years, I have seen the youth coalition become more involved. I find it very inspirational to hear them speak about important topics such as underage drinking and vaping. It is eye opening to see how fluent the youth coalition is about the dangers of substance use. I also enjoy seeing the diversity in the room because I am very passionate about cultural competency.”
Name Three Words That Best Describe You.
“Spiritual, active, and outgoing.”
Besides Coalition Work, What Else do You Like To DO?
“I am very spiritual and always involved in activities and initiatives going on at First Baptist Church of Riverhead. I also enjoy sports. My favorite sports are skiing, softball, tennis, and volleyball. I love poetry and writing. In addition to Poetry Street at Sunny’s Riverhead Diner & Grill, I plan to expand this initiative to take poetry out on the road to different places within the community.
“I also love working with youth in our community through the Fourth Grade Enrichment program. During Black History Month, we coordinate for RCSD 4th graders to Skype with youth their age in Ghana. It is amazing to see their excitement when they say they are to tell their parents about talking to youth in another part of the world. Before the implementation of the Fourth Grade Enrichment program, minority students could go from kindergarten to graduation without seeing many individuals in the school system that they could use a role model. This program completely changed that dynamic as we bring in influential community members several times a year to communicate with the students.”
Interested in learning more about coalition membership?
To learn more about joining the Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth , contact Kelly Miloski at (631) 727-3722 ext. 106 or Kelly.Miloski@RiverheadCAP.org.