African American Library at the Gregory School

Sylvia Brooks Collection MSS.0011

An Inventory of her Records at the African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library

Descriptive Summary

Creator Brooks, Sylvia K., Ms.
Title: Sylvia Brooks Collection
Dates: 1990-2007
Identification: MSS.0011
Quantity: 2.5 Linear feet
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: African American Library at the Gregory School

Biographical Note

Sylvia K. Brooks was the first female President and CEO of the Houston Area Urban League (HAUL) in 1990. Prior to her selection, she had served her community in many capacities: caseworker for child welfare services in Texas, Professor in the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Arlington, recruiter of minority women at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and Vice President of Community Problem-Solving and Fund Distribution for the United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Texas Southern University in 1963 and would go on to receive a Masters in Science degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California in 1969.

Under her administration many new programs were instituted including community outreach and program development. Reading skills programs, such as “Watch Me Read” were offered at day care centers to help children develop literacy. In collaboration with IBM, computer training programs were instituted to enhance the skill set of those seeking employment. A new Business System Training Center was also opened as a resource that the community could use to train in the skills employers were seeking. Job fairs were held during Black History Month each February where 5000 people attended. Her most notable achievement was the Housing Counseling project that assisted and educated consumers on how to become homeowners.

In June 2007, after serving more than 16 years as President and CEO of HAUL, she announced her retirement. Under her direction the agency volunteer staff grew to 200 young professionals. She oversaw a 40-member board and a $4.6 million annual budget. She currently lives with her husband in Houston’s Third Ward and is a mother to three sons. She stays active within the community as a consultant to HAUL and within the organization she founded, the Third Ward Redevelopment Council.

Scope and Contents

The Sylvia Brooks Collection includes newsclippings, publications, awards, scrapbooks, and photographs that document her tenure and accomplishments as the President of the Houston Area Urban League.


Arrangement Note

Collection is arranged by subject and material type.


Access Restrictions


Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Sylvia Brooks Collection must be obtained from the African American Library at the Gregory School or the appropriate copyright holder.

Index Terms

Brooks, Sylvia K., Ms
Brooks, Sylvia K., Ms
African American women
African Americans
African Americans--Texas
Civic leaders
Civil service--Texas--Houston
Community leadership
Third Ward (Houston, Tex.)
Women in community service--Texas--Houston

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

Donated by: Sylvia Brooks, September 2009

Processing Information

Processed by: Vince Lee, December 2009

Detailed Description of the Collection

Box Folder
1 1 Newsclippings
HAUL 1991—1992 Calendar
Dr. E. Leon Etter II—Board Chairman has high hopes for service agency Houston Defender by Kysa L. Anderson, n.d.
HAUL’s new board officers, members—They set policies and provide guidance, n.d.
Outlook—No matter HISD superintendent’s ethnicity by Sylvia K. Brooks Houston Chronicle, May21, 1991
Everybody Deserves a Chance by Sylvia K. Brooks
Civil Unrest and the Making of Urban League, n.d.
Local Urban League’s new leader starts soon, Houston Chronicle by Norma Martin September 11, 1990
HAUL gets new head September 17, 1990
Brooks Named CEO, n.d.
YWCA will honor 10 women for professional contributions, Houston Chronicle July 14, 1996
Houston Defender Vol. 69, No. 27 April 30—May 6, 2000
Houston Defender June 16—22, 1991
A Salute to HAUL, The Informer and Texas Freeman June 26, 1993
Sylvia Brooks speaks at Acres Home Chamber luncheon by Reynaud Thibodeaux African American News and Issues, n.d.
Meeting for Direction, n.d.
Reverend Ralph West and Sylvia Brooks, n.d.
Brooks with Algenita Scott Davis and Lloyd Gite, n.d.
HAUL Kicks off leadership program by Earlie Hudnall, n.d.
Super Sisters, n.d.

Box Folder
1 2 Houston Area Urban League
Houston Urban League-Board of Directors/Organizational Chart, n.d.
Celebrating Urban Legends (program)-Houston Area Urban League and Waste Management Celebration the 36th Equal Opportunity Day Gala June 26th, 2004
Houston Area Urban League, Inc. 1991 Membership Campaign
The Urban League Guild of Houston Presents Men with Children: Philosophies and Styles (Program), March 21, 1992
The Houston Area Urban League, Inc. 23rd Annual Equal Opportunity Day Awards Dinner (Program), June 28th, 1991
The Houston Area Urban League, Inc. 22nd Annual Equal Opportunity Day Awards Banquet (Program) September 12, 1990
2003 Annual Report HAUL

Box Folder
1 3 Awards
Soror of the Year Award Application for Alpha Kappa Omega Certificate of Service presented to Sylvia Brooks by Alpha Kappa Omega April 20, 2002
The Ladies of Distinction, Inc. honors Sylvia Brooks
Teamwork Certificate presented to Sylvia Brooks by United Way of Texas 1991
Resolution for Sylvia K. Brooks Day by Harris County Commissioners Court August 7th, 2007
Senate proclamation No. 5 Issued for Sylvia Brooks by Senator Rodney Ellis, n.d.
Academy of Fellows Induction for Sylvia Brooks January 21, 2006
The State of Texas House of Representatives Resolution for Sylvia Brooks February 16, 1996
Certificate of Appreciation presented to Sylvia Brooks by the University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work May 12, 2005
Certificate of Appreciation presented to Sylvia Brooks by the Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Earl Carl Institute for Legal and Social Policy and Mickey Leland Center October 29, 2005
Certificate of Appreciation presented to Sylvia Brooks by TSU Dept of Social Work April 27, 2006
You Make the Difference presented to Sylvia Brooks May 10, 2006
Certificate of Excellence presented to Sylvia Brooks by Essence Magazine July 19, 2006
Certificate of Congressional Recognition presented to Sylvia Brooks by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee July 13, 2005
Certificate of Recognition presented to Sylvia Brooks by the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship fund, Inc. March 6—9, 2005
Certificate of Council of Executives National Urban League, Inc. December 10th, 1992
Good Work Award presented by Board of Directors of Third Ward Redevelopment Council June 5th, 2001

Box Folder
1 4 Publications
002 Houston Magazine December 2001