Heber Brown, III
Pastor – Activist – Social Entrepreneur – Public Speaker. Founder of Oritas Cross Freedom School and of The Black Church Food Security Network
Rev. Dr. Heber M. Brown, III is the Senior Pastor of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church in Baltimore and a Team Leader of Baltimore United for Change – a coalition of activists and organizations working for social justice. As a clergy-activist, Dr. Brown has demonstrated a deep commitment to social justice – traveling the nation and world speaking about poverty, racism, white privilege, the prison industrial complex, worker’s rights, environmental justice, sexism, food sovereignty and foreign policy.
In addition to public speaking, he is a community organizer who is actively involved in grassroots and legislative advocacy as well. Between 2009 and 2013, he was a central figure in the campaign to halt the construction of a $100 million dollar youth jail in Baltimore.
Beyond his direct involvement in the pressing social issues of today, Dr. Brown is committed as well to grooming and mentoring the next generation of change makers. Toward that end, he is the Founding Director of Orita’s Cross Freedom School – a multi-site youth development program founded on African Heritage and Black History
He also recently launched the Black Church Food Security Network which links Black Churches and Black Farmers in partnership to create a community-controlled, alternative food system based on self-sufficiency, food justice and food sovereignty.
Dr. Brown is a regular voice in media and his dedication to service has been publicly recognized as well. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Ella Baker Freedom Fighter Award and The Afro American Newspaper’s “25 Under 40 Emerging Black History Leaders” award. In 2011, Urbanite Magazine identified him as one of the “Change Makers of Baltimore City” and in 2013; he received a $10,000 Fellowship Award from The Beatitudes Society who identified him as one of eight leading progressive Faith leaders in the country.
He earned his B.S. degree in Psychology from Morgan State University, a Master of Divinity degree from Virginia Union University and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Wesley Theological Seminary.