London Breed

February 22, 2008 2:48:40 PM PST
In August 2002, former San Francisco Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr., appointed London Breed, as the Executive Director of the African American Art & Culture Complex (AAACC). The AAACC, situated in one of San Francisco's most socio-economically challenged community's, the Western Addition, was in desperate need of innovation, change and direction. Under the leadership of Ms. Breed, the African American Art & Culture Complex has become one of the most renowned and progressive institutions of African centered cultural expression in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Ms. Breed, as a lifelong member of the Western Addition, has witnessed the tremendous changes that have taken place within the confines of her community, yet perils associated with economic stagnation, unemployment and underemployment, crime and violence, unfortunately continue to plague the Western Addition and obstruct its socio-economic development. Ms. Breed firmly believes that the AAACC should reflect the needs of the community for which it serves; therefore she has made extensive changes in order to ensure the productive capacity and efficiency of the organization.

During her short tenure as Executive Director, Ms. Breed has invariably strengthened economic capacity, increased fiscal austerity and fundraising capabilities, established an after school arts and cultural program for youth in the community, secured funding to build a recording studio, renovated the interior and exterior of the building and transformed the organization into an independent non-profit organization. Ms. Breed, as a staunch community activist, has dedicated her life to empowering and improving the plight of her neighborhood and believes the AAACC can serve as a vehicle for emotional and social change.

London was born in San Francisco, California and raised with two of her siblings by her grandmother, Ms. Comelia Brown. She is the second oldest of six children. London, a graduate of Galileo High School, in San Francisco, was one of the few African Americans to attend and graduate from college. London attended the University of California, Davis and was awarded numerous scholarships for academic performance during her tenure there. While she began her collegiate career majoring in chemistry, the discourse of political science proved to be much more attractive to her ultimate goal of community activism and development. While at the University, Ms. Breed served as an intern for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and returned to San Francisco to intern with the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services during the first term of Willie L. Brown Jr.'s administration.

Ms. Breed graduated from the University of California, Davis in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science-Public Service and a minor in African American Studies and immediately returned to San Francisco to work for Mayor Willie Brown, Jr., as a Development Specialist for the Treasure Island Development Authority before becoming Executive Director of AAACC.

As a community activist, Ms. Breed has been affiliated with a number of different civil society organizations including the San Francisco Women's Political Committee, National Women's Political Caucus, Emerge, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the San Francisco Young Democrats, San Francisco African American Democratic Club, San Francisco Mayor's Summit for Women Steering Committee Member, San Francisco Juneteenth Festival Committee, A. Phillip Randolph Institute Voter Registration Volunteer, Black Leadership Forum, Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Breakfast Committee and San Francisco Redevelopment Agency Citizens Advisory Committee for the Western Addition A-2 area, the San Francisco Community Challenge Grant Committee, the San Francisco African American Task Force and the San Francisco Telecommunications Task Force.

On April 26, 2005, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed Ms. Breed to the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency Commission. At the age of 30, she was the youngest commissioner ever appointed to this commission.

On January 14th, 2007, Ms. Breed was elected to serve as a delegate for the California State Democratic Central Committee.

Finally, for her hard work and commitment to the AAACC and her community, Ms. Breed has received numerous awards including the Heart to Heart Award given by the Schools of Sacred Heart in San Francisco, California in January 2005, she was honored by the Commission on the Status of Women and San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi on behalf of the City and County of San Francisco in March 2005, she received the Ronald DeVoyce Blackburn Talented Tenth Award in May 2005, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Committee Annual Community Service Award in January 2006, and the African American Historical and Cultural Society award in October 2006. On March 20, 2006, Ms. Breed was chosen as California State Senator Carole Migden's "Woman of the Year" and was honored at the California State Capital. On February 22, 2007, Ms. Breed was awarded the Geraldine Johnson Community Advocate Award given by the San Francisco housing Development Corporation. Finally, on May 12th, 2007, Ms. Breed was honored by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, San Francisco Chapter for her contribution to the Arts.

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