Our Founders : Concerned Black Men of Massachusetts

Bracy Paul S. Bracy, M.Ed. –  A diversity consultant by training, Paul S. Bracy served a twenty-one year career in the United States Air Force (USAF) retiring in 1978. During his military service he held a variety of positions. He was responsible for maintaining the Air Force’s nuclear weapons as a specialist and superintendent.

In 1969 he was selected, as one of the first members to attend the Department of Defense’s Race Relations Institute at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida.  After graduation, he returned to Kadena AB in Okinawa Japan and spearheaded the military’s race relations education program, which eventually included a focus on gender bias and discrimination.

Paul also trained a number of civilian and military personnel to facilitate these sessions. He earned two Air Force Commendation medals, during his career, for superior performance and leadership. In the 1980’s, Paul gave back to his hometown of Boston through his work with the Boston Violence Prevention Project, and establishing the, first in the nation, Violence Prevention Office at the State Department of Public Health. During this time he co-founded Concern Black Men of Massachusetts, Inc. and served as its first president.

In the 1990’s Paul continued to pursue his human relations interests through consulting and training with a number of consulting firms (J. Howard and Associates, Eastern Point Consulting, Vernae Myers & Associates, Center Focus International). He continued his interest by establishing his own successful consulting firm, Collaborative Strategies Inc. which he led for over fifteen years, before merging with Ibis Consulting Group as president and a managing partner. He has consulted to for profit/ not for profit organizations nationally and internationally.

Paul attended Boston public schools and graduated from Brighton High School. He holds a master of education degree from Cambridge College. During his career, he has served on many non-profit boards including: Veteran’s Benefit Clearinghouse, Youth Build Boston, and the Boston Chapter of Children of War, and former Chair of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce’s Diversity Committee. While living on Martha’s Vineyard, Paul served as a member of the Martha’s Vineyard Diversity Council and the island’s NAACP.

Brown Donald Brown, Ed.D  – With over 30 years of experience of developing, and implementing comprehensive academic support programs aimed at student retention.  He is adept at developing mentoring opportunities to increase student and staff satisfaction.  Don is proficient in getting diverse sectors of college and university communities to work together to improve the quality of student life.  He holds the distinction of having an award named in his honor; since 2006, Boston College has presented the Dr. Donald Brown Award to “an outstanding senior who throughout his or her career has made extraordinary contributions to the Boston College community in ways that have benefited African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American (AHANA) students in areas of leadership, service, and academic development.”

Dr. Brown has a long and distinguished history of championing the academic needs of first generation, low-income students. Most of his career was spent in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. For nearly three decades, beginning in 1978 and continuing to 2005, he served as Director of the highly acclaimed Office of AHANA Student Programs at Boston College.

Currently, Dr. Brown serves as Director of the Los Angeles Regional Center, one of 8 satellite campuses, of Azusa Pacific University. In that role he provides leadership in overseeing existing academic offerings, and creating new ones for undergraduate and graduate students.  Dr. Brown is also a special consultant with the higher education consulting firm of Magure Associates based in Concord Massachusetts. Dr. Brown is married to the lovely Cheryl Hervey Brown and his son Andrew Edward Brown attends the California State University-San Bernardino. Dr. Brown earned his doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and a master of education and a bachelor of arts from Springfield College.

 Sandy Francis, M.Ed –Sandy was born in and attended elementary and high school in the State of Florida before entering the U.S. Navy.  He began college in Florida upon honorable discharge and completed undergraduate study at Boston State College after moving to Massachusetts, where his career as a firefighter began during his final semester of undergraduate studies.

During tenure as a firefighter and officer on the Cambridge Fire Department and instructor at the Mass Fire Academy he earned a master’s degree at Cambridge College before retiring as a captain. He also served on various community boards and was instrumental in organizing the Phoenix Firefighters Association and served as its first President, co-found the Concerned Black Men of Massachusetts (CBMM) and served as its first Secretary and co-found the W.E.B. Dubois Academy, a model of CBMM in the City of Cambridge.


Clarence Williams, Ph.D – An innovator in higher education for three decades and a recipient of a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration and Counseling Psychology from the University of Connecticut (1972) is Special Assistant to the President, and Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.

Dr. Williams received the MA degree from Hampton University in 1967, and BA from North Carolina Central University in 1961. He attended Harvard University and Cornell University, 1975 and 1965 respectively. Dr. Williams joined the administration at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1972 as Assistant Dean of the Graduate School. He was promoted to Special Assistant to the President and Chancellor for Minority Affairs.

in 1974. In 1980-1982 he held the position of Acting Director of the Office of Minority Education, and in 1984-1997, he assumed additional responsibilities as Assistant Equal Opportunity Officer, along with a broader scope of the Special Assistant position, to serve the MIT community as an ombudsperson. He has been designated as a neutral and impartial complaint-handler who is charged to take into account the rights of every person who may be involved in any given case or concern, and also the welfare of the Institute. Since 1992, he has been teaching a race relations and diversity course in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. He has held administrative positions at the University of Connecticut–Counseling and Testing Center (1969-1972) and Teaching Assistant (1970-1972); and Hampton University–Assistant Dean of Students and a member of the faculty (1964-1968); and as a high school teacher in Williamsburg, VA, (1961-1964).

He has initiated and coordinated several National Conferences and has numerous publications, including Reflections of the Dream 1975-1994 – Twenty Years Celebrating the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His second book, Technology and the Dream: Reflections on the Black Experience at MIT, 1941-1999, was published in January 2001. It consists of transcripts of oral history interviews of former students, black faculty, administrators and staff, and also nonblack faculty and administrators who have had an impact on blacks at MIT. This book received national and international recognition (Associated Press/Featured articles) in numerous publications. He is currently working on his third book tentatively titled, Search for Identity: A History of the Black Experience at MIT, 1865-2000.

Dr. Williams has lectured widely on the issues and challenges of our society, specifically on diversity and racial and cultural differences, in colleges, high schools, and national and international organizations. He stresses an all inclusive environment as it relates to the nation’s diversified population in the technological and scientific work force in the 2000s. He was a collaborator at the International Conference on Social Inclusion, Innovation and the New Economy, National Institute of Working Life – Stockholm, Sweden (May 2002).

He is a native of Goldsboro, NC. He and his wife Mildred (Cogdell) Williams have two sons, two daughters-in-law and one granddaughter, Cameron.

kmotley J. Keith Motley, Ph.D –

J. Keith Motley is the eighth chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston since July 2007. Dr. Motley  is UMass Boston’s first African-American chancellor. He leads an institution with nearly 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students, a full-time and part-time faculty of more than 1,000, and a $323 million annual budget.

In addition to representing UMass Boston locally, nationally, and internationally, Chancellor Motley oversees a newly launched and highly ambitious strategic planning initiative that reflects the university’s determination to remain true to its origins as a teaching institution while enhancing its standing in research, preparing its students to succeed in a transnational world, graduating significantly greater numbers to meet increasing demand for a well-educated workforce, and similarly growing as a source of knowledge and public service.

Under his leadership the university has earned recognition by the Princeton Review as one of the 150 “Best Value Colleges” in the United States. He also serves on numerous boards of community organizations with local, regional, and national reach, including Carney Hospital (as chair of the board of trustees), Freedom House, the Boston World Partnership, the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, the Boston Sports Museum, the United Way of Massachusetts Bay, the Commonwealth Corporation, and the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.

Dr. Motley also chairs the Boston Committee for the “Do the Write Thing Challenge,” an initiative of the National Campaign to Stop Violence. Sharing his vast experience in educational leadership and administration, Dr. Motley is a past chair of the Newbury College Board of Trustees. He was appointed as the co-chair of the College Success Task Force initiated by the Mayor’s Office of the City of Boston. On a national level, he serves on the boards of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities’ (APLU).  He is a member of the American Council on Education’s (ACE) Commission on Effective Leadership, he is the chair of APLU’s Commission on Access, Diversity and Excellence (CADE), and he serves as a mentor for the Millennium Leadership Initiative, a premier leadership development program of AASCU that provides individuals from underrepresented populations in high-ranking positions in higher education the opportunity to gain a broader understanding of the higher education landscape, develop skills, and build the networks needed to advance to the presidency.

Dr. Motley is also a member of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Incorporated and Sigma Pi Phi fraternity Beta Beta Boulé. Dr. Motley holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northeastern University and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Boston College. He also holds an honorary degree awarded by Northeastern University. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh’s Upward Bound Program. He is married to Angela Motley and is the proud father of Keith Allyn, Kayla Iman, and Jordan Kiara.

Other Founders:

Edgar E. Smith, Ph D., was born in Hollandale, Mississippi. In 1951, he was graduated from Bowman High School Vicksburg, Mississippi. His post secondary education includes a B.S. degree (1955) from Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, Mississippi; and M.S. (1957) and Ph.D. degrees in Biochemistry (1959) from Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana.

Dr. Smith has held the following professional positions during the development of his career: Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant, Department of Biochemistry, Purdue University; Research Fellow in Surgery (Biochemistry), Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; Research Associate in Surgery (Biochemistry), Harvard Medical School; Associate Professor of Surgery (Biochemistry), Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts; Associate Professor of Biochemistry, Boston University School of Medicine; Associate Dean of Minority Student Affairs, Boston University School of Medicine; Associate Professor of Biochemistry, University of Massachusetts School of Medicine, Worcester, Massachusetts; Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, University of Massachusetts School of Medicine; Provost, University of Massachusetts School of Medicine; Professor Emeritus, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Massachusetts School of Medicine; Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of Massachusetts System (3 Campuses); Interim President, Tougaloo College; Program Director, Statewide Area Health Education Centers Program, and Professor of Family Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Currently, he is retired and serves as Senior Advisor to Tougaloo College President Beverly W. Hogan, and as voluntary Co-Instructor of the College’s course on the history of the blues. Dr. Smith was a Purdue University National Foundation Fellow in 1958, and a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine, Washington D.C., 1977-78.   He has served as a consultant to a number of national organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the National Science Foundation, the American Association of Colleges, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He is the recipient of a number of awards, including honorary degrees from the Morehouse School of Medicine, which he helped found, the University of Massachusetts, Tougaloo College, and Morehouse College.   Dr. Smith’s research was in the areas of cancer biochemistry and sickle cell anemia, the results of which have been published in several professional journals. He enjoys playing tennis and listening to the blues. He is a member of the Mississippi Blues Commission and the Board of Directors of the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center. He has been married to the former Inez Oree’ Wiley for the past 54 years and they are the proud parents of four sons.  

ErnieErnest Washington, Jr was born and raised in Roxbury, MA. He is a proud product of the Boston Public Schools graduating in 1965. He served a combat tour of duty in Vietnam and is the recipient of the Purple Heart and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry.   Enrolled at Bentley College of Accounting & Finance where he graduated in 1973 with degrees in Accounting and Management.

In 1980 he was awarded a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Northeastern University. Mr. Washington is a Distinguished Alumnus of Bentley University and Northeastern University.   In 1986 he founded and remains President & General Manager of Vanguard Parking & General Services Corporation, which employs inner city Boston residents and engages in the provision of contract parking and janitorial/cleaning services for Northeastern University, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.   He has also served as a Trustee and current Advisor of the Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center and serves as Member of the Board of Directors of the Boston Employment Service (STRIVE). He resides in Mattapan and is the proud father of three daughters Carmela, Christy, Ivanna and granddaughter Teagan Bailey Washington.