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Impactful Elders

Elder Harts M. Brown

Elder Harts M. Brown was a founding member of TCOE and the first Presiding Elder over TCOE Celebrations of Black students.  He was a member of the famed Tuskegee Airmen during World War II assigned to the 332nd Fighter Group who  were sent to Italy in 1944, Elder Harts Brown worked for the preservation of the old Ellicott City Colored School, built in 1880, the first school built with public money in Howard County to educate African-American children.  He was part of the effort that created Matthew Henson State Park in Aspen Hill that recalled Henson's role in the 1909 expedition to the North Pole with Adm. Robert E. Peary. He transitioned to the Ancestral Realm on June 24,2011. 

Elder Jean Toomer
Elder Jean Toomer was a member of TCOE who served as the Chairperson of the Council of Elders Family and Community Development Committee and founder of the Black, Student, Family and Community Network (BSFCN) to unify the Black community. She worked as an Administrator for the Howard County Office of Human Rights from 1979 to 1990. Elder Jean Toomer was a founder of the Mediation and Conflict Resolution Center in Howard County which was created in 1993 and served as the Director of Community Services for the Columbia Association, where she helped establish the county's first before-and-after-school care program. Elder Jean Toomer transitioned to the Ancestral Realm on March 10, 2021.


Elder Ken Jennings

Elder Ken Jennings was a founding member of TCOE and current Presiding Elder.  He developed the Alpha Achievers Program at Oakland Mills and Long Reach High Schools.  He initiated the development of the Ellington-Adderly Jazz Ensemble.  Elder Ken Jennings is a source of knowledge on matters related to African and African American History for the total community and continues to advocate for social change regarding African Americans in Howard County, including incorporation of accurate history in Howard County Public School Systems (HCPSS) social studies curriculum.  Elder Ken Jennings currently resides in Howard County, Maryland.

Founding Elders who worked with Gloria Washington-Wallace

  • Natalie Woodson

  • Harts Brown

  • Leola Dorsey

  • Ken Jennings

  • Emerson Walden

  • Celonia Waldon

  • Stuart Frazier

  • Wylene Burch

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