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Sylvia Brooks Collection

Identifier: MSS 0011

Scope and Contents

The Sylvia Brooks Collection houses the papers of Sylvia Brooks. This collection, which dates from, 1990 to 2007 includes newsclippings, publications, awards, scrapbooks, and photographs that document her tenure and accomplishments as the President of the Houston Area Urban League. This collection is valuable for topics on women's leadership and community work in urban areas.


  • 1990 - 2007


All materials are in English.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

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.

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.


.25 Linear Feet (1)

Arrangement Note

Collection is arranged by subject and material type.

Acquisition Information

Donated by: Sylvia Brooks, September 2009

Processing Information

Processed by: Vince Lee, December 2009

MSS 0011 Sylvia Brooks Collection
An Inventory of her Records at the African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library
Updates Needed
December, 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Gregory School Repository


The African American Library at the Gregory School
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
Houston Metropolitan Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002