Brown-Lewis, Charliese(born: 1974)
Born in Versailles, KY, Charliese Brown Lewis is an educator, writer, editor, speaker, and leader. She has been an adjunct instructor at Berea College, Kentucky State University, Georgetown College (KY), and American National College in Lexington, KY.
Currently, she is the College and Career Readiness Coach at Tates Creek High School in Lexington. She has served as the coordinator for School Improvement Services, advising and assessment for GEAR UP Kentucky at the Council on Postsecondary Education. In this position, she was the coordinator for the GUK School Counseling and Advising Institute in support of the White House Reach Higher Initiative under the Obama Administration. The program was established to bridge gaps between high school counseling and postsecondary advising practices. She is also the director of Louisville Literary Arts.
At Berea College, Charliese Brown Lewis was the founding project director for the Student Support Services Program. She has also served as the State Director for the Migration Education Program. For seven years, she was a State Specialist for Communications for Kentucky State University Land Grant Program and Office of External Relations and Development.
For 30 years, Charliese Brown Lewis served as the full-time church musician, retiring in 2017. She is the editor and co-author of The 'After Church' Experience blog and the president of Robert and Charliese Lewis Ministries, Inc. From the Test to the Testimony: an anthology of women's faith stories was the company's first book. Charliese Brown Lewis is the lead facilitator of the Bible Study Buddy Prayer Call and the Women's Bible Studies.
In 1996, Charliese Brown was the third African American selected the Kentucky Derby Festival Queen. Derby Festival Queens have been selected every year since 1957; it is believed that the first two African American queens were selected in the 1980s. Becoming a derby queen begins with a nomination. Betty Gibson, Vice President of Student Affairs at Kentucky State University (KSU), nominated Brown, who was a junior at KSU. An application and photos were submitted, and Brown was selected as a princess. The Royal Court acted as ambassadors and represented the community at a variety of functions. In addition to being named the Derby Festival Queen in 1996, Charliese Brown was recognized as a member of the 1996 KSU Homecoming Court.
Charliese Brown Lewis earned a BA in English education at KSU, an MA in journalism and communications at Ohio State University, and an MS in higher education at the University of Kentucky. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She is the daughter of Charles E. Brown Jr. and Geraldine Collins Brown, and has a sister, Chantel Brown Depp.
This entry was updated with information provided by Charliese R. Lewis Brown. For more information about becoming a festival queen, see the Kentucky Derby Festival website.