Guest Speaker

ABOUT CARLA

Advocate for the People of Texas

Dr. Carla Brailey is a mother, an educator, and a native Texan.  She currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Texas Democratic Party.  Carla is a renowned social justice and women’s advocate, researcher, and a lifelong educator. For the past 12 years, she has served as a Professor of Sociology at Texas Southern University. 


Carla seeks to live her values through her work with educational institutions, non-profit organizations and government agencies. She has worked to build a more equitable Texas through her work with Project Rowhouses, the Imani School, Harmony Science Academy, Sankofa Research Institute, Texan Dental, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Transition Team, and as Co-Chair of his Police Reform Task Force.


In both her academic work and her servant leadership, Carla is focused on the areas of social inequality, social justice, diversity and inclusion, Black women, and empowerment.  Her tireless advocacy and work to build a state that cares for all Texans earned her the 2019 inaugural Barbara Jordan Leadership Award from the Texas Black Legislative Caucus.  Former Congresswoman Jordan’s ideas and professional career have served as a guiding light for her own life philosophy.


Carla is a lifelong educator and education advocate.  As one of the first Assistant Principals for Harmony Science Academy, Carla helped build a lasting culture of success for both students and staff. Within six months, she spearheaded “first-of-its-kind” educational programs, initiated teacher training workshops, and forged collaborative projects that helped reposition the school for better funding, more quality teachers and increased student enrollment. At the Children Bettering America School of Arts (CBA), Carla served as the Executive Director and was very instrumental in conceptualizing and implementing an after-school program that reached full capacity within two months of the enrollment period before the start of the program. 


Carla has been invited as a guest commentator, facilitator and moderator by MSNBC, NPR, Fox Network, Houston Public Media, and several other local and state media networks. Most recently, American Leadership Forum (ALF), NASA, The Greater Houston Black Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Houston, and the Houston Museum of African American Culture have engaged Carla’s  talent as an orator and subject matter expert. Dr. Brailey also Chairs the Imani School Board and the Sankofa Research Institute and serves as a board member for the League of Women Voters – Houston Chapter and Texas Women of Higher Education.


Carla holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Texas State University; a master’s degree in counseling psychology, a certificate in Women’s Studies, a Master of Divinity (MDiv), and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in sociology – all from Howard University. Her leadership development is shaped by the training and on-going participation in Leadership Houston, American Leadership Forum, and the New Leaders Council, Houston Chapters.


With her many achievements, Dr. Brailey is most humbled and proud to be the mother of Marley J, her 12-year-old seventh grade, beautiful daughter.