Visionary women of Houston: Carla Brailey

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, the Defender celebrates some visionary women to watch. They are making a difference in Houston and beyond and succeeding in various walks of life. From the boardroom to the courtroom, they see where they want to be in the future and are taking the necessary steps to get there. They inspire others to achieve a common goal and have a knack for developing strong relationships.

They are focused, disciplined, creative, resilient, persistent and positive. They know the importance of family and care about their communities. They make “bold, boss moves” on a regular basis, another reason why they are women of vision.

Carla D. Brailey, PhD, MDiv

Education: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology, Women’s Studies Certificate, Doctorate of philosophy in Sociology

Occupation:  Assistant Professor of Sociology & Vice Chair of the Texas Democratic Party 

Motto/Philosophy:Be kind anyway! Public service is not an option. It’s a way of life. It’s

what I do. It’s who I am. I am a public servant leader in all that I am.

What makes her visionary: I’m a change strategist and advocate with a keen focus on

women and children. I have been trained to critically think, empathetically feel, and

strategically act beyond the present to push forward. I solve problems. I genuinely love and

serve humanity. I strive to meet people where they are. I aim to include and embrace the least

of things to create a more beloved community. Excellence is my standard and getting the job

done is my way!

Bold, boss moves: I’m an only child with deep roots in Abbeville, Louisiana and Houston,

Texas where most of my family resides, but I made up my mind I wanted to experience life in

what was once called Chocolate City; so I moved with my aunt near Maryland to attend my

dream school, Howard University in Washington, DC to further my post-graduate

education. I returned home after finishing my Masters degree in 1997. Then, I decided to resign from my Assistant Principal position to return to Howard University to complete my doctorate

degree. It was absolutely, to date, the most difficult task I’ve yet to complete in my life,

particularly being a first-generation college student with little family or financial support.

Over 10 years later, after tackling some of my most challenging moments, I am a testament to what is means to follow your dreams to become “you” for “you.” I know I’m still in my early stages of “becoming,” and I try to embrace every moment of it. Life has taught me it’s not often about the product; however, it’s about the process. The lessons and growth are learned during the

reflections of the actual process. It’s those reflections that give birth to the possibilities of

our purpose.

All in a day’s work: I wake up thinking and I go to sleep thinking. Thinking makes me happy. It

makes me sad. Thinking is my therapy. It’s what I love to do so it can be my handicap, too.  Yes, 

I can be an over thinker. I do my quick thoughts as I awake – whether it’s prayer, meditation or journaling. I take a quick overview of my day to know what to expect. From there, the “busy” kicks in and doesn’t stop until I lay after 10 pm. I mother. I meet. I teach. I may write but I definitely talk to 20 people a day. I persuade. I check my daughter’s homework and my students, too. I attend 3-5 events on any given day for either school or community events. When it’s all said and done, every day I wake up, blessed to breath, and I strive to serve someone. I count every blessing.

How she balances it all: I have great family and friends who remind me to live beyond work. I

also absolutely love mothering my Marley J who reminds me at the end of the day she matters

most; and I love myself enough to spend time with just me after all, I’m an only child.

Words of wisdom: Love yourself enough to forgive yourself 70 times over and whatever

you do let time heal your hurt, loss and mishaps.

Dream job: My dream job is to be a public intellectual who speaks and travels the world to

empower people to become consciously thinking liberated human beings.