Dr. Kanini Wanjira Brooks
Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Dr. Kanini W. Brooks left for college after high school and has been on a journey ever since. After completing a Mathematics undergraduate degree at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia and a graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she found herself in Fort Worth, Texas beginning her professional career. Since then, Kanini has worked in education, training, project management, process improvement, product development, and analysis.
Along the way, Dr. Brooks has been careful to encourage, inspire and sometimes ‘push’ others to pursue their individual goals in education as well as professional and spiritual pursuits. Examples include founding the Student Retention Conference at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to provide support to undergraduate students. When she arrived they were taking much longer than four years to graduate and as Co-President of the Black Graduate and Professional Students Organization, convinced members it was up to them to do something about it. Later, while in her doctoral program, completed at the University of North Texas, she founded a similar program as president of the College of Education’s Doctoral Student Association. Originally known as the “Tools for Success” conference, the program celebrated its tenth anniversary this past fall.
Kanini has engaged in community discussions in her own community of Arlington, Texas, her sorority chapter and workplace’s community in Dallas, TX, as well as that of her church home in Fort Worth, Texas. She has served on the Bond Advisory Council for Arlington ISD, participated with the Lake Como Neighborhood Alliance Council in Fort Worth and joined in on various concerns in the Dallas community. In addition, while observing the gap between her upbringing, which strongly emphasized the pursuit of education, with today’s seemingly disinterested or uninformed youth that she has encountered,) she has encouraged and chauffeured many groups of students/parents to attend various college preparation activities including teen town hall meetings, workshops, programs, youth conferences and college visits. All of this is in addition to serving as Sunday School Teacher, Vacation Bible School Director, Choir Director, and pianist for many years.
Dr. Brooks is married to Reverend Nolan Brooks of Como, Texas, and they have two teenaged children: Jalen and Kaia, who attend Juan Seguin High School near their home in Arlington, Texas. It is her life’s mission to grow people. Mrs. Brooks calls herself a ‘seed planter’. She is satisfied in knowing that she has walked this journey planting seeds, sometimes watering or pruning, resting in the fact that many will be better for it and she is fulfilling her calling in the process.