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Community Youth Development Director Kia Brooks named to Governor Hochul’s Interfaith Advisory Council executive committee

Published January 04, 2024

Nazareth University’s new director of the community youth development undergraduate program — Kia C. Brooks — is a well-known, third-generation pastor in Rochester who was recently tapped to be an executive committee member of Governor Kathy Hochul’s New York State Interfaith Advisory Council. The council’s mission is to build and foster relationships with faith leaders across New York state’s communities. 

Brooks began at Nazareth in fall 2023, bringing an extensive background working with Rochester and Monroe County’s young people, most recently with The Center for Youth Services.

Following in the footsteps of her grandfather and her father, Brooks is pastor at GREATER, The Kingdom Church at 912 Genesee St. in Rochester. She says her more than 20 years of experience in ministry earned her the spot on the Governor’s executive committee — and she is honored to take part.

“Governor Hochul wanted to re-imagine her Interfaith Advisory Council and make it more diverse — to add more women — and her advisors reached out to different cities. When I found out that three different pastors recommended me, I was so thrilled to be nominated and then appointed by the governor,” said Brooks.

The Interfaith Council will work with Governor Hochul’s reimagined Office of Faith and Non-Profit Development Services to help address mental health, hate crimes, community safety, and more affordable housing. They will educate communities about grants and help them through the approval process.

In 2024, the council’s executive committee will begin a 62-county tour and Brooks is already looking for Nazareth University to be a host. She has a unique position on the council as both a professor at Nazareth and a local pastor.

“Historically, most change has started at institutions of higher education, and I’m committed to include Monroe County, Nazareth, and the University’s community youth development program in this opportunity as executive committee member,” said Brooks.

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Nazareth University is an inclusive community of inspired learners, educators, and changemakers who for nearly 100 years have been driven by a bold commitment to action, empathy, equity, and leading innovation for the common good. Impact experiences are at the heart of a Nazareth education, preparing each student to discover within themselves the potential to cultivate positive change in their life's work, in any career field, and in a world that is constantly evolving and infinitely interconnected.

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Kia C. Brooks, Nazareth's director of the undergraduate community youth development program (left) with New York Governor Kathy Hochul in Albany during the announcement about the state's Interfaith Advisory Council.