Black Alumni Chapter Executive Board
Barbara Brown Simmons
Barbara Brown Simmons received a scholarship to attend The University of New Mexico in June 1965. She was hired by The University of New Mexico to write a proposal to establish a Black Studies Program. The Proposal was entitled To Break the Chains and was accepted by the President of the University and the Board of Regents. The Black Studies Program at UNM was established (currently, Africana Studies). The program is still in existence today. Barbara received recognition as one of the founders in 2010.
Barbara taught a course called Blacks and the Law for The University of New Mexico College of American Studies. She also taught Black History to young black kids from the inner city of Albuquerque at the University campus and authored a Black History Booklet for the students to utilize once they left class.
In May 1970, Barbara received Bachelor's of Arts degree from UNM, majored in political science and minored in history. In 1973, she received the "Outstanding Citizen's Award" from Governor Jerry Apodoca, governor of the State of New Mexico.
In May 1974, she received a Juris Doctorate from The University of New Mexico School of Law, becoming the first black female to graduate from the law school. Barbarba was first black female to become a member of the New Mexico State Bar. While in law school received the "The Deans Award" for outstanding scholastic and political achievement while a student. She also served as the Black American Law student Association Regional Director responsible for recruiting Black law students to UNM.
While a resident of the State of California, Barbara served on the California Board of Directors of the United Negro College Fund, The Magic Johnson Mid-Summer Night Magic Scholarship Program, The Help Public Service Foundation and the Compton Unified School District and worked with the Los Angeles Raiders Football Organization and NFL Running Back Marcus Allen in their efforts to promote higher education and self-esteem for inner city youth.
Barbara Brown Simmons has practiced Criminal Defense Law for over 25 years in the State of California and is now retired.