Peggy Brooks-Bertram, Dr.P.H., Ph.D

Peggy Brooks-Bertram, Dr.P.H., Ph.D

Dr. Peggy Brooks-Bertram is a graduate of Goucher College in Maryland and received a Master of Public Health and a Doctor of Public Health in Health Education from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public. She also received a Doctor of Philosophy in American Studies from the University at Buffalo.  She is currently an Adjunct Professor at Buffalo State College and Adjunct Faculty at the University at Buffalo.

Dr. Bertram is Co-Founder and President of the Uncrowned Queens Institute for Research and Education on Women, Inc., currently known as Uncrowned Community Builders.  Through the Institute, Dr. Bertram has worked to create a replicable national model for the reclamation, collection, preservation and dissemination of the biographic histories, photos and stories of African American women and men. In the main, the Uncrowned Community Builders initiative recognizes the accomplishments of little-known African American community builders.  In 2001, Dr. Bertram conceived the idea of a webpage for the Institute’s biographies and photos of little known African American women in Buffalo and Western New York and has worked to establish the Uncrowned Queens Archives to preserve these histories.  The webpage became an award winning digital repository of histories and photos. An archive was created and is housed at the Monroe Fordham Center at Buffalo State College and the Uncrowned Queens digital archives at the University at Buffalo. Each is available to students, faculty and the community for research.

Under the aegis of the Institute, Dr. Peggy Brooks-Bertram worked to form partnerships with educational, community, civic, governmental and faith-based institutions to implement numerous projects related to the Uncrowned Community Builders. This includes developing educational curriculum, radio/television programs, community programming of community history projects and most recently, the Uncrowned Community Builders Kiosk and Digital Literacy initiative. Recently, the signature website www.uncrownedqueens.com , now renamed Uncrowned Community Builders at www.uncrownedcommunitybuilders.com, was re-built and now includes an interactive “Biography Tool” for submission of biographies to the Institute from remote locations.

Dr. Bertram is also an author and has also co-authored several books including Uncrowned Queens: African American Women Community Builders of Western New York, Vols. 1-3 and Uncrowned Queens: African American Women Community Builders of Oklahoma. Dr. Bertram has also authored other publications addressing the writings of Drusilla Dunjee Houston a forgotten African American woman writer of the early twentieth century, American West.  Dr. Bertram reconstructed a lost work of Houston and edited and published the book titled, Wonderful Ethiopians of the Ancient Kushite Empire, Books II: Origin of Civilization from the Cushites, 2007. The book received Honorary Mention for Best Black Book of 2007. Dr. Bertram continues her work on Drusilla Dunjee Houston with articles in press and is also completing a biography on the life of this extraordinary African American writer.  She has also contributed articles for various journals on ancient Nile Valley civilizations, e.g., the Kushites of Sudan and has lectured at Universities throughout the US and in Canada with presentations on the work of Drusilla Dunjee Houston.

Dr. Bertram is also interested in WNY history and also authored/co-authored papers/articles and presentations on Western New York history including the African American experience at the 1901 Pan American Exposition.  In public health, she has written and published on African American women’s mental health and issues in health education.  More recently, Dr. Bertram co-authored a book entitled, Go, Tell Michelle: African American Women Write to the New First Lady (SUNY Press, 2009). The book, also published in audio book form features a compilation of letters and poems written to First Lady, Michelle Obama from 100 women throughout the United States and Africa. Since its publication, the book has received outstanding reviews and the prestigious Letitia Woods Brown Book Award from the Association of Black Women Historians. A dramatic adaptation of Go, Tell Michelle premiered on January 19, 2010 at the University at Buffalo and was performed on January 20 in Buffalo, February 2011 in San Diego, California and at Coppin State University in April 2011 in Baltimore, MD.

In addition, Peggy has contributed to the WNY community several years of newspaper articles with the Challenger Newspaper and production of a local radio program, Peggy’s Place, discussing issues pertinent to the African American community and education.  She also co-produced and hosted an educational  television program, Education in Review, which informed the community of major educational issues in public education in Buffalo and beyond.

Dr. Bertram was also responsible for initiating the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, well received community radio series, Uncrowned Queens, Voices from the Community.   The program won the coveted Gracie Award for broadcasting.  Peggy is currently compiling and editing the Say Yes to Education, Buffalo book, Letters to the Superintendent, A Community Responds.  The book is being published under Peggy Bertram Publishing and will be ready in September 2012.