Williamson, was raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. and moved to Raleigh, N.C. prior to enrolling in Shaw University's University of Adult Program of Education (CAPE) in 1977, while continuing to work full-time. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1982 with a BA in Public Administration from Shaw University. Williamson went on to earn her M.Ed in Training and Development from North Carolina State University in 1997.
Williamson's professional career spans the private, business, private non-profit, state and local government sectors. Her public service career covers 30 years and prior to retiring from state government in January 2010, Brenda served as Assistant Director for the Employment Services Section with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, N.C. DHHS and with the Division of Workforce Development within the N.C. Department of Commerce as a Senior Policy Associate and Welfare-to-Work Program Manager. She worked as a Health Check Program Consultant and a Human Relations Specialist/Investigator as well. She worked as an advocate and activist in Women's Issues and Social Justice for almost 10 years in between her government service.
Williamson has served in several leadership capacities with the Local and National Alumni Association of Shaw University including as President of the Raleigh-Wake Chapter. She served as President and Vice-President of the Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association (RWCA). She is a Fellow of: the N.C. Institute of Political Leadership and the N.C. Rural Economic Development Institute. She has served on numerous Boards and Committees, a few include: the City of Raleigh's Southeast Raleigh Assembly (SERA) , the Hargett Street YWCA, N.C. Employment and Training Association and many more.
One of Williamson's greatest joy is her 4 grandchildren; Chandler, Simone, Elise, and Rodney (RJ), who live with their parents, her daughter, Shanel and son-in-law, Rodney in Texas. Brenda is a member of Macedonia New Life Church and over the past 35 years has served in various ministries.
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