PB City Council’s Brunson named Public Official of the Year


From the The National Association of Social Workers

According to Holly Barron, Executive Director of The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Arkansas Chapter has chosen Councilmember LaTisha Brunson to be honored and to receive the 2024 Public Elected Official of the Year Award. This award honors an outstanding member of the community

whose accomplishments exemplify the values and mission of professional social work. The award winner is not a social worker. The accomplishments for receiving this award include taking risks for better social services, demonstrating outstanding leadership, enlisting public support for improved social services, contributing to the public’s knowledge of social work and social problems, and reflecting the professional ethics of social work as defined in the NASW Code of Ethics.

LaTisha Brunson, with over 23 years of public service experience, is a true beacon of dedication and leadership who has redefined public service in the City of Pine Bluff, especially in Ward1. Elected as Council Woman in January 2023, she has consistently demonstrated her commitment to uplifting her community.

Within her first 6 months, Ms. Brunson organized the groundbreaking “Friends of the First Ward” Event, a remarkable initiative that celebrated local small businesses, showcasing their products and services to nearly 200 attendees. This event not only promoted economic growth but also garnered media attention, showcasing her innovative approach to supporting local entrepreneurs.

Ms. Brunson’s unwavering commitment extends to addressing food insecurity, where she’s collaborated with state agencies like the Minority Health Commission and the Arkansas Food Desert Network to bring a much-needed grocery store to her Ward. Her collaboration with Oasis Fresh Market in Tulsa and the Federal Trade Commission showcases her determination to revitalize Pine Bluff.

Furthermore, she has championed legislation to halt the proliferation of “small box” stores in her Ward, emphasizing the importance of equal access to quality food options for all residents. Her dedication is evident in her vision to bring about positive change by the last quarter of 2024.

LaTisha Brunson’s inclusive approach continues with her Positive Progress Plan, focusing on creating inclusive play areas and ADA-compliant equipment at city parks, ensuring every child has equal opportunities for recreation. Her advocacy stems from a deep personal connection, as her 14-year-old daughter has cerebral palsy.

Beyond her role as an elected official, Ms. Brunson serves her alma mater, an HBCU, as the Assistant Human Resources Director, bridging the gap between campus and community and driving meaningful policy changes.

The full list of 2024 Honorees includes Greg Adams ACSW, LCSW – Lifetime Achievement, Steven Jennings, LMSW, AADC – Social Worker of the Year, Teri Ann Bearden – MSW Student of the Year, Keleigh Adams – BSW Student of the Year, Chief Mike Reynolds – Public Citizen of the Year, LaTisha Brunson – Public Elected Official of the Year, and Cocoon Collective – Agency of the Year.

We will honor award recipients at our 2024 Awards Luncheon on Friday, March 15, 2024, 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm during our Annual Conference.