New Britain's Brooks to receive civil rights award

Published on Sunday, 5 November 2017 22:56
Written by Angie DeRosa

Staff Writer

NEW BRITAIN - A city resident will be honored at the third annual Civil Rights Leaders and Legends Awards ceremony in Hartford on Nov. 16.

Awards will be presented to six Connecticut’s civil rights figures nominated by members of their communities, including New Britain’s Alton Brooks, who has been selected to receive the Maria Colon Sanchez Award for Community Activism.

Sanchez was an activist and politician. In 1988, she became the first Hispanic woman elected to the General Assembly, but died just a year later.

Presented by the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, the event celebrates the contributions of Connecticut civil rights leaders and each award celebrates diversity and inclusion in several categories.

As a longtime New Britain resident, Brooks has been dedicated and committed to improving the quality of life of the African-American community and the city in general.

He served as the former executive director of the New Britain Human Resources Agency and the New Britain Human Rights and Opportunities Department before his retirement.

Brooks continues to get African-Americans involved in the political process and voter registration drives. He has been instrumental in finding African-American candidates for boards and commissions.

He also continues to fight the war on poverty and work for the elimination of racial discrimination and hatred.

Brooks is an active member of the Spottswood African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, at which he has served as trustee, pastor’s steward, choir member and officer in the Overall Church Convention as lay chair.

His activities at Spottswood include church sports committee, gospel choir, men’s choir, personnel committee as well as the budget and finance board.

Brooks is highly involved with organizations including the New Britain branch of the NAACP, the Black Democratic Club, New Britain Democratic Town Committee, New Britain Civil Service Board of Appeal, Family Service Board, Central Connecticut Chapter Red Cross Board and Hartford District Lay Council.

Recently, Brooks was recognized by the New Britain chapter of the NAACP as one of the most influential African-Americans in New Britain.

“I am very excited about this honor,” said Brooks. “I’m so humbled and deeply honored to be recognized as one of the recipients.”

Angie DeRosa can be reached at 860-801-5063 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, General News, New Britain on Sunday, 5 November 2017 22:56. Updated: Sunday, 5 November 2017 22:58.