Family of the late Roberta Baines-Wheeler l-r; Sydney Y. K. Brown, Robert D. Brown, Irving D. Brown III, and Dr. Katherine Y. Brown. Photos courtesy of Dr. Katherine Y. Brown Leadership Academy

NASHVILLE, TN — Roberta Baines Wheeler (RBW) Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) Awareness group hosted its 3rd Annual “RBW Her Life Our Legacy Jazz Brunch”  honoring mothers who are gone but not forgotten. With standing room only and a view overlooking downtown Nashville, over 150 people were in attendance on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at the event which was held at Waller Law. The program honored mothers who have transitioned, increased awareness of pulmonary hypertension, and recognized KYB Leadership Academy. The program   included Have You Heard Dance Troop and welcome by Sydney Y. K. Brown (granddaughter of the late Roberta Baines-Wheeler). The event host, was Harriet Wallace (Fox 17 news)  and  the mistress of Ceremonies for the white rose ceremony was Toni Fitzgerald. Attendees enjoyed foods  prepared by Chef Irving Brown II of The GoodLife Personal Chef Service which including: Scrambled eggs with sautéed spinach & three cheese, smoked diced new potatoes, seasoned sweet potato wedges, maple turkey sausage, bow tie pasta salad, and romaine, arugula salad with assorted cherry tomatoes & feta cheese. There were two  keynote speakers: Lueatrice Green Lovett and Reginald L. Robinson, MD, who both yielded standing ovations.  

Robinson educated the attendees  on pulmonary hypertension while Green spoke on living life after the loss of a loved one. RBW PH Awareness Group Executive Director, Dr. Katherine Y. Brown in her remarks, thanked community partners and shared the accomplishments of RBW PH Awareness Group. Special recognitions included Irving D. Brown III (grandson of the late Ms. Wheeler) presenting Mrs. Stefanie B. Rome with the 2019 KYB Leadership Academy outstanding parent of the year award. 

Dr. Brown recognized participants beginning the 10th Cohort of KYB Leadership Academy, recognized graduating seniors  Irving D. Brown III (who will attend Fisk University) and Katelyn Starks; the participants present from the first school based program of KYB Leadership Academy at Head Middle Magnet School in Nashville TN and also school based KYB Leadership Academy at JF Shields School in Beatrice Alabama. Around the room there were over 20 KYB Leadership Academy alumni assisting  as hosts while wearing the official KYB Blazer (some honoring mothers who had transitioned), and two members from the first KYB cohort (2016) were present, a testament to the  success of KYB Leadership Academy. Dr. Tonja Williams was also recognized for her commitment to  KYB Leadership Academy. 

The RBW Her Life, Our Legacy Jazz Brunch is symbolically held the Saturday after Mother’s Day is celebrating the lives of mothers who have passed and developing a healthy community of shared experiences. Brown explained, “We not only celebrate their lives, we honor their legacy by doing great things in our community. With awareness, empowerment, and hope working together we can make a difference.”

There were community leaders, elected officials, dignitaries, and families who filled the room; floral arrangements by event florist George Ridley, Music by Mr. Geary Moore, and a concluding video presentation by Dr. Brown.  The  attendees  were uplifted and inspired with many   verbalizing being encouraged  after  honoring the legacy of their Mothers during the event. Plans are currently underway for the 2020 RBW Her Life Our Legacy Jazz Brunch. 

For more information or to identify ways that you can be involved contact 629-999-1909 (phone), (email) or visit