Since completing his New Warrior Training Adventure in 1999 at Bullard Farms, MA, Brooks Harrelson has been living his mission: to create a world of equity by communicating, teaching, and acting. Supporting him are his brothers in the MKP New England Area, and his Greater Boston Community men’s circle, Men on the Loose. He has served eight years on the Arlington Diversity Task Group; co-created one of the first Black Lives Matter demonstrations in 2013; appointed as founding Commissioner of the first LGBTQIA + Rainbow Commissions in the country addressing equity in town government; and most recently, working on school-to-prison pipeline remediation. Brooks clearly is living his mission to create a world of equity.
William Brooks Harrelson, born shortly before the divorce of his parents, spent the first six years with his single mother in Santa Barbara, CA, he then spent his formative years in Santa Monica, CA enjoying the nearby beach activities. He started programming at the age of 12, learning to program in decimal machine language using paper tape input to an IBM 1620 with the Rand Corporation in 1961 and got hooked on computer programing. At the University of California Berkeley, he studied mathematics, and as a student got a key punch entry job. When his supervisors noted he was correcting coding mistakes they gave him a programing job. He continued to work for UC Berkeley for nine years automating the library system for the 9-campus UC System. By 1977 he had topped out while running programing and operations and decided to pursue jobs in the Boston area where he found more opportunities and had met a woman who would become his daughters’ mother.
In the Boston area he first worked with Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) for about 9 years, then with various startup companies, Computervision, and computer consulting with a management consultancy. For the last 20 years he has run a small software company in Arlington MA. In total he worked in software for about 55 years on mostly large software projects. The project that might be the most familiar to people is The Large Hadron Collider Project at CERN in Switzerland that was used to discover the Higgs Boson. He says he’s a big science geek, interested in all kinds of science, and he would have to be to work on projects like this at CERN.
After completing his NWTA in 1999, he has staffed nineteen times, done MOS four times, taken the introduction to multicultural leadership (OCL-103), and all the leadership training courses except, LT-3 for which he is blessed to attend to pursue the Co-Leader Candidate (CLC) role. He apparently enjoys being part of Primary Integration Trainings (PITs), as he has co-led 5 and led 4 of these. He has also helped create and update the Co-creative Contribution Process (CCP), and has served on the MKP NE Area Stewardship Council in various roles since 2004. As the NE Area moved to become part of MKP USA, he was part of the team that wrote the MKP NE Area Constitution. He has also been a part of several intercultural competency groups including the White Men Undoing Racism planning group. What is the most important insight he has gotten from this work? He discovered that his abandonment and scarcity fears have created neediness, and that he projects onto others to defend himself from these fears. What does he like most about his work with MKP? He says “connecting with men before the weekend on pre-weekend calls, seeing them during the weekend, and then sharing tears of joy with them after the weekend,” gives him a sense of connection that he gets nowhere else. With whom would he want to be stranded on a deserted island? His wife, and if it has to be a famous person, and that person can continue to do their activism while with him on this island, then Charlize Theron, a smart, outspoken, and broadly educated activist who would provide good conversation, and being a long time with this person, he would need to like them, that’s why he’d prefer his wife.