Patricia Green-Powell says her tenure has been a rewarding and inspiring journey marked by groundbreaking educational achievements.
“I am pleased to lead the only state supported HBCU uniquely positioned to carry out a legislative mandate that entrusts us with educating minorities about marijuana for medical use and the impact of the unlawful use of marijuana on minority communities,” Green-Powell said.
Since her appointment in 2019 as executive director of the Florida A&M University Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative (MMERI), Green-Powell’s influence has punctuated the core values of the MMERI program: To advance, inform and empower marginalized communities.
MMERI began in response to Florida legislation that uniquely charged FAMU with the task of educating minority communities on recreational and medicinal marijuana usage.
The institution’s primary goal is to become a “touchstone” venue for research and education. As the newly appointed director, Green-Powell has been instrumental in the development of free medical marijuana education courses, and the “Trainer-Trainer” program which is aimed at empowering community leaders with specialized education.
“I plan to include an MMERI student practicum experience, increase community outreach among specialized minority populations and continue to implement the MMERI public education plan as outlined in the legislative proviso,” Green-Powell said.
Green-Powell is an accomplished woman who has been recognized on numerous occasions for her achievements and tenacity.
In 2007 she was granted the “Outstanding Community Woman” award on behalf of the American Association of University Women.
“The AAUW board of directors takes pride in honoring outstanding women leaders across the nation at the awards ceremonies each year, Our members, fellows and award winners pioneer advances for gender equity,” according to an AAUW representative.
Green-Powell was one of 11 siblings in the nearby rural town of Quincy. Her father was a Baptist minister married to a stay at home mother.
“My mother was very proud of her children. Raising kind, considerate and respectable religious children meant so much to her and was her goal as a mother. She would often share with her friends and members of the church how proud she was that none of her children had ever been arrested, gone to jail or even been in trouble with law enforcement. Her ‘brag’ was that all her children were attending college,” Green-Powell said.
She began her educational career at FAMU where she graduated with a speech pathology degree in three years and moved on to attend Florida State university, where she earned both a master’s and doctorate degrees. She says acquiring her Ph.D was a life-changing experience.
While serving as interim dean of FAMU’s College of Education, Green-Powell founded the “Young, Gifted, and Black” institute, an intervention program designed to prevent young African American girls from dropping out of high school and increase their chances of attending college.
Adriel Hiltonis a former graduate student who worked closely with Green-Powell and remembers her as a humble woman of great accomplishments.
“She is a woman of good leadership, always kind and humble. She is known for putting her community first,” Hiltonsaid.
Now Green-Powell aspires to leave behind a legacy that is grounded in education and inspiration.
“We must tell our young there is a world waiting for you. This is a quest that has just begun,” Green-Powell said.