Meet Brian Banks
We all have dreams, but few of us ever realize them. Rarely are talent and tenacity equally present in an individual as they are in Brian Banks. He is an educator, law school graduate, community leader and visionary. Brian Banks has risen to prominence in spiritual, community and academic arenas – against the odds! Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Brian always sensed that despite his small stature – he would take giant steps.
Brian saw and heard firsthand the stories of the underprivileged and disadvantaged. As a product of both a low-income and a single-parent family, Brian is personally and keenly aware of the difficult choices that today’s youth face: dropping out of school and making poor choices and decisions which ultimately lead to contact with the criminal justice system. In 1993, after completing the 11th grade with a 3.97 GPA, due to a family and home environment that was not conducive for learning and growth, Brian dropped out of school and entered the world as a young adult. Being introduced to criminal behavior, as a young adult Brian was well on his way to a life of crime. In 1998, Brian had his first encounter with the criminal justice system; and from there Brian’s life began to spiral downward.
Being arrested, evicted, and losing everything, Brian lost all hope and self-esteem. Brian realized that his poor decisions had altered his life, the reputation of his family and the course toward his career dreams. Brian’s aspiration was to one day graduate from college, attend law school, graduate and become a prominent attorney then to one day sit on the bench as an officer of the court. In 1999, it got progressively worse–depression, low on cash and not being able to find employment; sadly Brian found himself again in the face of the criminal justice system.
Brian thought life was truly over for him. The defining moment of Brian’s life came on a fated day in 1999 when he stood before an Oakland County Circuit Court Judge that Brian knew and realized that it was time for him to grasp a hold on his life. Brian remembers the judge speaking “life” into him and seeing something on the inside of him, that he did not even know still existed — GREATNESS! This was Brian’s “Revelation Day!”
As a former elementary school educator, Brian realizes how important it is to shape, mentor, and nurture the youth of today. Brian realizes the importance of reaching and giving back to those that are behind and need an extra push or word of encouragement, just as the Oakland County Judge did. From that day, Brian suddenly took hold of the reigns of his life and no longer let his hurts, disappointments and failures – his past – dictate to him his future. Grabbing hold to the encouragement from the Judge and receiving the support and assistance from his mother and grandfather, at age 24, he turned his life around, earning his GED, and continuing on to college and earning a full scholarship from the Howard Baker Foundation.
Despite tremendous obstacles and odds, Brian had shown great tenacity in the face of adversity. Brian currently holds both a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Master of Education in Educational Leadership & Administration from Wayne State University. Brian continued on his career path and entered into law school. After his second year of law school, Brian received a scholarship from the Sarah Franklin Scholarship Fund, which assisted him tremendously. On track with his career goals Brian graduated from Michigan State University College of Law with his Juris Doctor with a Concentration in Criminal Law. Currently, Brian is pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Policy & Administration and has been an adjunct professor at Baker College.
A highly sought after educator, organizer, assistant, community, political, and legal mind, Brian’s work currently involve mentoring teens and young adults and has received invitations to be the keynote speaker for Youth Day services, college bound student workshops, and second chance programs. Brian is an outstanding man, friend and leader with a promising future. In March, 2012, Brian made his first bid for public office running for State Representative District 1 representing Northeast Detroit, Grosse Pointe Woods, Grosse Pointe Shores, and Harper Woods.
On November 6, 2012, Brian was duly elected by the people of the 1st District to The Michigan House of Representatives. Brian served on the Criminal Justice, Local Government, and Military & Veterans Affairs Committees in the State House. In addition, Brian served as the Secretary to the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus. In 2014, Brian was re-elected to the Michigan House of Representatives and was appointed to the House Insurance & Appropriations Committee serving on the following subcommittees Department of Human Services (Minority Vice Chair), Transportation (Minority Vice Chair), Department of Education, and Community Colleges.
Additionally, Brian was elected by his colleagues to serve as the Chairman of the Detroit Caucus of The Michigan House of Representatives. Brian is an advocate for education and committed to ensuring that all children have access to the quality education they need to reach their full potential and compete for good-paying jobs – no matter where they live. In 2016, despite many political obstacles, Brian was re-elected to the Michigan House of Representatives.
As a State Representative and legislative leader, Brian worked across party lines on many issues including establishing Healthy Michigan and providing affordable access to health insurance to over 650,000 Michiganders to increasing per pupil funding for all students.
Fighting for a Stronger