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Carol Moseley Braun was the first female African-American Senator, the first African-American U.S. Senator for the Democratic Party, the first woman to defeat an incumbent U.S. Senator in an election, and the first female Senator from Illinois. In 2005, after nearly 30 years in public service, she founded Good Food Organics, a premium, Certified USDA Organic and Biodynamic products company which follows the triple-bottom-line business approach of financial profitability, environmental sustainability and social ethics.
Born and raised in Chicago, Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun’s interest in agricultural practices began as a child while spending summers on her great-grandmother’s pecan farm in Union Springs, Ala. There she learned what she would later recognize as Biodynamic agriculture — a way of farming in close harmony and connection with the natural environment. Her great-grandmother taught her many things about the land, including the herbal remedies that could be made from the plants they collected in the nearby woods. She also taught her to see the land as a source of bounty, vitality and good health.
Ambassador Braun ultimately pursued a career path that fulfilled her desire for public service, and she devoted much of her professional life to legal issues concerning the environment and social justice. Hailing from a largely agricultural state, she became involved in agriculture policy during her term as a United States Senator. She earned the distinction of “Ethanol Queen” by Illinois farmers in recognition of her renewable fuel efforts. Working towards improved food safety, health and nutrition were also priorities for Ambassador Braun during her years in the legislature.
Ambassador Braun received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Illinois in 1969, and a law degree in 1972 for the University of Chicago. She is a former candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. She has served her country as Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, United States Senator from Illinois, Cook County Executive Officer, Illinois State Representative and United States Attorney.
Her work earned her the Attorney General’s Special Achievement award and more than 200 additional awards and 11 honorary degrees for achievements in the public interest. The public school, Carol Moseley Braun Elementary, in Calumet City, Ill., was named after her in 2001. The school team name is the Ambassadors.
The first permanent female member of the Senate Finance Committee, Ambassador Braun advocated for retirement security and health care support for working men and women. She proposed the first modern federal school construction legislation, and the first women's pension equity laws. She sponsored Ethanol and Environmental Justice legislation, historic preservation of the underground railroad, and the first federal support of Lupus research. She was a co-sponsor of a Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment. Her legislative record reflects a commitment to social justice and fiscal prudence.
Ambassador Braun serves on the advisory boards for the Chicago-based Healthy Foods Campaign and the National Organization for Women (NOW) and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta, the Chicago Network and the International Women’s Association. Her public service continues with Good Food Organics™.