Marc Brenman

Photo of March BrenmanEducation

Faculty, The Evergreen State College
B.A., Windham College, Putney, Vermont


Contact via email

Biographical Note

Marc Brenman was Executive Director of the Washington State Human Rights Commission from 2004 to 2009, and was Senior Policy Advisor in the U.S. Department of Transportation from 1995 to 2004. He was previously with the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education, serving in Washington, DC, Boston, and San Francisco, starting as an investigator and ending as Division Director at Headquarters. He has worked on race issues, limited English proficiency, disability, sex discrimination, LGBT rights, culturally appropriate alternative dispute resolution, and other social justice issues. He is the co-author of The Right to Transportation, with Prof. Tom Sanchez, on social equity in that form of infrastructure, and is writing two new books, one on governance and equity, and the other on best practices in diversity and inclusion. He teaches college courses on civil rights history and public policy development, and on governing for social justice. In addition to his operations experience in enforcing civil rights nondiscrimination laws, he is the author of many articles, op-eds, and policy and research papers on social equity issues. Mr. Brenman has spoken at many conferences, including the Transportation Research Board and at Harvard Law School. He is presently consulting, teaching, and writing on diversity, equal employment opportunity, and social justice.

Publication Types

Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry

Latest Publication Title

"Transportation and Civil Rights"

Publication Excerpt

Transportation is vital. The Supreme Court has recognized the right to travel as one of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, at Article 13, states, “Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.” Given this important role, it is expected that policy makers, advocates, and users battle over transportation policy and its implementation. Too often, however, those battles are over specific project funding and construction and in particular states, congressional districts, towns, and neighborhoods, and scant attention is paid to larger social and economic effects.

Additional Publications

"Turkish short stories," Damazene Magazine

Transportation Victory for Social Equity,” Planetizen, 2/22/2010, with Richard Marcantonio.

“Transforming State Government: A New Paradigm for a National Economy in Crisis,” 1/09. Many of the ideas in this paper, which was submitted to the Governor of Washington, were adopted in her budget and priority proposals submitted to the Legislature, 2/10/09.

“A Civil Rights Agenda for a New Administration,” Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, November 2008; and International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies

"The Right to Transportation: Moving to Equity," with Thomas W. Sanchez, American Planning Association, 2008.

“Transportation Equity and Environmental Justice: Lessons from Hurricane Katrina,” with Thomas W. Sanchez, Environmental Justice, Volume 1, Number 2, June 2008.

“A Culturally-Appropriate Dispute Resolution Training and Model for Native American, First Nation, and Other Indigenous Peoples,” with Mike Chin, Washington State Human Rights Commission, 2008.

“What to Do When the Nazis Come to Town: Local Responses to Nazi and Neo-Nazi Activities in Communities,” Safe Schools Coalition, April 2008.

“Transportation Safety Policy Architecture,” 2007.

“Barriers To Planning: Lessons From Katrina,” w/ Thomas W. Sanchez, Planetizen, March 2007.

“Transportation Inequity in the United States: A Historical Overview,” Human Rights Magazine, American Bar Association, Summer 2007.

“Women’s Issues in Transportation,” with Stephanie Ortoleva, in Running on Empty: Transport, Social Exclusion and Environmental Justice, ed. Karen Lucas, The Policy Press, 2004, UK.

"Katrina and the Demographics of Disaster and Reconstruction," Los Angeles, CA: Center for Law in the Public Interest, September 15, 2006, with Robert Garcia.

“Introduction to Transportation Equity and Environmental Justice,” commissioned paper, Harvard University Civil Rights Project, 2005.

“How to Investigate Environmental Justice Complaints under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” USDOT, 2002.

"Contributing editor, guidance on service animals in shelters," State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 2008.

"Governor’s Proclamations: Unity Day, International Women’s Day, Martin Luther King’s Birthday, and Fair Housing Month."

“Self-Evaluation to Promote\u2028 Community Living for People with Disabilities: Report to the President on Executive Order 13217;” U.S. Department of Transportation; 2003.

“Integrated Dispute Prevention and Resolution System,” U.S. Department of Transportation, 2002.

“Policy Architecture for Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities,” Federal Interagency Task Force on Minority Health Disparities, Department of Health and Human Services, 2001.

“Budget Planning in the Departmental Office of Civil Rights,” U.S. Department of Transportation, 1998.

“Compelling Governmental Interest: DOT’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Programs Should be Retained,” U.S. Department of Transportation, 1997.

“How Can We Prevent the Recruitment of Young People Into Organized Hate Groups?” White House Conference on Hate Crimes, 1997.

“Customer Service and Federal Civil Rights,” U.S. Department of Transportation, 1997.

“Stages in the Life of an External Civil Rights Complaint,” U.S. Department of Transportation, 1996.

“Core Competencies for Staff of the Office for Civil Rights,” U.S. Department of Education, 1994.

“Healthy Management Assumptions,” U.S. Department of Education, 1993.

“Glossary of Terms Regarding Services to Limited English Proficient Students in Public Schools,” U.S. Department of Education, 1989.

“Writing the Investigative Report,” U.S. Department of Education, n.d.

“The Effects of Federal Environment Protection Initiatives on Civil Rights,” Golden Gate University, 1979.

“The Impact of Civil Rights Movements on Executive Branch Administration,” Golden Gate University, 1979.

How did Evergreen help you in your career?

Great students keep my mind alive and make me feel optimistic about the future. The Masters in Public Administration program produces public service stars.