Rashad Cobb wasn’t even in town when he was named Green Bay’s Citizen of the Year.
Cobb, director of equity and community initiatives at the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, already had airline tickets to visit family in Colorado when Mayor Eric Genrich’s office called ahead of the mayor’s State of the City Address and informed him of the honor.
“I would have liked to have been there just to be able to thank some people, and then also, just being a person of color, like I don’t, I just think it’s important to have that representation,” Cobb said in an interview Thursday.
He stopped by the mayor’s office Monday to pick up the proclamation and get a photo with the mayor. Cobb said he was reluctant to say anything about the honor publicly, but ultimately decided to post it on his LinkedIn page Thursday.
“I just remembered something that a dear friend of mine told me a long time ago. Anytime you win an award, it’s really not about you, it’s really it gives you an opportunity to highlight the things that you’re a part of,” he said.
The list of things Cobb is a part of is extensive and varied. He’s a member of the Police and Fire Commission, (which just went through the process of hiring a new police chief) and the Transit Commission; he worked on the committee overseeing a 26-acre plot of land donated to the cuty for development, and led a Corporation for Supportive Housing project that led to a 90-page housing plan and the budget to hire someone to implement it.
He was also co-chair of the Brown County Ad-hoc Committee on Racial Equity. The Committee’s time has expired but it continues as an informal work group.
“I don’t really think that (Brown County Supervisors) have to listen to us anymore, but we’re still going to do the work and finish the work,” he said.
He also serves on many boards and committees for nonprofit organizations.
He credits his wife for supporting his active engagement in the community.
“I’m able to do this stuff because my wife knows what really feels my spirit in my heart,” he said. “She really gives me her thumbs up and support to let me be out of the house to do as much as I do.”
He said the response to the award on social media has been encouraging.
“It’s just really a reminder (that) I have a lot of support and got a lot of people who believe in me, a lot of people who are rooting for me,” he said. “It gives me the motivation to say I’m capable of doing things and I got people who are in my corner.”
He also said announcing the award has already garnered new connections and invitations to connect.
“I’ll definitely leverage those invitations to learn a little bit more about what’s going on, because I don’t know everything that’s going on in this community,” he said. “I’m going to use (the award) to do what I do best, which is really try to connect people.”