Brenda Sanders-Wise currently serves as the Executive Director of the Tarrant County Black Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc., providing educational programming and genealogy workshops for adults and children. Brenda also serves as the director and curator of the Lenora Rolla Heritage Center Museum.
For 12 years she served as a Commissioner for the Historic and Cultural Landmarks Commission, where she assisted other members in discovering and preserving the history of Fort Worth’s architectural and cultural resources while helping to ensure the public’s understanding of historic preservation. She continues to serve on various committees and focus groups for the City of Fort Worth.
In 2011, Brenda received an award of special recognition for historic preservation from the Tarrant County Historic Commission. In 2012, Brenda received an award from the Fort Worth Minority Leaders & Citizens Councils for outstanding community service. She received the 2014 Eagle Award – “She Soars with Eagles,” from the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce Women’s Division.
Brenda was born in Fort Worth and attended grades 1-10 in the FWISD (Riverside Elementary and the historic I. M. Terrell Jr.-Sr. High School). She was the first black high school graduate of Haltom High School (1967). She attended NTSU and worked in the brokerage industry for 25 years at Merrill Lynch. During 2000-2003 she was a Senior Producer at Tricom Pictures in Pompano Beach, Florida, where she wrote and produced educational television programs.
Brenda has a passion for the preservation of historic properties and resides on the same land that her great great-grandfather settled on in the early 1800’s, which has become the Carson Street Garden of Eden Historic and Cultural Landmark District. She is the founder and past president of the Garden of Eden Neighborhood Association and founder and president of the Carson Street Historic Preservation Group, serves on several committees and task forces for the City of Fort Worth, and is a past President and board member of the Fort Worth League of Neighborhoods. She is a member of the historic Valley Baptist Church where she is a deaconess, church secretary, member of the choir and President of the Women’s Mission.
Her most cherished achievements include succeeding in receiving recognition for the community as “The Carson Street Garden of Eden Historic & Cultural Landmark District, the first African American historic and cultural landmark district in Tarrant County. The neighborhood received the “Neighborhood of the Year in 2004” by the City of Fort Worth and in 2006 became the National Neighborhood of the Year. Tireless efforts resulted in the Birdville Independent School District designating a school to be named after the black, pioneer settler, Major Cheney. In 2009, a school was re-named Major Cheney Elementary School at South Birdville. In September, 2017, after several fundraisers, Brenda was instrumental in acquiring the deed to property at 1312 Carson Street in the name of the Garden of Eden Neighborhood Association. This property was part of the original assets of Major & Malinda Cheney. The goal is to rebuild Major & Malinda Cheney’s home and have it serve as an event center in the community.
Brenda is married to Dennis Wise and is the mother of 7 children and has 25 grandchildren. The most recent addition to the family is a great grand-daughter, Isabelle and two great grandsons, Zayden and Jeremiah.