Agnes Elizabeth Green, affectionately known as “Cookie,” was the eldest of seven children born on December 24, 1945 to David Cokley and Agnes Cokley. She was born and raised in Brooklyn’s Bedford Stuyvesant. Agnes was an honor student throughout public school and was also Bushwick High School’s first African-American and female elected President of the Student Government Association. Her college education began at Brooklyn College and formally ended at New York University (NYU), where she majored in broadcast journalism with a minor in English Literature. After attending NYU, Agnes was hired by WCBS News Radio 88, where she worked for 19 years. She began as a News Desk Assistant and quickly rose to Chief News Desk Assistant. Throughout her career at WCBS 88, Agnes won numerous awards.
In 1967, Agnes married Roosevelt Green and they had one child, Eric Sebastian Green. The two were introduced by friends in 1965.
While living in Crown Heights, where her son Eric went to school, Agnes became active in the parent association. Her leadership was recognized and later she became a member of the Executive Board on the citywide United Parents Association and later became Board President.
As a parent, Agnes gained a reputation as an independent, outspoken voice for all children’s right to a quality education and their parents’ rights to participate in that education. Because of her advocacy, she was asked by leaders of the Community School Board District 17 President’s Council to represent them in the race for a seat on Community School Board 17. Agnes served as President and held other committee chair positions throughout her 17 years as an elected school official. She was also a founding member of Black New Yorkers for Educational Excellence, a citywide progressive organization that focused on education as a means of liberation.
In August 1985, Agnes was appointed by Mayor Edward I. Koch to serve on the newly elected AIDS panel for school-aged children. This panel reviewed the medical status and family history of children diagnosed with HIV. She was the first parent representative to serve during one of the most contentious periods in the city’s public school history.
In 1996, Agnes joined Spring Creek Towers as the Assistant Director of Public Affairs and the Editor-in-Chief of its newspaper, the Spring Creek Sun. She was also the producer and host of Every Day People and Every Day Voices, which aired monthly on Brooklyn Community Access Television [BCAT].
In addition to Agnes’ work in educational rights and journalism, she was actively involved in the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust (BQLT), an organization that works to transform vacant lots into lush gardens used for activities in the community and urban agriculture, since 2004. She led the organization as its president from 2006-2009 and is credited with steering the organization to its current success.
Agnes had a passion for outdoor music concerts, jazz festivals, live theatrical productions, photography, and collecting Black memorabilia. She was an intelligent and cultured woman, who had a love and passion for her family and heritage. She was determined to find her roots and successfully traced them back to Cameroon in Central Africa. Agnes is survived by her son, Eric Green; sister, Patricia Cokley; brothers, Darren, Dennis and Donald Cokley; nieces, Crystal Rascoe, Destinee Cokley and Nicole Cokley Dunlap; nephew, Darren Cokley, Jr.; grandniece, Najah Cokley and great-grandniece, Maya Streety; cousins and countless extended family and friends.