‘Word Up’ spreads faith-filled inspiration

Alfreda Brown, author of “Word Up”. Photo courtesy of Kent State University.

Kara Taylor

At 5:30 a.m. everyday, Alfreda Brown, vice president of Kent State’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, emails her children daily inspiration she found in Scripture.

“I have three adult children married with kids, spouses and careers all in their thirties, and they’re trying to balance all these aspects of life,” Brown said. “My goal was to keep them encouraged, and I would send an inspirational email.”

Her children then served as her inspiration to turn her 300 emails into a spiritual-based book titled “Word Up,” which she self-published through WestBow Press Publishing last November. Brown said each chapter of the book includes her interpretations on Scripture and how they can be applied to everyday life.

“Sometimes people need an example to identify with so they can apply it to what they are experiencing in life,” Brown said.

Brown said each chapter in “Word Up” starts with a Scripture passage that relates to a real-life challenge and ends with a prayer.

“I then reflect on if I was handling that situation in a negative or positive way, and am I handling it the way the Bible suggests I should,” Brown said.

She said she believes all inspiration is rooted in the Bible. She said if she seeks any inspiration or encouragement, she turns to Scripture and her Christian faith.

Gene Shelton, associate professor in the school of Journalism and Mass Communication, said “Word Up” became a book that he purchased multiple copies of to give to his friends and relatives.

“I believe her book is connecting family, responsibility and motivation with scriptures,” Shelton said. “She advocates that you look beyond the scripture for a deeper meaning, and I think we can all learn something from it.”

“I believe it is a must read, and I respect her so much because the motivation for the book was her children,” Shelton said. “She wrote this to stay connected with her children.”

Shelton said most parents want to stay connected with their children, and all parents should read a copy of this book.

“She has such an impact on me and my work here as she has on this entire university, and I definitely want her book to flourish,” Shelton said. “When she talks, I listen. So when she writes, I read.”

According to Book Elves Publishing, there are four main phases in the self publishing process. The first step of the process is book development, when a structured plan for the production of the book is created.

Then, the writer brainstorms the content for the book in the pre-production phase. During this step, writers take notes and create drafts.

The third step of self-publishing a book is the production phase, in which the majority of the book is written and edited several times by many people who read to gain different perspectives on the book.

Finally the post-production phase sees the finish of the book from decisions layout and cover design to marketing and distribution of the book.

According to Brown, she received a few emails from readers who were truly inspired by the teachings in her book.

“One lady said ‘the first chapter was the last four weeks of my life’,” Brown said. “A friend of my son experienced a death in the family. He read the book and said, ‘If I did not read this particular section I could not have made it through the day.”   

Brown said she did not make this book for money or as someone “who knows the Bible,” but in hope that others can be inspired as her children were.

“I feel like there is something in it for everyone, you do not have to be religious, or of any particular religion to read it,” Brown said.


Contact Kara Taylor at [email protected].