Dr. Alma Adams is a two-time graduate of North Carolina A&T State University. A former professor of 40 years at Bennett College. An Alpha Kappa Alpha woman. And she is currently serving as a Congresswoman representing North Carolina's 12th district in the United States House of Representatives, where she is also founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus in Congress.
In 1984, Dr. Alma Adams -- who holds a Ph.D. in art education and multicultural education -- became the first-ever Black woman elected to the Greensboro (N.C.) City School Board. Since then, she has been an advocate for has been a loud and persistent voice for HBCUs. She is also an advocate for increasing opportunities in STEM education -- and incorporating the fine arts into STEM disciplines, after all, she has three degrees in art. In 2019, she co-launched the Black Maternal Health Caucus in Congress, calling the issue of maternal mortality in Black women "one of the most urgent public health crises in the United States today." She continues to fight for affordable and accessible healthcare as well as voting rights. Rep. Adams believes "education is the great equalizer," and says "every child needs that opportunity to have a good education."
She was elected to the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame in 2020.
Young Students (K3-2nd Grade)
In 2017, Rep. Adams gave the graduation speech at Bennett College, where she taught for 40 years. She told the graduates, "There's no substitute for action. If you see something, say something. But then do something." What are some ways you can 'do something' about things that are unfair around you?
Middle Students (Grades 3-8)
Dr. Adams says she went "from the ghetto to Congress," largely thanks to North Carolina A&T State University giving her a chance and a foundation to be great. She is the epitome of "it's not about where you start, it's about where you finish." What are some challenges you've experienced or are experiencing that may seem hard to overcome? Write them down, then draw a map to the finish line of your dreams!
High School Students (Grades 9-12)
Rep. Adams says she -- and many others around the world -- owes a great debt to historically Black colleges for supporting, believing in and nurturing her that she can never repay. Who has supported, believed in and shown up for you? What has that looked like for you? What additional support do you feel you need to get you over the finish line of achieving your goals?
In response to a number of racially motivated bomb threats on HBCU campuses, Rep. Alma Adams said this week, "I know for a fact that HBCUs can overcome any challenge. However, HBCUs shouldn't have to face the violence and terror my generation experienced during segregation." In what ways are you advocating for and standing up for your students to ensure they don't have to fight the same battles of yesterday? Are administrators in your school/district showing up for your staff as they work to support students?
About the Series
A Black Child Can was founded to create a better world for students by empowering the adults around them with the knowledge they need to advocate on their behalf. The 2022 blog series builds on this foundation, encouraging educators to participate in the discussion and reflect on the ways they're showing up for their students.