Stroman Named Local NAACP Woman of the Year

Photo credit: Deborah Stroman.


By Staff Reports

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP has named activist and UNC professor Deborah Stroman the branch’s 2021 Woman of the Year. 

Stroman will now vie for Woman of the Year at the N.C. NAACP state level, where fundraising is critical to achieve the award. Her campaign, “Wake Up Everybody – Can’t Do This Alone,” is focused on awareness of the efforts necessary to fulfill the mission of the N.C. NAACP.

“I am honored to be selected by the branch as one who will carry our strong tradition of advocacy forward in this campaign,” Stroman said. “Our community has never been shy to speak up for culture and policy change. I think we must press ahead with urgency to bring attention to justice matters, particularly in education, health care and voting rights.”

The Woman of the Year title recognizes one extraordinary woman who has made significant contributions to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community through leadership and service. Applicants are evaluated in two areas: Community Involvement, defined as a demonstrated commitment through a track record of service and community support; and Contributions to Women of Color, described as showing leadership as a role model and mentor for women of color through significant contributions to breaking barriers or creating opportunities.

Stroman, who joined the faculty at UNC in 2007, is currently a core faculty member of the Health Equity, Social Justice, and Human Rights concentration in the Gillings School of Global Public Health. In addition, she is the program coordinator of the new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Research Certificate Program based in the Office of Vice Chancellor for Research and the Odum Institute. Stroman has more than three decades of extensive experience working with senior administrators, faculty, staff, students and alumni on leadership and equity issues. 

As an entrepreneur, Stroman specifically works in two domains: race and racism strategic consulting and sport business. She is a national trainer with the Racial Equity Institute and the founder of the Center of Sport Business and Analytics, which connects with and advocates for people and organizations creating equity, impact and value in the sport industry. Her local service activities include mentorship for budding entrepreneurs, president emeritus of the UNC Black Faculty and Staff Caucus, and chair emeritus of the Orange County Human Relations Committee. Stroman has been recognized for her advocacy, teaching, service and entrepreneurship collaborations. More information can be found on her personal website.

Other Woman of the Year nominees included: Patricia Harris, Carmen Huerta-Bapat, Barbara Jessie-Black, Anita Jones-McNair and Paris Miller.

Donations to support our 2021 Woman of the Year candidate can be made here.

For more general and membership information on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP, please visit

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