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Alma Adams, the 100th woman to enter the U.S. Congress, represents North Carolina’s mostly-black 12th District. After serving 20 years as a state congresswoman, Ms. Adams brings to Washington her fiery determination to work on behalf of the middle class and bring equal rights to the citizens she now represents.

Adams, born Alma Shealy on May 27, 1946 in High Point, N.C., obtained her undergraduate and master’s degrees from North Carolina A&T University. She earned a Ph.D from Ohio State University in Art Education in 1981. Her political career began in 1984 when she became the first Black woman elected to the Greensboro School Board.

In 1987, she was elected to the City Council and served there before being elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives in 1994. Adams served as a state congresswoman until her election to the U.S. Congress. For 10 months, the 12th District’s 730,000 residents were without a representative after former rep Mel Watt was selected to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

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