Dr. Alma S. Adams was elected to her third full term representing the 12th Congressional District of North Carolina on November 6, 2018. After winning a special election in November 2014, Congresswoman Adams was sworn in immediately as the 100th woman elected to the 113th Congress.
Representative Adams serves on the Committee on Financial Services; Committee on Education & Labor and the Committee on Agriculture. She holds several leadership roles as Chairwoman of the Committee on Education & Labor’s Subcommittee on Workforce Protections and Vice Chairwoman to the Committee on Agriculture. Congresswoman Adams serves on the Workforce Protections and Higher Education and Workforce Investment (Committee on Education and Labor); Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations (Committee on Agriculture); Diversity and Inclusion (Committee on Financial Services). One of her outstanding legislative accomplishments is the enactment of H.R. 5363, the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act that permanently provides funding totaling $255 million a year for all Minority-Serving Institutions, including $85 million for HBCUs.
Representative Adams has previously served on the Joint Economic Committee and in several leadership positions including Assistant Whip for the Democratic Caucus, Vice Ranking Member of the Small Business Committee, and ranking member of the Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulation. The Congresswoman is a co-founder of the Black Maternal Health Caucus with Rep. Lauren Underwood of Illinois and the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Bipartisan Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Caucus to promote bipartisan legislation that supports HBCUs and their graduates. Since its inception, the caucus has:
- Coordinated the Diversity & Tech program, which fosters engagement, collaboration, and partnership between fortune 500 companies, government and industry leaders, and HBCUs.
- Fostered additions to the Farm Bill, which includes 40 million dollars to HBCUs for scholarships, funding for newly established centers of excellence in agriculture, and additional funding for agricultural research and cooperative extension for 1890 land grant universities.
- Established the annual HBCU Braintrust, which allows faculty, staff and students from historically black colleges to visit the nation’s capital to promote their institutions with government officials and corporate leaders.
She is also a part of the Women’s Caucus, Diabetes Caucus, Autism Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus, Progressive Education Caucus, Historic Preservation Caucus, AIDS/HIV Caucus, Hunger Caucus, Medicaid Expansion Caucus, and the Art Caucus.
Throughout her career, Representative Adams has promoted quality education for all students, spearheading numerous pieces of legislation to boost funds for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She has also introduced legislation to provide nutritious breakfast in schools and supports increased pay for teachers. For 40 years, Dr. Adams taught Art at Bennett College. While at Bennett, she led the effort to increase student civic participation coining the phrase “Bennett Belles are Voting Belles” and organizing annual marches to the polls. As a former educator, Rep. Adams has dedicated her career to improving the lives of young people and her community. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the North Carolina A&T State University Human Rights Medal, the highest award presented by her alma mater to an individual who fights against social injustice and helps improve the world.
In 1994, Dr. Adams was appointed by her peers to serve in the North Carolina House District 26 seat. She went on to serve ten terms in the state House. During her tenure, she rose to become the chair of the North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus and was instrumental in passing legislation that improved the climate for quality affordable health care in the state. Representative Adams also pioneered the Displaced Homemakers Bill and successfully spearheaded the state’s first minimum wage increase in nine years.
Before serving as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly, Congresswoman Adams served nine years on the Greensboro City Council. Throughout her service to the second district in Greensboro, Dr. Adams worked to create safe and affordable housing and for the revitalization of neighbors. She began her political career in the 1980’s by becoming the first African American woman ever elected to the Greensboro City School Board. It was then that she made a lifetime commitment to effecting social change in her community and beyond.
Congresswoman Adams has one daughter, Linda Jeanelle Lindsay, one son Billy E. Adams II, and four grandchildren: Joslyn Lindsay, Aaron Lindsay, Billy E. Adams III, and Miracle Sumner. Adams graduated from North Carolina A&T State University in 1968 and received her master’s degree in Art Education in 1972. She earned her Ph.D. in Art Education and Multicultural Education from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio in 1981.