Black History TrailBlazers #3


Black TrailBlazers Making History


DeLois Strum - Past President of Coalition of 100 Black Women, Affordable Housing Expert, Women's Empowerment Activist

Ep. 115 - Dee Strum is a nationally-recognized expert in the areas of affordable housing and community development with early success as the first Black female to achieve distinction as a local, state, and federal contractor advancing affordable housing and disaster recovery on a national and international platform. Because she benefitted from the life of a military dependent during the 1950s-60s, with the advantages of global travel and education absent the shackles of segregation, this background infused her consciousness and elevated her urgency to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion to the benefit of others. She is a noted speaker and activist on racial, women, and income equity. She was the 7th National President, National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc.

Read about her Housing and Community Development experience.

Read more about DeeDee.

Mildred Morgan Ball - 2nd U.S. Black Female State Athletic Commissioner; Inductee_Indiana Women's Hall of Fame

Ep. 36 - Mildred Morgan Ball was an outstanding high school athlete in the late 1940s-early 50s, receiving statewide acclaim from the Indiana Girls Athletic Association and learning firsthand the limitations in sports based on race and gender. After completing college in 1960 she returned home to Gary, IN to fight for gender equity in local funding to supportcompetition in girls athletic events and greater access to the performing arts in high school sports. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity, made possible her transition from local athletic coach to becoming Indiana's first Black female athletic commissioner, and the 2nd Black female athletic commissioner in the US.

Read more about Mildred.

Tara Peters - College Professor and Author, Academic Dean

Ep. 26 - Role model Tara Peters is a college professor who went from being a 16-year old teen mom to Ph.D. at 36. She talks about her fears as an African American in today's climate and her motivations for teaching in several international programs to empower women abroad. She has been actively involved in the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women.

Read more about Tara.

Verna Jones Rodwell - Political Activist/Former Member, Maryland House of Representatives & State Senate (Ret.)

Ep. 44 - A life long Baltimore resident, retired State Senator Verna Jones Rodwell launched her first political campaign at age 34. She served in the Maryland legislature for 16 years making her impact through a variety of powerful committees; all of which reflected her personal values including the powerful MD Senate's Budget and Taxation Committee. Jones-Rodwell is a former chair of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland and the Baltimore City Senate Delegation. At age 65+, she has become a powerful advocate for increases in funding and research to eliminate the gross disparities in dementia and Alzheimers within the African American community.

Read more about Verna.

President/CEO, David Northern leads the largest housing authority in Alabama; President of PHADA organization

Ep. BONUS - As President/CEO, David Northern leads the largest housing authority in Alabama, serving more than 22,840 residents through affordable housing programs. David Northern is the Executive Director/CEO, Leader, Mentor, High School Coach, and Founder of an Executive Coaching Company. He is the recipient of the 2015 most influential African American of Lake County.

Read more about David.

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