My work: Uplifting women and girls of African descent through a supportive, global network.
Through a unique offering of courses, camps, and follow-up programs, Angela Coleman offers African-American girls opportunities to think critically about themselves and thereby to make wise decisions about their future.
When Angela was ten years old, she and her mother moved from an environment in which people of color were a majority to one in which they were a minority. She knows, therefore, what life is like in both worlds. In school, she excelled in both academics and athletics. By the time she graduated from high school, she had been awarded multiple academic and sports scholarships. Contrary to the suggestion of a guidance counselor, Angela applied to top-tier colleges, and she was accepted at all institutions.At Princeton, Angela focused her studies on psychology and the examination of self-identity. She combined topics of self-actualization with African History and femininity. In the wider community, she became a peer counselor to young African American women. It was here that Angela realized that young disadvantaged women of color lacked critical thinking skills. Many were lost in the realm of television and videos. Angela recognized that to become engaged, young women required a similar stimulation to what they experienced when watching videos. She started to expose the young women with whom she worked to other stimuli. She chose, for example, novels, plays, and musicals that encourage a greater degree of self-reflection and examination of life choices than does the mass media.After college Angela worked at a community development organization in Washington, D.C. It was here that she realized the lack of coordination among service providers working on youth issues. On weekends, she experimented with ways to engage young people in critical thinking about contemporary issues, and found that young people were active participants when they discussed issues relevant to their lives and interests. Eventually, Angela relocated to Durham, North Carolina, to become the director of a community center. She recognized critical issues within management and board development that needed to be addressed and changed. While Angela attempted to heal the organization, the board decided to close the center to reassess its mission and programs. Angela learned important lessons about management and board development that would later shape the way she ran her own organization.Over the next couple of years Angela worked a nine-to-five job while concentrating on her outside interest of African-American females' development. In her spare time, she implemented and honed her weekend program for youth and developed a coordinated summer program. Once she gained significant community support, Angela left her day job, becoming the full-time Executive Director of Sister Agenda.Today, Angela's programs are recognized nationally in both television and print media. Sisterhood Agenda received the highest award in efficiency and excellence in organization management among nonprofits in North Carolina. As an individual, Angela has garnered numerous community awards for her commitment and excellence of service. To date, she has received three hundred fifty requests to replicate her program.