Spotlight highlights a member of the Sisters Network Triangle organization. This member has worked in the community to educate other women about breast cancer and survivorship.
Anita Woodley is an award-winning journalist, producer, actress, poet, mixed-media folk artist, baker, and playwright. She is also a state-certified HIV counselor, a Durham Arts Council Emerging Artist in Drama and Literary, Improvisational Theater Teaching Artist for North Carolina’s Durham School District. Anita works as a Steward of Children and Community Education Intern for the Orange County Rape Crisis Center, teaching K-9th graders age-relevant prevention strategies to prevent and navigate sexual violence, bullying, sexual harassment and understand consent. Recently, she became a certified Parent Facilitator with Parent University to empower parents with increased confidence and skills needed to support their child’s success and effectively navigate the public school system in Chapel Hill, NC Schools.
Along with her own production company, Anita Woodley Productions, Mrs. Woodley is the Founder and President of the non-profit Spark Inner-Action, which promotes healthy lifestyle changes in communities with high risks for health disparities. In her spare time, she is a columnist for the News & Observer newspaper, the lead vocalist and "Piedmont Griot" for the Improvisational Jazz band N4HC Improvisational Jazz band, and an associate member of Sisters Network Triangle NC.
Mrs. Woodley is a native of Oakland, California where she grew up in Oakland Housing Authority and attended Oakland Technical High School. She served as the All-Student Body President in High School, PTSA Student Representative, and Youth Commissioner Co-Chair for the Mayor of Oakland's Youth Council. She is an inaugural Hall of Honor inductee at her alma mater Oakland Technical High School in California with notable alumnus Marshawn Lynch, The Pointer Sisters, Rickey Henderson, and Clint Eastwood. In addition, Mrs. Woodley was inducted as an emerging artist in drama at the North Carolina Arts Council.
To date, Mrs.Woodley wrote and performed more than ten solo theatrical performances and DVD movies, including the critically-acclaimed, Bucking The Bull, Mama Juggs, and The Men in Me, touring throughout the U.S. and internationally to Cameroon, West Africa's University of Yaounde. Anita creates new creative works that are transformational, non-traditional theatrical series called "Ethnodramas" to educate, promote, and prevent harmful practices to overall health. Mrs. Woodley's work has proven to provide culturally appropriate and early intervention for disparities, such as from poverty, HIV/AIDS, breast cancer, stroke, heart disease, bullying, obesity, clinical trials and more. Mrs. Woodley's creative work has been featured at the National Black Theatre Festival, New York's Off-Broadway, Los Angeles, and Chicago, numerous universities, hospitals, and faith-based communities nationwide.
Mrs. Woodley has been invited to perform for audiences ranging from Benedictine Nuns at Sacred Heart Monastery to the University of Yaounde, Africa. In 2010, Anita reunited with the Tikar tribe in Cameroon, Africa, a meeting with her mother's heritage. There, Anita became Princess Bekang, or Princess "Boomerang", in the Chiefdom of the rainforest N'Ditam Tikar Village. Anita became the first African American descendant since enslavement to return to the N'Ditam Tikar village in the bush and she learned their native language. The stories of her journey aired worldwide.
Mrs. Woodley's journalism career started while attending San Francisco State University school of Broadcasting, Radio, and Television. She worked for NBC, CBS, and landed her first on-air newscast with the PBS sister station KMTP called "Newsnight with Anita Morgan". She achieved those milestones while a full-time undergraduate junior student pursuing her Bachelor of Arts degree at San Francisco State University. Anita Woodley graduated college in the top 8% of the Class of 2000, Top 15% in the country, and Magna Cum Laude. Three months after graduating college, Mrs. Woodley was hired at CNN's Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia to associate produce domestic news. She went on to work for a FOX affiliate and spent 7 years in Chapel Hill with the nationally syndicated National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate station, WUNC-FM's award winning show "The Story with Dick Gordon".
Mrs. Woodley's accolades in the field of Radio and Television Journalism, spanning more than 20 years, were earned from the Harry Chapin Foundation for Hunger and Poverty in New York, the National Association of Journalists, and an Emmy award for exceptional coverage on September 11, 2001 when the World Trade Center in New York was attacked. Learn more about Anita's innovative creative work on her website, www.AnitaWoodley.com.