Ready to Serve
Equipped with the knowledge, experience, and determination required to serve the community that raised her.
In 1988, Mrs. Stella Adams became the first Black woman in the history of the state of North Carolina to earn and serve in this position. Thus, a legacy began. For over 30 years, the efforts of the Black women to serve in this position have inspired other women to aspire for, win, and serve other counties across North Carolina. As District Supervisor of Durham County Soil & Water Conservation District, Anjali’s goal is to serve her hometown and build on those powerful legacies during her tenure of service.
There are over 450 Soil & Water Supervisors throughout the state of North Carolina, only 3 are Black women, which means there is an entire lens that is not being seen when designing and implementing conservation solutions. Furthermore, for years environmental conservation organizations have lacked diversity and reinforced systems of inequalities. Being a Black Women in environmental conservation fields, Anjali believes it is essential to correct the wrongs of history and ensure Black and Brown communities, like the one she grew up in, have equitable access to clean natural resources.
Anjali’s candidacy for District Supervisor of Durham County Soil & Water Conservation District is about more than bringing scientists, like herself, into policy and decision-making processes. It is also about increasing representation for people of Color and Black Women in environmental conservation fields. It is about being the representation she never saw in our environmental conservation leaders growing up, and it is about bringing new perspectives, ideas, and viewpoints to address the world's most pressing human health and environmental issues. In doing so, Anjali aspires to build partnerships with influential organizations to elevate the voice of the youth, people of Color, and women, to ensure a diversity of views are incorporated into our efforts to create sustainable and equitable conservation strategies.
FITNESS FOR OFFICE
As a marine scientist, Anjali has intensively studied these topics full-time; around water quality, natural resource management, and environmental conservation for the last 6 years. She has done so throughout the United States and internationally. As our District works to address complex and interdisciplinary issues, it is critical for our District Supervisor to be centered in this interdisciplinary work, as Anjali does. As a scientist, educator, and entrepreneur, interdisciplinary approaches based in equitable paradigms have always helped her through the broad paradoxical nature of her interests and training. She learned early on to understand, respect, and hold in a constant creative tension the importance of tackling issues using an interdisciplinary approach that involves science, education, and economics. In addition to understanding how they all hold up against the backdrop of our economy and how they are personalized within our own individual lives.
As a #DurhamNative and a Durham Public Schools graduate, Anjali has the connections, perspective, and awareness needed to advocate for our communities and connect new and existing Soil & Water programs to those who would benefit from them the most. While also introducing them to a wide array of residents of whom Soil & Water’s programs could be augmented. Anjali is deeply passionate about Durham and invested in the success of Durham County, as it is her home and has been her family's home for generations.
Anjali was born and raised in Durham, NC. She is a product of Burton & Creekside Elementary, Shepard IB Middle, Jordan High School, a host of caring teachers, dedicated administrators, family, extended family and a true village of loved ones. After graduating in 2015, Anjali left Durham to attend Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL where she majored in Marine Science (Biology Track). Anjali spent her time away in college, traveling, completing internships in her field, and educating K-12 students in the St. Petersburg community, through her work in the Eckerd College Office of Service Learning. She has quickly become a leader in her field and has attended and presented her research at world-renowned international conferences. Anjali has studied and conducted research at the most respected institutions in her discipline: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and Duke University Marine Lab, just to name a few. She has been awarded over 25 awards and scholarships (including: NOAA, Hollings Scholarship, Eckerd College Presidential Scholarship, Eckerd College Social Justice Award, Marine Science Outstanding Contribution to the Major Award, and Duke Marine Lab’s Marine Science and Conservations Scholarship.)
Anjali’s work and expertise extends far beyond her scientific contribution, as she consistently advocates for and works to improve K-12 STEM education and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in STEM and Environmental Conservation fields. Throughout her time in Florida, Anjali worked as a tutor and mentor within the St. Petersburg Public School System, which contains some of the lowest-performing schools in the state of Florida (see Failure Factories). She also organized numerous “College at A Glance” events, which were designed to improve relationships between Eckerd College and the St. Petersburg community. During these events, students from the local community had the opportunity to visit Eckerd’s campus and learn about the abundance of opportunities available to them in higher education. Anjali has also worked as an educator and science communicator with John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth and the Duke University Marine Lab Community Science Program.
After graduating from Eckerd College with her B.S. in Marine Science, Anjali returned HOME! Since 2019, she has worked with organizations (e.g. iNviTECH and Bambino’s Playschool) and schools (Neal Middle School) in Durham to develop and implement STEM curriculums. The objective of her STEM education work has been to expose students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds to the aquatic environment and environmental conservation. Additionally, she has begun her Doctoral studies at Duke University in the Nicholas School of the Environment as a Dean’s Graduate Fellow.