Stella Adams is the Chief Executive Officer of S J Adams Consulting. Her firm provides community education in fair housing and fair lending issues, promotes community involvement in fair housing and fair lending issues, and performs research and policy development in the areas of fair housing, fair lending and access to capital for all. Adams is the former Chief of Equity and Inclusion for the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. The Division of Equity and Inclusion is designed to empower, organize and support economically vulnerable individuals, communities, and small businesses. Combining advocacy, organizing, technical assistance and direct services, the Division promotes economically viable, sustainable, inclusive communities for all Americans.
Adams was also the Executive Director of the award-winning North Carolina Fair Housing Center. She was the senior fair housing investigator for the Durham Human Relations Commission before joining the North Carolina Fair Housing Center. Adams is an expert on the Fair Housing Act and its implementing regulations. She genuinely believes in the struggle for civil and human rights. In 1998, for example, she went on a 30-day hunger strike to bring national attention to the predatory lending practices of NationsBank/Bank of America resulting in the banks making a $100 million commitment to North Carolina communities.
Moreover, Adams is nationally recognized as a superb trainer of both professional and lay groups. She has presented to groups such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Federal Trade Commission, National Fair Housing Alliance, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, National Neighbors, National Association of Human Rights Workers, Household Financial Group, and North Carolina Association of Realtors.
Adams currently serves, or has served, on the following Boards and Commissions: National Fair Housing Alliance; National Association of Human Rights Workers; North Carolina Fair Housing Advisory Council; Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina; Leadership Triangle Foundation; NC Chapter NAACP; and Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People. She has been listed twice in Outstanding Young Women of America, listed in Who’s Who, recognized as a Distinguished Woman of North Carolina by the North Carolina Council of Women in the category of government service; recognized by both Governor James Martin and Governor James Hunt for her volunteerism; and, most recently, she was the recipient of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition Senator William Proxmire Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in civil rights. U.S. Representative G.K. Butterfield who attended the ceremony said: “She [Stella Adams] has worked tirelessly to make sure that hard working citizens and communities of color have equal access to housing without having to sacrifice their financial independence in return. For years, Stella has educated the private sector and has raised awareness about the needs of our communities as they relate to fair housing and access to capital. Her efforts culminated in the North Carolina General Assembly’s passage of one of the strongest anti-predatory lending bills in the country, as well as other housing reforms at the state and federal levels.
A lifelong resident of Durham, Adams is a graduate of both Hillside High School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also the author of several articles on fair lending practices, impact investing, and fair housing.