Dreama Caldwell is, perhaps, the only Founders’ Nominee who has had a song written about them by a Grammy nominated musician – “The Rising of Dreama Caldwell.” While that, in and of itself is impressive, the work she does for our community stands on its own merits. Dreama is an advocate for the people in Alamance County, working with Down Home Alamance, an organizing project led by the working people of North Carolina’s small towns and rural communities to increase democracy, build power, and grow the good in Alamance County.
She also works with As A Family, a local nonprofit dedicated to serving the community, families and individuals through advocacy, mentorship, education and support. Dreama works to provide a clothing exchange, cook meals for people and, when COVID hit, to secure needed supplies to the most vulnerable in our community.
Recently, she has worked to launch a cash bail fund for those who cannot afford to post it and is working with the local police department to advocate for community members. One of her nominators said, “In a world filled with hate, she regularly weights into issues with a courageous sense of right and optimism.” ” She presents an intelligent, logical perspective as well as an emotional concern for others.”
As a Founders’ Award Nominee of the Women’s Resource Center, Dreama was asked the question: “What have you done recently that required you to be courageous?” In Dreama’s words: “Running for office is the most courageous thing I have ever done in my life. I knew running for office would be a challenge for me in many ways. I am not the typical politician and do not fit the mold. I have a community college education, born into poverty and raised in public housing, teen mom and formerly criminal justice involved. I knew all of this would come up and would be used against me. However, I chose to own my past because I know that many in our county are or have been in similar situations.”
Her response gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect on how we create lasting change for the good in our community. Believing that all people deserve the chance to learn from past mistakes and motivate others to do the same.
As one of her nominators commented, “Dreama Caldwell is a leader in our community and she is running for political office in our county, not because she wants to be a leader in that setting, she is running because she is a leader in our county and beyond. We thank Dreama for her work to ensure that we as a community and individuals pay attention to how we see people of color.”
Her favorite quote is from Shirley Chisholm, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” Dreama Caldwell brought her folding chair and is Leading the Way in Alamance County raising her voice for the most vulnerable.