Shereá Burnett is a native of Alamance County. She identifies as Afro-Indigenous and is a proud citizen of the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation. Shereá attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she majored in Political Science and Afro-American Studies. She also minored in Social and Economic Justice. Shereá received her Juris Doctorate Degree from Elon University School of Law. As an afro-indigenous activist, she has worked in the community to educate the public about the Occaneechi Band of Saponi Nation. Shereá serves in various capacities for local nonprofit and community-centric organizations. Her interests include community service and advocacy work.
She is one who works hard to break the barriers of race and gender inequalities in Alamance County. Over the years, Shereá has matched her commitment to volunteerism and social change with her service on numerous boards and committees. In addition to chairing various committees to bring change, she has conducted community interviews, discussing topics such as voter rights, access to safe polling locations, equality to vote free of intimidation. She has been a panelist on talks on the topics of human trafficking awareness, missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, human rights for members of the LGBTQ+ community and more.
As an active member of the Burlington Junior Women’s Club, Shereá has held the offices of secretary/editor and president in addition to chairing various club committees. She was awarded the Burlington Junior Women’s Club’s Ways & Means award for her fundraising efforts, including securing grants for the organization.
When Shereá sees a problem, she goes about making a difference to address it. The recent pandemic highlighted a gap in Alamance county around literacy. Black, Indigenous and members of the Latinx communities had no or limited access to transportation to local libraries. She worked with community partners and her own online platform (ThisWomansWords) to create an online summer reading program. She assisted in heading up a virtual reading program in Alamance County which was distinct in that it promoted minority-centered books to instill a passion for literacy in children. Many of the books prominently feature minority characters so that American Indian, African American, Hispanic and Latino children see people who look like them. The series also features books typically read by middle school-age children.
Burnett is employed at Family Abuse Services of Alamance County as Director of Rapid Rehousing, a program that helps those experiencing homelessness, often women and their families. She is also Adjunct Professor, Legal Research at Greensboro College. She is a member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, Alamance-Guilford section of the National Council of Negro Women where she has held numerous leadership roles. She is engaged in Alamance Achieves Community Voice Project, and Alamance County Health Equity Collective. Rising Star Nominee, Shereá shared words she would tell her younger self that resonate. “Your purpose is greater than you know. Your work will speak to people you have never met. Your works will enter rooms where you will never step. You are making a difference.”