Anita Shontel Woodley Photo Credit: Briana Brough

ANITA SHONTEL WOODLEY is an Emmy® award winner, as well as the recipient of numerous national awards for her journalistic and creative health education work as a keynote speaker, producer, actress, poet, mixed-media folk artist, baker, and playwright. In 2018, Anita was announced as a Woman of Achievement in Chapel Hill and featured on the cover of the magazine. In 2017, she was named both the 2017 Arts & Culture Woman of the Year by Spectacular Magazine and the Health Equity Impact Community Member of the Year by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities.

Anita is a state-certified HIV counselor, a Literary Arts/Improvisational Theater Teaching Artist-in-Residence for North Carolina’s Durham Arts Council (CAPS) Program in the Durham Public Schools, Arts in Schools (AIS) Artist in Residence for The ArtsCenter of Carrboro, serving Orange and Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools districts. Additionally, she works as the Youth Education Coordinator for the Safe Touch grades PreK-5 program and the Rape Prevention Coordinator for the Start Strong Educator for grades 7-12 at the Orange County Rape Crisis Center. Anita also works as a certified Parent Facilitator with The Parent University to empower parents with increased confidence and skills needed to support their child’s success and effectively navigate the school system.

Anita 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, Ms. Woodley was inducted as an Emerging Artist in Drama at the North Carolina Durham Arts Council.

To date, Anita Woodley has wrote and performed ten solo theatrical performances and DVD movies, including the critically-acclaimeds –Bucking The BullMama Juggs, and The Men in Metouring 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. Ms. 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.  Ms. 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. 

Anita 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% of the country, and Magna Cum Laude. Three months after graduating college, Ms. 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.” Ms. Anita Woodley’s accolades in the fields of Radio & 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 Black Journalists, and an Emmy award for Exceptional Coverage on September 11th, 2001 when the World Trade Center in New York was attacked.

Anita 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 “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.

# # #

Browse Anita Woodley’s Awards