The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Carol L. Adams

Share on Social Media

Information about Carol L. Adams

Profile image of Carol L. Adams

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Museum Director
Nonprofit Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Brazil
Favorite Quote:
Let's Cut To The Chase.

Birthplace

Born:
5/11/1944
Birth Location:
Louisville, Kentucky

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Museum Director
Nonprofit Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Brazil
Favorite Quote:
Let's Cut To The Chase.

Birthplace

Born:
5/11/1944
Birth Location:
Louisville
See how Carol L. Adams is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Nonprofit executive Carol L. Adams was born on May 11, 1944, in Louisville, Kentucky to William and Lora Adams. She studied music at Lincoln University in Jefferson, Missouri, for a year before transferring to Fisk University where she graduated with a B.A. degree in sociology in 1965. The following year she earned her M.A. degree in sociology from Boston University. She pursued doctoral coursework at the University of Chicago, studying under esteemed sociologist Horace R. Cayton, before leaving to complete her Ph.D. degree in sociology from the Union Graduate School in 1976. She has also studied at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and at Yale University.

In 1968, Adams began her career in academia as the research director for the Center for Inner City Studies (CICS) at Northeastern Illinois University. Over a ten-year period, she assumed greater responsibility as the CICS’s assistant director and became a tenured associate professor. She developed a number of successful programs and key community partnerships for CICS during its early years. Adams went on to spend several years as the first director of research and planning for the Neighborhood Institute, a division of South Shore Bank (later the Shorebank Institute). In just two years, Adams managed to establish several programs designed to promote community development, revitalization and self-sufficiency.

In 1981, Adams returned to academia as the director for Loyola University’s African-American studies program, a position she held until 1988. She then served as dean of adult and continuing education at Kennedy-King College in Chicago for a year. From 1989 to 1996, Adams worked for the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA). While at the CHA, Adams went from directing one department to managing thirteen departments and a $500 million budget. Adams subsequently served as the director for the International House of Blues Foundation and the founding director of Chicago’s Museums and Public Schools program before returning in 2000 to Northeastern University as Executive Director of CICS. Under her direction, the Center experienced a new surge of growth in student enrollment, technological advancement, and community programming and collaborations.

In January 2003, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich named Adams secretary of the Department of Human Services, the state's largest government agency. During her six year tenure, the agency secured almost $250 million in new grant funding and dramatically reduced the infant mortality rate of infants born to Medicaid-eligible women. Since 2009, Adams has been the president and chief executive officer of the DuSable Museum of African American History. Adams has been the recipient of numerous research awards, grants and honors, including the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa key.

Carol Adams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 7, 2003 and August 24, 2010.

See how Carol L. Adams is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Carol L. Adams's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Carol L. Adams lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Carol L. Adams describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Carol L. Adams describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Carol L. Adams describes her grandfather's death
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Carol L. Adams describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Carol L. Adams talks about her experience at Booker T. Washington Elementary School and Central High School in Louisville, Kentucky
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Carol L. Adams describes her father's personality and businesses
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience at Central High School in Louisville, Kentucky, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience at Central High School in Louisville, Kentucky, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Carol L. Adams describes enrolling at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Carol L. Adams describes being arrested for a civil rights protest in Nashville, Tennessee, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Carol L. Adams describes being arrested for a civil rights protest in Nashville, Tennessee, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Carol L. Adams describes the environment of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience at Boston University in Massachusetts
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience moving to Chicago, Illinois in 1966
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience as a member of The Catalyst in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Carol L. Adams describes being inspired by HistoryMaker Abena Joan P. Brown
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Carol L. Adams describes meeting Horace Cayton, Jr. at the University of Chicago
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Carol L. Adams describes working with Horace Cayton, Jr. at the University of Chicago
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience with the Communiversity and the Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience with the Communiversity and the Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Carol L. Adams describes her graduate project with the Carruthers Center for Inter City Studies and the Cook County Jail
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience with the Neighborhood Institute of South Shore Bank
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience as head of the African American Studies program at Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Carol L. Adams describes seeing her former students develop
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Carol L. Adams talks about her trips to Ghana, Kenya, and Kemet
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience with arts organizations in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Carol L. Adams describes the programs she was involved with in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Carol L. Adams describes her approach to evaluating grant proposals
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of Carol L. Adams's interview
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience as director of African American Studies at Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Carol L. Adams describes her relationship to her students at Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Carol L. Adams describes inviting Harold Washington to speak at Loyola University while he was running for Mayor of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience with the Illinois Council of Black Studies
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Carol L. Adams reflects upon the death of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Carol L. Adams describes her involvement with various political campaigns
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience at Kennedy-King College in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Carol L. Adams describes her decision to work as Director of Resident Services and Programs for the Chicago Housing Authority
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Carol L. Adams describes the administrations she worked under at the Chicago Housing Authority
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Carol L. Adams describes the history of Chicago Housing Authority developments
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Carol L. Adams describes Chicago Housing Authority polices and how they have limited access to public housing
  • Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Carol L. Adams describes the decline in public housing before she began working for the Chicago Housing Authority
  • Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Carol L. Adams describes the state of public housing resident organizations when she worked for Chicago Housing Authority in 1989, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Carol L. Adams describes the state of public housing resident organizations when she worked for Chicago Housing Authority in 1989, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Carol L. Adams describes the Chicago Housing Authority's program to encourage resident-owned businesses
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Carol L. Adams describes the Chicago Housing Authority's Midnight Basketball League, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Carol L. Adams describes the Chicago Housing Authority's Midnight Basketball League, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Carol L. Adams describes the Chicago Housing Authority's "Mama Said" program
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Carol L. Adams describes the Chicago Housing Authority's CADRE program
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Carol L. Adams describes the murder of five year old Eric Morse at Ida B. Wells Homes
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Carol L. Adams describes the development of Ida B. Wells Preparatory Elementary Academy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Carol L. Adams describes becoming director of the International House of Blues Foundation
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience with the International House of Blues Foundation
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Carol L. Adams describes moving her Chicago Housing Authority offices from downtown Chicago, Illinois to Ida B. Wells Homes
  • Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Carol L. Adams describes the development of the Chicago Housing Authority's Project Peace, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Carol L. Adams describes the development of the Chicago Housing Authority's Project Peace, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Carol L. Adams describes becoming the founding director of the Museums and Public Schools program in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Carol L. Adams describes becoming director of the Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago in 2000, pt.1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Carol L. Adams describes becoming director of the Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago in 2000, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Carol L. Adams describes becoming Secretary of Human Services for the State of Illinois, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Carol L. Adams describes becoming Secretary of Human Services for the State of Illinois, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Carol L. Adams describes integrating the offices of the Illinois Department of Human Services
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Carol L. Adams describes how technology helped her connect to her employees at the Illinois Department of Human Services
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Carol L. Adams reflects on the administration of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Carol L. Adams reflects upon her achievements as Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Carol L. Adams describes the Team Illinois initiative
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Carol L. Adams describes the challenges of her tenure as Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Carol L. Adams describes her candidacy for president of Chicago State University in Illinois
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Carol L. Adams describes her decision to leave the Illinois Department of Human Services
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Carol L. Adams describes being selected as president of the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience as president of the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Carol L. Adams describes the history of the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Carol L. Adams describes her plans for developing the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Carol L. Adams talks about Chicago, Illinois founder Jean Baptiste Point du Sable
  • Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Carol L. Adams describes the community's involvement with the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Carol L. Adams describes some of the challenges faced by the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Carol L. Adams describes the collection of the DuSable Museum of African American History
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Carol L. Adams describes the challenge of getting accreditation for DuSable Museum of African American History
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience with the Paradise Group
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Carol L. Adams describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Carol L. Adams reflects upon her regrets
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Carol L. Adams reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Carol L. Adams talks about her family
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Carol L. Adams describes how she would like to be remembered