Deborah Dicks Maxwell

Deborah Dicks Maxwell is the first female President of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP. With a strong commitment to equity and eliminating racial discrimination, Deborah has dedicated her career to improving the quality of life for all citizens in Southeastern North Carolina. Deborah has a decorated history of public service, serving in the United States Army and Army Reserves, achieving the rank of Sergeant First Class and earning the distinction of a Desert Storm Veteran. She also held leadership roles, including serving as a commander of the local NABVETS Chapter. Deborah worked as a public health social worker for over twenty-five years, specializing in early childhood development and HIV/AIDS prevention. She chaired the Southeastern Regional Network of Care and Prevention meetings for Region 7. 

In her role as President of the New Hanover County NAACP, she initiated an annual health fair during Minority Health Month. Additionally, Deborah serves on the boards of Cape Fear River Watch and the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters, where she advocates for increased minority participation in environmental justice issues. 

As a passionate advocate for social justice, Deborah has engaged in civil disobedience, participating in Moral Monday protests and rallying for Families and Children together to address the wrongful separation of immigrant detainees from their children. Governor Cooper appointed her to serve on the Racial Equity in Criminal Justice Task Force, recognizing her expertise and commitment to promoting fairness within the criminal justice system. 

Born and raised in Wilmington, Deborah obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Administration and Management from LaRoche University and a Master’s degree in Social Work with a focus on Health from East Carolina University.