Drum Major Award
Dee Strum is the recipient of the 2021 Drum Major Award. Strum served two terms as the 7th National President of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. where she worked with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Joe Biden on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and amendments to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Strum also focused the organization's efforts on increasing the participation of black women in civic affairs, encouraging women to pursue local civic and political leadership roles.
Strum attended Arundel Sr. High school for two years, graduated Howard County's Atholton Sr. High school, and received both her undergraduate and master's degrees in community development from the University of Maryland, College Park. Upon graduation in 1977, she was recruited by the Indiana Office of the Governor to establish Indiana's first statewide housing agency. Strum returned to Annapolis following 35 years of business ownership, having successfully operated as MDStrum Housing Services. She is a nationally recognized expert in housing and community development. In 2005, Strum's MDStrum Housing Services was named the national disaster recovery contractor for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), providing ground teams to support recovery efforts following Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ike, and Gustav.