Senior Correspondent • Inside Edition • New York City • Age: 35
Winning the “Miss National Black USA” title in 1989 and placing second in the Miss Virginia competition in 1994 satisfied April Woodard’s competitive streak, but did little for her development as a person who cares for others. Instead, it was her father, who was president of Norfolk State University, and mother, who chaired the Norfolk School Board and was an associate vice president at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., who gave her a sense of self and community, says the senior correspondent for Inside Edition. “My parents, more than just providing their children with a formal education through example, have taught us lessons about what it is to work hard, give back to your fellow man and be caring about the world in which we live,” Woodard says.
Woodard obtained a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia. Like the 17th-century poet, John Donne, she believes that no man is an island; that every one is a part of the whole. Donne’s quote “reminds us about a time when people cared about one another. If something tragic happened to our neighbor, it didn’t just happen to him and his family. It happened to all mankind,” she says.
In April 2006, Inside Edition assigned Woodard to report on homelessness in New York City. The assignment involved telling the story of others’ needs and she lived as a homeless person to do so. “I wanted to understand something about myself and about the homeless situation. To see how people are viewed, how it hurts them and how it hurts to know that I, too, looked down at homeless people,” she says.
Woodard and her husband, Adrian, currently are producing a documentary on homelessness and another on people’s perceptions of the evolution of Black beauty in the United States. She also is reviewing a publishing contract for her children’s book, The Adventures of Frankie and Lucy, which she co-authored with her best friend, Devita White Pedday.