“We stand on the shoulders of women and men who have fought the fight for humanity and justice, and I strive to live my life so that one day, younger or future generations might find my shoulders worthy upon which to stand.”
Born in Rochester, NY, Renée Price was raised in a family and an environment that valued education, the arts, equality, civil rights, and justice. Her mother was a talented beautician, and her father was the first African American police officer in the city. She and her sister attended both public and the private schools; as her father said, “knowledge is one thing they can’t take away from you.”
Renée earned her Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from Tufts University majoring in urban affairs, and Master of Regional Planning from Cornell University with concentrations in city development planning, and environmental planning and design. She also studied at Colgate-Rochester Divinity School in the Master of Arts program.
From New York to North Carolina to Alabama and back to North Carolina, Renée has focused on urban and rural life, as well as resource preservation and conservation. Her positions have included: housing director for an inner-city neighborhood, assistant project manager for an office of environmental impact, grant writer for a pro bono law firm on Black land loss, coordinator for a conservation council, director of a forestry program for underserved farmers and landowners, and manager of government relations for a mentoring program.
In 2012, Renée was elected to the Orange County Board of County Commissioners, re-elected in 2016, and in 2020. As Commissioner, she serves on various local and regional boards. During her tenure, she has supported community members in closing a landfill, paving an access road, building affordable housing, improving school facilities, and preserving farms and agriculture. Renée also continues to advocate for small businesses, artists, crafts makers, and entrepreneurs, and such issues as climate change mitigation and the expansion of broadband. She served as Vice-Chair of the BOCC from 2018 to 2020 and has served as Chair since 2020.
Renée remains active in the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) and currently serves as the Chair of the Legislative Goals Committee and is a member of the Board of Directors. She recently completed four years as President of the North Carolina Association of Black County Officials (NCABCO) and is a Board Member of the North Carolina Black Alliance. In 2020, Renée received the M.H. Jack Brock Outstanding County Commissioner Award from her NCACC colleagues.
At the national level, Renée has been active in the National Association of Counties (NACo), and currently serves as Chair of the Arts and Culture Commission, a Vice-Chair of the Justice & Public Safety Steering Committee, and a Member of the Rural Action Caucus. She also is a member of the National Association of Black County Officials (NABCO), and on the Board of Directors of the National Organization of Black County Officials (NOBCO).
Renée and Michael enjoy life residing at the edge of Hillsborough, along the banks of the Eno River.