Claudette Burroughs-White was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, on May 1, 1940. She graduated from Dudley High School in 1957 and then matriculated at The Woman's College of The University of North Carolina (now The University of North Carolina at Greensboro), where she joined two other women who matriculated the year before as the first African American students to attend the school. While a student at Woman's College, Burroughs-White joined the February 1960 sit-in at Woolworth's the day after four NC A&T college students began the movement.
After a brief time in Philadelphia following her graduation in 1961, Burroughs-White returned to Greensboro to work as a probation officer with the Domestic Relations Court of Guilford. She continued working with children and families in the court system as supervisor of the 18th Judicial District Juvenile Services Division until her retirement in 1994.
Burroughs-White also served the community as a city councilwoman from 1994 until 2005, where her most lauded achievement was closing the White Street Landfill. She served on the Governor’s Crime Commission from 1997 until 2005, and was on the board of the Greensboro Commission on the Status of Women. Her civic involvements include the United Way of Greensboro, the Tar Heel Triad Girl Scout Council, the YWCA Advisory Board, and the National Conference of Community and Justice board. She is the recipient of the Sertoma Club Service to Mankind Award in 1990, the North Carolina Outstanding Juvenile Service Award in 1988, the African-American Woman of Distinction Award in 1993, and the state Democratic Women's STAR award. She posthumously received the National Conference for Community Justice Brotherhood/Sisterhood Citation Award in 2007. Claudette Burroughs-White died on September 16, 2007.