Defenders of Justice

Join us for the 18th Annual Defenders of Justice Awards on Friday, May 19th!

Each year, the North Carolina Justice Center presents its Defender of Justice Awards to honor individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions in the fight against poverty in four areas that reflect the scope of the Justice Center’s work – legislative advocacy, policy research and advocacy, litigation, and grassroots empowerment.

This year's event will be held on Friday, May 19th, at the Rickhouse in Durham from 6:00-10:00 p.m.



2017 Defenders of Justice Honorees

Lifetime Champions

  • U.S. Congressman David Price, representing North Carolina's 4th District
  • Hon. Patricia Timmons-Goodson, former associate justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court and currently serving on the United States Commission on Civil Rights
  • Hon. Mary Ann Tally, current Superior Court Judge and former Chief Public Defender for Cumberland and Hoke Counties.
  • Adam Stein, Civil Rights Attorney at Fulton Walker & Owen and founder of Ferguson Stein Chambers Gresham & Sumter


  • Chris Brook, Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union
  • Anita Earls, Executive Director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice
  • Ken Rose, recently retired attorney with the Center for Death Penalty Litigation

Policy Research and Advocacy

  • Dr. Thomas Arcury, Professor/Vice Chair for Research, Department of Family and Community Medicine; Director, Center for Worker Health at the Wake Forest School of Medicine
  • Dr. Sara Quandt, Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Prevention, Wake Forest School of Medicine

Grassroots Empowerment

  • NC Council of Churches, enabling denominations, congregations, and people of faith to individually and collectively impact our state on issues such as economic justice and development, human well-being, equality, compassion and peace, following the example and mission of Jesus Christ


Past Defenders of Justice Award Recipients