Defenders of Justice: Past Recipients

2015 HONOREES

LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY

Rep. Susan Fisher, for her support for a higher minimum wage and paid leave policies, increasing the supply of affordable housing, protecting consumers from predatory lending practices, and addressing the state’s drop-out rate.

Sen. Gladys Robinson, for her decades of work devoted to improving the health and welfare of all North Carolinians and her fierce advocacy for public education at the General Assembly.

POLICY RESEARCH & ADVOCACY

Center for Responsible Lending, for its work to protect against predatory, abusive lending practices for low-income and moderate income families, communities of color, seniors, women, service members, and other vulnerable North Carolinians.
Tom Vitaglione, Senior Fellow of Health and Safety at NC Child, for his commitment to improving the lives of the children of North Carolina through increasing access to health care and banning corporal punishment in our schools.

LITIGATION

The University of North Carolina's Center for Civil Rights, for their impact litigation and local advocacy work focused on civil rights – including education, housing and community development, economic justice, voting rights, and for giving a voice to underrepresented communities of color in North Carolina.
Former Justice Bob Orr, for his long history of public interest litigation, including his work opposing the use of economic incentives to lure businesses to the state, opposition to a state lottery, support for public education, and advocacy on behalf of student athletes.

GRASSROOTS EMPOWERMENT

Ajamu and Rukiya Dillahunt, for their advocacy, community organizing and leadership throughout the Triangle on issues of race, education, the school-to-prison pipeline, and workers' rights.

2014

Congressman G.K. Butterfield
Planned Parenthood in North Carolina
League of Women Voters - Piedmont Triad
League of Women Voters Charlotte-Mecklenburg
Mona Lisa Wallace
NC MomsRising
NC Raise Up

2013

Wayne Goodwin, NC Commissioner of Insurance
Equality NC
Philip Lehman, NC Office of the Attorney General
Mortgage Foreclosure Unit, Legal Aid of NC
A. Philip Randolph Instittue

2012

State Rep. Larry Hall
State Rep. Deborah Ross
Disability Rights North Carolina
Mary Lee Hall, Legal Aid of NC's Farmworker Unit
Reuben Blackwell, Opportunities Industrialization Center

2011

Sen. Josh Stein
Rep. Angela Bryant
Democracy NC
Elliot Pishko Morgan, PA
Coalición de Organizaciones Latino-Americanas
Community Success Initiative

2010

Sen. Joe Sam Queen
Rep. Garland Pierce
Great Schools in Wake
Jane Wettach
Kay Zwan

2009

Rep. Pricey Harrison
Sen. Floyd McKissick, Jr.
AARP NC
John Alan Jones and Chris Olson of Martin & Jones
Angaza Laughinghouse

2008

Rep. Jennifer Weiss
Charlotte Observer reporters Peter St. Onge, Kerry Hall, Ames Alexander, Franco Ordonez, and Ted Mellnik
Jane Perkins
Juvencio Rocha Peralta
Beloved Community Center

2007

Rep. Dan Blue
Rep. Rick Glazier
Sen. Katie Dorsett
Farmworker Advocacy Network
Edelstein & Payne
North Carolina Fair Share
North Carolina NAACP

2006

Rep. Alma Adams
Rep. Verla Insko
Sen. William Purcell
NC Coalition for Lobbying Reform
Jerry Hartzell of Hartzell & Whiteman, LLP
Jim Grant
Western NC Workers’ Center

2005

Sen. Martin Nesbitt, Jr.
Rep. Mickey Michaux
William Schweke
Patterson Harkavy LLP
Linda Virgil, Caught Before Fallen
Farm Labor Organizing Committee
In Memory of Deborah Greenblatt
In Memory of Carol Kirschenbaum

2004

Sen. Dan Clodfelter
Rep. Paul Luebke
Prosperity Unlimited, Inc.
Douglas Sea
Justice for Smithfield Workers Campaign
Center for Community Action
Robert Spearman

2003

Harry Payne
Jim Long
Institute for Southern Studies
Garth Gersten
Reid Adams
Student Action With Farmworkers
Polly Williams

2002

Rep. Ruth Easterling
Sen. Wib Gulley
Common Sense Foundation
Dr. Bob Bridges
Prof. Jack Boger
JUBILEE-NC
Casa Guadalupe
Dr. Pam Silberman

2001

Sen. Jeanne H. Lucas
Rep. Philip A. Baddour, Jr.
North Carolina State AFL-CIO
Robert J. Willis
Jereann King
El Centro Hispano
Greg Malhoit

2000

Sen. Ellie Kinnaird
Rep. Martha Alexander
Deborah Ross
Mal Maynard
Geraldine Blackston
El Pueblo, Inc.

1999

Rep. Dan Blue
Sen. Brad Miller
Rep. Bob Hensley
Sen. Eric Reeves