Defenders of Justice: Past Recipients

Congratulations to our 2014 Defenders of Justice Award Honorees


Congressman G.K. Butterfield voiced strong support for unemployment benefits for laid off workers, expansion of Medicaid to cover more uninsured families, and held numerous town halls for citizens to learn about the Affordable Care Act.


Planned Parenthood in North Carolina mobilized and led a coalition of groups and individuals fighting for reproductive justice for women bringing constant attention to the reproductive rights debate in our state.

League of Women Voters – Piedmont Triad organized its members and the public in fights for voting rights, campaign finance reform, and immigration reform among many other issues, and they championed a campaign for health care access through the Affordable Care Act.

League of Women Voters – Charlotte-Mecklenburg, much like their counterparts in the Triad, also focused tremendous attention and advocacy around the changes in the state’s tax structure and state budget, fighting for progressive tax reform and investments in the state’s future.


Mona Lisa Wallace, partner in the Salisbury law firm of Wallace and Graham, has long fought against predatory lenders and payday loan operators who have trapped low and middle class families in unscrupulous loans.  She has been a leading litigator fighting for workers who have been harmed by unsafe workplaces. 


NC Moms Rising taps into the power of mothers who feel underrepresented and disempowered by providing presentations about issues such as how education cuts will harm our children, and what rights mothers have in the workplace. 

NC Raise Up is leading efforts for a living wage for fast food workers in the state and bringing attention to the struggles they have to make ends meet, while noting that the government must often provide them with benefits because of their low wages and poor working conditions.



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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