RALEIGH (February 22, 2016) — The North Carolina Justice Center, the state’s leading progressive advocacy and research organization, recently welcomed seven new members to their Board of Directors. Representing a diversity of interests and regions across the state, the new members join the organization in their fight to eradicate poverty and ensure fair treatment of our state’s most vulnerable citizens.

Dr. Eric Mansfield previously served in the NC Senate from Cumberland County. He attended Howard University, the Morehouse School of Medicine, and conducted his surgical and otolaryngology residency at Tulane University’s School of Medicine. He served as a medical officer in the U.S. Army and was stationed at Fort Bragg. After his military service, Mansfield established Cape Fear Otolaryngology, an ear, nose and throat practice in Fayetteville. He currently lives in Holly Springs in Wake County.

Ann McColl has been practicing in the field of education law since 1991. She served as an associate professor at the UNC Charlotte College of Education from 2002 to 2009, and as a visiting and adjunct associate professor at the School of Government at UNC Chapel Hill. McColl has served as legislative director for the State Board of Education and as general counsel for the North Carolina Association of Educators. She is currently an attorney at Everett Gaskins Hancock in Raleigh.

Ray Rapp served for 10 years in the NC House of Representatives before losing in 2012. He has served as alderman and mayor of Mars Hill, and as the Dean of Adult Access and a professor at Mars Hill College. He graduated from UNC Chapel Hill and lives in Mars Hill, Madison County.

J. Wayne Riggins has worked as an ophthalmologist and optometrist for over 30 years. A retired Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve Medical Corps, he completed his medical internship and residency with the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He worked as the Chief of Ophthalmology and Assistant Chief in the Department of Surgery at the Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg before joining Cape Fear Eye Associates in Fayetteville, where he currently works. He is a trustee at Fayetteville State University and serves on the Board of Directors at Equality North Carolina.

Cullie Tarleton represented the 93rd district in the North Carolina House of Representatives – including Ashe and Watauga counties – for two terms, from January 2007 to December 2010. After his defeat in 2010, Tarleton served on the State Lottery Commission. He is a retired broadcasting executive and general manager for WBTV, WBT (AM), and WCCB in Charlotte, and a veteran of the North Carolina Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve. A native of Union County, he lives in Blowing Rock.

Greg Weeks served as a judge for the Fourth Division of the Superior Court of North Carolina from January 1989 until his retirement on December 31, 2012. In the mid-1990s, he presided over the court proceedings in Robeson County against the two men accused of killing James Jordan, father of retired basketball star Michael Jordan. Weeks held some of the state’s first hearings on whether racism put convicted killers on death row unfairly and as a result converted the sentences of three to life in prison without parole. Weeks served as an assistant Cumberland County public defender for ten years.

Dr. Jesse White is the Director of the Office of Economic and Business Development at UNC Chapel Hill and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Government. Prior to coming to UNC in 2003, he served for almost nine years as Federal Co-Chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission, the longest tenure in the history of the agency. He serves or has served on the boards of Regional Technology Strategies and Equality North Carolina, as well as on the advisory boards of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, the Rural Poverty Research Center, and the William F. Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, among others.

They join current board members Dede Carney, Narendra Ghosh, Frank Goldsmith, Karen Gottovi, Lisa Grafstein, Mal Maynard, Juvencio Rocha Peralta, Jr., Suzanne Reynolds, Keith Rivers, Cathy Tamsberg, and John I. Wilson.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Shaw, jeff@ncjustice.org, 503.551.3615 (cell).