Defenders of Justice

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.

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


2017 Defender of Justice Sponsors

Titanium Sponsor
Noel Crook and the Honorable Richard Moore

Platinum Sponsor
Cape Fear Eye Associates
The Josephus Daniels donor advised fund TCF by Julia and Frank Daniels Jr.  
Donna and the Honorable Dr. Eric Mansfield

Gold Sponsor
Ann and John Campbell
Suzanne and Matt Case
Cohen Milstein
Patterson Harkavy LLP
Suzanne Reynolds and Hoppy Elliot
Barbara and Representative William Richardson
Richardson Law Firm
Senator Terry Van Duyn
Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

Silver Sponsor
Britton Law, PA
Center for Responsible Lending
Tony Dowling
Kenneth Eudy
Everett Gaskins Hancock LLP
Lise and the Honorable Rick Glazier
The Honorable Karen and Daniel Gottovi
Lonna and Richard Harkrader
irregardless cafe
Martin and Jones
Mary Braxton Joseph and Ambassador James Joseph
Kim-Marie McLellan
NC Advocates for Justice
North State Bank
Dorothy & the Honorable Ray Rapp
Romeo, Wiggins & Company, L.L.P.
Cathy Tamsberg and Felicia Roper
Tin Fulton Walker & Owen
Dr. Jesse White
John I. Wilson

Bronze Sponsor
American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina
Beaver, Courie, Sternlicht, Hearp and Broadfoot, P.A.
Suzanne Begnoche, Attorney at Law
Dede Carney
Cone Health Foundation
Dr. Patrick Conway
William Corbett
Laura Crumpler and John Dowd
Anne Dahle
Patsy & H. Lee Davis
Anne Deloria and Bob Jackson
Susan Dunn
Farah and Cammarano
Financial Protection Law Center
Representative Susan C. Fisher
Glenn, Mills, Fisher & Mahoney, PA
Susan and Chris Graebe
Ann and Daniel Hudgins
Representative Verla Insko
Jernigan Law Firm
Knots and Such
Melinda Lawrence and Greg Malhoit
Legal Aid NC
Tammie and Lou Lesesne
Susan Lupton and Bob Schall
Lucy and Javier Martinez
Carlene McNulty
Representative Graig Meyer
Mutual of America
NC Child
North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture
Peg O'Connell
Tema Okun and Thomas Stern
Greg Patterson
Jane Pinsky and Richard Adelman,MD
Susan Pollitt and Bill Rowe
Bryna and Greg Rapp
Jay Reiff
The Rickhouse
Susan Russell and Thomas Konrad
Patricia Schofield
Cosette Serabjit-Singh and Richard Philpott
Edwin Speas
Gerda Stein
Mark Sternlicht
Adam Svolto
Tally and Tally, Attorneys and Counselors at Law PLLC
Sylvia and the Honorable Cullie Tarleton
Diane Vannais and Charles Waldren
Eve and Tom Vitaglione
Wallace and Graham, P.A.
The Honorable Allen Wellons
The Honorable Leslie Winner and Jerry Postema
Jane Wettach and Paul Baldasare

Past Defenders of Justice Award Recipients