The Champions for Equality and Justice Awards presented by Disability Rights North Carolina recognize and honor advocates who have made outstanding efforts to increase the awareness of disability rights issues in North Carolina, to remove both physical and attitudinal barriers for people with disabilities, to create a more inclusive community, and to speak for and represent those who cannot represent themselves.
The Adele Foschia Award for Lifetime Cross-Disability Advocacy recognizes individuals who have dedicated their lives to advocating for people with all types of disabilities. Adele Foschia helped Disability Rights NC become the results-driven organization it is today, and she never wavered as an enthusiastic supporter of the organization. For that reason and in recognition of her lifetime of service to people with all types of disabilities, Disability Rights NC created an award in her name to recognize individuals whose work honors her legacy.
- Matt Potter
- For his work improving the lives of people with disabilities as an advocate, a leader, and a builder of community.
- Advocates for Medically Fragile Kids NC
- For their passionate, personal, and highly effective advocacy to protect services for children with significant medical needs.
- Beth Garriss Hardy: The Adele Foschia Award for Lifetime Cross-Disability Advocacy
- For her decades of work as an advocate for the rights of people with mental illness and for the education of children facing homelessness.
- Sandra “Sam” Hedrick
- A compassionate and forward-thinking leader in providing supports and services for people with disabilities in North Carolina.
- Bethany Smith
- A young advocate determined to use her experience to educate and end the stigma of living with a mental illness.
- Christine Trottier: The Adele Foschia Award for Lifetime Cross-Disability Advocacy
- A dedicated advocate who spent her career fighting for the dignity and rights of children and adults with disabilities.
- Linda McDonough
- A Leader in Advocating for Strong Educational Services for Children with Disabilities and Effective Mental Health Care
- Betty Paesler, RN, MSN
- A Leader in Advocating for Patient Rights and Effective, Humane Treatment
- Robert Bullock (In Memory)
- A Leader in Self-Advocacy and Community Life for People with Mental Illness
- Leanna George
- A Leader in Self-Advocacy and Supporting the Advocacy of Parents Whose Children Are Students with Special Needs
- Sally and David Sloop
- Leaders in Providing Community Support for Individuals with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities
- Jeremy Donohue
- A Leader in Self-Advocacy and Community Life for People with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities
- Ellen Russell
- A Leader in Advocacy for Community Inclusion and Educational Opportunities for People with Disabilities
- Steve Webster
- A Leader in Advocacy for Recovery and Quality of Life for People with Mental Illness in Institutions
- Julia Bick (In Memory)
- A Pioneer in the Development of Affordable and Supportive Housing for People with Disabilities in North Carolina
- Michael Maybee
- A Leader in Advocacy for Community Inclusion and Employment for People with Disabilities
- Dr. Charles Walker
- A Leader in Advocacy for Community Inclusion and Access to Public Programs for People with Blindness
- The North Carolina State Bar Plan for Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Account
- In Recognition and Appreciation of NC IOLTA and Executive Director Evelyn Pursley’s Commitment to Improving Access to Justice for Persons with Disabilities in North Carolina.
- Marian Hartman
- A Dedicated Supporter of the Board of Directors of Disability Rights North Carolina and Passionate Advocate for All People with Disabilities.
- Greg McGrew
- A Tireless and Skilled Advocate for an Independent Protection and Advocacy System for North Carolinians with Disabilities.
- Honorable William (Bill) Creech
- CLA Board Member (1999-2008) and lifelong Advocate for Children and Adults with Disabilities
- Lockhart Follin-Mace
- A Pioneer for People with Disabilities and 1st Executive Director of the Governor’s Advocacy Council for Persons with Disabilities
- Jo Anne Jeffries
- Unwavering Advocate for People with Disabilities
- Robert R. Reilly (In Memory)
- Tireless Advocate for Justice for People with Disabilities, CLA Board Member (2001-2007) and CLA Board President (2005)