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Champions for Equality and Justice Awards

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.

Adele Foschia PortraitThe 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.

2017 Recipients

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.

2016 Recipients

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.

2014 Recipients

Linda McDonough PortraitLinda McDonough

A Leader in Advocating for Strong Educational Services for Children with Disabilities and Effective Mental Health Care

Betty Paesler, RN, MSN PortraitBetty Paesler, RN, MSN

A Leader in Advocating for Patient Rights and Effective, Humane Treatment

2013 Recipients

Robert Bullock PortraitRobert Bullock (In Memory)

A Leader in Self-Advocacy and Community Life for People with Mental Illness

Leanna George PortraitLeanna George

A Leader in Self-Advocacy and Supporting the Advocacy of Parents Whose Children Are Students with Special Needs

Sally and David Sloop PortraitSally and David Sloop

Leaders in Providing Community Support for Individuals with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities

2012 Recipients

Jeremy Donohue PortraitJeremy Donohue

A Leader in Self-Advocacy and Community Life for People with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities

Ellen Russell PortraitEllen Russell

A Leader in Advocacy for Community Inclusion and Educational Opportunities for People with Disabilities

Steve Webster PortraitSteve Webster

A Leader in Advocacy for Recovery and Quality of Life for People with Mental Illness in Institutions

2011 Recipients

Julia Bick PortraitJulia 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

2009 Recipients

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 PortraitMarian 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.

2008 Recipients

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)