2017 Equality Gala Awards


2017 Bob Page Equality Champion Award

The Bob Page Equality Champion Award - named for a visionary leader in North Carolina's LGBTQ movement - honors a legacy of advocacy for LGBTQ North Carolinians. 

Mandy Carter is celebrating her 50-year movement history of social, racial and LGBTQ justice organizing since 1967. Raised in two orphanages and a foster home, she attributes the Quaker-based American Friends Service Committee’s High School Work Camp at 16 years old for her sustained multi-racial and multi-issue organizing.

Ms. Carter was nominated for the 1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005 in order to recognize, make visible and celebrate valuable, yet often invisible peace work of women around the world.

Underscoring the importance of electoral politics in social change movements, Ms. Carter was one of the five national co-chairs of Obama LGBT Pride, the national LGBT infrastructure for Barack Obama’s historic 2008 presidential campaign and win.

Ms. Carter helped co-found two ground breaking organizations.Southerners On New Ground (SONG) and the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC).

2017 Jamie Kirk Hahn Ally Award

The Jamie Kirk Hahn Ally Award is a lasting tribute to a hero of Equality taken too soon. This acknowledgment of Jamie's extraordinary pro-equality work, and named in her honor, is awarded to a North Carolina LGBTQ ally for the ages.

T. Anthony Spearman currently pastors the St. Phillip African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Greensboro, NC and is the 3rd Vice President of the North Carolina NAACP and President of the North Carolina Council of Churches. Spearman served as a member of the Hickory Public Schools board from 2011-2014. Spearman’s involvement in community activism spans more than four and a half decades. As a former campus minister he rallied college students together over a number of just causes; was among the Greensboro Pulpit Forum members who advocated for KMart employees in Greensboro in 1995-1996; marched with Smithfield Workers until they became unionized; been a constant participant with the Historic Thousands on Jones Street Peoples' Assembly Coalition over the past ten years; is recognized as a staunch advocate for the LGBTQ and immigrant communities; was one of 25 plaintiffs who fought hard against the School Opportunities Program or Voucher Lawsuit; was one of the first organizational plaintiffs in the Voter Suppression Lawsuit against Governor McCrory and the State of NC and was one of the first seventeen persons arrested during the Forward Together Moral Monday Movement.

2017 Organization of the Year Award

This prestigious award recognizes an extraordinary North Carolina organization doing groundbreaking work for LGBTQ citizens.

Zeke Christopoulos is the director and founder of Tranzmission, a  non binary and transgender advocacy and educational organization which was formed in 2001 in Asheville, NC. He has independently and with Tranzmission worked on policy and education at the national, state and local level. Zeke has served on boards, presented content and training for the Presidents Council on the Sexual Health of America, the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, WPATH  and numerous other organizations and conferences. Zeke has written and been featured in interviews with a variety of new sources including CNN, CBBC, New York Times, the Huffington Post and the Washington Post. Zeke’s passion for the work began with the start of his transition in 1998. He lives in Asheville, NC with his wife and child.

2017 Legislative Leadership Award

The annual Equality NC Foundation Legislative Leadership Award recognizes exemplary pro-equality leadership in the North Carolina General Assembly.

In April, 2017, Marcia Morey retired as the Chief District Court Judge in Durham to accept an appointment to the House of Representatives to replace Paul Luebke.

Marcia grew up in Decatur, Illinois and attended Millikin University.  In 1975, she was co-captain of the U.S. World Championship Swim Team and in 1976 was co-captain of the U.S. Olympic Swim Team in Montreal, Canada.

Marcia graduated from Northwestern Law School in 1982 and became the first female investigator for the N.C.A.A.

In 1987, Marcia became an Assistant District Attorney in Durham. In 1997 Governor Jim Hunt appointed her to be the Executive Director of the Governor’s Commission on Juvenile Crime and Justice, then appointed her to the district court bench in 1999.

During her tenure on the bench, Marcia was the first judge in North Carolina to grant a same sex couple the right to a second parent adoption.

2017 Legislative Leadership Award

The annual Equality NC Foundation Legislative Leadership Award recognizes exemplary pro-equality leadership in the North Carolina General Assembly.

Rep. Cecil Brockman is a proud native of High Point, North Carolina. After graduating from Ragsdale High School, he attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he majored in Political Science. Upon graduating, he went to work for some key political campaigns across the state including Elaine Marshall for U.S. Senate, Doug Berger for NC Senate, and Marcus Brandon for Congress. In 2014, Rep. Brockman won election to the North Carolina House of Representatives where he has served the people of District 60 for the past two terms.

2017 Legislative Leadership Award

The annual Equality NC Foundation Legislative Leadership Award recognizes exemplary pro-equality leadership in the North Carolina General Assembly.

Rep. Deb Butler received her BA from the University of Tennessee and then her J.D. from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. She began her practice as a young lawyer in New York City where she traveled all five boroughs and represented a wide array of clients. Coming back home to N.C. in 1992, and settling in Wilmington's downtown, Deb began her legal career representing clients in a storefront at the foot Market Street. Deb has served on many boards and commissions including the Board of Directors of the New Hanover Commission for Women, The Historic Wilmington Commission, The Cape Fear Green Building Alliance, The Wilmington Regional Association of Realtors, and Equality NC. Deb currently serves as the NC State Representative for House District 18.

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