The Pauli Murray Award

30th Annual Pauli Murray Awards Photos

CapturepmEstablished in 1990, the Pauli Murray Award commemorates the life of the late Reverend Dr. Pauli Murray (1910-1985), a distinguished and remarkable person who confronted discrimination, racism, and sexism in her own life.  

The Pauli Murray Award is presented annually by the Orange County Human Relations Commission to an Orange County youth, an Orange County adult, and an Orange County business that have served the community with distinction in the pursuit of equality, justice, and human rights for all residents.  Click here for information on the most recent and upcoming Pauli Murray Awards event.

30th Annual Pauli Murray Awards

The 30th Annual Pauli Murray Awards was held on Sunday, February 23, 2020 from 3:00-5:00 pm at the Whitted Building, located at 300 W. Tryon St. in Hillsborough. 


This year’s winners are Mae McLendon as the adult awardee and Thea Barrett as the youth awardee. Ms. McLendon is a long time resident of Orange County and has served the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area for over 40 years through elected positions, civic volunteerism, and the ministry. Ms. Barrett is a senior at East Chapel Hill High School, and is an advocate for sensible gun control, ending mental health stigma, and bettering the world for all through her service.


The keynote address was given by Ed Pavlić, Ph.D., Distinguished Research Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Georgia. In addition to his many published works in publications like The New York Times, Boston Review, Harvard Review, and Callaloo Pavlić is author of eleven books of poetry, scholarship, fiction, and non-fiction. Pavlić’s awards include the Albert Christ-Janer Creative Research Award (2015), the National Poetry Series Open Competition (2012, 2014), the The American Poetry Review / Honickman First Book Prize (2001), the Writer of the Year Award from the Georgia Writer’s Association (2009), and the Darwin Turner Memorial Award from African American Review (1997).


Collage Dance Company, a youth African Dance Company, performed this year. "Collage Dance Company strives to build confidence, creativity, character, and perseverance in our community’s youth. We use the vehicles of Music, Dance and Visual Art to attain these goals." The Voices of Hope choir from A Place Called Hope Church also performed. 


Pauli Murray Award Winners

Year Youth Adult Business
1990 -- Louise Echols
Ralph Pendergraph
Rev. Tim Kimrey
1991 *No Ceremony Held *No Ceremony Held *No Ceremony Held
1992 *No Ceremony Held *No Ceremony Held *No Ceremony Held
1993 -- Charlotte Garth Adams --
1994 -- Midred Berkeley --
1995 -- Rebecca Clark --
1996 -- Allan "Lightning" Brown --
1997 Alicia Hermann (Keesling) Timothy Miles --
1998 Liala Edwards Hazel Lunsford --
1999 Danielle Brittany Price Aubrey Chris Nutter Weaver Street Market
2000 Jacquelyn Lynn Payne (Rogers) Bonnie B. Davis
Joe Herzenberg
Sports Endeavors
2001 Kristin Mattison Peter Richard Kramer Women's Workout Club
2002 Rachel McCook Shirley Marshall Carol Woods Retirement Community 
2003 Laura Williamson Mariah Ann McPherson Kelsey's Cafe
2004 -- Frances Finney --
2005 *No Ceremony Held *No Ceremony Held *No Ceremony Held
2006 -- Florence D. Soltys Balloons and Tunes
2007 -- Dorothy Johnson
Frances Jones
Fleet Feet Sports
2008 Camellia Lee Josephine Holman-Long Cliff's Meat Market
2009 Elizabeth McManus Robert L. Campbell DooR to DooR
2010 *No Ceremony Held *No Ceremony Held *No Ceremony Held
2011 Joseph DeVito Maggie West Chapel Hill Rehabilitation and Healthcare
2012 Emma Morris Crystal Fisher --
2013 Desaray Rockett Judith Blau Vimala's Curryblossom Cafe
2014 Emma Catanzaro Elizabeth "Binnie" Davis
Walter Faribault, Jr. 
Music Makers Relief Foundation
2015 Linnea Van Manen
Ruth George
Reyna Rivera
Deborah Stroman
2016 Korie Dean Flicka Bateman Mediterranean Deli
2017 Kenzi Patrick Mariela Hernandez --
2018 -- Lorie L. Clark Joe Van Gogh
2019 Thea Barrett Mae McLendon --