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Bryant receives Defenders of Justice Award

Contributed to the Telegram

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DURHAM — The N.C. Justice Center is proud to announce that N.C. Rep. Angela Bryant, R-Nash, has won a prestigious Defenders of Justice Award. The award will be presented Thursday in Durham.

Each year, the N.C. Justice Center presents its Defender of Justice Awards to honor individuals or organizations that have made significant contributions in the fight against poverty. This year is the 13th annual event.

“Rep. Angela Bryant has dedicated her legislative career to advocating for some of North Carolina’s most beleaguered communities,” said Melinda Lawrence, executive director of the N.C. Justice Center.

Bryant has worked valiantly to improve the state’s systems of civil, criminal and juvenile justice. She is deeply involved in efforts to ensure the safe and successful reintegration of adults and juveniles returning home from incarceration by promoting policies that remove barriers to productive citizenship.

Many of her legislative proposals have focused on supporting the equal rights of North Carolinians, ranging from increased support for domestic-violence victims and at-risk students to same-day voting and education reform. She has advocated for expanded tax relief for low-wage earners and elderly residents, and she is a strong supporter of funding for health screenings and education as a way to help eliminate disparities in low-income communities.

In addition, she has worked to reform North Carolina’s annexation laws to ensure that low-income and minority communities are not overlooked and are given access to needed municipal services.

Bryant was the youngest and the only girl in the first group of students to integrate public schools in Rocky Mount in 1963, and she was one of the first black undergraduates and law students at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She has continued her efforts to campaign for communities of color through her work at VISIONS Inc., an organization she co-founded to work with companies, community groups and local governments on issues related to diversity and multiculturalism.

Before joining the N.C. House in 2006, Bryant served on Rocky Mount City Council. She spent 30 years practicing law and a decade as an administrative law judge for the state.

The Defenders of Justice awards are given in four areas that reflect the scope of the Justice Center’s work. Those areas are Legislative Advocacy, Policy & Research Advocacy, Litigation, and Community Capacity Building.

Bryant’s award is in the Legislative Advocacy category.