The Pauli Murray Award

Established 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.


32nd Annual Pauli Murray Awards

This year's Pauli Murray Awards will be held virtually via Zoom Webinar on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at 3:00 pm.

Adult Winner

laila b

    Laila Bradford is a loving wife and mother of two but also a behind-the-scenes activist in the community.  When Laila is not working for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools, she is planning, organizing, and advocating for youth. She loves using her talents to empower youth and has shared her creativity and talents with youth. Laila is involved in Community Connections, The Hannah Ruth Foundation, and the Single Mom Ministry.

Laila is a strong advocate for the youth and families in her community. She promotes the importance of technology use in classrooms and at home. Laila opens her home on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday for students for technology resources, mentoring, tutoring, and craft activities.  She is the founder of the annual Back To School Book Bag Drive servicing over 75 families a year. She is also the founder of Creative S.W.A.G (Sisters With A Goal) in 2010. This organization of 15+ girls (from elementary-high school) focuses on building community through exposure to different experiences and obtaining personal goals. The girls have created a powerful sisterhood that supports and encourages them to build lasting bonds and sisterhood. The youth girls meet weekly for projects, informal conversations, and enrichment opportunities.  Some activities include participating in the Moral March, visiting the Nelson Mandela Exhibit and the American Dance Festival, as well as an educational trip to the NC Outer Banks.

Recently she created safety bags for young ladies that were asking for feminine products.  Laila solicited funding to be able to provide care packets that included feminine products, deodorant, and lotion to young girls in need.  She has been a Den Mother to the Elliott Woods community for 17 years. Recently she has completed training as an RJ Circle Peacekeeper and uses circles in her weekly practice during the Bridge Builders tutoring program. During the weekly tutoring sessions, she has used local history to empower and build awareness about the community in which they live.

Many in the community call her "Mommy Laila", which is exactly what she is. She is a mother to so many being a comforter, encourager, and nurturer.  She is a strong believer in having a servant's heart and gives freely and unselfishly to the residents in her community and the community at large.  Laila is one of the kindest, most compassionate, and trustworthy members of our community.  We are so fortunate to have her energy, lovingkindness, and commitment to serve in Orange County.

Youth Winner

Kendall Lytle

Kendall Lytle is a senior at Middle College High School at Durham Technical Community College. Subjects such as Social Justice and Civil Rights are her motivation to help her community, state and beyond. She plans to major in Political Science and minor in Sociology at Elon University this fall. After graduating from Elon, she plans to attend Law School in order to become a Civil Rights Attorney. Her motto is she wants to help "those who aren't dealt the best hand in the Criminal Justice System". 

Kendall is an active member of her community. As the President of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP Youth Council, she and her fellow members and advisors work to advocate for the marginalized communities of Chapel Hill and Carrboro, as well as educate the community about the issues people of color face within the community. She's also a member of the Carrboro Youth Advisory Board, the Vice President of her school's National Honors Society, and she works part-time at a restaurant in Carrboro. 

Business Winner

Present Day on Main is co-owned by Sophie Suberman and Soteria Shepperson.New Branding Logo 2016.2
October 31, 2020_HabitateForHumanityOC_UrrutiaFamily_0109

Photo by: Landon T. Bost

Habitat for Humanity partners with families to create better, healthier, more financially stable lives. With our help, Habitat homeowners achieve the strength, stability, and independence they need to build a better future for themselves and their families.

Through the use of volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat builds homes for families in need. Homes are sold with zero percent interest mortgages. Homeowners make monthly payments, which are set at 30% or less of their income, making homeownership an affordable reality.

In addition to building new homes, Habitat also partners with families who live in non-Habitat homes to assist them in making repairs to their homes, such as exterior painting, siding repairs, or cleaning, repairing, or installing ramps and handrails, etc. By offering repairs as well as new construction, Habitat ensures the most cost-efficient means of providing affordable and safe homes.

 Habitat for Humanity is a private nonprofit organization that is funded through the generosity of local individuals, businesses, faith organizations, and foundations. Since 1984, Habitat for Humanity of Orange County has served over 300 families.



JulieCohenKristenHoebermann-200x300Keynote Speaker: Julie Cohen

Julie Cohen, along with her filmmaking partner Betsy West has directed four theatrical documentaries including My Name is Pauli Murray, which was distributed by Amazon Studios and nominated for an NAACP Image Award, RBG, which was nominated for an Academy Award and won an Emmy, and the forthcoming Gabby Giffords Won't Back Down. Previously, Julie directed 8 solo documentaries and worked as a staff producer for NBC News. She holds a master's degree from Yale Law School.

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 --

30th Annual Pauli Murray Awards Photos