This year’s winners

They are tackling some of the most difficult issues of the 21st century: crime, energy policy, racial justice, housing and health care reform. This year, the Indy‘s Citizen Award winners are making a difference not by changing the entire world, but by improving their slices of it, whether it’s several city blocks, a town or the Triangle.

Brother Ray Eurquhart is the glue that keeps Durham’s fragile Rolling Hills and Southside neighborhoods intact. One house at a time, Judy Kincaid of Clean Energy Durham is helping people of all income levels save energy and money while building community. In Chapel Hill, Michelle Cotton Laws has exposed the strained race relations in a primarily white, progressive town. Robert Dowling, through the Community Home Trust, has worked diligently to provide affordable housing for the less affluent in Chapel Hill. And Raleigh’s Chase Foster uses street theater and political satire to make the case for progressive causes, such as health care reform.

Chase Foster
Billionaires for Wealth Care

Judy Kincaid
Clean Energy Durham

Michelle Cotton Laws
Community activist

Robert Dowling
Community Home Trust

Brother Ray
Rolling Hills/ Southside activist

For the past 26 years, the Indy has honored local activists who work for the betterment of their communities. This year, we check in with previous Citizen Award winner DeWarren Langley to discover what he’s been up to since being honored by the Indy in 2001. Click the years below to read about previous Citizen Award winners. Lisa Sorg

Previous winners

2008 Karen Rindge of WakeUP Wake County, Amanda Arrington of the Coalition to Unchain Dogs, Gary Kueber of Endangered Durham, Granville Nonviolent Action Team (GNAT), Reggie Edwards of the Encouraging Place

2007 El Futuro, Stop Torture Now, Committee to Save the Lakewood Y, Haw River Assembly, Al McSurely

2006 Lanya Shapiro and Traction, the Pesticide Education Project, Margie Ellison, Chad Johnston and Andrew Pearson

2005 Bernice Wade and Barbara Stiles, Band Together, Code Pink, Chuck and Laura Richardson, Dr. Evelyn Schmidt, Thomas Savage

2004 Pete MacDowell, Peggy Misch, NCCU Civic Engagement Task Force, El Pueblo, Blaise Strenn

2003 Deloris Bailey, Janet Colm, Earl Matlock, Marcia Owen, Lewis Pitts, SeeSaw Studio

2002 Ashley Forte, Ann Akland, Gene Galin, Caleb Southern, The Anti-Warriors

2001 Bill Padgett, Daniella Cook, DeWarren Langley, Gail Phares, Empowerment Inc. and Mark Chilton

2000 Bill Towe of Peace Action, Internationalist Books, The Hispanic Credit Union, Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI), Bertie Howard of the Africa News

1999 Alex Charns, Kamau and Mawiyah Kambon, Jo Sanders, Sidney Brodie, Louise Davis, Ken Rose and The Center for Death Penalty Litigation

1998 Rick Dove, Coalition for the Public Trust, Linda Wilson and Candles of Hope, Jimmy Leach, Myra Fuller and Rhondette Jones, Old West Durham Neighborhood Association

1997 Florence Siman-Zablah, N.C. Farmworkers’ Project, Luis Alvarenga, Jovenes Lideres en Acción and Youth for Social Change, Lizette Cruz-Watko

1996 Helping Hands Center of Siler City, Chris Fitzsimon, Patrick O’Neill and Mary Rider, UNC Housekeepers Association, Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers (TROSA)

1995 Joe and Lucy Straley, Quinton Baker, Ron Mace, Cy King, Margaret Brown, Christine Strudwick

1994 Joe Neff, Falcon’s Cry, Waltye Rasulala, Jim Baxter, Terry Grunwald, Sam Reed

1993 Roz Savitt, Northampton Citizens Against Pollution, Grace Higgs, Lynice Williams, Gretchen Durham

1992 Rev. Linda Jordan, Rev. Mahan Siler, Cash Michaels, Linda Mabry, Dietrich von Haugwitz, N.C. Community Land Trustees

1991 Sister Evelyn Mattern, Rev. Jim Lewis, Lisa Madry, Clay Thorp, Shirley McLain, Juanita McNeil, The Center for Peace Education

1990 John Bartlett, Rebecca Clark, Louise Kessel, Roy Gorman, Those Who Speak Out, NARAL-NC

1989 Jim Clark, Michael Bleyman, Dave Owens, Shiloh Coalition, Common Ground, Billie Rogers, Margaret Pollard

1988 Saladin Muhammad, Catherine Vicks, Julia Taylor, Center for Community Self-Help

1987 Phail Wynn Jr., Malcolm Potts, Center for Women’s Economic Alternatives, Bill Holman, Jacques Menache

1986 Janet Hoyle, Mary Talbert, Mandy Carter, David Stanford, C.A.S.H. Volunteers

1985 Ann Shephard, Eddie Davis, The Lesbian and Gay Health Project, Rev. Wilson Lee, Melinda Lawrence

1984 Carolyn Allen, Lightning Brown, Bob Hall, Kenneth Duane Johnson, Joe Herzenberg, Jimmy Little, Gloria McCrae

1983 Carolina Interfaith Task Force on Central America, Deep River Citizens Coalition