Sen. Floyd McKissick (D-Durham) earned two top leadership positions at the N.C. General Assembly this week.

He has been named chairman of the N.C. Legislative Black Caucus and Deputy Democratic Leader of the N.C. Senate with Sen. Linda Garrou (D-Forsyth) and Sen. Don Vaughan (D-Guilford).

As chairman of the N.C. Legislative Caucus, McKissick said in a press release that he would work with his fellow 25 members to create new jobs and affordable housing and promote small and minority owned businesses.

His leadership in the N.C. Senate comes at a time when Democrats makeup the chamber minority for the first time in more than 100 years.

“Our position of power has changed, but our role remains the same—we must defend those who need our help, make our communities strong and protect the future of our state by protecting our universities, community colleges and K-12 education,” McKissick said in the release.

McKissick, an attorney, was appointed to the N.C. Senate in 2007 to fill the seat previously held by the late Sen. Jeanne Lucas, and before that served on the Durham City Council for eight years. During his first full term in office in 2009, McKissick won several awards, including honors from the N.C. Justice Center, the N.C. Housing Coalition and the N.C. chapter of the NAACP.

He is well known for his work in 2009 to sponsor and win support for the N.C. Racial Justice Act, which seeks to correct the possible presence of racial bias in North Carolina death penalty cases.