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‘Defenders of Justice’ named

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RALEIGH, N.C. – Tom Ross, along with several other North Carolina individuals and groups, will be honored for their efforts to fight poverty and promote fairness.

The Raleigh-based North Carolina Justice Center will present the “Defenders of Justice” awards at ceremony Sept. 25 at the American Tobacco Historic Complex in Durham.

Ross, president of Davidson College and former executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in Winston-Salem, has been tapped as a special honoree in recognition of his “commitment to justice and expanding opportunity in North Carolina.”

State Rep. Jennifer Weiss of Cary received the award in the category of legislative advocacy for her efforts to protect consumers and promote fairness through the state’s tax code.

In the grassroots empowerment category, Juvencio Rocha Peralta Jr., founder and president of the Association of Mexicans in North Carolina, was honored for his work on behalf of immigrants’ rights.

The Beloved Community Center in Greensboro also was chosen in this category based on its work to change policies affecting low-income residents and minorities.

Jane Perkins of the National Health Law Center in Chapel Hill was recognized for her efforts to broaden access to healthcare and fight discrimination in healthcare delivery.

And several staffers of the Charlotte Observer received the award for their investigative series on workplace injuries at poultry plants: Ames Alexander, Kerry Hall, Franco Ordonez, Peter St. Onge and Ted Mellnik.

Details about the ceremony on Sept. 25 can be found on the Justice Center’s website.

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