Pauli Murray Awards

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The 28th Annual Pauli Murray Awards

The 28th Annual Pauli Murray Awards will be held on Sunday, February 25, 2018, from 3 - 5 p.m. at Whitted Building, Room 250, 300 W. Tryon St., Hillsborough, NC. 

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.  


To  nominate an Orange County youth, adult, or business for the Pauli Murray Award, follow the link here.  Nominations are due by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, February 12, 2018.  Individual and Youth nominees must reside in Orange County.  Business nominees must operate or conduct business within Orange County.  Additional criteria are as follows: 

Individual Nominees (over 18) Must: 

  • Have a record of promoting human rights, diversity and/or equality in the Orange County community.  This may include, but not be limited to, providing leadership in diffusing racial or other community tensions, promoting diversity and/or equality in community activities and events, or advocating for members of a protected class; and 
  • Have a history of involvement in the area of human relations in Orange County.

 Youth Nominees Must: 

  • Be a full-time student in grades 6-12 or a college student 18 years old or younger; 
  • Demonstrate a concern for the rights of all people through acts that may include, but not be limited to, encouraging cultural understanding, or promoting human rights, diversity or equality in a school or community setting; and 
  • Exhibit leadership, citizenship and a positive attitude.

 Business Nominees Must: 

  • Encourage diversity in the workforce and provide leadership and direction for the upward mobility for all employees; 
  • Provide self-improvement opportunities for employees through such options as educational assistance, in-house training or employee assistance programs; and 
  • Promote and participate in activities and programs related to human relations affairs.

Student Contest

The Orange County Human Relations Commission (HRC) offers students (grades 6-12) in Orange County an opportunity to get involved in Human Relations Month, recognized annually in February.  Students are asked to produce a project in the platform of their choosing that explores a topic of equality and social justice. The HRC defines social justice as efforts that actively seek to eliminate oppression and create equal opportunity; where individuals may sufficiently provide for their physical and mental needs and the needs of their dependents; where individuals live in physically and mentally safe communities; where the environment and economy are sustainable and where all are able to participate civically.

2017-2018 Topic

“The Life of Mr. Frederick Douglass – The Power of Words” 
Using a selected platform (e.g., Art/Dance/Spoken Word Video or Essay), express why you believe learning to read and write can make the difference in your life or as a responsible citizen in the United States of America. Use personal examples from your own life or a person that has influenced you in school or home. All entries must be submitted in English.


The HRC will award the winning individuals for the categories of Middle School entries and High School entries: 

  • First Prize: $100
  • Second Prize: $50
  • Third Prize: $25

For more information or to enter the contest, follow the link here.