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Attorney General Josh Stein Honors Eight Charlotte Area North Carolinians with 2023 Dogwood Awards

For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Nazneen Ahmed (919) 716-0060

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today honored eight North Carolinians in the Charlotte area with the Attorney General’s Dogwood Award. These awards are given out annually to recognize people who are working to improve the health, safety, and well-being of their fellow North Carolinians.

Recipients in the Charlotte area are:

Baker Burleson

“Baker has used his family’s experiences helping his son navigate a mental health crisis to help others,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “His advocacy against stigma for youth mental health and for safe gun storage will save lives.”

Baker Burleson is a parent advocate in Charlotte.

Jan and Ron Kimble

“The Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage helps people foster safe and healthy relationships,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Jan and Ron have turned their grief over losing their daughter Jamie into a positive impact for others.”

Jan and Ron Kimble are the founders of the Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage.

Rashida Gittens

“Meeting Rashida Gittens was inspiring to me,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “She devotes her time to helping others around Mecklenburg County get the support and resources they need to be safe from domestic abuse and become victors – not victims.”

Rashida Gittens is a victor over domestic violence.

Ryan Etheridge, Cleveland County Schools

“Protecting our kids online is job one for us all,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “As Director of Federal Programs and Systemic Improvements at Cleveland County Schools, Ryan is innovating new ways to make sure young people can concentrate on their work, not their phones.”

Ryan Etheridge is the director of federal programs and systemic improvements at Cleveland County schools.

Charlotte Fire Department

“When a devastating fire engulfed the South Park community, firefighters with the Charlotte Fire Department ran toward the danger to save people in need,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “They saved lives and led people to safety – thank you.”

The Charlotte Fire Department is in Charlotte.

Judge Shirley Fulton (posthumous)

“Judge Fulton was a trailblazer, and our state is more just because of her,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “She was the first Black woman to serve as a prosecutor in Mecklenburg County and the first Black woman to win a seat as a Superior Court judge in North Carolina. She paved the way for many.”

Judge Shirley Fulton served as an assistant district attorney, district court judge, resident superior court judge, and senior resident superior court judge in Mecklenburg County.

The 2023 Dogwood Award recipients are:

  1. Lynn Guilliams, Fuquay-Varina Middle School
  2. Baker Burleson, parent advocate
  3. Survivors of sexual assault, Accepted by Amy Feath, Carousel Child Advocacy Center
  4. Sen. Tom McInnis
  5. Nidhi Sachdeva, North Carolina Association of County Commissioners
  6. Diannee Carden-Glenn, ekiM For Change
  7. District Attorney Ashley Hornsby Welch, Prosecutorial District 43
  8. Detective Tori Kennedy, Burlington Police Department
  9. Detective Josh Schultz, Burlington Police Department
  10. Jan and Ron Kimble, Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage
  11. Rashida Gittens, domestic violence victor and advocate
  12. Catherine Johnson, Guilford Family Justice Center
  13. Philip Cooper, Operation Gateway
  14. Mayor Preston Blakely, Town of Fletcher
  15. Officer Robert Daughety, Jacksonville Police Department
  16. Officer Sarah Butler, Jacksonville Police Department
  17. Sheriff Lowell Griffin, Henderson County
  18. Sheriff Clee Atkinson, Edgecombe County
  19. Kara Fox, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  20. Maria Teresa Maza, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  21. Ryan Etheridge, Cleveland County Schools
  22. Kimberly Jones, Chapel Hill High School
  23. Mayor Zeb Smathers, Town of Canton
  24. Rep. Kyle Hall
  25. Cady Thomas
  26. Cassandra Brooks, Medicaid Expansion advocate
  27. Firefighter Kevin Murphy, on behalf of the Charlotte Fire Department
  28. Captain Jeff Bright, on behalf of the Charlotte Fire Department
  29. Senator H.M. Michaux, Jr.
  30. Judge Shirley Fulton, North Carolina Superior Court
  31. Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock, Appalachian State University
  32. Chancellor Harold L. Martin, Sr., North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
  33. Jonas Swartz, MD, MPH, Duke Health
  34. Ernestine Bryant, Brunswick County


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