Join us at 10:30 worship as we present the Carolyn and Cy King Peace and Justice Award to the 2023 recipients. Receiving the award are Jane Smith, Gail Phares, Rev. Mac Legerton, and David Andrews.
David Andrews advocates for incarcerated people who cannot afford a lawyer and has broken new legal ground in improving protections for people charged for conduct when they were juveniles. Rev. Mac Legerton advocates for environmental and economic justice in Robeson County, including for the Lumbee tribe. Gail Phares has given her life to seeking peace and decreasing suffering in Central America, including through founding Witness for Peace Southeast. Jane Smith works constantly to support peace and justice initiatives in the community through organizations such as the Women’s Center of Raleigh and through Community UCC actions.
About the Carolyn and Cy King Peace and Justice Award
Community United Church of Christ in Raleigh, NC , a small leftward leaning institution of faith, came of age in the second half of the twentieth century. Its congregation had come through the extreme tests of the Great Depression and World War II and stood ready within their sense of Christian faith to make the world a better place politically, economically, socially, environmentally, and racially than it had been throughout its history. They also sought to make Raleigh and North Carolina a safer and better place for those who chose a gender different than what they had been born with. Renowned journalist Tom Brokaw with some justification called the broader population of Americans of that era the nation’s “Greatest Generation.” CUCC fell within Brokaw’s generalization. Its congregation led by several outstanding pastors analyzed conditions in their community, state, nation and world and set about to improve them in accordance with their spiritual values.
Carolyn and Cyrus King were among that group of young, idealistic but seasoned members of CUCC’s congregation. With other CUCC members they worked diligently to better their world over the course of the next half century. They recruited people with similar interests and values to join the many causes they championed. Those causes included campaigns for racial integration and justice, arresting gun violence, advancing democracy, establishing equal rights for women, and protecting the integrity of nature, and defending LGBTQ people. The Kings also put great energy into the causes of world peace and military disarmament. Between them Cy and Carolyn King knew most of the politicians, community and church leaders throughout Raleigh and nearby environs. They conducted their activities with grace, humility and a generosity that disarmed even their most bitter rivals some of whom later became personal friends with the Kings.
In recognition of the Kings’ social justice efforts, CUCC in 2012 commissioned the Carolyn and Cy King Peace and Justice Award to be issued annually to individuals who have significantly contributed to a more fair and just world.
Read more about Carolyn Spicer King
Read more about Cyrus Baldwin King, Sr.