The husband-and-wife professors are honored with the Evan Mahaney Champion of Civil Liberties Award at the UNC Asheville campus.
On Saturday, July 16, 2022 at its annual public celebration, the WNC Chapter of the ACLU of NC presented the Evan Mahaney Champion of Civil Liberties Award to Drs. Dwight Mullen and Dolly Jenkins-Mullen. Both are retired professors of Political Science whose appointments helped desegregate the UNC Asheville faculty in 1984, and each served as chair of the Department of Political Science at various times.
The Mahaney Award is named for long-time past president of the WNC Chapter of the North ACLU.
The Professors Mullen devoted over 30 years to achieving diversity in the student body, as well as racial understanding, equity, and justice in Asheville and beyond. They were mentors to scores of African American students and helped increase recruitment and retention rates, which led to dramatically increased graduation rates for minority students.
Past recipients of the ACLU’s Evan Mahaney Champion of Civil Liberties Award include Bob Smith, former head of the Asheville-Buncombe Community Relations Commission; Building Bridges, which provides educational programming to further its mission to dismantle racism; Frank Goldsmith and his team for freeing wrongfully convicted Edward Chapman from death row; Tyrone Greenlee, Director of CUC (Christians for a United Community), a nonprofit coalition of churches, which mobilizes people of faith around social justice issues focusing on dismantling racism and the disparities caused by racism; and BeLoved Asheville, a North Carolina a nonprofit agency working to alleviate poverty and homelessness in our community.