- Associated Press - Monday, October 7, 2019

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Civil rights activist the Rev. William Barber, longtime museum director Larry Wheeler and four others are this year’s recipients of North Carolina government’s highest civilian honor.

Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration announced on Monday the North Carolina Award’s honorees at a Nov. 16 event in Raleigh.

Barber was president of the North Carolina chapter for several years and now co-leads the national Poor People’s Campaign. Wheeler was director of the North Carolina Museum of Art for nearly 25 years and oversaw its vast expansion.

Other 2019 recipients are Senior U.S. District Judge Earl Britt, author Philip Gerard, radio station founder Deborah Proctor and HIV researcher Dr. Catherine Wilfert.

The General Assembly created the award in 1961 to recognize North Carolina residents who’ve contributed to fine arts, literature, public service and science.

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