Thursday, July 22, 2021 - 8:59am

The Annual Reverend Wright Human Rights Award goes this year to Carmella Harris, who has worked tirelessly to serve the basic human rights of her neighbors while showing them enormous dignity and respect.

Carmella is a Community Health Worker, a Wellness Educator, a Behavioral Specialist, and a Substance Abuse Counselor. She is also the founder of Community Agency Bridging the Gap (CABG), whose mission is to “provide free and immediate crisis intervention, which is critical to prevent subsequent homelessness, unemployment, bodily harm, psychological trauma, gun violence, sometimes death.” Carmella founded Community Agency Bridging the Gap in 2020 as a crisis service to meet the overwhelming needs of her community in Madison.
Carmella was nominated by Janice Ferguson and Leslie McAlister, who had this to say, “Carmella has been tested and has gained neighborhood credibility as a support person in times of crisis. She is a community leader who is committed to empowering others to be part of the solution.”

The Reverend James C. Wright Human Rights Award honors the late Reverend Wright, a civil rights pioneer in Madison. During the 1960s, he worked on the adoption of the City of Madison's Equal Opportunities Ordinance, and served as Executive Director of the Equal Opportunities Commission from its inception in 1968 until his retirement in 1992. Rev. Rev. Wright was born in Camden, South Carolina.

The award is given to an individual who best exemplifies Rev. Wright's dedication and compassion for civil and human rights and who conducts their daily life consistent with these values. The award will be presented to Carmella at the Common Council meeting Tuesday, July 20, 2021.

Prior recipients of the award include: Jacqueline Wright, 1996; Dr. Richard H. Harris, 1997; Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson; 1998; Helen Vukelich, 1999; Anthony "Nino" Amato, 2000; _John Noreika, Sr., 2001;Dr. John Y. Odom, 2002; Peter Mu?oz in 2003; Earnestine Moss in 2004; Jonathan "Jon" Gramling in 2005; Agnes Gutierrez Cammer in 2006; Jeffery Erlanger in 2007; Professor Richard Davis in 2008; Darlene Hancock, 2009; Alfonso Studesville, 2010;  Richard V. Brown Sr, 2011; Colleen Butler, 2012; Charlestine Daniel, 2013; Dr. Floyd Rose, 2014; Anthony Timmons, 2015; Annette Miller, 2016; Brandi Grayson, 2019; Tamora Fleming, 2020.

For more information, see:


Civil Rights
Vision & Awards