The City of Madison Equal Opportunities Commission and Equal Opportunities Division has honored Brandi Grayson with the prestigious 2019 Rev. James C. Wright Human Rights Award.
Grayson is the founder of Urban Triage, which provides psycho-education, trauma-informed care, advocacy, personal development skills, parenting skills, education, and analysis building for black people to stay engaged and present in the lives of black children while promoting healing and self-sufficiency.
“I’m honored to receive an award in recognition of the legacy of James C Wright, a man venerated by his community and beyond for his dedication and commitment to justice and human rights,” Grayson tells Madison365. “I was around 12 years old when he passed away. I remember being heartbroken. I cried uncontrollably for about an hour. At that time I didn’t understand my tears. Today, I do.”
Rev. Wright was a civil rights pioneer in Madison who worked to bring about the adoption of the City of Madison’s Equal Opportunities Ordinance in the ’60s. He served as a member of the Equal Opportunities Commission prior to his appointment as Executive Director for the Equal Opportunities Commission. Rev. Wright retired in 1992 after 24 years of service to the City of Madison. Since 1996, The Rev. James C. Wright Human Rights Award has been presented annually in his honor.
“He was my pastor. He was a role model. He gave me hope and love during moments of great pain,” Grayson says. “He embodied the attributes of God that many of us can only hope to reflect. When he crossed over, even though I didn’t understand my tears, deep down, subconsciously, I understood the loss. Even though I had yet to comprehend the full impact on our community.
“To be recognized by the City of Madison – and nominated by my community – confirms that my love and passion for social justice is not in vain,” she adds. “And, most importantly, it sends a message to Black youth that despite the world pressuring us (meaning Black people) to conform, our liberation starts with being unapologetically you.”
Grayson was nominated for the Wright Award by Michelle Bozeman and Garrett Lee.