In recognition of Mayme Webb-Bledsoe’s more than two decades of helping Durham’s less fortunate through the Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership and other work, organizers of a national award created a runner-up category just for her.
“Mayme’s work was so close to winning the award that the judging committee felt they needed to create a new category of recognition for her,” said Martha McCoy, executive director of the racial equality organization Everyday Democracy, which oversees the award.
In its second year, the Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award is given to an individual and/or organization that demonstrates Everyday Democracy’s values of “voice, connection, racial equity and community change.”
Webb-Bledsoe, who was selected from 67 nominations of both individuals and organizations, will receive $2,500 to help the partnership further its mission and vision.
Sam Miglarese, assistant vice president and director of the Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership, nominated Webb-Bledsoe for the award.
“Over the past 21 years, Mayme Webb-Bledsoe has worked tirelessly as a community activist, bringing the voices of those most marginalized in the primarily African-American neighborhoods of Durham into the conversation and decision-making of the community,” Miglarese wrote.
“She has facilitated creative cross-sector initiatives that bring in the voices of grassroots residents to develop affordable housing, commercial development for adjacent neighborhoods, and preservation of history and culture. Her strong, quiet leadership in bridging divides and amplifying resident voices makes change possible.”
Webb-Bledsoe, a Durham native, joined the staff of the Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership in 2000. The six neighborhoods that comprise the Southwest Central Durham section of the partnership remain one of her core commitments as a senior program coordinator in the Office of Durham and Regional Affairs at Duke.