Julian H. Wright Jr. Selected as 2008 Local Hero by Bank of America



Oct. 20, 2008

Julian H. Wright Jr., an employment and business litigation attorney with Charlotte-based Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson, has been selected by Bank of America as a 2008 Local Hero. Wright was honored for his commitment and dedication to community advancement with Seigle Avenue Partners, an out-of-school time program that provides additional educational opportunities for low-income children outside of the traditional educational structure. “I’ve been blessed with many opportunities in life,” said Wright, who received his award at an Oct. 16 community ceremony hosted by Bank of America. “My faith teaches me that we need to give back and use what we have been given to the benefit of our neighbors.”

Wright is one of the founding members of Seigle Avenue Partners and an active member of its Board of Directors. The group provides afterschool and summer programs that give inner-city children additional academic attention, while also providing artistic outlets in music and the arts.

“We would not be where we are today without the dedication that Julian has shown to our programs and the children we serve,” said Mary Nell McPherson, executive director of Seigle Avenue Partners. “He has been there since the very beginning, as one of the visionaries of the program that helped get everything started.”

Bank of America selects five Local Heroes in most major markets each year. Each local winner is awarded $5,000 for their work, and Wright said he will donate his award to Seigle Avenue Partners’ general operating fund.

Many children can arrive at Seigle Avenue Partners insecure and doubtful of their abilities, but the program helps many of them become confident, articulate young men and women, Wright said. Through active participation in Seigle Avenue Partners, the elementary and middle school students and their parents become empowered members of the communities in which they live.

“It’s really easy for me to figure out our community will be a better place if more children can read and write,” Wright said. “When you help children learn the fundamentals of education, as well as express their artistic abilities and see more of the world, it helps them become mature, well-adjusted adults.”

Wright, who earned a divinity degree and a law degree at Vanderbilt University, said his faith guided him and others to launch the Presbyterian-based ministry program in the former Piedmont Courts neighborhood. In addition to his work with Seigle Avenue Partners, Wright is active in a number of community service and pro bono initiatives that promote equitable educational opportunities, domestic violence protection, civic engagement and improvement in the criminal justice system.

Seigle Avenue Partners works in cooperation with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to provide afterschool educational and cultural opportunities for selected students from some of the district’s FOCUS (Finding Opportunities; Creating Unparalleled Success) Schools. CMS buses many of the up to 75 students served by Seigle Avenue Partners to the program’s facility each day after school.

Under Wright’s leadership, Seigle Avenue Partners has also helped launch and support Freedom Schools at six regional facilities that served more than 400 students in 2008.

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