Community Service Award Honoree
If you’re not registered to vote, Phyllis Walker will find you.
Phyllis has long been a one-woman voter-registering powerhouse, visiting high schools, churches, jails and even shopping centers on Black Friday to ensure that residents don’t squander their right to vote.
In the year leading up to the 2012 election, Walker single-handedly registered more than a 1,000 voters, many of them had no idea they had the right to vote until she enlightened them.
Walker has become a walking Voting Rights encyclopaedia. She is quick to tell ex-felons that it is a myth that they have been forever stripped of their voting rights. Even at the jails and prisons she visits often, Walker informs inmates that many of them still have the right to cast ballots.
When it comes to prisoners’ rights, Walker knows her stuff. She began her professional career with the State Department of Corrections. She would later spend 25 years with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department, where she would make history as the first black female deputy sheriff in the administration division. Walker began volunteering with the local Democratic Party and staging voter registration events well before she retired.
Her efforts to register and empower voters have now become her full-time mission. Phyllis never turns down a request to speak to community and church groups and regularly goes above and beyond the call of duty. Just ask the 101-year-old man whom Walker registered and later personally escorted to the polls so that he could cast his very first ballot.
For helping the disenfranchised exercise their most fundamental right, The Chronicle and the community it serves are proud to present Phyllis Walker with a Community Service Award.