Carlos J. Lopez Jr.
Class of 1973
1/13/2012 Contact: Chris Mackey
Gov. Perdue Announces 2012 Dr. John R. Larkins Award Winner
Gov. Bev Perdue today announced Carlos Lopez as the recipient of the 2012 John R. Larkins Award. Lopez was recognized for his many contributions as a state employee to human and race relations in the workplace and to his community. The award was presented at the Annual State Employees’ Martin Luther King Jr. Day Observance Program.
"Carlos Lopez has committed his life to helping people of the Hispanic and Latino communities by bridging race and cultural disparities in the healthcare setting. Within his community, he has dedicated his time by advocating for new minorities, consulting with local business owners on diversity and working as a translator for families within the school system," said Gov. Perdue who spoke at the program. "He truly exemplifies John Larkins’ ideals through his commitment to human and race relations in the workplace and community."
Lopez works at the Central Regional Hospital through the Department of Health and Human Services. Several of his accomplishments demonstrated his commitment and belief on a daily basis in the work setting. He has developed an online program on Hispanic cultures and speaking Spanish in a healthcare setting, particularly targeted to an in-patient psychiatric setting. He provides outreach to patients and families from other cultures and languages. He also advocates for new minorities and ethnic staff who face issues related to racial disparities. In addition, he seeks opportunities to enhance customer services in the hospital setting and has mentored supervisors struggling with employee relationships.
Lopez works closely with the community to strengthen the understanding between races and cultures. He serves as the cultural liaison for the Hispanic and Latino Community for White Rock Baptist Church of Durham. He also provided cultural and diversity consultation to local businesses including Burt’s Bees of Durham, Orange County employees and Townsends of Siler City. Additionally, by translating for Durham County Public Schools, he has assisted more than 50 non-English families in understanding and navigating the school system.
The John R. Larkins Award was created in 1998 as one of North Carolina’s highest honors in public service. Larkins, who joined state government in 1942, helped create and expand the state’s programs for minorities, the poor and the disadvantaged, including establishment of the Good Neighbor Council, now known as the Human Relations Commission.
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