2013 Brotherhood/Sisterhood Citation Award
Sandra D. Hughes
NCCJ of the Piedmont Triad will honor pioneering journalist and community advocate Sandra Daye Hughes of Greensboro with the 2013 Brotherhood/Sisterhood Citation Award on Thursday, November 7.
“We are thrilled to present Sandra Hughes with our 2013 Citation Award,” says NCCJ Executive Director Susan Feit. “Most people know of Sandra for her groundbreaking work as an African-American woman in broadcasting. But people don’t know the price she paid. She risked her life to break barriers, and she always believed in extending her hand to help others succeed. Instead of backing down or being intimidated by threats against her and her family, Sandra chose to champion inclusion.”
Hughes’ career at WFMY News 2 spanned forty years, beginning in 1972 as a general assignment reporter. She became the first woman of color to host a daily talk show in the Piedmont Triad and the first in the Southeast to co-host the nationally syndicated “PM Magazine.” From 1985-1990, Hughes served as WFMY’s community affairs manage. She represented the station at local events while also serving as co-host of the local “Good Morning Show.” She returned to the newsroom in 1990 to anchor the evening news. After retiring from the station, Hughes began working at her alma mater, North Carolina A&T State University, teaching the next generation of journalists.
"You can do and be anything you choose, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You just can’t give up. It doesn’t matter where you come from — I grew up in a housing project — or what color your skin is. You have the right to do whatever you dream of doing.”— Sandra Hughes
A bridge builder, Hughes founded “2 Those Who Care,” a WFMY program which highlights the stories of volunteers who give back to the community. She created WFMY’s Broadcast Development Program to expose college students from underserved populations to the operations of a commercial television station. At NC A&T, she is working with administrators to attract more students from underrepresented Latino and Asian communities. As a motivational speaker who is often invited to speak to youth and women, she brings the same message to both audiences: “You can do and be anything you choose, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You just can’t give up,” she says. “It doesn’t matter where you come from -- I grew up in a housing project--or what color your skin is. You have the right to do whatever you dream of doing.”
Hughes is the first African-American to receive the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce. The International Civil Rights Center and Museum named her an “Unsung Hero” for her role in integrating broadcast airways in the Triad, and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences inducted Hughes into its Silver Circle broadcaster hall of fame. She has been awarded the North Carolina Governor’s Order of the Long Leaf Pine and an honorary doctorate from NC A&T, among many other awards and honors.
More than 1,000 of the Triad’s most influential citizens gather annually at the Citation Award Dinner, NCCJ’s largest fundraising program. In addition to spotlighting the many ways that NCCJ’s programs widen horizons and change lives in our community, the Citation Award Dinner also honors outstanding citizens such as Hughes who make significant contributions toward creating a community free of bias, bigotry and racism. Hughes will be honored at the 47th annual dinner, chaired by Al and Ginni Lineberry.
“NCCJ programs reinforce the worth and dignity of every human being,” the Lineberrys say. “Crucial programs such as ANYTOWN teach our youth to respect diversity and build communication, which leads to peace. We are proud to recognize Sandra Hughes for her outstanding work in building bridges of communication and championing human dignity in our community.”