The Louise Branscomb Barrier Breaker Award celebrates North Alabama United Methodists who are willing to stand up for the rights of marginalized women and minorities and take risks in their ministries. For almost three decades, the North Alabama Conference Commission on the Status and Role of Women (COSROW) has presented this award to a “barrier breaker” embodying the spirit of the award’s first recipient and namesake, Dr. Louise Branscomb, M.D.
Since 1990, the award has recognized those who sought justice and advocated for women and minorities in the North Alabama area. Recipients have been both male and female, clergy and laity, and have served within all aspects of ministry in the church. Their common denominator is supporting and lifting up the voices of the oft-silenced.
The 2019 recipient of the Louise Branscomb Barrier Breaker Award was Rev. Lucy Morales. Rev. Morales serves as the North Alabama Conference Hispanic/Latino Ministries Strategist and is an associate pastor of Trinity UMC in Huntsville. As Conference Hispanic/Latino Ministries Strategist, she consults with and equips churches to discern opportunities to serve multicultural and multilingual communities. She has helped to recruit Latino and Spanish-speaking clergy to North Alabama and trains laity for ministry roles. She also trains church members and staff to offer English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to help congregations welcome and serve immigrants. In her role at Trinity UMC, she helped to develop the church’s multicultural ministry with the Latino community through providing translation, preaching and musical leadership in worship, as well as, developing ESL classes. Lucy is passionate about making the church a place of welcome and participation of all people from all cultures.
Nominations are now open for the 2020 Louise Branscomb Barrier Breaker Award. The deadline for nominations is April 15, 2020. Submit your nominations here.
Nominees should fit the following criteria:
The nominees will be acknowledged on the floor of Annual Conference and will be distinguished guests to the Annual COSROW Breakfast on Monday, June 1, 2020. This year’s speaker is Dawn Wiggins Hare. Reserve your breakfast tickets now!
Dawn Wiggins Hare is an attorney and former Alabama Circuit Judge who serves as the General Secretary of the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women of The United Methodist Church. Dawn was born in Brewton, Alabama, and is a graduate of The University of Alabama, where she was a mathematics and theatre major, minoring in music. She is also a graduate of The University of Alabama School of Law, where she earned her Juris Doctor degree. Dawn has a loving family, including husband Chip and sons Nicholas and Eli. She has a huge love of theatre and worked with the Monroeville production of “To Kill a Mockingbird” for more than 20 years. She often says that God filled out her resume for her present position as she was active in her local United Methodist Church, her District, the Alabama West-Florida Annual Conference and served as a delegate to four General Conferences. In 2012, Dawn was the recipient of the Alice Lee award given by the Alabama-West Florida COSROW to someone who has worked to break the stained-glass ceiling. In 2013, she was elected to her current position, and God once again smiled as her office is located in the Chicago Temple, in the heart of the theatre district in Chicago.