Local Advocate Named To State Women’s Council

A long-serving, nationally-renown local advocate has been tapped by the governor to help with women’s issues at the state level.

Rocky Mount resident N. Joyce Payne, founder of the nationally-recognized Thurgood Marshall College Fund, has been appointed to the N.C. Council for Women by Gov. Roy Cooper.

“My work with women goes way back,” Payne said. “I hope to contribute to the work of North Carolina Council of Women, especially with labor force participation and other issues that impact women’s health.”

Payne has been at the forefront of studying women’s issues since serving on President Jimmy Carter’s Advisory Committee for Women in the late 1970s. She established the Thurgood Marshall College Fund in 1987 to help exceptional students at the nation’s 47 publicly-supported historically black colleges and universities.

Payne remains the senior international affairs and STEAM adviser to the president of the college fund. She was executive director of the National Alliance for Public Trust and served as a program specialist for the National Advisory Council on Women’s Educational Programs.

From 2008 to 2009, Payne served as executive director of the National Alliance for Public Trust, an organization committed to advancing principled leadership in American institutions. She taught at the former Federal City College and at George Washington University.

“In my graduate work and public papers I’ve covered issues on women in power and women in the labor force,” Payne said. “I also promote science and technology to women as much as possible.”

Considered an authority on women’s issues in relation to higher education and labor force participation, Payne has published and presented a number of papers on the pursuit of equality for women and blacks in higher education. Payne received a bachelor’s degree from the former District of Columbia Teachers College and earned her master’s and doctorate degrees in education from the former Atlanta University.

Payne has achieved and received numerous accomplishments, accolades and honorariums, including a doctorate from Central State University in 2012. She was inducted into the District of Columbia’s Hall of Fame and the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame.

Cooper appointed Payne as an at-large member to the state Council for Women.

“I appreciate the commitment this appointee brings to improving our state,” Cooper said. “We’re fortunate to have her skills and experience on our commission.”

The Council for Women is the state’s leading voice on key issues impacting women. The Council monitors millions of dollars annually for nearly 300 agencies for shelter and support services to domestic and sexual violence survivors. The Council also advises the governor, the legislature and state departments on issues impacting women. And the council is responsible for:

  • Raising awareness of the impact of violence against women and directing available resources to serve victims in communities across the State. Collecting and distributing information about the status of women in North Carolina.
  • Acting as a resource for local and regional councils and commissions for women.
  • Collaborating with other groups and individuals working on behalf of women.
  • Assuring that necessary services, policies and programs are provided to those in need and strengthening existing programs.
  • Reviewing applications, awarding grants and monitoring programs providing self-sufficiency development for women and families in transition.