N.C. Open Government

Sunshine Day 2018 will mark the fourth annual awards program from the Sunshine Center recognizing individuals from across North Carolina whose work expemplifies the value we place on keeping citizens informed about their government. The awards program has four categories, although the Sunshine Center may choose not to give an award in any particular year.

The categories are as follows:

Advocacy: The purpose of the N.C. Open Government Coalition’s Advocacy Award is to recognize individuals whose outstanding advocacy on behalf of government transparency, whether in the halls of government, the statehouse, the courtroom or the public, has led to greater access and greater understanding of public information.

Government: The purpose of the N.C. Open Government Coalition’s Government Award is to recognize individuals, and occasionally agencies, within government who have provided outstanding access to public information. That outstanding access may be exemplified by such things as excellence in communication with records seekers, innovation in delivery, and internal training programs.

Journalism: The purpose of the N.C. Open Government Coalition’s Journalism Award is to recognize individual journalists, and occasionally news organizations, that have effectively utilized public records to tell stories of significant importance in their communities. Judges may consider such things as persistence required to obtain the information, innovative analysis of public records, and impact on the community.

Citizen: The purpose of the N.C. Open Government Coalition’s Citizen Award is to recognize individual North Carolinians whose persistence in seeking access to government information has improved transparency within their communities.


Previous winners:


2017: Eliott Engstrom, Elon School of Law

2016: Jon Elliston, Carolina Public Press

2015: Gary Jackson of The Jackson Law Group


2017: Orange County Government

2016: Russ Burrell, Henderson County Attorney

2015: Brenda Williams, Deputy Treasurer, N.C. Department of State Treasurer


2017: Lisa Worf, WFAE

2016: Tyler Dukes, WRAL

2015: Dane Kane, The News & Observer


2015: Kurt Naas, Cornelius, N.C.

You can read about the 2015 winners here and the 2016 winners here.



In order to nominate someone whose work in the last year fits the above descrpitions, send an email to ncopengov@elon.edu with the subject line "Sunshine Award Nomination." In your email please include the nominee's name, position, contact information, which cateogry you are nominating him or her for and a description of no more than 300 words why you think this person is deserving.

Nominations will be accepted until March 1 2018. Winners will be notified prior to March 6 and presentations will be made at Sunshine Day 2018 on Monday, March 12, 2018.