ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (WTVD) -- Rocky Mount Citizens' Academy is being renamed after Loretta M. Braswell, a long-time public servant for the city.
According to the Rocky Mount press release, with almost 50 years of experience, Braswell "has been known as a trailblazer" who works to promote an inclusive city and the rights of its citizens are protected.
In 2010, Braswell received the highest award for state service, "The Order of the Long Leaf Pine" by Governor Bev Perdue.
She was a key figure in establishing the Winter Assistance Rocky Mount program (W.A.R.M), which helps people who have difficulties paying their utility bills. She also brought the first Habitat for Humanity program to Rocky Mount.
"I am honored to leave my legacy ingrained in a program that helps our citizens better understand the city I love and have served for so long," she said. "It has been my pleasure and joy to coordinate this program and see so many positive responses from those who participated."
In 1998, Braswell became the first Black female department head in Rocky Mount, leading the Human Relations Department until 2010.
She also worked alongside city leaders to adopt a fair housing ordinance that prohibits discrimination in housing practices.
"Ms. Braswell's tenure and commitment to the city of Rocky Mount is admirable and worthy of this distinction," City Manager Keith Rogers Jr. said.
The 2024 Loretta M Braswell Citizens' Academy begins in September and runs through November. Applications will open in July.