2015 Citizen Lawyers: Angelique (Angie) Vincent-Hamacher
By R. Locke Beatty
CHARLOTTE – Angelique (Angie) Vincent-Hamacher attributes much of her dedication to improving her community to a belief that, to the extent possible, everyone should have equal access to opportunity and resources. It’s thus not surprising that many of the causes she has devoted her time and talents to focus on fields where access has been limited for some members of the community.
Healthcare is one such area. Vincent-Hamacher was appointed to the Board of Commissioners for Carolinas HealthCare System in 2014, after having served on the CHS Board of Advisors since 2010. As a member of the CHS board, Vincent-Hamacher is committed to helping CHS continue to carry out its original mission of caring for the indigent.
Ensuring that the underinsured and uninsured have equal access to quality health care has become increasingly difficult because of what she identifies as a “constant tug between the need to provide care to all people, including those who can’t afford it, and the incredible cost of health care.” With the support of Vincent-Hamacher and the rest of the CHS board, CHS provides hundreds of millions of dollars of free and discounted care to members of the community and other community benefits each year.
Through her work on the board of directors of The Center for Community Transitions, Inc. since 2006, Vincent-Hamacher helps another population that has struggled to obtain access to opportunity: those with criminal records trying to rejoin society and the workforce.
As an employment lawyer primarily representing management, Vincent-Hamacher recognizes the difficulties employers face in addressing this issue. Even those who are willing to make a real effort to employ past criminal offenders know they must do so in a way that does not jeopardize the safety of their employees and customers.
Those concerns notwithstanding, Vincent-Hamacher has observed that many former offenders without a history of violence also struggle to get a foot in the door when it comes to long-term employment. She believes that “it’s a mistake for society to have automatic barriers to employment that people cannot overcome solely due to past mistakes.” She notes that in addition to making things hard on the individual and his or her family, this lack of opportunity also harms society by feeding rates of recidivism.
The Center for Community Transitions seeks to address this issue not only by reaching out to employers, but also by working with its clients directly to sharpen their interview skills and preparedness for employment.
In addition to her work with CHS and the Center for Community Transitions, Vincent-Hamacher serves on the board of directors of Crisis Assistance Ministry and the South Carolina Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. She also mentors at-risk youth and has served as an Adjunct Professor of Sociology at Clinton College in her hometown of Rock Hill, SC.
The Citizen Lawyer Committee of the NCBA Young Lawyers Division, in conjunction with the NCBA Citizen Lawyer Committee, provides expanded coverage of the 2015 Citizen Lawyer Awards in recognition of their volunteer service and leadership in their communities and beyond.
R. Locke Beatty is an attorney with McGuireWoods LLP in Charlotte.