By Harry Hawkins Racial Bias is like your scent; it travels with you everywhere. Because this is true, understanding yourself is the first step in cultural competence. As we move forward together in taking a look at the racial disparity in the education system, it is imperative that we understand what enters into the […]
Five generations enrich Madison
By Phil Haslanger
It’s a family whose life in Madison stretches across five generations, across almost a century.
It’s a family whose work has touched health care and business, education and public safety, church and culture.
It’s a family whose matriarch came to Madison and did domestic work and who saw each succeeding generation reach wider and higher to shape the life of the community.
Mamie Matthews came to Madison from Mississippi in the mid-1920s and eventually worked as a domestic for the vice president of the bus company.
One of her 10 children was Addrena Squires, born here in 1927 at what was then Madison General Hospital. In time, Addrena gave birth in 1951 to Mona Adams, among other children. Mona, in turn gave birth to Johnny Winston, Jr. in 1968. And now Johnny Jr. has four kids of his own – two grown, two in Madison public schools.
There were other children in each generation, of course, but these stories of one family tell how this family shaped Madison and how Madison was shaped by them.
By Jake Winkler
What’s the atheist doing in the church basement? There’s no wedding. It’s Wednesday morning.
Maybe it’s better to ask what a white kid from rural Wisconsin is doing talking race with a black
pastor. Better yet: why aren’t more white people talking race with more white people? Reverend
Gee thinks a big part of it is education due to the positive response to his Justified Anger history
class. Maybe my story and some education will help that talk.
I was raised colorblind, just barely young enough to be a millenial, not old enough to remember
the Crack Scare of the ‘80s, old enough to have heard Clinton called the first black president
and not really knowing what that meant. The people of color I knew went to my Lutheran high
school or my university or were co-workers at a software company or played rugby with me.
They carried some recognizable class markers like similar affluence and education. In other
words, they came into my world. I didn’t go to theirs.
By Lisa Speckhard
This fall, Nehemiah started a training and support program to grow and support black leaders in the Madison community.
One of the stated five focus areas of Justified Anger is leadership and capacity development; Our Madison Plan states that Justified Anger wants to “increase the number of African-Americans in leadership positions in a variety of fields in Madison businesses and institutions.” Nehemiah’s Leadership and Community Development Institute (LCDI) has begun to equip its first cohort of black leaders.
By Phil Haslanger
When Rev. Alex Gee was considering ways to translate into action the ideas underneath the Justified Anger movement and the subsequent Our Madison Plan, he knew that it would take some talented individuals to fill the operational roles.
They would catalyze efforts to eliminate racial disparities and empower the African American community here to achieve its full potential.
An idea began to emerge – to invite businesses to get involved in providing some of the talent needed for all of this to work.
“If business leaders would loan us executives,” Rev. Gee said, “it would send a signal to the business community that we are all in this together for the Our Madison Plan.”
I want to thank you for your support by sharing a story with you, and a few words in the video (bottom of page). Fatherlessness was stifling Marcus. This 7th grade student often found himself trapped between pain and anger – both of which resulted in him shutting down emotionally and doubting himself. This kind […]