Savion Castro grew up in Madison and with the UW-Madison PEOPLE
Program
Winter Graduation at UW-Madison
Seeking Justice
Dane County. And with her history here and my history here and she is also from Beloit. She graduated from Beloit Memorial High School. We have that connection as
well. She’s a church lady just like my grandmother was. I am really thankful that it worked out that way, number one to land a job and two, a job as good of a match
as this one is rare. It’s right up my alley and I can focus on similar issues and stuff and know what it is like to be Black in Madison.”
Part 2 of 2
By Jonathan Gramling

It has been said that you need to know where you have come from in order to know where
you are going. When looked at in the long term, Savion Castro’s family has migrated for
opportunity. Castro, a PEOPLE Scholar who graduated in December, was born in Beloit.
And his people were part of the Great Migration.

Since his high school days, Castro has been interested in politics. He was inspired to
volunteer for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.  In 2016, Castro was suspended for
a semester having been ruled to be academically ineligible. He made good use of his time
away from the classroom.

“I worked on the Hillary Clinton campaign for money,” Castro said. “And I took a semester
at Madison College. And I fought to get back into UW-Madison. That’s when I really started
getting into the assembly line. I had a career going and I needed to get my degree and get
out.”

Castro graduated in December 2018 and by January 2019, he was working a great job as
an office staff for newly-elected State Representative Shelia Stubbs.

“Shelia and I had met a couple of times through the Democratic Party Black Caucus,”
Castro said. “We had always been on each other’s radar. Some folks recommended her to
me that I apply. Some folks recommended me to her. And it was just a perfect match. I am
really glad that I was able to land that position. She is the first Black elected legislator from
While Stubbs is out fighting the good fight, Castro will be holding down the
office. And since he will be Stubbs’ only staff person — the plight of freshmen
legislators — he will be in charge of Stubbs’ base.

“I’ll be learning new administration and managerial skills and setting my own
schedule and working at my own pace,” Castro said. “There are some things
managing an office that legislators shouldn’t be involved with like making
sure that the Post-Its are stacked and stuff like that. I will have to do a lot of
constituent contact. Her district includes her county board district, which is
one of the few minority-majority districts in the county. It also has some of the
wealthiest parts of the city. There is

going to have to be a lot of different case work that we have to do. And I
definitely want to stay on top of that because as a Black freshman and woman,
I have a feeling that they are going to try and find ways to make life hard as
possible. We’ll make the case that the voters were right. We have to make
sure that Shelia’s constituents are in good hands.”

While Castro is motivated in his work to seek justice, he feels there are many
paths one can take to work for the cause. While he isn’t opposed to running for
public office, it isn’t something he has to do. There are a lot of opportunities out
there.

“I do know that I like writing so I can see myself trying to get into investigative
journalism at some point,” Castro said. “But I also like the policy side of it as
well in trying to figure out what a just policy is too. I could maybe see myself
running for office. I try not to force it. I just go along with the twists and turns.
But I am definitely in it for the long haul and I want to keep at it. Justice is my
passion and politics is my vehicle. I try to look at it more than a means to an
end. But I think in the scheme of things, it’s where I can have the biggest
impact with my skill set and how my brain works. It’s kind of direct A to B. We’
ll try to win an election. Okay, we won an election, now how can we legislate
accordingly and fix some of these systemic issues. But also, there are folks
who want to fight for justice and view it as doing it as a teacher or doing it as
a journalist or whatever their vision is for doing that including music and art.”

While Castro will continue his intellectual and career journey in the State
Capitol, even he doesn’t know where he will end up. There is so much to learn
and experience. And it’s a good thing if he even obtains a little justice along
the way.