|Vol. 10 No. 2
JANUARY 22, 2015
Publisher & Editor
Lisa Peyton-Caire, Eileen Hocker,
Alfonso Zepeda Capistran, Theola
Carter, Fabu, Lang Kenneth Haynes,
Heidi Pascual, and Donna Parker
Webmaster: Heidi M. Pascual
The Weekend that Was
Outside of the fact that they were held to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to celebrate the King Holiday, what else do the holiday
weekend events have in common? They were all filled to capacity or sold out, every single one of them.
It began with the King Coalition’s Free Community Dinner on Friday night at Gordon Common. The large room quickly filled up for the free meal
cooked by the UW Housing staff. And as soon as one group got up to leave, another took their place. And the true beauty of the event is that this
eclectic crowd reflecting Dr. King’s Beloved Community is just so comfortable and cool with itself. Adding to the gaiety were the volunteers from
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and area labor unions that helped everything run so smoothly. I didn’t see nary a frown in the house.
On Saturday night, the celebration transitioned to the Madison Marriott Hotel and Women in Focus’s I Have a Dream Ball, again a full house. I
remember back years ago when it seemed like only 100-150 of us attended the ball over at the old Edgewater Hotel. Over the years, WIF has really
built up their signature event that supports scholarships to 10 or more students on an annual basis. And it is awesome the way they have included
their scholarship recipients in the evening’s programming. Someday they will be taking over these events and ensuring that another generation of
students will be able to afford higher education.
It was late to bed on Saturday after the WIF ball and early to rise as I made my way to Edgewood High School by 6 a.m. for the Urban League’s King
Student Recognition Breakfast. For 28 out of the 31 times that the breakfast has been held, I have been the chief coffeemaker. I join Forrest “Kipp”
Thomas of Kipp’s Catering who miraculously cooks the food to feed 700 people by himself. Kipp stays there all night before the breakfast. The Urban
League stopped selling tickets two days before the event, another sell-out. Over the course of two hours, over 200 students received recognitions,
from the coveted Outstanding Young Person Award to the Betty Franklin-Hammonds Scholarship. It is a pleasure taking the photos of all of these
“together” students and print them in the center of this newspaper. This event always gives me great faith in the future.
By the time the King Holiday actually rolls around on Monday, fatigue starts to kick in. But once I get over to the State Capitol and start to hear the
warm-up performances of the outstanding musical groups that Jonathan Overby and company bring to the official Wisconsin King Tribute &
Ceremony, the oldest state King Holiday observance in the country, I get re-energized. For about an hour, those who want a good seat and I sit or
stand around the Rotunda of the capitol with the energy of the crowd building with each passing minute. Congratulations to Dinorah Márquez and
Vel Phillips, the recipients of the 2015 King Heritage Awards. And that Jadon Colbert really knocked out Dr. King’s I Have a Dream speech. In my
humble opinion, I feel that he did one of the better jobs of delivering that speech over the past decade or so. I know his mom Jackie had him
practicing hard for his shining moment. And Van Jones, the keynote speaker, gave a fine speech about Dr. King and tying his dream to the dreams of
the Black Lives Matter marchers.
And then the crowning event at the Overture Center, the City-County King Holiday Observance, put on by the King Coalition, pack them in as well.
The lower section of the Capitol Theater had few, if any, empty seats and the balcony look pretty packed as well. Congratulations to Peng Her and
Barbara Nichols for receiving the 2015 King Humanitarian Award recipients. They are both so deserving for the leadership that they provide to this
community. The King Community Choir sang out of this world. It was just so heavenly. Leotha Stanley and company sure know how to put some
feeling and meaning into a gospel number. And Diane Nash was awesome. I know she spoke for a long time, but that didn’t matter. It’s like she gave
us Nonviolent Activism 101 in a 30+ minute speech. And at reception afterwards, Diane held court with the Young, Gifted & Black Coalition and
others. I think they would have talked all night long if they were able. It will be interesting to see what becomes of that.
By the time Monday evening about 10 p.m. rolled around, I was totally drained, but feeling awfully good. Thanks to all of the volunteers who made
this such a fabulous King Holiday weekend. Remember to always Remember! Celebrate! Act!
|The Beauty of the Dream
Journalist Van Jones at the State