City of Madison, Discovering the Least Known about Madison’s History
From City of Madison
The City of Madison, hosted an Open House on the Historic Preservation Plan last February 27th at the recently renovated Madison Municipal
Building. What does this mean to the future of Madison and its residents?
The City of Madison — along with the Historic Preservation Plan Advisory Committee, and the consultant team (Legacy Architecture and Ce
Planning Studio LLC) — started to work on the first-ever Historic Preservation Plan for Madison just over a year ago. During this process and
based on public input, the Advisory Committee has identified the community's values, planning goals, objectives and strategies around historic
preservation to strengthen Madison’s significant places.
“We need to recognize our past to better shape our future,” said Amy Scanlon, Preservation Architect for the City of Madison. “We need more
people to join us to discuss the final details of the plan to define priorities and potential partnerships to make the Plan’s goals and objectives a
This project has brought some people together with the idea of recognizing and valuing places and stories that are important to Madison. “The
one land structure that made Madison unique was the Isthmus,” Oscar Mireles, Poet Laureate and Advisory Committee member, highlights in
one of his poems. “The strip of land between the various twin and cousin lakes Monona and Mendota, Wingra and Kegonsa”. And yes, it is in
places like the Isthmus that many historical scenes have been witnessed, but some haven’t been told.
“The first Black neighborhood was not in the South of Madison, it was actually close to the downtown in the Isthmus” Muriel Simms, a lifelong
Madison resident, educator, and Advisory Committee member, stated. “Most people do not know that the area bounded by Mifflin and Dayton,
Blair and Blount St. was the first Black neighborhood. It is important that we recognize the places that shaped what it is Madison today and that
includes places for people of color.”
Simms clearly remembers going to Saint Paul AME Church when she was a child, an African American Methodist Episcopal church, located at
631 E. Dayton St. “Only Black people would go to this church. It was the center of our Black community. There were eight Black families living in
the neighborhood. Many of those families and Black families living in other areas of Madison also went to the church.” Unfortunately, the majority
of the houses and the church in this early neighborhood were demolished in the 1980s to build what is there now.
The church community is important to many people. “Religious spaces are locations for community formation and social movement building”,
said Sergio Gonzalez, assistant professor at Marquette University and recent Ph.D. graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This is
not only the case for the African American community but for Latinos as well. “Churches have, throughout the entirety of the twentieth and twenty-
first centuries, served as vital locations where Latinos have practiced their faith, found resources, developed community organizations, and
created movements for social change. In Madison's Catholic community, we see that today in churches like Holy Redeemer, St. Joseph, and St.
Peter, which offer Spanish-language masses and opportunities for families to get involved in broader faith commitments.”
In many cases, some communities transform their environment by practicing traditions that are aligned to their culture and folklore.
The Historic Preservation Plan Advisory Committee will receive more community input from the Open House to finalize the content of the Plan. “It
is very important that we see different faces at this Open House so we hear from a wider variety of people. We are planning to have the final
DRAFT plan by early summer 2019” Bill Fruhling, Principal Planner said.
|Black Lives Matter at Schools Madison: Week Of Action
February 4 – 8
The week of February 4-8, Madison Teachers Incorporated (MTI) joined educators across the country in the National Black Lives Matter at School
Week of Action. The week of action used the principles of the Black Lives Matter movement and rich ethnic studies-based lessons to discuss
issues of race and equity
MTI adopted a National Education Association resolution explicitly calling for the hiring of more Black educators, an end to zero tolerance
discipline and the teaching of Black history and ethnic studies. MTI’s members are rallying behind this urgent work.
“We call all of our colleagues, administrators, students, families and community members to partner with us as we engage in the National Black
Lives Matter at School Week of Action,” said Kerry Motoviloff, past president and planning committee member. “We commit to analyzing and
challenging both our personal and systemic or institutional racialized beliefs and practices. This work is urgent and long overdue. This week is
one action embedded in the lifelong work of creating a society and school system where all of our students, staff, and families experience
respect, equity, and justice.”
MTI distributed over 1,400 BLM at School Madison t-shirts, held 3-weekend planning events attended by over 160 educators, and throughout the
district educators used ethnic study-based lessons, artwork, discussion circles, and daily messages to declare that Black Lives Matter at
School. Our hope is that this collective week of action brought critical reflection, honest conversations, and systemic change to the issues that
impact racial justice in education. This week is part of the ongoing work of our MTI mission, "Public schools have a moral responsibility to
provide quality education, broad and equitable in nature, to all students with no exceptions, exclusions or disparities"
Early College STEM Academy Students Earn
3.6 GPA From Madison College
From Madison College
MADISON, Wis. – High school students taking college courses through
Madison College’s Early College STEM Academy earned a 3.6 grade point
average in their first semester. Of the 26 students enrolled in the inaugural
cohort, 10 had a 4.0 GPA and 24 earned higher than 3.0 GPA.
Madison College staff developed the academy in partnership with Madison
Metropolitan School District. Juanita Comeau, director of College and
Career Transitions, and Dr. Kevin Mirus, STEM Center director, share
directorial duties for the academy.
Sixty-nine percent of the initial cohort are from an underrepresented
minority group and one-third are first generation college students.
“We looked for a group who would benefit from an early college
experience,” said Patti Schaefer, MMSD director of STEM.
Research shows students who have an early college experience have a
greater success rate later.
“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between May 2009 and May
2015, Wisconsin added 17,250 jobs in STEM fields — a 12.4 percent
increase. The STEM Academy helps satisfy the demand in those fields,”
said Mirus. In addition, the diverse group of students in the program
addresses certain demographic gaps in STEM career engagement.
In the fall, 100 additional high school students will join the Early College
STEM Academy when it moves to the new Goodman South Campus.