Our Madison Plan is
FUBU...For Us By US
|Clockwise from upper left: Kinfolk performs during the
reception; People networking during the reception;
Getting ready for the presentation; The presentation of
the plan presentation; The presentation of the plan
steps learning sheet with resources complete with books, music and television show examples that highlight tools that speak to African
American interest as well as Madison area organizations we can get involved with to move forward in the plan areas of Education,
Incarceration, Economic Development, Family and Community Wellness, and Leadership and Capacity Development. In essence, they address
issues that Gloria Ladson-Billings said to African Americans in our community were "asset rich but access poor." It was about creating a path
to the assets. In Darrell's remarks, he acknowledged it is time for the Black community to bring its assets to bear to improve our lives. The
richness includes what Milele brings and what Brandy brings as they sat side by side at the unveiling.
Rev. Alex Gee then took the stage and delivered what became part sermon, part fireside chat, part tell it like it TI is, part keeping it real in his
unveiling of the plan.
He talked about us being audacious and doing things for ourselves. He acknowledged how we overcame slavery, Jim Crow, separate but
equal, civil rights to get to where we are now. He quoted Gloria Ladson-Billings as to sharing with him the fact that integration removed 35,000
black teachers. It had a huge impact on us. He then read a poem about being audacious. He said we are going to dare to do the things we need
to do for us. He presented a slide acknowledging Black leaders in the Madison community who have been in this fight, doing the heavy lifting
on behalf of the Black community for years. He shared how Nehemiah Corp. was able to work with incarcerated men to help make the
community safer. He said we get to say who is a leader. There is leadership in many and we need to see it. He said "We (the Black community)
got this." You need all types. You need agitators and acknowledged YGB. He said there is room for everyone to do a part. Even though it will be
Black lead, we need the whole community to work together to get this done. He said this is a historical moment when Black leaders are the
thought leaders, creating solutions for us.
He then called to the stage the original coalition members, then the co- chairs, then the advisory team. Then he brought Paul Fanlund to the
stage. Alex thanked the Capital Times for underwriting the event. Paul talked about the Evjue Foundation and donated $150,000 to seed the
effort. Then Alex announced $20,000 from Forward Community Investments and said we needed $20 million to do this plan to generate $1
million per year to operate. He said it was like a tithe. To get started $1.6 million is needed by the end of the year to get the plan going. He
continued to stress the need for resources. At the end of the program, attendees were invited to move about the room to the designated tables
with details of the five initiatives. Sign up sheets were available to all interested in participating. Each area had crowds of people interested
and ready to engage.
It was a magical night that was set up For Us By Us to Help and Support US moving forward to make Madison "Our Madison."
For more information on how to get involved, visit mobilizemadison.com.
By Dawn B. Crim
The reveal of "Our Madison" Plan by the Justified Anger Coalition was like a page
out of FUBU's strategic plan. It was For Us By Us from start to finish. It started off
with live music by KinFolk, our Madison grown Neo-Soul band playing our favorite
songs from Motown to Drake. There was a wide open reception space for mingling
and connecting among friends and family. Beverages flowed alcohol options and
lemonade, fruit punch, tea and coffee, something for everyone. The kids were happy
because they could see the drinks in the clear glass containers and get them
themselves. Food was central in the middle of room with several chicken options
including fried chicken wings, fruits, veggies, and desserts. People could choose to
sit up front "at the show," hang in the back with friends and connect with friends,
work colleagues or their "peeps." The atmosphere was electric and comfortable
where African American's felt like we were throwing the event, not going to
someone else's party. It felt like we were hosting an event for us.
Darrell Bazzell opened the plan announcement to 700 plus in a standing room
overflowing room. On every chair was an executive summary of the plan and next