Wisconsin Celebrates The Life and Legacy Of MLK, 2015 Event Planning Underway


Monday, January 19, 2015

From the Capitol Rotunda in Madison, Wisconsin celebrated its 35th Annual “Tribute and Ceremony” honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This event, produced and hosted by Dr. Jonathan Overby, illumined the life and legacy of Dr. King in words and music with guest speaker Van Jones, Milwaukee’s Latino Strings Orchestra and the University of Illinois Black Chorus. Anthony “Van” Jones is civil rights activist, author, attorney, and CNN Political Contributor. Attorney Jones is the president and co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, a platform for bottom-up, people-powered innovations to help “fix” the United States. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

The program aired live on the Ideas Network and on the NPR News/Classical Network of Wisconsin Public Radio.

Program Participants

(In the Order of Appearance)

Senator Tammy Baldwin

Deana Wright

University of Illinois Black Chorus

MLK Tribute Honor Guard

Gerald Cleveland, Sr.

Leotha Stanley & One A Chord with Tammy Stanley

Dr. Jonathan Overby

Dinorah Márquez

Latino Arts Strings

Dr. Ollie Watts Davis

Van Jones

Governor Scott Walker

Jadon Colbert


Tammy Baldwin is the junior United States Senator from Wisconsin and a member of the Democratic Party. She previously served as the U.S. Representative from Wisconsin’s 2nd congressional district from 1999 to 2013 and served three terms in the Wisconsin Assembly representing the 78th district.

Deana Wright co-host for this year’s MLK event was a co-anchor of WISC3’s Television Morning Team. With an extensive background in radio, Deana has worked for KJLH/Los Angeles, WVMV/Detroit, WRNB & WJJZ/Philadelphia, WBLS/New York City, and WTDY/Madison. August of 2013 hosted ’Madison Magazine TV’, May of 2014 she began co-hosting ’News 3 This Morning’.

The University of Illinois Black Chorus is conducted by Dr. Ollie Watts Davis, is a mixed chorus at the University of Illinois was founded in 1968, and the following year received the co-sponsorship of the African-American Cultural program and the School of Music Choral Division. Originally organized by four students, and later under the direction of School of Music faculty with student officers, the Black Chorus has achieved and maintained a reputation for presenting inspiring concerts and demonstrating high standards of musical performance. Members perform the music of Black Americans, ranging from the Negro spiritual, anthems and formal music to traditional and contemporary gospel, jazz, and rhythm and blues.

MLK Tribute Honor Guard – Trumpeter Savannah Valigura, drummer Ken Clary with Pipers Tom Greenhalgh and Sean Michael Dargan, Madison Police Department, UW-Madison Police Department, Capitol Police, Prince Hall Masonic Order – Capitol City Lodge #2, Wisconsin Army and Air National Guard with MSgt Richard Goddard, TSgt Rhonda Martinson, TSgt Nathan Sullivan, SFC Heath Whitcher and SSG Don Allred.

Gerald Cleveland, Sr. rendered the Invocation and is a member of the Bear Clan and self-employed as a Native Consultant providing consulting services to other tribes, businesses and corporations across the United States. He is a Native American Church leader and former Legislator. He worked for the American Indian Alcoholism Council for 30 years. Cleveland is also a champion traditional dancer, winning numerous competitions nationwide. He is a proud father to 6 children and grandfather to 42 to grandchildren.

Leotha Stanley is an accomplished composer, author, arranger, teacher, pianist and conductor. He has written two books of music for children, composed scores of songs and has been the music director Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Madison for over 35 years. He leads the ensemble One A Chord.

Dr. Jonathan Overby is the executive producer of Wisconsin’s Annual Tribute To Dr. King, an ethnomusicologist and Executive Director of Africasong Communications. Overby, a lyric baritone, clinician, conference presenter and lecturer is the Executive Producer and host of the world music program “Higher Ground with Jonathan Overby” on Wisconsin Public Radio. Overby is a member of the doctoral faculty at Edgewood College in Madison where he also a Post-Doctoral Fellow. His extensive travels and research explore World Sacred Music Traditions with the goal of learning if increased understanding of the other (those who are different) has the potential for reducing human hatred.

Dinorah Márquez director of Milwaukee’s Latino Arts Strings was named Teacher of the Year by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Music Association in 2012. In 2010 Maestra Márquez was invited back to the White House with several of her students as part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s efforts to promote the arts. In 2009 she was named Milwaukee Artist of the Year by the Milwaukee Arts Council. Márquez was born in Mexico City. At the age of 10, she immigrated with her family to El Paso, Texas, where she began her musical studies with violinists James Angerstein and Abraham Chavez. Ms. Márquez did her undergraduate studies in American Studies, at Northwestern University, and a minor in International Studies at the University Florence, Italy. Ms. Márquez was Assistant Press Secretary for the late Mayor Harold Washington, Chicago’s first African American mayor. After several years of working with his rainbow coalition, she returned to her musical activities. She received Masters Degrees in Viola performance and String Pedagogy from UW Milwaukee. She also received a Certificate in Chamber Music from the Leonard Sorkin International Institute of Chamber Music where she studied with the members of the Fine Arts Quartet. Upon graduation, Ms. Márquez established the national award winning Latino Arts Strings Program.

Latino Arts Strings Program is a national award winning established in the fall of 2002, at the United Community Center (UCC) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and housed in the Bruce Guadalupe Community Schools. Created and directed by Dinorah Márquez, this pre-college music training program provides Latino students with instruments, music materials, individual lessons, small group, and orchestra and mariachi ensemble lessons every week, all for a token fee of $65 school year. The program reaches over 200 children, ages 5-17 that may otherwise never have the opportunity to receive serious, music instruction. In 2008, LASP won the National Coming up Taller Award, given by a Presidential Committee and the National Endowment for the Arts and the Humanities. In 2012, the LASP received the National AfterSchool Innovators Award and the Wilson Center for the Performing Arts’ Eddie Award.

Attorney Vel R. Phillips (unable to attend) was born on Milwaukee’s South Side. Phillips won a national scholarship to attend Howard University, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1946. In 1953, Phillips ran for a seat on the school board of the Milwaukee Public Schools, and was the first black candidate to make it past the non-partisan city-wide primary election, though she lost the runoff. In 1956, Phillips became the first woman and the first African- American member of the Common Council in Milwaukee; since Common Council members were called “Alderman,” she was given the title “Madam Alderman” by local officials. Phillips resigned from the Common Council in 1971 and was appointed to the Milwaukee County judiciary, the first woman judge in Milwaukee and the first African American judge in Wisconsin. In 1978, Phillips made history as the first woman and first non-white elected Secretary of State in Wisconsin. Phillips currently serves on the board of the Vel Phillips Foundation, a charitable foundation created in 2006, whose mission is “to help establish equality and opportunity for minorities through social justice, education, equal housing opportunities, and jobs.”

Dr. Ollie Watts Davis founding director of the Black Sacred Music Symposium, is a professor of voice at the University of Illinois and an accomplished soprano who made her New York debut at Carnegie Hall in 1990. Davis has appeared with many leading symphony orchestras, including those in San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Houston, Dallas, and Milwaukee. Her international activities include a performances of Mozart’s C Minor Mass on tour with Orquesta Sinfonica Simon Bolivar of Caracas, Venezuela; performances at the celebration of the founding of the Pakistani American Cultural Center in Karachi; concerts in the Canary Islands with the Chicago Sinfonietta; recitals on the University Artists Concert Series in San Jose, Costa Rica; and performances of Handel’s Messiah with the Orquestra Sinfonica de Asturias in Oviedo, Spain.

Van Jones CNN Political Contributor Van Jones is the president and co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, a platform for bottom-up, people-powered innovations to help fix the U.S. economy. A Yale- educated attorney, Van has written two New York Times best sellers: The Green Collar Economy, the definitive book on green jobs, and Rebuild the Dream, a roadmap for progressives in 2012 and beyond. In 2009, Van worked as the green jobs advisor to the Obama White House. There, he helped run the interagency process that oversaw $80 billion in green energy recovery spending.

Van’s hard work has been acknowledged by a number of prestigious institutions and publications. His awards and honors include being named to Rolling Stones’s “12 Leaders Who Get Things Done” in 2012, TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2009, Fast Company’s “12 Most Creative Minds on Earth” and Essence Magazine’s “25 Most Inspiring African Americans” in 2008. Van also served as distinguished visiting professor at Princeton University and a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and American Progress Action Fund.

Van is also the founder of Green For All, a national organization working to get green jobs to disadvantaged communities. He was the main advocate for the Green Jobs Act. Signed into law by George W. Bush in 2007, the Act was the first piece of federal legislation to codify the term “green jobs.” Under the Obama administration, it has resulted in $500 million for green job training nationally. While best known as a pioneer in the environmental movement, Van has been hard at work in social justice for nearly two decades, fashioning solutions to some of urban America’s toughest problems. He is the co-founder of two social justice organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Color of Change. Van also finds the time to serve on the board of several organizations and non-profits, including National Resource Defense Council, Presidio Graduate School and Demos. Van currently splits his time between Los Angeles and Washington D.C.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R), is the 45th Governor of Wisconsin. He was first elected Governor in 2010 and was sworn in on January 3, 2011. Walker was re-elected to a second term on November 4, 2014.

Jadon Nathanael Colbert age 9, is a student at St. James Catholic School in Madison, Wisconsin and a member of the Madison Youth Choir. Jadon’s favorite subject is reading. His hobby is singing.


MLK Heritage Awards

1989 Ed Holmes

1990 Darlene Hancock

1991 Joann Griffin

1992 Melva McShane

1993 Frank Brown

1994 Pia Kenny-James

1995 Dora Silva

1996 Hermetta Williams

1997 Milele Chikasa Anana

1998 Mona Winston Peter Munoz, Leotha Stanley

1999 Darlyne J. Barlow, Betty Franklin Hammonds, Milwaukee’s CDLCU William Ney

2000 Milwaukee’s MPCM Mark Fraire, Mattie Belle Woods

2001 Bessie Gray, Carlos Reyes, Habitat For Humanity, Int’l

2002 Romilia Schuelter, Paul Barrows, Midge Miller, United Migrant Opportunity Services

2003 Marlene Cummings

2004 Valarie Daniels-Carter, Steve Braunginn

2005 Milt McPike, Sr.

2007 American Jewish Committee – Milwaukee Chapter

2008 Ferne Yangyeite Caulker, Gloria J. Ladson-Billings, Clarence Garrett

2009 Will Allen, Madison-Area Urban Ministry

2010 Sharyl Kato, James Gramling, Jonathan Gramling

2011 Ricardo Gonzalez, Mary Louise Mussoline, Paul Higginbotham

2012 ESTHER-Faith Communities United for Justice, Michael Reyes, Debra H. Amesqua

2013 Dr. Howard J. Fuller, Father James Groppi, Posthumously

2014 Anita Herrera, Ronald C. Dunlap, Dr. Luiz “Tony” Baez, Dr. Eugene Farley, Posthumously

2015 Vel R. Phillips, Dinorah Márquez


2015 MLK Sponsorship

Principle Sponsorship

American Family Insurance

Jack Salzwedel, Chairman & CEO Dan Schultz, President & COO The Evjue Foundation, Inc.

Major Sponsorship

Alliant Energy

Patricia Leonard Kampling Chairman, President and CEO United Way of Dane County Leslie Ann Howard, President and CEO

Support Sponsorship

Wisconsin Public Television

James Steinbach, Director

Wisconsin Public Radio

Mike Crane, Director


Malcolm Brett, Director,
Broadcast & Media Innovations, UW-Extension

CUNA Mutual Group
Robert N. Trunzo, CEO

Contributing Sponsorship

Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club

Steve Zanoni, Manager

Heartland Litho

Support Services

Office Of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker


Wisconsin Public Television Production Crew

Russell Awe, Tommy Bruno, Lynn DeRolf, John Gerbig, John Goodwin, Gregory Happ, Cassie Kienert, Mike Remington, Curt Sorensen, Jessie Brandmeier, Donna Crane, Mike Foley, Marcus Germain, Mike Hansen, Billy Johnson Veronica Plum Taylor Shiff, Ben White

Wisconsin Public Radio Production Staff

Tim Allen – Manager, Radio Operations Control – Joe Hardtke, Engineer/Stage Manager – Aubrey Ralf, Radio Operations Control – Dave Potratz – Network Operator – Sheryl Gasser, Ideas Network Director, Peter Bryant, News & Classical Music Network Director – Dr. Jonathan Overby, Executive Producer & Director

Public Address System

Intellasound Productions

Realtime Captioning

Riverside Captioning Company

2015 MLK Planning Committe ​

Oscar Mireles, Chair Rev. Vern Visick, Vice Chair Amy T. Overby Karen Martin Debbie Biddle, Dr. Jonathan L. Overby

A 2015 Africasong Communications Production All Rights Reserved

Special Thanks

Senator Tammy Baldwin • John Gerbig • Associate Producers Debbie Biddle and Karen Martin • Sue Barica • Carola & Clyde Gaines • The Women of Delta Sigma Theta sorority • Leotha Stanley • Rev. Jackie Colbert • Mt. Zion Baptist Church • Molly Stenz • Norman Stockwell • W.O.R.T. Radio • Marketing Departments of WPT & WPR • Erin McConnell, Asst. Stage Manager Stage Hands – Ramaun Harris and Dwight McDonald • Erik Norin • Michael Phillips • MSgt USAF Richard Cater • Leotha Stanley, Jr. • Mallory Wipperman • Kelly J. Bradley • Edgewood High School’s Julia Slotnick & Student and Parent Volunteers: Michael Elliott, President, Robert Growney, Principal www.edgewoodhs.org • MLK 2015 Production Crew: Ryan Helgeson, Ian Benton, Steve Scott, Ramaun Harris • Canaan Media Solutions • Donta Brown.

Visit www.wpt.org to view the entire event online. If you’d like a souvenir program booklet, send your full mailing address to: MLK2015, 82 University Ave. Madison, Wisconsin 53706 or by e-mail: overby@wpr.org (Supply is limited).

36th MLK Celebration – Monday, January 18 at the Capitol Rotunda in Madison. The event will illumine the role of women in the Civil Rights Movement then and now.

For more information contact: Dr. Jonathan Overby, Executive Producer, 608 279-7000, toll free 877 279-7077; email: overby@wpr.org; twitter:@jloverby1

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