2023 MLK Humanitarian Awardees
The King Coalition thanks 2023 MLK Humanitarian Award recipients Dr. Charles Taylor and the late Wayne Strong for their lifetime of service that embodied the spirit of Dr. King.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition
Commemorating the King Holiday in Madison & Dane County since 1985.
Monday, January 16, 2023 – Official Madison/Dane County MLK Day Observance
The 38th annual Madison-Dane County MLK Day Observance will return in-person on Monday, January 16, 2023 at the Overture Center for the Arts in the Capitol Theater, 201 State Street in downtown Madison. There will be a freedom songs sing-in led by Tamera Stanley from 5:15-5:45 PM following by the MLK Day Observance from 6:00-7:30 PM.
The King Coalition is excited welcome Donzaleigh Abernathy to Madison as our keynote speaker to mark our return back to an in-person event again at the Overture Center in downtown Madison. Ms. Abernathy is the Goddaughter of Martin Luther King , Jr., Daughter of Rev. Ralph Abernathy, and an award-winning actress and writer. She was born in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement as her Father and his best friend, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. established the nonviolent social movement which changed the course of American History. Her life began with the bombing of her parents’ home and her Father’s First Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. She and her siblings witnessed and participated in all of the major Civil Rights Movements and Marches. She and her siblings, along with the King children integrated Spring Street Elementary School which led to mass integration of schools in the South in 1965. She witnessed from her home the integral decisions that helped shape American Laws with the creation of the Civil Rights Bill, the Public Accommodations Act, the Voting Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act, Affirmative Action, the National Food Stamp Program, the Free Meal Program for Low Income Students and the creation of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. In 2004, she authored, Partners To History, Martin Luther King, Ralph David Abernathy and the Civil Rights Movement which was nominated as one of the “Best Books for Young Adults” by the American Library Association. She was a contributing author to the Smithsonian Institute’s book In the Spirit of Martin. Her play Birmingham Sunday is a winner of the Tanne Foundation Award.
We are also excited to welcome Telisa Yancey, President of American Family Insurance, as MC for this year’s observance. This annual observance includes presentation of the MLK Humanitarian Award by City of Madison Mayor, Satya Rhodes-Conway and Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. Noted musicians Leotha and Tamera Stanley will again lead the MLK Community Choir.
Click here for a listing of other MLK Day events hosted by the King Coalition and other community groups.
BETH ISRAEL CENTER
CAPITAL CITY HUES
CONGREGATION SHAAREI SHAMAYIM
DELTA SIGMA THETA, INC. MADISON ALUMNAE CHAPTER
GRAMLING AND ASSOCIATES
REALTORS ASSOCIATION OF SOUTH CENTRAL WI
TEMPLE BETH EL
Leotha & Tamera Stanley and the MLK Community Choir
Choles Floral for donating floral arrangements
United Way of Dane County & Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice for supporting the Call to Action
Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., Madison Alumnae Chapter for assisting with the collection
First Unitarian Society for hosting the MLK Ecumenical Service
Urban League of Greater Madison for serving as fiscal agent
Dane County Office for Equity & Inclusion for in-kind printing of the program book
Madison Public Library for hosting the Youth Call to Service event
About The King Coalition
The King Coalition was established in the fall of 1985 as a community group to plan the official City of Madison and Dane County observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. The planning of this holiday celebration takes on special significance as people from all walks of life gather in the spirit of true brotherhood and sisterhood to commemorate the life and accomplishments of this renowned leader of the Civil Rights movement. The Coalition consists of representatives from religious communities, organized labor, the UW-Madison, public schools, peace groups, service organizations, and city and county government. Other individuals have joined because of their personal commitment to equal rights and justice for all people.
Important Public Health Notice
The King Coalition is excited to return to an in-person event this year. However, we are proceeding with continued caution due to ongoing public health concerns. We will encourage continued public health protocols including masking for those who might have health conditions placing them at high risk. The event will also be livecast on Madison CityChannel and WORT FM for those who may need to avoid public gatherings. In addition, the MLK Free Community Dinner which traditionally kicks-off the MLK Day weekend will be cancelled again this year with strong hopes that the dinner can return next year. Instead, the King Coalition will support efforts by Little John’s to provide free community meals to those in need.