Madison and Dane County Announce Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards
January 12, 2006
Madison – City of Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk today announced the recipients of their respective annual awards honoring community members who reflect the values of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The City and County will present the awards at the 21st Annual City-County Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance on Monday, January 16, at the Overture Center Capital Theater, 201 State Street, Madison. The program begins at 6:00 p.m.
The City of Madison named two recipients of its 2006 Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award: Mary Kay Baum and Sarah Fox. Dane County named Paul Kusuda and Jessica Doyle recipients of the 2006 Dane County Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Recognition Award. Additional information about each of the recipients is below.
City of Madison award recipients
There are two recipients of the City of Madison’s Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award for 2006. This annual award is given to individuals who have made outstanding and significant contributions in the spirit of brotherhood, sisterhood and harmony toward making Madison an ideal place in which to live.
In the category of “Adult Leader”, this year’s recipient is Mary Kay Baum, Director of the Madison-area Urban Ministry. Baum has been an outstanding leader serving Madison communities for over 30 years in a wide range of social justice issues including: the City of Madison’s Housing Committee, the Board of Public Welfare, HOMES (Housing Means Sheltered) for low-income housing advocacy, the Rainbow Coalition, the Dane Fund and the Human and Spiritual Concerns Committee of the Downtown Kiwanis Club. Sheila Spear, President of The Madison-area Urban Ministry, nominated Baum.
In the category of “Youth Leader”, this year’s recipient is Sarah Fox. Fox, a senior at Madison West, has already built a remarkably long record of volunteerism in her short life. Sarah is a five-time recipient of the Presidential Student Service Award for completing over 100 hours of service. Sarah earned this distinction by involving herself in multiple organizations and committees including: membership on the Dane County Youth Board, AISES (American Indian Science and Engineering Society), the Martin Luther King Day Planning Service Committee, BYFY (By Youth For Youth), the Neighborhood House, REACH (Reaching Expectations through Academic Achievement) and the Youth Service Day Planning Committee. Robin Pettersen, a family friend and mentor, nominated Fox.
“This year’s winners honor the legacy of Dr. King through their service to our community,” said Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz. “Mary Kay Baum has been a community leader on a remarkable range of social justice issues for decades. Sarah Fox is showing that it is never too early to start giving back to your community, and has achieved amazing things in a few short years. Both Mary Kay and Sarah are outstanding Madisonians who are making our city a better place for everyone.”
Baum and Fox were selected by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award Committee, which chooses recipients each year. The award has been given out annually since 1974.
Dane County award recipients
“I am delighted to announce that Paul Kusuda and Jessica Doyle were selected as joint-recipients of the 2006 Dane County Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Recognition Award. These individuals work tirelessly, in many capacities, to provide inspiration and guidance and to share their personal knowledge with so many in our community who find obstacles in the way of their hopes and dreams,” said Falk.
Jessica Doyle is the personification of Martin Luther King’s insistence that education is an essential tool required for the realization of equality and full citizenship. Jessica Doyle’s commitment to the critical importance of education began long ago. She was a Peace Corps teacher in Tunisia, a teacher with the Navajo Nation in Arizona, and has served the Madison Metropolitan School District in many capacities. Ms. Doyle is a very strong advocate for literacy, but takes that passion even further by working hard to foster a love for reading.
Doyle is a strong supporter of the Mann Educational Opportunity Fund, a pre-college program for first-generation college students, particularly African American and other students of color. “Perhaps a couple of quotes from a student who met Jessica Doyle while he was a sixth grade student at Cherokee Middle School would best sum up the tremendous impact that she has,” said Falk. In one of several letters that accompanied Jessica’s nomination, Uriah Harris wrote, ‘When she makes a point to help someone, Mrs. Doyle always makes sure that you actually do it, and she doesn’t give up on you.’ “Uriah Harris is a Mann scholar and began his freshman year at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee last fall,” said Falk.
Paul Kusuda has served the Dane County community in many ways for decades. His face may be familiar to many Dane County residents, but they may not know that Mr. Kusuda was the Deputy Director of the Bureau of Juvenile Services for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections in the 1980s; has been a member of the National Association of Social Workers since 1955; is a consultant to Madison/Obihiro City, Japan Sister Cities, Inc.; serves as a member of the Elderly Services Network of Dane County; is chair of the Wisconsin Organization for Asian Americans; is a volunteer consultant for United Refugee Services; is a board member for the Dane County Area Agency on Agency; and has numerous other commitments to help improve the lives of those in our community who often find themselves as spectators rather than participants in the many positive opportunities that Dane County has to offer.
“Mr. Kusuda was in a Japanese American internment camp during World War II. Instead of allowing that unfortunate and painful experience to make him bitter, Paul Kusuda has worked hard to heal those wounds by working very hard with the Japanese American Citizens League of Wisconsin and other organizations - - a labor of strength, dedication to the highest ideals of this country, and forgiveness that is consistent with Martin Luther King’s insistence that we must not succumb to the poison of hatred,” said Falk.
“Our community is very fortunate to have such committed, talented, tireless and courageous people working hard to make Dane County an even better place for all of us. We join together in congratulating Paul H. Kusuda and Jessica Doyle as the recipients of the 2006 Dane County Martin Luther King, Jr. Recognition Award,” said Falk.
Note: Please call Lesley Sillaman for photos of County recipients
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George Twigg, 608-266-4611 (Mayor Cieslewicz)
Lesley Sillaman, 608-267-8823 (County Executive Falk)