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Dane County and Madison Announce Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards

For more information contact:

Lesley Sillaman, 267-8823
George Twigg, 266-4611

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 1/11/2005

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive
Madison – The City of Madison and Dane County today announced the recipients of their respective annual awards honoring community members who reflect the values of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The City and County will present the awards at the 20th Annual City-County Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance on Monday, January 17, at the University of Wisconsin Union Theater, 800 Langdon Street, Madison. The program begins at 6:00 p.m.

The City of Madison named two recipients of its 2005 Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award: Bert Zipperer and Jammie Davis. Dane County named Barbara Golden and Will Williams. 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 2005. This annual award is given to City of Madison residents 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 “Unrewarded Efforts by a Long-Term Leader”, this year’s recipient is Bert Zipperer. Zipperer has been an outstanding leader for over 20 years in a wide range of social justice issues including tenant rights, to Native American sovereignty, GLBT issues, fair trade, civil liberties and many others. He is a long-standing member and former president of Madison’s Equal Opportunity Commission. Zipperer was nominated by Steven Morrison, Executive Director of the Madison Jewish Community Council.

In the category of “Youth Leader”, this year’s recipient is Jammie Davis. Davis, a senior student at Malcom Shabazz City High School, has already built a remarkably long record of activism in her short life. Davis has had to face many personal challenges, and is actively using her experiences to help others. She has met Mikhail Gorbachev, the Dalai Lama and Muhammad Ali through her work and activism. Currently a peer counselor volunteer for GLBTQ youth at Briar Patch, Davis has also been involved in “Call for Peace”, the Leadership Training Institute, the Diversity and Reliance Workshop, the National GLSEN Conference and many other activities. Davis was nominated by Sally K. Schultz, Principal of Malcom Shabazz City High School.

“This year’s winners are both reflections of Dr. King’s values, both in how they live their lives and in their service to the community,” said Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz. “Bert Zipperer has been a tireless advocate for the disadvantaged, the dispossessed and the unheard members of our community for decades. Jammie Davis is a young leader of remarkable courage who is already making a difference at a very young age. Both Bert and Jammie reflect the best of Madison, and I am proud to have this chance to recognize their work.”

Zipperer and Davis 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 Will Williams and Barbara Golden were selected as joint-recipients of the 2005 Dane County Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Recognition Award. These individuals work tirelessly, in many capacities, to provide hope, energy, enthusiasm and the courage to create a better world for so many in our community,” said Falk.

The recipients:

Will Williams, of DeForest, is a strong advocate for peace and speaks out on the futility of war as a means to resolve disputes. Williams is a veteran of two tours of duty in Vietnam. Williams still has grenade fragments that remain embedded in his head and his experiences in Vietnam compel him to fight for peace.

Williams and his wife Dorothy “Dot” Williams comprise one-half of the Gospelaires gospel group that travels and performs around the area to share traditional gospel music with diverse audiences.

“Will Williams’ life is dedicated to promoting peace and expanding communication between people, and he does it in a variety of ways,” said Falk. “He does it by sharing his music, by public speaking, and by engaging in acts of kindness in the community such as providing rides to veterans to help them make medical and other appointments. Will Williams is the personification of Dr. King’s local and international commitment to peace, harmony and respect for all human beings.”

Barbara Golden is a tireless advocate for families and children in Dane County. Barbara is the founder of the Madison Area Family Advisory/Advocacy Coalition, an organization whose mission is to inform, support, and advocate for students and families of color in the public schools through high school based clusters. Through this organization Barbara has worked to assist parents and students at various schools with a variety of issues, including issues with transient/homeless student hot lunch programs and working to elect several minority candidates to the Madison School Board.

“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 Will Williams and Barbara Golden as the recipients of the 2005 Dane County Martin Luther King, Jr. Recognition Award,” said Falk.

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