Wisconsin’s 29th MLK Celebration

Archived 2009 State of Wisconsin 29th Annual MLK Celebration “Dare To Live Your Dream” The Capital City Hues/012609/State MLK Celebration
Heidi M Pascual, Madison Hues Online News Edition

The annual Wisconsin State celebration honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Capitol Rotunda on January 19, 2009 was definitely different from the previous years. It was extra meaningful to everyone in attendance because the next day, January 20, would be the inauguration of the first African American President of the United States, Barack Obama. People of  all color who came to celebrate MLK’s Holiday also celebrated Obama’s ascendancy to the White House. It was a moment that all agreed was symbolic of MLK’s dream.  It was a moment of jubilation, for Obama’s success reflected what each and every youth of color can dream and strive to achieve. Madison Poet Laureate Fabu read her poem for the occasion, titled “I’ll Make a Difference,” which set the tone for the whole event in many ways.
Listen To The Program Recorded At Wisconsin’s State Capitol 1.19.2009
Part A
Part B
Musical numbers were performed by Highway to Heaven, MLK Community Choir (with pianist Michael Hillestad), Soles-Musica Mexicana, and soprano Debbie Biddle, accompanied by Leotha Stanley on the piano. Diane Harris of UW-Madison First Wave delivered “For Emmett Till,” and Moziah Clark delivered  the “I Have A Dream” excerpt (a yearly tradition ‘assigned’ to a selected young student of color to deliver).
Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker Keith Beauchamp, a Louisiana native, delivered the keynote address. Beauchamp is known for his documentary
“The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till,” that caused the reopening of the 51-year old murder case of Emmett Till by the U.S. Department of Justice.  Jonathan Overby, Africasong Founder and executive director, with Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton, presented this year’s MLK awards to Will Allen and the Madison-area Urban Ministry.
Will Allen is an urban farmer who transforms the cultivation, production, and delivery of healthy foods to underserved urban populations, while the Madison-
area Urban Ministry has worked for social justice for over three decades. Allen’s farming methods and educational programs started the nonprofit Growing Power,
which now produces health foods for uban centers. MUM is an interfaith coalition of congregations and individuals of all beliefs whose mission is to stand with
the poor and hurting, neighbors working together for social change. (An excerpt from the program booklet) Toya Washington of WISN-TV in Milwaukee, (co) emceed this memorable event in Madison.


“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. visited UW-Marathon County (UWMC)  in 1967 at the behest of the S.G.A. (Student Government Association), and spoke to a packed house of students, staff, and community members – such a large crowd it had to be moved into the Youth Building in the adjacent county park. I have many photographs from that day and also a recording of his speech. He speaks of social justice and of the Vietnam War. One additional element of the speech that is remarkable is the vocal trace, which starts very small and increases with perfect regularity through the entire 70.5 minutes to the climax.”
-Dr. Kevin Montgomery, Regional Executive Office and Dean, UW Colleges North Region.  Use of the attached audio and photos provided by UW-Marathon County.




MLK, Jr. Birthday Celebration, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 9.08.44 PMThe crowd gathered for the 2016 MLK, Jr. Birthday celebration (at -9 degrees)

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 9.04.45 PM …paying rapt attention…

Color Guard, and Rev. Dr. Leonard Thompson, Sr., pastor, Mt. Zion Baptist Church

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Dr. Overby opens the celebration with a solo…”I’ve Been In The Storm”

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University of Illinois Black Chorus

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Leotha Stanley…

UW-Madison Professor of Music, Richard Davis receives MLK, Jr. Heritage Award

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Temper High School Wind Ensemble


Guest speaker Aja Brown, Mayor, Compton, CA

12 year old Zaria Roller recites MLK, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream”

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Dr. Overby thanks the crowd for coming out

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2015 MLK, Jr., Birthday Celebration

1. Panorama-1

2. MLK 35th crowd-1

3. V Phillips Dais
The crowd, MLK, Jr. 2015 Celebration
5. Leotha Stanley & choir
Leotha Stanley, pianist with Tamera Stanley, soloist with Illinois Choir
JLO, MLK, JR., 2015 1
Dr. Jonathan Overby leads the crowd in “Soon, and Very Soon”
9. Jadon N. Colbert-dignitaries
Jadon Colbert performs MLK, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and is received  by the Mayor and the Governor
10. MLK Gov. Walker-1
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker declares “MLK, Jr. Day”
11. MLK Van Jones-1
Van Jones, 2015 plenary speaker




2014 MLK, Jr. Birthday Celebrations, and More

Crowd, 10


Choir, again

Lighthouse Chamber Singers, Jonathan Overby, Director

8. Magazines:1 copy 2

Latino Strings Arts…

Ho Chunk Nation Dancers

Mayor Soglin & Michelle Alexander, author, The New Jim Crow

Highway to Heaven…

JO and Mom