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Stubbs Celebrates Approval for Vel Phillips Statue PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Shelia Stubbs Press   
Friday, 12 April 2024 15:07

vel-phillipsState Capitol and Executive Residence Board votes to approve and move forward with the construction of Capitol statue for civil rights pioneer Velvalea “Vel” Hortense Rodgers Phillips.


MADISON, WI – On Friday April 12, 2024, the State Capitol and Executive Residence Board reconvened to discuss the planned Capitol Statue of civil rights pioneer Velvalea “Vel” Hortense Rodgers Phillips.  Representative Shelia Stubbs (D-Madison) is a member of the Vel Phillips Statue Task Force which spearheaded this effort.

After the meeting, Representative Shelia Stubbs (D-Madison) released the following statement: 

“Vel Phillips is more than just a name in our history books. As the first African American woman to graduate from the UW-Madison Law School, the first African American and first woman elected to the Milwaukee Common Council, and the first African American judge in Wisconsin, Vel's legacy is one of 'firsts'. Also, as the first African American woman Secretary of State of Wisconsin.  Warren “Dale” Phillips and his wife Vel became the first husband-and-wife legal team admitted to the federal bar in Wisconsin. Mrs. Phillips was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. As a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., she was my sorority sister, it was my honor to serve as a member of the Vel Phillips Taskforce and to see this statue come into fruition.

shelia-stubbsThere is still so much work that we must do to continue making Wisconsin a diverse and inclusive home to all. The creation of this statue represents a great step of progress. This statue would not be possible without the tireless work of so many advocates. I would like to recognize and thank the other members of the task force, including Vel Phillips’ son, Attorney Michael Phillips, President and CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County Michael Johnson, Vel Phillips Task Force Chair  David Endres, Marilu Knode, Jake Brown, and other members of the task force.  A special thank you to artist  Radcliffe Bailey for his design. Thank you Governor Tony Evers for your support. Also, thanks to my democrat and republican colleagues for their bipartisan support and so many others who dedicated their time and effort to seeing this monumental project to completion.

I would also like to extend my thanks to every single donor to this project, constituent that reached out in favor of this proposal, and person that has followed this project throughout its duration. I am inspired by the memory of Vel Phillips every day, and seeing this statue on its way to the Capitol serves as a reminder of everything she fought for. I also want to thank the State Capitol and Executive Residence Board for voting to approve and move forward with the construction. With this approval, our Wisconsin State Capitol is one step closer to showing the diversity that our state is truly built on.

I am excited to see our state recognize trailblazers in history who are from groups that have been denied equal recognition. It is long overdue that we recognize the incredible accomplishments of Black women in Wisconsin. As we move forward with the construction of this statue, I am excited to not only commemorate the life and legacy of Vel Phillips, but to inspire future generations of leaders to push the boundaries of what they believe to be possible.”

Last Updated on Saturday, 13 April 2024 09:02
 
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