MADISON (WKOW) – The State Capitol and Executive Residence Board (SCERB) voted unanimously to approve a statue of Vel Phillips on the grounds of the Wisconsin State Capitol.
Phillips is a civil rights activist and the first African-American woman elected to a statewide post. This isn’t the only first it holds in Wisconsin history; She is also the first African-American woman to graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School, the first African-American woman and first elected to the Milwaukee Common Council and the first African-American judge of the State of Wisconsin.
Now, she will be the first person of color to be commemorated on state property.
The conversation about how to properly pay tribute to Phillips began in early 2021, when the SCERB subcommittee was formed. Ahead of the subcommittee, petitions and an open letter from Michael Johnson, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County, lobbied for the tribute in June 2020.
The statue in his image will be erected at the South Hamilton Street entrance to the Capitol.
The Boys and Girls Club of Dane County Vel Phillips task force is holding a press conference Monday afternoon to discuss the vote.