Wisconsin Biographies

  • Vel Phillips: Wisconsin Civil Rights Trailblazer and the March on Milwaukee

    According to Vel Phillips, it is hard to describe the wonder of the cherry blossoms in Washington D.C. to those who haven’t seen them because nothing compares.

  • Reflections from Dr. Maria J. Stephan’s Talk: The Power and Promise of Nonviolent Action

    As I walked briskly into Tripp Commons—a massive room with terrazzo floors and wood panel walls, nestled in the northwestern wing of Memorial Union’s second story—I was approached by Jeremiah Cahill, an affable gentleman who was eager to provide information about the Quaker-led climate action coalition to which he belonged.

  • Why Civil Resistance Works: Award-Winning Author Dr. Maria J. Stephan Speaks at UW-Madison

    At 7pm on November 15th, the UW Center for Interfaith Dialogue alongside the Interfaith Peace Working Group with help from the Nonviolence Project, hosted Dr. Maria J. Stephan for a talk on the efficacy of nonviolent campaigns.

  • A Militant Priest’s Nonviolence: Critical Reception of Father Groppi

    As marches proliferated in the Jim Crow South during the 1960s, movements also gathered in the North, protesting segregated housing and unequal treatment of Black Americans. In Milwaukee, a priest named Father Groppi—after witnessing the maltreatment of Black Milwaukeeans throughout his youth and adulthood—decided to use his position in church leadership to aid the efforts of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to achieve fair housing.

  • Barrier Breakers – Mercile Lee

    One of the most impactful methods of nonviolent activism at UW-Madison can be found in scholarships, the Chancellor Scholarship and Powers-Knapp Scholarship, now known as the Mercile Lee Scholars Program. This program, named after Mercile Lee, a lifelong advocate for Civil Rights and racial equality, aims “to attract, support and develop the abilities and potential of academically talented and outstanding individuals from underrepresented groups.”

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Wisconsin Protests

  • How Black Milwaukeeans Won the Fight for Fair Housing

    The proposed legislation, its author declared, was "doomed to a violent death the moment it was uttered… like so many other issues pertaining to racial discrimination that have been sent to the Mayor's office."

  • State Street Starbucks: Employees Push for Action

    The State & Lake Starbucks location has been a staple in Madison since the late 1990s, however this hub of student activity has become a beacon of unionization in the recent months as students have arrived back on campus.

  • The Gay Purges – A Brief History of Exclusion and Resilience

    The term Gay Purge is in reference to when UW-Madison “actively purged students identified as homosexuals” in 1962. However, the persecution of LGBTQ+ students at UW-Madison predated the 1960s.

  • University Failure and Student Response – Linking Today to the 1960s

    Earlier this month, a horrific, hate-filled video of a UW-Madison student spouting racist slurs, threats, and a desire to own enslaved people began circulating around the UW-Madison community. It didn’t take long for the video and responses to it to go viral online, resulting in a petition for the expulsion of the students involved with the video amassing tens of thousands of signatures.

  • Always Been Here – Wisconsin’s History of LGBTQ+ Presence and Activism

    In October of 2022, a well-known transphobic political commentator was invited to UW-Madison by a conservative student group and allowed to speak. What followed was an outraged student body, a clash of protestors and insults publicly thrown at university officials who spoke out for trans acceptance. The intensity of the event was felt throughout campus and sparked a discussion about LGBTQ+ presence and resistance throughout Wisconsin history, which this article explores.

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