Sheray Wallace is the recipient of the 2017 Jeffrey Clay Erlanger Civility in Public Discourse Award, Mayor Paul Soglin announced today.
The award was created by the Common Council to honor Madison residents who exemplify Jeff Erlanger’s model of fairness, openness, and civility in public discourse. Jeff, who passed away in 2007, was committed to public service. He understood that through civil debate and effective representation those with varying opinions could come together on how to solve issues within the community. Mr. Erlanger served on the City of Madison’s Economic Development Commission and chaired the Commission on People with Disabilities as well as the Board of Directors of the Community Living Alliance.
Sheray Wallace is the creator of the Meadowood Health Partnership, which focuses on health education programs at the Meadowood Center through topics such as diabetes, mental health, trauma, and healthy living. She does her work by collaborating with Joining Forces for Families (JFF), the faith community, residents, and other non-profits on the southwest side of Madison. She has also served as the neighborhood ambassador from Meadowood with the Neighborhood Organizing Institute, a program operated by the Lussier Center and Goodman Neighborhood Center.
“After reading the application nominating Sheray, we are very excited about her selection,” said Pam Erlanger, Jeff’s mother. “Her work to empower her neighbors in the Meadowood area really exemplifies Jeff’s commitment to those who may not always have a voice in a community debate.”
“It is always very humbling to honor Jeff’s memory with this award and I think Sheray Wallace is an excellent choice,” said Mayor Soglin. “Her work in bringing neighbors together with outside organizations for the betterment of our community is just what Jeff strived to do. I am sure he would be pleased with this selection.”
The individual nominating Sheray stated, “Sheray organizes community breakfasts and suppers to bring our neighborhood together and to discuss topics important to the well-being of our neighborhood. Violence, especially that involving youth, is an issue in our neighborhood that Sheray fights to eliminate through gestures large and small, including her organization of the Stop the Violence march.”
The Erlanger Award is an annual recognition and will be presented at the Nov. 21 Common Council meeting, which is the closest meeting to Jeffrey Erlanger’s birthday of November 30.