Home Most Influential Black Power 2016: The 44 Most Influential African Americans in Wisconsin

Black Power 2016: The 44 Most Influential African Americans in Wisconsin


Last year, we published our first Black Power list, naming 28 of the most influential African Americans in Wisconsin. I intended this list to highlight the beauty of the diversity in our community. I wanted kids here in Wisconsin to see role models of people who are succeeding, to know that it’s possible for African Americans to achieve great things here.

That’s exactly what last year’s list accomplished, and what we hope to continue with this year’s list.

This list is not, and was not intended to be, exhaustive. It will, however, introduce you to some people you’ve never heard of who are doing great things in other parts of the state or simply working behind the scenes, doing the work without the accolades.

It was important for us to expand the way we think about influence, and to highlight more of the people doing what it takes to improve their community. That’s one reason this list is entirely new — we considered anyone named on last year’s list to be ineligible for this one, even though most of them continue to wield considerable influence.

Over the next five days I hope you learn something you didn’t know about some of the real leaders in communities throughout Wisconsin, and that we might be able to make some connections and start conversations that really move communities forward.

Henry Sanders

nbadraftnigelhayesbadgers_fullsize_story1Nigel Hayes is one of the best — and best-known — college basketball players in the United States, but more important, a real giver in this community and a powerful voice in what The New York Times calls “college basketball’s most political locker room.” The UW forward was named the preseason Player of the Year in the Big Ten conference, but has really made a name for himself outside basketball by speaking out on racial justice issues through social media. He’s also a dedicated volunteer at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County, where he helps mentor and inspire young people, as well as raising money for the club, often without any fanfare or press coverage.

ashantihamiltonAshanti Hamilton, the president of the Milwaukee Common Council, was thrust into the spotlight last year when he ousted Michael Murphy, who had served in that post for just two years. He was also front and center when riots broke out following a police shooting in August. Since being elected in 2004, Hamilton has authored and sponsored many key pieces of community-focused legislation including the Milwaukee Opportunities Restoring Employment (MORE) ordinance and the Milwaukee Promise, which was established in 2011 to address poverty, disparities and inequality.

traceyrobertsonTracey Robertson, founder of the nonprofit organization FIT, comes up anytime you speak with anyone about diversity in the Oshkosh community. FIT focuses on increasing racial literacy in the Winnebago community. They have held workshops and training sessions with a wide variety of organizations, including The Winnebago County Housing Authority, the Boys and Girls Club of Oshkosh, the Winnebago Literacy Council, The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, North High School, First Congregational Church and St. Bernard’s Church, to name a few.

blcA group of Madison’s black community activists including Kaleem Caire (One City Early Learning), Milele Chikasa (Umoja), Dr. Ruben Anthony (Urban League of Greater Madison), and Greg Jones (Dane County NAACP) has recently come together, naming themselves The Black Leadership Council, to deal with the pressing issues impacting the black community here. This group has been involved in one way or another in all major racial conflicts in Madison this past year. They were at the forefront of trying to keep the peace when the young man Tony Robinson was killed by police officer Matt Kenny. They were involved when 18-year-old Genele Laird was beaten by police; in fact, numerous members helped file two complaints with the US Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin against the Madison Police Department over the excessive force used against Genele.

grady-crosby-_low-res_2Grady Crosby is vice president of public affairs and chief diversity officer of Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls, where he helps keep one of the state’s corporate giants focused on being a good corporate citizen. He leads the company’s government relations strategies, sustainability efforts and its philanthropic initiatives for social responsibility, community involvement and the environment. As chief diversity officer, Crosby drives Johnson Controls’ commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workforce, as well as partnering with a diverse vendor/supplier base aligned with company values. He also serves as president of the Johnson Controls Foundation. In 2017 he is co-chairing the Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee Gala. A former Howard University football player, he also holds a law degree from Wake Forest.

madamsM Adams’s work often lands her in nationwide strategy sessions on how community leaders should respond to racial injustice. She is the co-executive director of Freedom, Inc., a local nonprofit that works with low-income communities of color. She is also a co-founder and key member of Young, Black and Gifted. Earlier this summer, she was part of the central planning for the platform for a coalition affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement that released its first policy platform designed to promote concrete, real-world solutions to racial and economic inequality

Adams is also known internationally; she was a U.S. Delegate to the United Nations’ 2014 Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, held in Geneva, Switzerland. Nationally, Adams was part of the first delegation to the White House for the LGBT Leaders of Color Summit.

ann-terrell-photoAnn Terrell is the executive director at the Milwaukee Public Schools Foundation. Rarely do we see in Wisconsin a black person leading a major foundation, but Ann is doing just that. Before her role with the foundation she served 13 years as director of early childhood education for Milwaukee Public Schools. Under Ann’s direction, the foundation reinvested more than $40,000 in the community through scholarships for MPS grads last year, in addition to funding real-world learning opportunities at Southeastern Wisconsin’s finest museums, cultural experiences and scientific venues.


wesleysparkmanWesley Sparkman is director of the new Tamara Grigsby Office for Diversity and Inclusion for Dane County, and he represents the community on the influential Madison Police and Fire Commission. That commission is the one that keeps the Madison Police accountable to the community. The County has committed to taking racial inequity head on, and called on Sparkman to lead the charge. Wes is known for his humility and letting his work speak for him.The Chicago native came to Madison to attend UW in 1991 where he got a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Sparkman is a past member of the Board of SSM Health Care of Wisconsin, the Board of Directors for the Madison Children’s Museum, African American Ethnic Academy, and Access to Independence. He has been recognized by the Department of Workforce Development and the Dane County Private Industry Council.

geraudblanksGeraud Blanks founded the Black Lens series, a part of the Milwaukee Film Festival dedicated to showing films by African American directors, in 2014. It’s one of the very few film series of its kind in the world. The series screened eight films in 2015, and seven features and six shorts in 2016. He’s also been a managing partner at the creative design firm Kairo Communications since 2001, and worked as a community resource advocate at Sojourner Family Peace Center. Geraud, the whole state needs the Black Lens series! When you’re ready, Madison365 is ready to help.

telisa_headshotTelisa Yancy is the Chief Marketing Officer for American family. She is clearly one of the most influential African Americans in Wisconsin, but also in the United States. The Chicago native currently controls almost $200 million in advertising, including a new campaign featuring John Legend and former New York Yankee Derek Jeter. At the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce 2016 Icebreaker luncheon, Telisa graced the stage with Soledad O’Brien interviewing her in front of around 1,000 people. She recently joined Barack and Michelle Obama, Lupe Fiasco, Michael Jordan, Beyonce, and more on the Ebony Magazine Power 100 list for 2016. Not a bad year Telisa!

lssept_kwabenamuhibbMuhibb Dyer and Kwabena Antoine Nixon are the cofounders of Flood the Hood With Dreams and the I Will Not Die Young campaign. At a time in our country when critics of black community are asking where are our black men … well, look no farther than these two. I Will Not Die Young is an initiative that helps young black men in Milwaukee overcome the gun violence they too often experience in their neighborhoods. They are well known as spoken-word artists and poets who often teach and appear together at poetry slams and other events. They also work in schools to groom the next generation of leaders, teaching young people to speak their truth through public speaking, writing and community activism.

jasonkiddJason Kidd is as responsible as anyone for the turnaround of the Milwaukee Bucks. The San Francisco native played basketball at Cal before being drafted second overall by the Dallas Mavericks in 1994. He went straight from the floor to the bench as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets in 2013, and the Bucks traded draft picks for his services the following year. Kidd inherited a team that had won a historically low 15 games and led them to a 41-41 record and a berth in the playoffs. Even though the 2015-16 season wasn’t as successful, Kidd has injected a new level of excitement to the Bucks, as well as the downtown Milwaukee economy on game days. And the Bucks are more connected to the community than ever. Kidd is the perfect ambassador to take the Bucks from an organization with a Milwaukee state of mind to one with a Wisconsin state of mind. Madison365 is here to help.

rondunlapRon Dunlap is one of the elder statesmen of the Fox Valley. He was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 1968 out of the University of Illinois, and played professional basketball in the US and Europe before going into education, where he really made his mark. He moved to Appleton in 1990 to become the principal of Lincoln Elementary and later became the director of minority student services for the entire district. The district now gives the Ronald Dunlap Award to students to overcome barriers to achieve great things, and Dunlap continues his community work as a member of the board of directors of African Heritage, Inc.

judgewhiteChief Judge Maxine Aldridge White was appointed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court to serve as chief judge of the state’s First Judicial District, which is comprised of Milwaukee County, in March of 2015. As the chief judge, Judge White is the administrative chief of the judicial administrative district and is responsible for the administration of judicial business in circuit courts within the district, including supervising its personnel and fiscal management.

White earned her J.D. from Marquette Law School, where she received numerous scholarships and honors, including Law Review and the Am Jur Book Award in Constitutional Law. She earned her master’s degree with honors in Public Administration from the University of Southern California and her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Alcorn State University.

Gloria Ladson BillingsGloria Ladson-Billings is a professor, writer, and professional developer in urban education with interests in critical race theory, culturally relevant pedagogy, and the power of the black religious experience. She currently holds the Kellner Family Chair in Urban Education at the University of Wisconsin. Recently, she has been exploring hip hop and education as culturally relevant pedagogical strategy. In other words, she’s working to transform inner-city education and education of students of color nationwide.

Ladson-Billings was recently elected president of the National Academy of Education. She’s also a Hilldale Award Winner, Distinguished Service Award Winner, Teachers College Columbia, George and Louise Spindler Award Winner and much more. Ladson-Billings is a lifelong Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority member and current president of the Kappa Psi Omega chapter where she dedicates herself to serving the Madison-area community through educational enrichment, health promotion, family strengthening and more.

emiliocooperEmilio Cooper serves as the Senior Vice President, Head of Central Region Retail and U.S. Mortgage Sales for BMO Harris Bank. In this role he oversees the retail banking in Minnesota and Central Wisconsin. He also leads more than 400 mortgage professionals and 1,000 bankers in 120 branches across the United States. In addition to all of his work with BMO, he is the incoming board chair for the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County. BMO continues putting people of color in real positions of influence.


derrellconnorDerrell Connor is one of the leading African American voices in broadcast media in Wisconsin. For many years he’s been the host of Outreach Radio on WIBA-AM in Madison and The Derrell Connor Show in Milwaukee. He became the first African American to host a mainstream daily radio talk show when he took over Madison in the Morning earlier this year. He was recently cast as one of the hosts of the new show All Men ROCK on CBS58 in Milwaukee and, as our readers might know, co-hosts Madison365 Radio. He’s also the founder and host of The Boombox, the classic hip-hop radio show on The Sun community radio in Sun Prairie.

rayallenRay Allen is the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD), and an unabashed Republican in mostly-liberal Dane County. The Secretary is highly respected in the black community. Allen leads the state’s talent development agency, DWD connects employers with a robust pool of skilled workers; assists job seekers with disabilities in achieving their employment outcomes; and oversees the state’s Unemployment Insurance, Equal Rights and Worker’s Compensation programs. Secretary Allen has deep ties to the Madison community as well. He is the former publisher and owner of The Madison Times, a partner and vice president of Madtown Paradies, which operates retail stores in Dane County Regional Airport, and a former Madison School board member as well as a 2007 candidate for Madison mayor.

sheriedisonSheri Edison is the General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at packaging giant Bemis, one of the largest employers in the Fox Valley. Her responsibilities include the oversight of all of the legal and compliance affairs of the company, including enterprise risk management and trade compliance, responsibility for other critical business functions, including information technology and safety and regulatory affairs, and supporting the Board of Directors on governance and related matters. She also serves on the board of directors of the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton.

PercyBrownPercy Brown, Jr. is one of the great leaders to arise from the south side of Madison and a true Madisonian who graduated from West High School . He followed his grandfather’s footsteps into a career in education, beginning in his hometown school district before moving on to become Director of Equity and Student Achievement in the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District. Brown is a difference-maker in the lives of numerous youth and was named a Rising Star, one of five President’s Award presented by the Urban League of Greater Madison, at its annual Urban Cabaret at the Monona Terrace. He helped to create the curriculum and also taught a special course on African American History for the Justified Anger Coalition, with about 100 people in attendance. The achievement gaps in Madison are real. Mr. Brown overcame the odds and stayed home to make a difference. From one Madisonian to another … you’re inspiring! Or as Jay-Z says, we “love it just to see one of us make it!”

khalifraineyKhalif Rainey represents Milwaukee’s Seventh District on the Common Council and the Second District on the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors. Born and raised in the 53206, Rainey was a leading voice during the riots in August, which took place in his district following the police killing of a young African-American man. He is also a board member of African World Festival, Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee’s historic Community Brainstorming Conference, Black Male Achievement (BMA) Advisory Council, Milwaukee County Federated Library System (MCFLS) and the East Wisconsin Counties Railroad Consortium

chrisrowlandChris Rowland is the Global Diversity Officer for ManpowerGroup. In his role there he potentially could be the most influential black person in the state. With Manpower’s resources, research, and (no pun intended) literally manpower, Rowland could have a huge impact on the state which has two of the worst cities to live for blacks in America. With great power comes great responsibility!

socialxcollageSonia Summers, Ranell Washington and Crystal Morgan are three of the four people who founded Social X four years ago to give young professionals — especially young professionals of color — a network for social and professional engagement. (The fourth is still involved, but lives in Washington, DC.) What began as a small group of friends gathering at happy hours has become a network of more than 1,000 young professionals who attend regular events and performances together. Understanding the need for Milwaukee businesses, and the local Milwaukee business community more broadly, to recruit and retain young and diverse talent, Social X is making a real play for the future of the local economy.

niatrammellNia Trammell is an Administrative Law Judge for the State of Wisconsin where she presides over formal proceedings on a wide range of challenging cases involving Wisconsin’s Worker’s Compensation law. Trammel is also the current Board Chair of the Board of Directors of the Urban League of Greater Madison and she co-founded the Urban League of Greater Madison Young Professionals and served as its president from 2012 to 2015.

Trammell is also a former board member of Dane County Court Appointed Special Advocates. Through Dane County CASA, she has worked with the court to monitor compliance with judicial orders impacting abused and neglected children and their families. Trammell has also been active with Girls on the Run of Dane County, a program that teaches self-esteem and healthy life choices to elementary school age girls. She also mentors a student through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

Angela Russell

Angela Russell is CUNA Mutual’s Manager for Diversity and Inclusion, a role seemingly created just for her. She has more than 15 years of professional experience involving diversity and inclusion, external relations and outreach, communications, policy development, and research and evaluation. Russell is responsible for leading the development, direction and implementation of short and long-term strategies and programs that support diversity, equity, and inclusion at CUNA.

Prior to joining CUNA Mutual, Russell worked in various roles in public health including serving as a Health Equity Coordinator for Public Health Madison Dane County and serving as the Community Engagement Lead for the national County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program at the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Russell started a popular Facebook page called “Equity Rocks” that tackles tough issues on race and equality in Madison.

sabrinamadisonSabrina Madison is better known as Heymiss Progress. 2016 could be named the Year of Progress. She left her full-time job at Madison College a year ago to launch her career as a “socialpreneur.” She founded the Conversation Mixtape to spur Black love, built the Black Women’s Leadership Conference where over 250 women showed up and put a spotlight on Black-owned businesses through the first Black Business Expo, which around 500 people attended. But she didn’t stop there. She expanded the Black Business Expo for Black Friday, where over 60 black-owned vendors exhibited and 2,000 people attended, spending their dollars with black entrepreneurs. She did this all while writing for Madison365, planning events and consulting. In a very short period, she’s almost single-handedly energized and transformed the entire Black entrepreneurism scene in Madison.

robdavisRob Davis, Director of Player Engagement for the Green Bay Packers, retired as a player from the Packers in 2008 after 11 years as the team’s primary long snapper. An undrafted free agent out of Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania in 1993, Davis played for the New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Bears and Baltimore Stallions of the Canadian Football League before joining the Pack in 1997. Since stepping off the field, Davis has served the Packers in maintaining locker-room cohesiveness and overall player health. He assists players in acclimating to their roles, both on and off the field and in the Green Bay community. Any NFL team has a big impact in its community, the Packers more than most, as Green Bay is the smallest city in any of the major professional sports league in the country. Keeping those players’ heads on straight, and guiding their involvement in the community, is an important job for the entire Fox Valley community.

kimberleygoodeKimberley Goode
is vice president of Communications and Corporate Affairs at Northwestern Mutual and supports the company’s community involvement as a member of the Board of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation. Goode has earned numerous awards from industry organizations, including Women in Communication, Inc. and the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), whose New Jersey chapter in 2003 named her Communicator of the Year. She also earned an Outstanding Women in Marketing and Communications Award from Ebony magazine in 2002 and was selected one of America’s Best and Brightest Business and Professional Women by National Publications and Dollars & Sense magazine. She is also a member of the boards of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Urban League.

tim_gaillardTim Gaillard serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics, one of the most influential health systems in the Midwest. He heads up UW Health’s practices in Oncology and Radiation Oncology, Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, Neurology and Neurosurgery, Transplant and Organ Procurement and Heart and Vascular. He also leads the ancillary services of Pharmacy, Radiology and Clinical Laboratories. His other areas of responsibility include Administrative Surgical Services, Wisconsin Dialysis, Inc. and Value Analysis. He is the preceptor for the hospital administrative residency program. He chairs the hospital’s Technology Assessment Committee and the Value Analysis Executive Oversight Committee. Tim is a member of the hospital’s Authority Board’s Audit and Finance subcommittees. He also serves on several community boards.

danaedavisDanae Davis is Executive Director of Milwaukee Succeeds, a collective impact, community-wide initiative that unites hundreds of individuals and organizations around a common purpose of improving educational outcomes for every child in every school, cradle to career. She previously served as CEO of PEARLS for Girls, a unique leadership development program serving girls middle school through high school, and beyond, in Milwaukee. We empower girls to live out the PEARLS values: Personal Responsibility, Empathy, Awareness, Respect, Leadership and Support. Before taking that role in 2006, she worked for seven years as the Director of Diversity Management at Miller Brewing. Danae also serves on the Board of Radio Milwaukee.

gregstfortGreg St. Fort is the executive director of 100State, the largest co-working community in Wisconsin. He works to inject life into Madison’s entrepreneurial and small business economy, as his members include startups, entrepreneurs, and change agents of all types. 100State regularly hosts problem-solving events, workshops, and discussions for the community. St. Fort, a native of Queens, New York, has a passion for team building, marketing, and event production and hee believe dreams come true only when people come together. His beliefs led him to founding his own company called LetsKeepBuilding, also known as LKB, which brings together entrepreneurs of all backgrounds by building technology, and events, and community initiatives.

everettmitchellJudge Everett Mitchell was sworn in as a circuit court judge at the Dane County Courthouse this past summer. He became the third African-American judge in the Dane County Circuit Court. Mitchell is a well-known advocate for social justice and racial equity in Madison who graduated from Morehouse College with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and religion before earning his law degree from UW. He has received numerous awards and honors including the Presidential Scholar award in Mathematics, the American Scholar award, Mathematical Scholar, and the Urban League Young Professional of the Year Award.

Mitchell is also senior pastor of Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church in Madison, a congregation of more than 400 members. The former assistant Dane County District Attorney, Mitchell was most recently the director of community relations for the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he was responsible for $350,000 investment in South Madison “the Partnership” office space that engages University and Community Partnerships.

andreawilliamsAndrea Williams is the News and Public Affairs Director for five Lakefront Communication Stations in Milwaukee, where she produces and hosts a weekly Public Affairs program. Just watching a couple of her shows, you will see a “Who’s Who” list of guests. Williams has delivered news on XM Satellite Radio and is currently the executive producer and host of Our Issues Milwaukee, a local public affairs television program, on Milwaukee’s My 24 and CW 18.

A graduate of Central State University, Williams is well known for her involvement in the Milwaukee community. She visits schools and has hosted many community events and numerous telethons for the United Negro College Fund. Regarded as a “Jill of All Trades,” Williams is a former six-year veteran of the Milwaukee Bucks Energee! Dance Team and spent 10 seasons as the Milwaukee Bucks Official Gameday Host.

hines-janel-bJanel Hines is the Director of Grant Programs and Strategic Initiatives at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. The Rufus King High School alum earned degrees from the UW-Madison and UW-Madison Law School before returning to Milwaukee. Earlier this year she was honored as a “Rad Woman” at the Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee’s annual dinner. Hines is a member of Professional Dimensions, which promotes the professional and personal growth of women through social and business exchange and through community participation. She is also a 2016 Professionals Learning About Community, Equity & Smart Growth (PLACES) Fellow with the Funder’s Network. The PLACES Fellowship challenges assumptions and exposes Fellows to new ways of thinking about the role of philanthropy in empowering historically underserved and low-income communities.

craigrobinsonCraig Robinson is the Milwaukee Bucks’ vice president of player and organizational development … and also still plays some pick-up ball with his brother-in-law, who happens to be the President of the United States (for a few more weeks, anyway.) He’s Michelle Obama’s older brother, but tends to shy away from center stage, though he’s gotten his share of the spotlight as a Division I men’s basketball coach, gigs at Brown and Oregon State. He recently joined the Bucks to work with the youngest roster in the NBA. In that role he’s responsible for the personal and professional development of those young men, helping them become valuable members of the community.

damond-boatwrightDamond Boatwright is Regional President for SSM Health. He oversees all three SSM Health hospitals in Wisconsin. Damond has helped to lead the rebranding of St. Mary’s to SSM. He serves on the boards of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) and the Wisconsin Chapter of American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). He also is a man whose priorities are his faith and his family. In his spare time he enjoys competition in cooking contests.



focusedinterruptioncollageMartin Lakes, Jackie Morris, Aaron Hicks, Jerome Dillard, Anthony Cooper, Minister Caliph Muab’El and others formed the Focused Interruption Coalition to interrupt patterns of violence in Madison, especially among African American men. Led by longtime community activists, the Coalition worked with Boys and Girls Club CEO Michael Johnson, Madison Alders Matt Phair and Maurice Cheeks and Mayor Paul Soglin on a 15-point plan to make systemic changes and reduce violence. But it’s not just another plan — Soglin allocated, and the Common Council approved, $400,000 in the 2017 City of Madison budget to begin implementation of the plan. Talking and planning is one thing … when you can a check signed, though – that’s real influence.

lisapeytoncaireLisa Peyton-Caire is Assistant Vice President, Diversity, Inclusion and Wellness at Summit Credit Union, and also an educator, writer, women’s health advocate, non-profit leader, and change agent. Her driving focus in all that she does is to empower and expand opportunity and access to children, youth, adults, families and communities; and to build strong communities where all members are positioned to thrive.

Peyton-Caire is the founding director of The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness, a Wisconsin-based non-profit organization committed to eliminating health disparities and other barriers impacting the lives of African-American women and girls. Spurred by her mother’s untimely death from heart disease in 2006, Peyton-Caire established Black Women’s Wellness Day in 2008, an annual health summit that aims to inform, inspire, and empower women and girls of African descent to build and sustain healthy, wellness-centered lives.

sheltongoodeDr. Shelton Goode is the first-ever Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Oshkosh Corporation. He has held executive HR and Diversity positions for companies with budgets ranging from $500 million to $20 billion. Dr. Goode earned his doctorate in public administration from the University of Alabama. He is also a decorated Air Force veteran and an accomplished author. He has won numerous awards but the one that sticks out the most is being awarded the HR Trailblazer award in 2005 and 2012 by the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources. Dr. Goode has helped Oshkosh Corporation jump right into the communities of color in the Fox Valley.

corindaraineymooreCorinda Rainey-Moore is a Community Outreach Engagement Coordinator at the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families and a key advocate in the community for breaking stigmas associated with mental health issues. The Chicago native believes in the health of all women in her community, and is committed to reducing health disparities among African American women.

Rainey-Moore is a graduate of UW-Madison where she earned a bachelor’s degree in communications. She has two master’s degrees, one from UW-Whitewater in Corporate Communications and one from the University of Southern New Hampshire in Community Mental Health with an emphasis on Dual Diagnosis. Rainey-Moore serves on many boards such as the Board of National Alliance on Mental Health and the Suicide Prevention Task Force on the Board of Safe Communities. Her participation in the planning community for The Black Women’s Wellness Foundation’s Black Women’s Wellness Day allows hundreds of African American women to receive education and information on pertinent health topics.

jasminejohnsoinJasmine Johnson serves as the Chair of the Board of One Milwaukee, an organization that seeks to embrace diversity, cultivate new leadership and increase the cultural diversity in leadership, board, and appointed positions with effective collaboration across the profit, non-profit, and government sectors. She’s also the founder of 29Eleven Events, which brings interactive cause marketing initiatives to urban areas that reach individuals and bridge volunteerism in a non-traditional manner in order to bring impact and drive results that give hope and a future. She lists as a cofounder of 29Eleven her young son Jeremiah, who has already made his own philanthropic mark generating nearly $5,000 to support First Stage Theater and donating 100+ gently used books and toys to a local family shelter thru his Jeremiah’s T.O.Y.S. Drive. In other words, Jasmine’s influence is already spreading into the next generation.

sheliastubbsShelia Stubbs represents Madison’s south side on the Dane County Board of Supervisors, where she is also second vice chair, the first African-American woman to serve in that role. She takes a “less talk, more action” approach and has led the way in County Board legislation to address racial disparities, including the creation of a community restorative court and a staff team created to ensure that every County government decision is made through the lens of equity. She serves on many boards and committees, and has held leadership positions in the NAACP at the local and state level. She also founded Women of Excellence Ministries.

normandavisNorman D. Davis was hired by Mayor Paul Soglin as the new City of Madison’s Department of Civil Rights Director earlier this summer. Davis has over 17 years of experience in civil rights and affirmative action, serving the City of Madison since 2001 and the Department of Civil Rights since its inception in 2006. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Davis most recently served as the Division Manager of the Affirmative Action Division and also spent several years working for the State of Wisconsin in this field.


haroldrayfordHarold Rayford is the founder, CEO and president of 1800 Days, a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating the educational achievement gap. He is the Pastor of The Faith Place Church in Sun Prairie and has been a member of this assembly his entire life following in the footsteps of his father in the Gospel and role model in ministry, the Honorable Bishop Richard E. Young, Sr. Bishop Rayford serves as President of the African American Council of Churches of Greater Madison, as well as Chairman of the Minnesota, Wisconsin, Dakotas District Council (MWDDC) of The Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. He is also an accomplished musician and songwriter, a winner of a Dove Award and two Stella Awards as a gospel jazz saxophonist.

Who’s influential in your world? Want to nominate someone for next year’s list? Let us know by email or on Facebook!