Home Local News Dr. Fabu Carter named 2023 Jeffrey Clay Erlanger Civility in Public Discourse...

Dr. Fabu Carter named 2023 Jeffrey Clay Erlanger Civility in Public Discourse Award winner


Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway announced on Friday that Dr. Fabu Carter, a longtime Madison-area educator, activist, poet and historian, is the recipient of the 2023 Jeffrey Clay Erlanger Civility in Public Discourse Award. The award will be presented at the January 9, 2024, City of Madison Common Council meeting.

The award honors Jeffrey Clay Erlanger, who died on June 10, 2007, and spent a significant part of his life committed to public service, focusing on constructive advocacy and civil debate, fairness, openness, and effective representation, according to a press release from the City.

“We are so excited that Dr. Fabu Carter is this year’s recipient of the Jeffrey Clay Erlanger Civility in Public Discourse Award,” said Pam Erlanger, Jeff’s mother, in a press release. “Her work in advocacy and the arts more than embodies the characteristics we look for when selecting an award recipient. Her leadership, dedication and ability to engage in and manage difficult conversations with compassion, respect and an appreciation for others’ opinions and experiences truly exemplifies the values of this award. We are thrilled that she is receiving this award and know that Jeffrey would be proud.”

Carter is a longtime Madison community leader who has tirelessly advocated for justice, equity and inclusion and was a critical member of the team that established the Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development. Dr. Carter served as Madison’s third poet laureate and was the first African American to be appointed to this position. In this role, she created opportunities for diverse voices to be heard including focusing on the voices of youth. She has created countless programs in support of the arts and has served on numerous committees including the Madison Arts Commission.

Dr. Carter continues her work on behalf of disadvantaged and marginalized communities through her work at the UW School of Medicine & Public Health Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center’s Inclusion of Underrepresented Groups Program, where she serves as a senior outreach program manager – increasing awareness of Alzheimer’s in the African American community, according to a press release from the City. She also leads the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project – visiting local nursing homes and leading poetry groups for older adults with dementia.

“Dr. Fabu Carter’s contributions to our city make her an excellent choice for this year’s Erlanger Award,” said Rhodes-Conway in a statement. “Her passion, dedication and willingness to have difficult conversations to improve and enrich the lives of Madison residents are values she shares with Jeff Erlanger. She has been a leader in Madison for years and continues to work on behalf of those who may not have a voice of their own.“

As the recipient of this year’s award, a contribution of $250 will be made to the non-profit of choice of both Dr. Carter and the individual who nominated her.