Gaddi Ben Dan and Ali Muldrow have been notified that they are the winners of the combined 2018 City-County Humanitarian Award honoring the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The award winners, selected by the City-County Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, are community members who reflect the values of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Social justice and journalism have played a huge role in Dan’s life. As the publisher of the newspapers The Westside Torch, The Chicago Chronicles, and The New York Chronicles, and the co-founder of the Wisconsin Free Press, The Madison Times, and VOICES newspaper here in Madison, Dan has spent decades working to bring a voice to voiceless and capturing the amazing and important people and topics that mainstream publications often miss.

2018 City-County MLK Humanitarian Award winner Gaddi Ben Dan with his fellow Club TNTers Jeanne Erickson (left) and Betty Banks

Dan has also been a longtime promoter and producer, bringing many national acts to Madison, starting in the ‘80s. For WTDY 1670, Dan produced “Heart and Soul” and “Let’s Go To Church” radio programs that featured grassroots stories on inspiring Madison-area personalities. As the co-founder and senior executive producer of Club TNT, Dan and his lifelong friend, Betty Banks, have creatively worked with young people for more than a quarter century to educate them through entertainment on their Saturday morning show. You can read more about his life and work here.

A highlight of Dan’s young life was meeting and marching with MLK during the Chicago Freedom Movement, also known as the Chicago Open Housing Movement, in 1966.

“I am truly grateful and humbled by my nomination,” Dan tells Madison365. “I have always advocated for the health, interest, needs and rights of our multi-ethnic communities. One of Dr. Martin Luther King’s most endearing qualities is that he regularly called the brothers ‘Doctor’ I guess it was because he was the Doctor of Love.”

Muldrow is a parent, writer, instructor, educational advocate, and doula who currently serves as the director of youth programming for GSAFE. As a queer, black woman, Ali Muldrow has dedicated her adult life to giving voices to those who are marginalized.

Ali Muldrow

“Now is always the perfect time to celebrate our shared humanity and work towards building communities where all people are valued,” Muldrow tells Madison365. “I am humbled by this award and incredibly grateful for the work I get to do. Madison is my home, it’s where I grew up and I will never stop fighting to make our community inclusive and fair.”

You can read more about Muldrow here.

The City-County annual award is given to individuals who have made outstanding contributions and exemplified Dr. King’s non-violent philosophy. The awards will be presented to Dan and Muldrow at the 33rd annual City-County Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance on Monday, Jan. 15 at the Overture Center Capital Theater in downtown Madison. The program will begin at 6 p.m.