William Greer is the recipient of the 2015 Jeffrey Clay Erlanger Civility in Public Discourse Award.
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. Erlanger, 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. 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.
For the past ten years, William Greer has served as president and CEO of Journey Mental Health Center, an organization whose mission is to improve people’s lives by pioneering and sustaining effective mental health and substance abuse services.
“After reading the application nominating Bill and hearing incredible anecdotes about his work – and his style, we are very excited about his selection. His gentle, respectful approach to problem solving and community building truly honor Jeff’s legacy,” said Jeff Erlanger’s mother Pam.
“It is always very humbling to honor Jeff’s memory with this award and I think Bill Greer is an excellent choice” said Madison Mayor Paul Soglin. “He has worked with providers, policy makers, and clients for 40 years with respect and integrity. He embodies Jeff’s passion for speaking out for the disenfranchised.”
Greer is also an active member of the 100 Black Men of Madison, Inc. Through that organization, he continues to be a positive voice for youth of color by supporting programs that encourage academic achievement and social responsibility.