February 18, 2021
by Oscar Rennebohm Foundation
The Oscar Rennebohm Foundation & Madison Community Foundation donated a combined grant of $100,000 to create a statue of former Wisconsin Secretary of State Velvalea “Vel” Phillips to be placed on the state capitol grounds across from Hamilton Street.
Phillips worked as an attorney, judge, and politician, breaking ground as a woman and person of color who fought for civil rights for her entire life, says Bob Sorge, president and CEO of the MCF.
On the suggestion by African American leaders in Wisconsin, Gov. Evers created an advisory committee to look into the creation of the statue. The statue received bipartisan support and was approved to move forward on Phillips’ birthday.
“We are proud to be part of recognizing and commemorating the important role Vel
Phillips played in our state’s history,” says Michael Johnson, president and CEO of the Dane County chapter of the Boys & Girls Club.
The vote for final approval is set to happen in March of 2021, while the statue is scheduled to be installed early in 2022.