Black History Month is not just about the past, but about the present and future work that is yet to be done. The Center for Civic Engagement would like to feature two people who have contributed to African American history and the ways that they set an example for others throughout time. These icons represent CCE’s values including social justice, sustainability, and diversity.
As the first black woman to graduate from Yale Law School and to become a United States judge in 1939, Jane Bolin pushed beyond the boundaries placed on her. She fought discrimination by helping to implement hiring standards based on qualifications, not on race or ethnicity. Her work with the NAACP, the Neighborhood Children’s Center, and other social justice groups paved the way for progress.
Will Allen is a modern African American advocate of sustainable urban agriculture. His creativity and passion gave birth to Growing Power, a Milwaukee nonprofit that provides youth and people of color with hands-on exposure to sustainable farming. His work has raised awareness of the need for fresh food options in underserved urban neighborhoods.