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Dane County community task force raises thousands to fund Vel Phillips State Capitol statue

Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 9:34 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -A Dane County community task force group raised over $300,000 to help fund a Vel Phillips statue that would stand at Wisconsin’s State Capitol.

The group met with State Capitol officials on Tuesday to discuss the proposal. Another meeting will follow in July.

The task force hopes to have the green light for the statue by the end of the summer.

A team of diverse talents and backgrounds are putting their heads together to make a Vel Phillips statue a reality.

Davis Endres is one of many hoping to make it happen.

“We recently assembled a top notch team of experts with significant experience in public art, and in public statute installations,” Endres said.

Last year, Micheal Johnson, Boys & Girls Club of Dane County CEO, wrote an open letter to state leaders proposing the idea to have a black woman statue on the Capitol square for the first time.

“Michael called me and asked me to help him lead this task and I was obviously very happy to do so. I think it’s a significant and important endeavor,” Endres said.

Phillips is the nation’s first black woman elected to statewide office. She’s an activist and civil right leader, marking many firsts for Wisconsin.

“The contributions of African Americans to the state of Wisconsin over the last 150 years are not represented very well at all by our state,” Endres said.

But he said Vel Phillips would be a statue standing for representation and inclusion.

“My hope is that we get the statue up and that kids, both kids of color and kids of different ethnicities, will look at it and see they have opportunities to do great things as well,” Andres said.

NBC15 reached out to the Wisconsin Department of Administration to ask about the fate of the other State Capitol statues, but we have not heard back yet.

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