Back in April 1999 when Betty Franklin-Hammonds died of  an asthma attack, there was an outpouring of community grief as evidenced by the nearly 1,000 people who attended her funeral at High Point Church and the extensive media coverage that her death generated. Betty had touched many people's lives through her work with the Urban League -- she was president/CEO for eight years -- and the NAACP,  she had served in many capacities including president, secretary and treasurer. The Madison Times, which she revitalized and made into a successful business that went a long ways toward helping to diversify the image of people of color in the mainstream media.
      There were many voices that talked about naming the Madison Municipal Building or some other public building after Betty. But those voices became silent over time as the wound of Betty's death began to heal. When the process for naming the Madison Metropolitan School District's new elementary school reopened, I -- and others -- thought about submitting Betty's name. Two weeks ago, when it appeared that the Hmong community would not be submitting a name, Frances Huntley-Cooper, Dr. Virginia Henderson, Heidi Pascual, Stephan Braunginn and I formulated the nomination in Betty's honor. We sent out requests for co-sponsors and to-date, we have 166 individuals and two organizations that have  signed on to co-sponsor the effort to name the building after Betty. The nomination was submitted on October 22.
      However, we are still seeking co-sponsors to have the school named after Betty. What follows is the text that was submitted to MMSD and a list of the individuals and organizations that have signed on as co-sponsors. If you would like to add your name or organization to the list, simply e-mail me at
gramling@capitalcityhues.com or call me at 241-2000. There is no cost or time commitment required to become a co-sponsor. By the time that MMSD holds public hearings on the naming of the school, it is our hope that we  can show a tremendous amount of support from many sectors of Madison for naming the school Betty Franklin-Hammonds Elementary School. Please join us!
     
1) Education was personally important to Betty - Ms. Betty Franklin-Hammonds was born in Tampa, Florida in 1942. At Blake High School in Tampa, Betty was the editor of the Yellow Jacket, the student newspaper. She began her college career at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana and completed her undergraduate work at Florida A&M. Betty received a master's degree in      sociology from Florida State University. Betty was a life-long learner, always attending seminars, training sessions and conferences that would help her develop her ideas and talents.
    
2) Betty believed that education was the key for the African American community - During her tenure at the Madison Urban League, one of Betty's primary missions was the academic advancement of African American students. It seemed that Betty attended every MMSD board meeting while she was at the Urban League and later as editor of The Madison Times. The Pre-Employment Program and Project JAMAA were developed      by Betty and her staff. These programs were operated in MMSD middle schools. Centro Hispano's Juventud and ASPIRA were modeled after these programs. And all of these programs have served as the foundation for the MMSD Schools of Hope initiative in the middle schools, which is administered by the Urban League of Greater Madison. Betty also created the Outstanding Young Person Awards that are handed out to achieving students at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast.
     
3) Betty spearheaded the first report on the Academic Achievement of African American Students - One of the most important things that Betty did while at the Urban League was working with a graduate student intern to produce the first Report on the Academic Achievement of African American Students. This seminal study documented what everyone in Madison suspected: African American students were performing at one grade point behind the student population as a whole. This study spurred MMSD to create its equity and diversity initiative. Dr. Virginia Henderson led this effort. A pilot project called Project Involve,  operated at Lincoln Elementary School, led to the creation of the district's parent/community liaison positions. Many of the district's efforts to improve the academic achievement of African American students were directly or indirectly created in response to this report.
     
4) Betty was an educator - After she left the Madison Urban League, Betty became a part-time instructor at the UW-Madison's School of Social Work. As an instructor, Betty assisted many social work students learn how to provide services to people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds through their field placements. Some of her students are now social workers in the Madison Metropolitan School District. Betty's work also empowered  often silent groups to understand the importance of having their too often silent voices heard and respected in the workplace as well as in the schools. There are already a generation of students and families and educatiors who have benefited from her fight for justice and equity.  In 1988, the Urban League in collaboration with Centro Hispano and United Refugee Services of Wisconsin (now known as United Asian Services) initiated the Multicultural Agency Training Program. This two-day seminar worked with the staff of non-profit agencies to help them better serve people of color and hire more and retain staff of color. Over 50 agencies received training under this initiative. Betty always used The Madison Times as a vehicle to educate the broader community about the African American community and other communities of color.
    
5) Betty believed in the education of others - Betty always personally encouraged others to pursue their  education, whether it was someone getting their Ph.D. or their GED. With her husband David, Betty would always reward the children who lived in their apartment buildings with cash rewards for excellent grades. Betty was the chair of the NAACP's Education Committee, which continued to monitor MMSD's efforts to close the academic achievement gap. Also, Betty was a member of the NAACP ACT-SO (Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics which encouraged local area high school youth to excel in performing and visual arts, math and sciences. In no matter what forum or venue, Betty was always pushing education as an important goal for young and old alike.
     
6) Betty is a role model for all students - Betty was (and is) a role model for civic engagement. She served on the board of the Democratic Party of Dane County, the United Way of Dane County, and the Madison Community Foundation. She was the secretary of the Dane County Parent Council when former MMSD board member Kwame Salter was its executive director. Betty was a member of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce and   the Madison Downtown Rotary, just to name a few organizations that have benefited from Betty's knowledge and experience. Betty was an entrepreneur who took risks to create a business that she thought was important to the community. While naming the school after Betty will serve as a reminder to African American children about the importance of education, Betty's life and work could serve as a rich educational resource for the teachers at the school as they develop lesson plans to teach children how to make an impact on their community and serve as community citizens.

Co-Sponsors - Jonathan Gramling, Frances Huntley-Cooper, Enis Ragland, Heidi M. Pascual, Juan José Lopez, Dr. Virginia Henderson, Dr. Perry A. Henderson, Stephen Braunginn, Brenda Brown, Judge Paul Higginbotham, James P. Danky, Mona Adams Winston, E. Aggo Akyea, Glorily      Lopez, L. Jean Daniels, Ben Manski, Willie Larkin, Brenda Konkel, Ruben L. Anthony Jr., Wanda Anthony, Cynthia Woodland, Professor Sandra Adell, Freddie Clark, Michael Bentley, Alicia Jackson, John Powell, Valeria Davis, Lucia Nunez, Colier McNair, Candace McDowell, Marsha Rummel,   Alfonso Studesville, Fredrik Svensson, Lu Ann Quella, Linnell Franklin, Oscar Mireles, Joseph R. Thomas, LeeAnne Banks, Deborah Ann Speckmann, Dr. Paul Barrows, Laura Salinger, Lang Kenneth Haynes, LeAnna Ware, Anthony 'Nino' Amato, Bob Queen, Nancy Kathman, Sandy Magan;a,      Godwin Amegashie, Joseph Hill, Teresa Tellez-Giron, Andrew Gramling, Dennis Alfred Pascual, Todd Kubly, Sharyl Kato, Peter Munoz, Roderick A.  Ritcherson, Eugene S. Johnson, Afi Monyaka, Mary Kirkendoll, Carola A. Gaines, Marjorie Nicholson, Dr. Joann Pritchett, State Representative      Robert Turner, Allan S. Lynk, Cora E. White, Alphonso Cooper, Theresa Sanders, Barbara Smith, Tina Murray, Jan Studesville, Derrick L. Smith,      Bhavani 'Shree' Sridharan, Jamelle Wade, David Wandell, Police Chief Noble Wray, Jim Moeser, Rudolph Bentley, Ray Allen, Lorri Wendorf, Ronald Cato, Edward Lee, Emanuel Scarbrough, Ty Glenn, Enid Glenn, Annette Miller, Darrell Bazzell, JoAnn Moore, Wayne Canty, Michelle Whitman, Iris    R. Tirado-Nonnan, Dana J. Warren, Kamal James, Cora Higginbotham, Robert P. Steele, Barb Franks, Fabu Carter Brisco, Dora Zuniga, Aaron Backer,    Jana Williams, Doreatha Ragland, Cynthia Ragland, Wesley Sparkman, Janice Rice, Marlene Duffield, Tenia Jenkins, Deborah Garrett Thomas, Sandra Rowe, Bill Clingan, Rev. David Smith, Tracy Smith, Marianne Morton, Tariq Pasha, Roxanne Allison, Velma J. Ritcherson, William Franks, Janice Hughes, Shirley Stennis-Williams, Shelley King-Curry, Demetri Fisher, Charlestine Daniel, Jacqueline A. DeWalt, Linda Glover, Dr. Gloria Hawkins, LaMarr Billups, Sheryl Billups. Pearl Leonard-Rock, Pamela Pfeffer, Jacqueline Rodman, Theola Carter, Travelle Franklin-Ford, Rachel DiAnne McKinsey, Toshiba Traynham, Dale and Dianne Hopkins, Terri Strong, Dr. Floyd Rose, Mary Rose, Dr. Michelle DeBose, Gregory Jones, Earnestine Moss, Kirbie G. Mack, Constance Miles, Shunnette Campbell Hunter, Joyce M. Gilmer, Amelia Jones Enwemnwa, Joyce Boggess, Amos and Marcia Anderson, Jan Miyasaki, Jacqueline Wright, Ada Deer, Andreal Davis, Shakia Turner, Carolyn Konkol, Dan Gallagher, Rev. Gregory Armstrong, Alan Ruff, Charles Brown, Dr. William Bosu, Richard Lowe, Dr. Joe Brewoo, Frank Kooistra, Ann Marie Dawson, Koso Weller, Felix Ossia, Ray Kumapayi, Richard Yarl
Co-Sponsoring Organizations - Four  Lakes Green Party, African Association of Madison
Vol. 2 No. 22                     October 31, 2007
October 31, 2007
STORIES & COLUMNS

* The Literary Divide: Shoot first,
ask questions later
,
by Dr. Paul Barrows

*
African American Centered Pedagogy Curriculum Project: A question of race (Part 2),
by Jonathan Gramling

*
La Movida Spanish Language radio station celebrates five years: A voice for the community,
by Jonathan Gramling

*
An interview with Patty Loew: "Way of the Warrior,"
by Laura Salinger

*
Asian Wisconzine: At the Peace Corps, working for peace, finding love,
by Heidi M. Pascual

*
Suicide rates high among farmers in India,
by Shree Sridharan

*
Spotlight on Energy: Paying attention to the little things to save energy,
by Jonathan Gramling
Sidebar: Conserve energy, Save Money (from MGE)

*
Politicas de hoy: Donde esta el progresismo en Wisconsin?
por Alfonso Zepeda Capistran

*
Simple things: Rebirthing,
by Lang Kenneth Haynes

*
Voices: Dr. Michael Eric Tyson,
by Dr. Jean Daniels

*
Guest column: Living democracy,
by Frances Moore Lappe

*
Centerspread: Stomp da madness,
by Jonathan Gramling

*
Stork's Nest to open in Madison: Promoting healthy babies,
by Jonathan Gramling

*
China Dispatch: When Summer is gone,
by Andrew Gramling

*
Chief Noble Wray talks about crime in Madison: The perception of crime (Part 2),
by Jonathan Gramling

*
Immigrant Success Stories: Two years and counting ...
by Jonathan Gramling

*
Letters to the Editor




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Mural History
Artist Sheba McCants depicts scenes of Black History
  Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
                                           
Name the school for Betty