MLK Day celebrations in Madison

The Women's March is coming to Madison and more stories you should know today. Morning update: Jan. 16

MLK Day celebrations in Madison
Image via National Archives

Happy Monday, Madison!

Today across the nation, people are commemorating and celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Today, the state is hosting the 42nd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute and Ceremony at noon in the Capitol Rotunda.

The annual ceremony is the official state ceremony and claims to be the oldest official MLK Day state celebration in the U.S. This year's theme is “Let Justice Rule,” and the guest speaker is Lawrence University President Dr. Laurie A. Carter.

The ceremony will be streamed on Wisconsin Public Radio and PBS Wisconsin.

This evening is the 38th annual Madison-Dane County MLK Day Observance at the Overture Center. The ceremony’s keynote speaker is Donzaleigh Abernathy, Goddaughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., and an award-winning actress and writer.

The program will also be livestreamed on the Madison City Channel and broadcast on WORT.

— Hayley

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A protester's sign reads "Keep your policies out of my body" at a protest May 3, 2022. Photo by Hayley Sperling

📣 The National Women’s March is coming to Madison.

🥋 A new name for a familiar face on State Street.

  • After more than 30 years on State Street, Villari’s Martial Arts Cooperative has rebranded as Underground Self-Defense.
  • The name is a nod to the space's location below the 500 block of State Street. Underground offers drop-in classes and short courses in self-defense, kickboxing, and Shaolin Kempo Karate, and has a youth martial arts program. Proof of Covid-19 vaccination is required for all classes.
  • The business puts an emphasis on inclusivity, specifically welcoming the LGBTQ+ community and women. They also run an active Instagram account with self-defense tips and videos.
The city's Metro Transit office on East Washington Ave. Photo by Hayley Sperling

🚌 The city is gearing up for BRT.

  • Earlier this month, the city announced the hiring of several new leaders at Metro to oversee the implementation of its redesign of service and the implementation of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).
  • The new Metro Transit network is set to go into effect June 11. The new network puts emphasis on frequency of trips and attempts to make the city’s bus system more direct.

⚖️ Republican lawmakers suspended the state's ban on conversion therapy.

  • Some context: A state licensing board passed a ban on the widely discredited practice of conversion therapy in 2020, and in doing so, prohibited therapists, social workers, and counselors from attempting to change LGBTQ+ clients’ gender identities and sexual orientations.
  • Republicans on a state legislative committee voted last week to suspend the 2020 ban.This isn't the first time the rule has been suspended. And Thursday's vote doesn't mean the ban is gone for good — blocking the rule for good would require a bill to pass in the Legislature and get the governor's signature.

🐴 Your lunchtime read: ‘Wouldn’t you help your relatives survive?’: The return of the Ojibwe horses.

  • Via Wisconsin Life: "Emily Loerzel’s horse, Dimii, neighs while other Ojibwe horses munch on hay during one sunny, fall day in October 2022. These rare breed of horses live at a farm where Loerzel and her husband live in Spring Valley, Wisconsin.

    'I know mama!' Loerzel calls in response to Dimii’s neighs.

    Loerzel raised money last year to rescue six Ojibwe horses from their Canadian owner who could no longer afford to take care of them. They now reside on the Spring Valley farm where she operates the nonprofit organization The Humble Horse."
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