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Three organizations and two individuals are being recognized for their work in creating exceptional opportunities for underserved populations as recipients of the seventh annual M List awards. This year's honorees, selected for their innovative contributions to diversity and inclusion, are Harambee Village, the Loka Initiative, Maydm, Annik Dupaty and Shiva Bidar, who is the recipient of a special M List award given by Madison365.
The collective scope of their work includes teaching mothers about breastfeeding and living well; engaging faith leaders to address climate change; teaching girls of color how to code; making art accessible to all through creative event planning; and directing funds toward community projects that can make a difference.
"These honorees were chosen for their purposeful efforts to serve communities that often go unnoticed in mainstream society and for the innovative ways they carry out their work," said Karen Lincoln Michel, publisher and executive editor of Madison Magazine. "A common thread is that they saw unmet needs in areas they are invested in and used their ingenuity and influence to fill those voids creatively. For that, we applaud them."
Michel says she is pleased that the magazine is partnering this year with Madison365, a nonprofit online news outlet.
"Since we launched Madison365 in 2015, I've been reminded again and again how important it is for media outlets to highlight diversity and inclusion and to tell the stories of the people who are making real change and opportunities in our community," says Henry Sanders, publisher and CEO of Madison365. "I'm grateful for this partnership with Madison Magazine and look forward to working together in the future."
Sanders, along with Michel, served as a member of the advisory team that helped select the 2019 M List recipients. Other team members were Zach Blumenfeld, founder of CultureCon; Zach Brandon, president of the Greater Madison Area Chamber of Commerce; Neil Heinen, editorial director of Madison Magazine and WISC-TV; Sabrina Madison, founder of the Progress Center for Black Women; Brennan Nardi, columnist and former editor of Madison Magazine; and Mark Richardson, president of Unfinished Business and CEO of GigBlender. Also, the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce has been a partner of the M List since 2013, when Nardi conceived the idea of the M List along with Brandon.
The 2019 awardees, listed below, will be honored at a public event to be held Thursday, Sept. 12 at The Madison Concourse Hotel in Madison, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $45 per person and $350 per table of eight and can be purchased at eventbrite.com.
Harambee Village is an organization focused on black women's health, especially young mothers. Harambee Village seeks to lower black infant mortality by providing specialized care to all mothers, especially women of color, and by using grassroots connections and community partnerships to offer a variety of equitable resources.
Loka Initiative, which is housed within the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, supports faith-led environmental efforts locally and around the world through collaborations with faith leaders and religious institutions on environmental protection, sustainable development and global health issues. Dekila Chungyalpa, director of the Loka Initiative, organized a global conference last month and pushed for inclusion of indigenous women and Wisconsin tribal leaders at this worldwide conference.
Maydm is a local nonprofit that focuses on getting young women and students of color engaged in the STEM fields. Winnie Karanja, founder and executive director of Maydm, started the organization because women of color are vastly underrepresented in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. So efforts by Madym — driven by Karanja — are vital in providing a path for the organization's students to become professionals of color in the STEM fields.
Shiva Bidar is chief diversity officer at UW Health and president of the Madison Common Council. Chosen as an M List recipient by Madison365, Bidar has influenced both UW Health and the city of Madison to get money into the hands of organizations that are doing good work.
Annik Dupaty is director of events and volunteers at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Dupaty has been influential in the museum's increase in events that represent and celebrate diverse communities and perspectives, such as developing and launching the Emerge block as an addition to Art Fair on the Square to give exposure to early-career artists and those representing diverse communities.