The M List 2016: Sabrina Madison

Forward progress
The M List 2016: Sabrina Madison
Sabrina Madison

She calls herself “Heymiss Progress,” a name adapted from a quote by 19th-century author and orator Frederick Douglass, who said: “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” And Sabrina Madison knows about struggle. She was kidnapped as a toddler, became a mom at 16, grew up with a mentally ill mother and had uncles who were in and out of prison.

“You name it, we experienced it,” she says.

Now a motivational speaker and social entrepreneur, the 37-year-old businesswoman is the founder of the first Black Women’s Leadership Conference in Madison, held last May to a sold-out crowd. “The mission was to reclaim our power,” she says. “I was really fed up not seeing black women invited into decision-making spaces.”

According to Madison, many success stories have come out of the conference. “One woman got a promotion after attending our workshops,” she says. Madison says this city is full of brilliant black women. “They are leading in their workplaces and no one knows about it.”

The M List

Madison Magazine’s M List is a who’s who of organizations and individuals who are having an impact on our local culture and economy. In its fourth year, the M List recognizes those making strides as mentors and teachers. Last year’s list of honorees were making impacts in the area of social innovation. The original M List, in 2013, honored the technology sector. The 2014 M List honored “Foodtastic” entrepreneurs and innovators.

Click here to return to the 2016 M List homepage.