Urban League’s 8th annual Unity Picnic is back in full form

MADISON, Wis. – For the first time since the start of the pandemic the Urban League of Greater Madison’s Unity Picnic is back in full form.

The group held its 8th annual event meant to bring people together to decompress but also to learn about community service programs they and their partners offer.

Former Governor Jim Doyle, who regularly attends the yearly event, was one of several big local names at the picnic from pastors to politicians.

“The Urban League’s emphasis on really creating wealth in the black community, developing entrepreneurship, getting people really trained for good paying jobs, I mean it’s critical to everything we’re doing,” he said. “So I’m happy to support them.”

RELATED: Groundbreaking held for Black Business Hub in south Madison

League President and CEO Reuben Anthony said the event came to be called the Unity Picnic shortly after Madison teen Tony Robinson was shot by police.

“We thought that we needed to have unity,” Anthony said. “A time that we can come together and not really think about all the serious stuff but have a chance to rub elbows with neighbors from multiple communities.”

He also said the event was held at their location near Elver Park this year for the first time to expand their community reach,

The Urban League offers people help with job training, housing, and youth programming.

It is also currently working on opening a $25.5 million black business hub which the league has already raised $8.5 million to build. Construction on the new facility began in April.