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Milwaukee Mayor Cavailer Johnson kicks off Black History Month recognizing Black Milwaukee leaders

February 1, 2023
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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) — February marks the start of Black History Month, a month that celebrates the contributions of African Americans.

It’s a tradition that dates back to 1976.

Wednesday, Feb. 1, Milwaukee recognized Black leaders making history in our hometown.

The celebration took place at Baders Philanthropies Inc., located in the city’s Harambe Neighborhood.

The Black History Recognition Ceremony was put on by Milwaukee Mayor Cavailer Johnson.

“Today will be about recognizing the women and the men here in our community who are doing positive things, not just in our past but also in today’s history,” said Johnson.

The mayor went on to say the work of current Black leaders ought to be amplified throughout the city.

“This event is extremely important because it’s important for us to recognize the challenges and successes of the past in terms of Black History Month, but to honor and recognize those individuals who are making history today,” said Johnson.

Six leaders were honored from every major industry for being outstanding citizens, tenacious business leaders and their charitable contributions.

“To get the notice that the mayor wanted to recognize me for those things, my charitable contributions, my voluntarism, it warmed my heart in a way that I never expected,” said Alicia Smith, vice president of development and analytics for Advocate Aurora Health.

Smith said her work in the community comes naturally.

“I think I had a spirit of giving and leading since I was very young, so I don’t think about it I just kind of do,” said Smith.

Smith said she plans to continue to uplift her community just as it has helped her achieve her goals.

“I just want to see us all be great if I can help one person, two, three or four, that’s what I am all about.

This is the first ceremony the mayor’s office has hosted celebrating Black voices.