MILWAUKEE, Wis. — City and county officials gathered at the Dr. Benjamin Carson Academy of Science on Milwaukee's north side on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to restate their commitment to acts of service within the community.
Attendees included Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) superintendent Dr. Keith Posley, Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson, Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley and school board vice president Sequanna Taylor.
The community leaders joined over 300 volunteers from nonprofit service organization City Year Milwaukee at the K-8 school to paint murals and complete construction projects.
Posley thanked City Year for their work to enhance the school community in a speech.
“It takes a village to raise and educate a child,” Posley said. “This is the true outpouring of the village.”
All four leaders were given a tour of the school and the murals’ progress. They greeted volunteers, including City Year Americorps members and a handful of MPS teachers coming in on their day off. For these volunteers, their day off was a day on — a day to make positive change in the community and at Carson Academy.
Johnson encouraged volunteers to incorporate Dr. King’s words into their everyday work beyond the holiday. He focused on the quote, “Everyone can be great because everyone can serve.”
“We're working on those things that are new or important to building a strong society, talking about health care, talking about housing, where to go to school, we're talking about education, talking about living and family-supporting jobs, and also talking about justice,” the mayor said.
Crowley not only mentioned the words and work of Dr. King but brought in the words of another civil rights advocate.
“This is a day of good trouble. So happy good trouble day,” he said, referencing friend of Dr. King and former Georgia congressman John Lewis.
Milwaukee school board vice president Sequanna Taylor brought attention to MPS alumni who attended and volunteered at the event in her speech Monday, encouraging others to give back to the schools and systems that helped them in their educational journey.
“I always feel like we need to get back to the place that laid the foundation, the platform for you,” she said.
As city leaders departed, they took a moment to examine a mural of Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo that volunteers painted on a wall.
When volunteers informed Johnson and Crowley of their wish for Antetokounmpo to come to Carson Academy and sign the mural, both leaders pulled out their phones and contacted members of the Bucks team.
“[We’d] love his signature on it!” Johnson tweeted from the event.
Gabriella Hartlaub is an arts editor for the Daily Cardinal. She also reports state politics and life & style stories. Follow her on Twitter at @gabihartlaub.