Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - 7:43pm

The Annual Reverend Wright Human Rights Award goes this year to Tami Fleming, who has dedicated much of her life to helping Madison’s homeless population. The award was presented at the Common Council meeting February 23, 2021.

Tami is the executive director of Shelter from the Storm, a referral-based temporary housing facility. She is also the founder of Friends of the State Street Family, whose mission is to “alleviate human suffering by providing help and hope to people experiencing homelessness in Dane County by connecting them with essential resources.” Tami founded Friends of the State Street Family in 2011 to provide survival gear, outreach and food to homeless people. They also help people sleeping on and around State Street find housing through the Housing First Initiative.

“There are not enough words that can describe how Tami impacts not only the volunteers, but each person she meets. Her compassion for helping people attain their basic human needs is amazing, and she treats each person with respect and dignity,” said Department of Civil Rights Director Norman Davis.

The Reverend James C. Wright Human Rights Award honors the late Reverend Wright, a civil rights pioneer in Madison. During the 1960s, he worked on the adoption of the City of Madison's Equal Opportunities Ordinance, and served as Executive Director of the Equal Opportunities Commission from its inception in 1968 until his retirement in 1992. Rev. Rev. Wright was born in Camden, South Carolina.

The award is given to an individual who best exemplifies Rev. Wright's dedication and compassion for civil and human rights and who conducts their daily life consistent with these values.

Prior recipients of the award include: Jacqueline Wright, 1996; Dr. Richard H. Harris, 1997; Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson; 1998; Helen Vukelich, 1999; Anthony "Nino" Amato, 2000; _John Noreika, Sr., 2001;Dr. John Y. Odom, 2002; Peter Munoz in 2003; Earnestine Moss in 2004; Jonathan "Jon" Gramling in 2005; Agnes Gutierrez Cammer in 2006; Jeffery Erlanger in 2007; Professor Richard Davis in 2008; Darlene Hancock, 2009; Alfonso Studesville, 2010; Richard V. Brown Sr, 2011; Colleen Butler, 2012; Charlestine Daniel, 2013; Dr. Floyd Rose, 2014; Anthony Timmons, 2015; Annette Miller, 2016.

For more information, see: www.cityofmadison.com/civil-rights/about/awards/reverend-james-c-wright-award