Dr. Fabu Carter awarded 2023 Jeffrey Clay Erlanger Civility in Public Discourse Award

A headshot of Dr. Fabu Carter on the left, accompanied by text reading "Dr. Fabu Carter awarded 2023 Jeffrey Clay Erlanger Civility in Public Discourse Award." The UW crest is shown beneath the text.

Fabu Carter, PhD, was honored with the 2023 Jeffrey Clay Erlanger Civility in Public Discourse Award. The annual award was created by former Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and the Common Council to honor Madison residents who exemplify Jeff Erlanger’s model of fairness, openness and civility in public discourse.

“Dr. Fabu Carter’s contributions to our city make her an excellent choice for this year’s Erlanger Award,” said Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway. “Her passion, dedication and willingness to have difficult conversations to improve and enrich the lives of Madison residents are values she shares with Jeff Erlanger. She has been a leader in Madison for years and continues to work on behalf of those who may not have a voice of their own.“

Carter is an educator, activist, poet and historian, whose work has touched the people of Madison for decades. As a longtime Madison leader, she has tirelessly advocated for justice, equity and inclusion and was a critical member of the team that established the Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development. Dr. Carter served as Madison’s third poet laureate and was the first African American to be appointed to this position. In this role, she created opportunities for diverse voices to be heard including focusing on the voices of youth. She has created countless programs in support of the arts and has served on numerous committees including the Madison Arts Commission. Carter continues her work on behalf of disadvantaged and marginalized communities through her work at the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center’s (ADRC) Inclusion of Underrepresented Groups Program, where she serves as a senior outreach program manager — increasing awareness of Alzheimer’s in the African American community. She also leads the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project — visiting local nursing homes and leading poetry groups for older adults with dementia. Additionally, she contributes a monthly column for the Capital City Hues and the Cap Times. Throughout her life’s work and across all environments, she has worked to effect change by creating opportunities for civil discourse, celebrating differences and leading with compassion, respect, kindness and honesty.

Jeffrey Clay Erlanger Civility in Public Discourse Award Winner is Dr. Fabu Carter,” was published online by the City of Madison on December 29, 2023.

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