Social Justice Events and Readings

The Diversity Committee has compiled a list of events and recommended readings related to issues of inequity, diversity and injustice in the greater Madison area to promote a culturally inclusive learning environment in PLATO.  We hope to develop additional materials and welcome your suggestions. Contact Committee Co- Chairs Kathy Michaelis ( or Rick Orton ( for the Diversity Committee meeting schedule.



Saturday, June 15, 2019


Penn Park: (From Beltline exit Park St., north on South Park St. 2 blocks, right on Buick St. to Penn Park)

Come and celebrate African American independence with other Madisonians! Parade, food, games, music and various vendors at Penn Park.  For further information:   

Information on Juneteenth sponsors visit:

Juneteenth is a day of reflection, a day of renewal, a pride-filled day.  It is a moment in time taken to appreciate the African American experience.  It is inclusive of all races, ethnicities and nationalities as nothing is more comforting than the hand of a friend.”

National Juneteenth Committee

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A Play by August Wilson 

FENCES, a play by August Wilson, tells the story of an African-American family in the 1950’s.  Winner of the Pultizer Prize, Wilson’s protagonist “has gone through life in a country where to be proud and black was to face pressures that could crush a man, body and soul.”

The play will be staged at APT in August and September!

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Recommended Reading

The Diversity Committee hopes to make additional recommendations in the future - we welcome your suggestions. (Contact

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SOMOS LATINAS, Voices of Wisconsin Latina Activists,

by Andrea-Teresa Arenas and Eloisa Gomez

Coauthored by two Milwaukee-born Chicanas who have been active in the Latinx communities of Wisconsin for over thirty-five years “this book is designed to fill the gaps in local histories where Latina activities are missing and to explore their community-building strategies.”

Locking Up Our Own:

Crime and Punishment in Black America , 2017 

by James Forman Jr. 

  • Winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction
  • Long-listed for the National Book Award
  • Finalist, Current Interest Category, Los Angeles Times Book Prizes
  • One of The New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of 2017
  • Short-listed for the Inaugural Goddard Riverside Stephan Russo Book Prize for Social Justice

Former public defender James Forman, Jr. is a leading critic of mass incarceration and its disproportionate impact on people of color. In Locking Up Our Own, he seeks to understand the war on crime that began in the 1970s and why it was supported by many African American leaders in the nation’s urban centers.  

Well written putting our current situation in historical context.

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