Whether or not you feel strongly about New Year’s resolutions, a brand new year is an excellent time to evaluate your life and identify opportunities to enhance your skills. From eating healthier to being more visionary with goals, local community leaders have big plans for 2020. Here’s what they have to say about their New Year’s resolutions.

Carolyn Stanford Taylor

Superintendent of Public Instruction of Wisconsin

“As state superintendent, my resolutions are to further advocate for the resources needed to help our students succeed in school, and ensure educators are appropriately supported. Wisconsin students must be college and career ready, and building positive relationships with adults in their school is key to accomplishing that goal. I will also encourage the expansion and improvement of mental health supports for students, while making certain all children have access to a quality education.”

Dr. Ruben Anthony Jr. 

President & CEO of the Urban League of Greater Madison

Professionally, I will celebrate the “small victories,” but raise the importance of the 2020 census and elections to the future of our democracy and adequate program funding. Personally, I will make time for planning and for selfcare.

Patrick J. Sims

Deputy Vice Chancellor
for Diversity & Inclusion
– University of Wisconsin-Madison

My New Year’s resolution is to focus on my family.  This is the first year without one of my mother’s siblings who past last year just before Christmas. We all know that tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us and I have two amazing children and a real African Queen … for real though, my wife is first generation Nigerian American and she’s killing it.  I want to let them know that they everything I do is for them and despite my hectic schedule they will always come first.  

On a professional note, I’m looking forward to being able to check a few things off of my to-do list that I’ve had in the works since 2013.  Work in the diversity space is slow and incremental, and if we’re smart, and we don’t get distracted, things will start to move in the right direction. And what seemed like an impossibility just a few short years ago is on the verge of coming to fruition.

Renee Moe

President and CEO
of United Way of Dane County

“Invest in more families to achieve financial independence through stable housing, job training/placement and access to childcare and health care. Continue to grow understanding of local issues and grow financial resources for community change initiatives.

Deep dive into third grade reading work and how community can help support academic success. And drink more water. Earn black belt. Show family how much I love and appreciate them through my words and actions.”

Harper Donahue 

City of Madison’s
Human Resource Director

“Personally, and professionally: In both spaces, I want to be intentional about slowing down and being present. I’m always thinking about what I have to do next, which results in a lack of appreciation for whatever it is that I’m doing at the moment. 

Personally: My 2020 goals are similar to everyone else’s… workout more, eat better and read more. In addition to that, I want to prioritize being a better father and son… more date nights with my mom and daughters.

Professionally: Push harder… in every way. I think the City needs a little more “Malcolm” and less “Martin.”

Camille R. Carter

President of the Madison
Black Chamber of Commerce

Personal Resolution: This year as I reflect on my 2020 vision; I’m choosing to evaluate my life over the last decade and also planning and setting goals for the next decade to come. I feel very passionate that this year, “2020” will bring forward that extra, hindsight- clarity needed to be more successful.  I will seize new opportunities to  live with intentionality, purpose and the resolve to  allow the  lessons learned of my  past to navigate my best future yet. 

Professional Resolution: I’m really learning in my professional life the importance of having work/life balance and the power and influence in the word “No”.  Participating in too much of anything is simply not healthy nor sustainable over the long term.   This year I will schedule more time into my daily agenda to intentionally stop and unplug from work just to find “Joy”…and more physical exercise.

Vanessa McDowell

CEO of YWCA Madison

“Reclaiming my Energy” in my personal and professional life.”

Pastor Marcus Allen

Senior Pastor
of Mt. Zion Baptist Church

I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions, but I do set goals each year. I focus on church, family, self. 

Church: we have labeled 2020 as the year of improvement. We will be focusing on improving our church and our own lives. Oftentimes we set new goals without completing old ones. We will also focus on paying off our mortgage. So, if you know anyone who want to give us some money, please let me know. 

Family: more intentional time with kids and wife. 

Self: get a hobby. Work hard and play hard. Read more books.

Sandy Morales

CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters
of Dane County

Professional Goal: Support our talented staff as we embark on finding a new home for Big Brothers Big Sisters and move before the end of the year! And recruit more male Bigs and Bigs of color to mentor children in our wait pool. 

Personal: Take a week off to celebrate my 15th wedding anniversary by going to Hawaii.

Fabu Phillis Carter

Madison Poet Laureate (2008-2012)

2020 is a year of blessings.  Professionally, I will graduate with a Ph.D. from the African Women’s Centre at the University of Nairobi in Kenya.

Spiritually I continue an amazing journey with my Creator to understand first myself and then others.  Personally, there will be new and wondrous ways in which both my poetry and my life are affirmed and celebrated.