Mario White Appointed Dane County Circuit Court Judge

Mario White is Dane County Circuit Court judge. He was appointed in June by Gov. Tony Evers to fill a vacancy created by Judge William Hanrahan’s resignation. 

“I am humbled and honored to be appointed to the Dane County bench by Governor Evers. The need for a compassionate, impartial, and independent judiciary has never been greater. I look forward to bringing my perspective and experiences to the bench to ensure equal justice for all,” said White. 

White is currently a Dane County Court Commissioner, where he handles family, criminal, and other proceedings. Between 2008 and 2018, White was an assistant state public defender, representing individuals accused of crimes in Dane County. White also is an adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he teaches courses on trial advocacy and coaches mock trial. 

“As the last week has shown, we need top-to-bottom change in our criminal justice system to address its systemic racism,” said Evers. “One of the ways we can do this is ensuring we have judges who understand and reflect the communities they serve. As a former teacher and highly accomplished public defender, Mario White will do just that.”

White graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2008. He earned his undergraduate degree from the Oklahoma State University. Prior to law school, White was a high school math teacher for three years in Dallas, Texas.

“Mario White is a superb addition to the Dane County judiciary. White understands the role of a judge and understands the need for all who come before the court to be heard. He brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and integrity to the bench. We are confident that he will ensure justice for all,” said Judges Rhonda L. Lanford and Ellen K. Berz. 

Danielle Geathers: MIT’s First Black Woman Student Body President in the School’s 159-Year History

Danielle Geathers is a rising college junior majoring in mechanical engineering with a concentration in product design, or at they say at MIT, Course 2-A, according to CNBC.

She is also the first Black woman elected to serve as MIT’s student body president in the school’s 159 years — a fact she has researched extensively. 

“I actually did an independent study in the fall semester and I wrote 30 pages about the history of Black female recruitment at MIT,” she told CNBC, noting that an ideal outcome of her presidency is that “MIT is a more inclusive place and that Black student matriculation goes up next year.”

Endorsed by the Black Student Union’s Leadership, three Class Council Presidents and the Chinese Student’s Club, the candidates extensive experience in student leadership and detailed knowledge of MIT’s history created the winning ticket.

In a time where experience counts, Geathers offers a compilation of the ideas and concerns she gathered from years of experience working with various communities, on and off campus.

Corinda Rainey-Moore is UnityPoint Health – Meriter’s New Community Engagement Manager

Corinda Rainey-Moore has joined UnityPoint Health – Meriter as Community Engagement Manager. Rainey-Moore most recently served as Community Outreach and Engagement Manager for Kids Forward, where she was responsible for the organization’s short- and long-term strategic plan both internally and externally.

 In addition, Rainey-Moore has over 27 years of experience working in mental health as a manager with oversight of programs serving adults with severe and persistent mental health needs. At Meriter, Rainey-Moore will lead the healthcare system’s community benefit, community relations and community health improvement efforts. This includes a focus on achieving healthy birth outcomes for African American women.

Danyelle Wright Named New Cottage Grove School Principal

Based on the recommendation of Superintendent Dan Olson, the Monona Grove School Board–at its June 9 special board meeting–approved the selection of Danyelle Wright as the new principal of Cottage Grove School (CGS).  

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to work in a collaborative role with principals and other educational leaders to help facilitate and create models of innovation that will propel student performance for all the students at Cottage Grove School, including students who might be marginalized due to their race, disability or economic status.” Wright said.  

 Wright most recently served as associate principal at Toki Middle School in Madison, with prior administrative experience with the Sun Prairie Area School District. She is a doctoral candidate at UW-Madison in the Education Leadership Policy Analysis department and anticipates completing her doctorate in December 2020. Wright rose to the top of the field of candidates based on not only her qualifications, but also her philosophy and goals which align with those of the Monona Grove School District.  

 The 2020-2021 school year will serve as a planning year for both Wright and current CGS principal Reed Foster as he prepares to move to the new elementary school when it opens in the fall of 2021. This spring, several candidates were screened and interviewed by administrators, teachers and staff; in May, a panel of teachers, staff, parents and community members participated in a virtual forum with each finalist for the position.  

 “It’s clear that with Ms. Wright on board, our ongoing efforts to improve the experiences of students in our district will thrive,” said Superintendent Olson. “We’re proud to welcome her to Monona Grove.”  

Wright begins in her new role on July 1. Due to current public health orders, meet and greet events may be planned for the future. 

Senate Confirms First Black Air Force Chief

The U.S. Senate voted unanimously in June to confirm four-star Gen. Charles “C.Q.” Brown as the next Air Force chief of staff. This historic vote made him the first African American leader of a military service. The announcement came just four days after he delivered a powerful video message about equality and racism on social media.

“As the commander of Pacific Air Forces, a senior leader in our Air Force, and an African American, many of you may be wondering what I’m thinking about the current events surrounding the tragic death of George Floyd,” he began. “Here’s what I’m thinking about.”

In addition to being the first Black military service chief, Brown will be the first African American to sit on the Joint Chiefs of Staff since Colin Powell was chairman from 1989 to 1993.

The heartfelt comments included insight into his experiences as a man of color facing racism in education, in the community and in his professional life.

Brown is a distinguished graduate of the ROTC program at Texas Tech and was responsible for Air Force activities and 36,000 airmen serving primarily in Japan, Korea, Hawaii, Alaska and Guam in his position as commander of Pacific Air Forces. He was an F-16 pilot logging more than 2,900 flying hours with 130 of those hours performed in combat.

Meet the Georgia Teen Who Secured An International Coronavirus PPE Deal

Black Enterprise writes: For most teenagers around the country, the primary concern during these uncertain times is navigating school and figuring what to do when they graduate. A Georgia-based teenager has taken a different route than his peers.

Instead of sweating extra-curricular activities, he’s managing new business contracts in the wake of a viral pandemic to create a thriving business.

Wesley Ross is the owner of NorthStar Dynamics, a global wholesale delivery service with a connection to numerous international companies. When his clients starting coming to him in desperate need of face masks at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, he used his network to locate a Chinese factory to accommodate their requests. At the time of the deal, he was just 15 years old.

“I got them for 41-cents per mask,” Ross said in an interview with Shoppe Black. “My goal with the masks was to get them to the public as fast as possible.” He has also donated 250 masks for every 1,000 masks he has sold through his new contracts. Twenty-five percent of his revenue goes toward coronavirus relief.

Ross is now a 16-year-old rising junior who is growing his business while trying to get through high school and keeping his grades up. “I have always tried to do big things,” he said. “I was not meant to be an everyday high schooler.” He also founded a company called SpeedLabs that sells car accessories and electronics to raise money for a car club.

Alliant Energy Employee in Madison Gets National Recognition for Customer Affordability work

Haben Goitom’s journey to her role as Alliant Energy’s director of Business Transformation began in the legal department seven years ago. Recently, she’s been recognized by one of the utility industry’s leading publications for her accomplishments.

 Public Utilities Fortnightly included Goitom on its list of Fortnightly Under Forty 2020. The list of 64 young and rising stars in the utility industry includes employees of utilities, commissions, professional firms and government agencies across the country. 

“I find this work exciting and meaningful. It’s a privilege to collaborate with a talented team and groups across the company to make changes that benefit our customers and communities,” said Goitom. “It’s certainly an honor, but I really see this as recognition of the great work of our team.”

Goitom was recognized for her ongoing leadership in advancing customer affordability initiatives throughout the company. She oversees a company team that works to transform Alliant Energy’s operations and find more efficient ways to do things. In this role, Goitom addresses one of the industry’s most pressing objectives – delivering affordable energy service to customers for years to come.

 “Haben truly lives our Values every day. Her passion for supporting our customers and communities demonstrates our Value to Make things better,” says Robert Durian, executive vice president and chief financial officer. “The ability she exhibits in identifying and implementing innovative ideas that lead to sustainable changes that help our customers shows our Value to Think beyond. Be bold.” 

 Public Utilities Fortnightly published the list of Fortnightly under Forty 2020 in the June 2020 issue