Everett Mitchell receives award for community impact

August 18, 2015 By Susannah Brooks

Photo: Everett Mitchell

Everett Mitchell thanks the crowd during a February 2015 open house for the UW South Madison Partnership, a new University of Wisconsin–Madison office space in the Villager Mall in Madison.

Photo:

As director of community relations for the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Everett Mitchell often draws upon multiple aspects of his identity — attorney, pastor, community leader — to bridge divides through engagement with people he serves.

In recognition of his work advancing civil rights, justice and compassion, the board of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute (CHHI) has voted unanimously to present him with its Difference Maker Award.

Mitchell will accept the award at the group’s annual awards luncheon on Tuesday, August 18.

“Everett has been highly effective in making important connections between the university and the greater community from which both sides benefit.”

Charles Hoslet

“Everett has been highly effective in making important connections between the university and the greater community from which both sides benefit,” says Charles Hoslet, interim vice chancellor for university relations. “His work is an excellent example of how the Wisconsin Idea can help bring people and groups closer together.”

John Odom, president of CHHI, praised Mitchell’s “quiet and effective” work, both at UW–Madison and as pastor of Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church on Madison’s east side. Odom cited Mitchell’s civil rights activism, particularly his leadership amidst varied community factions after the killing of teenager Tony Robinson by a Madison police officer.

“Rev. Mitchell’s quiet and effective work has not gone unnoticed, whether liaising relationships between the community and the highest levels of leadership at UW, through his pastoral duties with a growing and dynamic congregation and his application of legal expertise to community issues,” says Odom. 

Mitchell, who has served as director of community relations since 2012, represents the university to local government and develops relationships with local leaders and organizations. He was instrumental in opening the UW South Madison Partnership, an anchor of South Park Street that encourages university-community collaborations by targeting community needs and requests near where people live and work.

“Rev. Mitchell’s quiet and effective work has not gone unnoticed, whether liaising relationships between the community and the highest levels of leadership at UW, through his pastoral duties … and his application of legal expertise to community issues.”

John Odom

Previously, he served as assistant district attorney for Dane County and associate director of the Madison-Area Urban Ministry (MUM), where he worked extensively with restorative justice programs for ex-offenders.

Other recipients of this year’s awards also boast UW–Madison connections. Kirbie Mack, Lauren Mikol and Kenton Peters earned degrees at the university; Thuy Pham-Remmele was a Fulbright Exchange Scholar in English from Vietnam; the late Arthur Goldberger was a distinguished professor in the Department of Economics.

The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute serves the black community and strengthens the entire community through a variety of social, educational and economic outreach programs. Houston was a leading architect of the civil rights movement who served as dean of law at Howard University.