Photo gallery Putting the ‘unity’ in community
Sunshine and smiles abounded outside of the new Black Business Hub at 2234 South Park Street on Saturday as the South Madison community gathered for the ninth annual Unity Picnic hosted by the Urban League of Greater Madison with support from sponsors and community partners including the UW South Madison Partnership, UW Athletics and UW Health.
Outside the Hub, South Madison community members enjoyed live music, free food and a slate of activities. Staff of UW South Madison Partnership hosted a table alongside UW Athletics, offering face painting and family-friendly fun. UW athletes, including members of Badger volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, and women’s hockey were on hand to play four square and other lawn games with some potential future Badgers. Meanwhile, Bucky Badger dug into the festivities by jumping in on selfies and handing out high-fives. UW Health partnered with SSM Health, Dean Health, Group Health Cooperative, Madison Metropolitan School District and others to offer a free vaccine clinic hosted in the UWSMP community space next-door to the picnic.
UW–Madison Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin joined the festivities along with UW Athletic Director Chris McIntosh, enjoying a tour of the still-under-construction Hub facilities, which will serve as the Madison region’s premiere enterprise center devoted to incubating, accelerating and networking Black and other BIPOC entrepreneurs. Derek Smith — retired director of external relations, partnerships and development for UW–Madison’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement and current co-chair of the Hub’s capital campaign — led the tour, showcasing the value and impact the Hub will have on Madison’s Black-led entrepreneurial ecosystem and community.
“The UWSMP team has incredible neighbors in the Urban League of Greater Madison, and we are delighted to celebrate our shared community, connection and place,” noted Director of Community Relations Brenda González.
UW–Madison mascot Bucky Badger dances with children during the ninth annual Unity Picnic on July 22, 2023.
Sarah Wells, 91, attended the picnic with her daughter Mary. Wells proudly wears a pair of earrings with the phrase “I am Black history” during the picnic. Wells first moved to South Madison in 1948 when her mother took a position as a cook for a UW sorority house on Langdon Street, where Sarah would assist her. Wells spent most of her life living within blocks of where the Unity Picnic was held and enjoyed the opportunity to connect with her neighbors.
Standing at far right, Tanika Apaloo, assistant director of the UW South Madison Partnership Office, poses for a photo with a group of UW student athletes. The community celebration and outreach event was hosted by Urban League of Greater Madison with support from sponsors and community partners, including the UW South Madison Partnership, UW Athletics and UW Health.
Derek Smith — retired director of external relations, partnerships and development for UW–Madison’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement and current co-chair of the Hub’s capital campaign — led a tour of the new Black Business hub facilities. From left to right, UW–Madison Athletic Director Chris “Mac” McIntosh, UW Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin and UW Political Science Professor Joshua Foa Dienstag (Mnookin’s husband) listen to Derek Smith (at far right).
Jamie Campbell with Wheels for Winners tunes a bicycle during the event, which featured food, music and lots of activities for the South Madison community.
From left to right, Gabby, Lilly and Sophia Henning of Sun Prairie decorate a cardboard cutout of a school bus at a table sponsored by First Student, a local bus transportation company.
Standing second and third from right, UW–Madison Athletic Director Chris “Mac” McIntosh and UW–Madison Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin listen to Ed Lee (far left), senior vice president of the Urban League of Greater Madison, during a tour of the Hub.
UW–Madison mascot Bucky Badger poses for a photo with an attendee during the picnic.