Vel Phillips Campaign

$518,099 Raised of $543 ,000 Goal

Thank you to our fundraising event Silver sponsors

About the Campaign

There is history in the making! The first sculpture on the grounds of a State Capitol of an African American woman will be in Madison, Wisconsin. The Wisconsin State Capitol and Executive Residence Board voted on Monday, November 1st in favor of the historic designation for a statue honoring Vel Phillips.

Help us reach our goal to cover the cost of the sculpture, which will be gifted to the State of Wisconsin after it’s completion.

Velvalea “Vel” Hortense Rodgers Phillips was known for many firsts, including the following historic designations: First African American woman to graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School, First female and first African American elected to the Milwaukee Common Council, First African American judge in the State of Wisconsin and First African American woman to be elected to a statewide office in Wisconsin and the entire nation.  

Mike Phillips, son of Vel Phillips, stated, “My mom’s legacy lives on. But there is more work to be done. We must honor her legacy by investing in our kids. We must help kids find their own ‘firsts’. Together we can support our future leaders.” 

We are asking for your support of Vel Phillips’ legacy by becoming a donor, a fundraiser, or an advocate.

How Can You Support?


Donate to the initiative! You can donate through the button below or send a check to Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County, 5215 Verona Road, Fitchburg WI, 53711 ATTN: Vel Phillips.

Share it out

Share the cause with your friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, and anyone else you know! Check out our collection of articles about Vel Phillips and this initiative below.


Vel Phillips: Dream Big Dreams


February 4th, 2021

WisEye Morning Minute

Wisconsin Black History Month Kickoff 2021

Vel Phillips sculpture Task Force

CHAIR – David Endres – Lead Council of Adjacency Holdings of American Family Insurance,

Dr. Amy Gilman – Executive Director, Chazen Art Museum, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Angela Arrington – Senior Attorney of Alliant Energy

Anthony Cooper – CEO of Focused Interruption

Jake Brown – Assistant Vice President of Operations Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County

Jessica Cavazos – President & CEO of Latino Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Kantara Souffrant – Curator Community Dialogue, Milwaukee Art Museum

Lucy Mathiak – American History, Ph.D

Marilu Knode – Executive Director Black Box Fund / Chair Art Team

Michael Johnson – President & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County

Michael Phillips – Son of Vel Phillips

Milele Coggs – 6th District Alderperson of Milwaukee

Millie Coby – Community Engagement Faith-Based Organizer and Vel Phillips God Daughter

Dr. Patrick McBride – Emeritus Professor, Department of Medicine’s Section of Cardiovascular Medicine and the Department of Family Medicine at UW SPMH

Polly Morris – Executive Director Lynden Sculpture Garden / Milwaukee Arts Board, Public Art Subcommittee Chair / Administrator, Nohl Fellowship

Sande Robinson – Collector / Chair, African American Art Alliance, Milwaukee Art Museum

Shelia Stubbs – Wisconsin State Assembly Rep. (D-77)

Tom Barrett – U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg

Cory Ampe – Founder & Chief Marketing Officer – Campe + Co.