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Seeking Tolerance and Justice Over Hate, or “STAJOH”, was formed in 1999 in order to combat hate crimes in our community. STAJOH created the Alix Olson Award in 2011 to honor retired Madison Police Detective Alix Olson and her admirable leadership against hate in our community during her career. Because of COVID priorities and other constraints, the 2020 honor was not awarded last year.

Oscar Mireles, the 2020 award winner, has fostered a community of mutual acceptance and equality in the City of Madison and Dane County for over two decades, leading by example and having a significant impact on community participation in the spheres of poetry and art, social justice and educational access, and brings together diverse segments of the community through his arts initiatives and creates opportunities for collaboration and support across communities through his service to organizations and groups.

Mireles has been the Executive Director of Omega School for over 25 years, providing fruitful approaches to student support, relocating the school to a historically marginalized neighborhood and changing the way student outcome disparities are viewed.

Mireles impacts our community through his service as a poet and founding member of several organizations that build bridges to bring together individuals, activists, educators, children, young adults, and others by creating opportunities for collaboration and support of one another and of marginalized people in our community.

The Tamara D. Grigsby Office for Equity and Inclusion of Dane County, is being honored with the 2021 award. Staff there endeavor to develop promotional opportunities, share business development information with Emerging Small Businesses, implement policies that generate equal opportunities and fund community partners in equity, pushing toward economic prosperity for all, while striving to address past inequities by reviewing current fee structures and eliminating unnecessary penalties while providing improved access to services.

The Tamara D. Grigsby Office for Equity and Inclusion of Dane County advises all County offices regarding policies in order to mitigate disparate impact, resolves discrimination complaints, certifies businesses, partners with other government stakeholders to review and develop equitable practices, studies hiring statistics and focuses on recruiting diverse candidates, ensures compliance with accessibility and accommodation standards, provides language interpretation and translation and serves as a resource regarding equity.

The Tamara D. Grigsby Office for Equity and Inclusion of Dane County is dedicated to developing and ensuring inclusivity, equity and sustainability in order to make Dane County a better place to live and work by ensuring equal access to opportunity, hiring, contracting and service.

The City of Madison Department of Civil Rights and STAJOH congratulate and thank Mr. Mireles and staff with the Office for Equity and Inclusion for all they have done, and continue to do, for our community.

The Alix Awards will be presented at the December 7, 2021 Common Council meeting.