OMAI’s work saluted by Madison Magazine’s M List

Congratulations to the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives (OMAI), a unit in the Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement operating under the Office of the Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, for being named to Madison Magazine’s M List for 2015.

Celebrating its ten-year anniversary this fall, the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives has created a ripple effect throughout the hip-hop arts and spoken word community.

First Wave is a multicultural art scholarship program that has three primary tenants: academics, arts and activism. Willie Ney created the program because he saw a need for the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s community to represent the nation and give students an opportunity to change the world while getting a world-class education. First-year students in the program participate in a bridge program over the summer, take courses and live together in a residence hall. They have been instrumental in leading social justice-related initiatives and activism and have spread the Black Lives Matter movement across campus and started a nonprofit organization. 

The UW-Madison Center for the Humanities also is being recognized for its work.

In its third year, the M List is a who’s who of Madison area businesses, organizations and individuals who make noteworthy contributions in a certain area. This year, the category is social innovation. Madison Magazine defines that term based on the mission of Stanford University’s Center for Social Innovation. The center’s mission, in part, is to use research, education and experiential learning to strengthen the capacity of individuals and organizations to develop innovative solutions to complex problems.

OMAI is one of 35 M List finalists whose work is helping Madison become a more just, sustainable, collaborative and prosperous community through social innovation.  When developing the list, Madison Magazine evaluators asked five questions:

MList-CoverOpener-jpg1. Does the product/business/initiative/program solve a problem?
2. Does it improve the lives of Madisonians?
3. Is it a growing business/organization/program?
4. Is it collaborative?
5. Is it innovative?

The nomination process was competitive, and there were dozens more potential finalists who were considered. The full list of finalists will be published in the November issue of Madison Magazine.  For the complete list and story go to:…/m-list-2015-social-in…/35704546