The Community Change-Maker Awards logo in the center with the UW Credit Union logo in the top right corner and the Community Shares logo in the bottom right corner.

You’re invited to Community Shares of Wisconsin’s annual Community Change-Maker Awards on Thursday, September 28, 2023. This hybrid event will take place in person at Union South and online.

We will celebrate local leaders and organizations who are advancing social and environmental justice in our community.

Tickets purchased in support of this event help CSW award $1,000 each to the three nonprofits represented by the Change-Maker Award winners and the three nonprofit winners of the CSW Collaboration Award.

Tickets are a suggested donation of $50. Purchase your tickets or sponsor the event today.

The Community Change-Maker Awards event is generously presented by UW Credit Union.

Change-Maker Award Winners

Marin (Mark) Denning dancing

Marin (Mark) Denning, nominated by Wisconsin Conservation Voices
Winner of the Liesl Blockstein Community Leadership Award

Marin Webster Denning, born on the Menominee reservation, is a member of the Sturgeon Clan and is enrolled in the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin. Marin served for 16 years as the Executive Director of Southeastern Oneida Tribal Services, a full-spectrum social service provider for Oneida tribal members. He is a nationally recognized leading educator, lecturer, and curriculum specialist in American Indian History and culture. Marin is currently a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is a traditional dancer, pow wow emcee, community volunteer, and Water Protector.


Anamaria Peralta

Anamaria Peralta, nominated by Nuestro Mundo
Winner of the Sally Sunde Family Advocate Award

Anamaria Peralta serves as the Bilingual Resource Specialist at Nuestro Mundo Community School and has held this role in the Madison Metropolitan School District for 12 years. Anamaria works to facilitate greater family and parent involvement in the school through programming like classes, training sessions, celebrations, and the school’s food pantry. This work, and her commitment to being a cultural liaison for the families of Nuestro Mundo, are crucial to student success.


Denise Jess

Denise Jess, nominated by Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired
Winner of the Linda Sundberg Civil Rights Defender Award

In her role as the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired, Denise Jess applies her leadership expertise and lived experience to promote the independence, dignity, and empowerment of Wisconsinites living with vision loss. Denise’s impact ranges widely from transportation equity to voting rights and healthcare access. Her work is guided by the belief that in a truly inclusive society, people with disabilities — including vision loss — must be full participants in conversations affecting their lives.


Community Shares of Wisconsin Collaboration Award Winners

This award recognizes CSW member nonprofits that demonstrate the power of collaboration with their coordinated efforts to lead impactful social justice change within our community.

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign logo, League of Women Voters of Wisconsin logo, Wisconsin Conservation Voices logo

This year’s winners are Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, and Wisconsin Conservation Voices.

The Wisconsin Fair Maps Coalition began in 2016 when a number of nonpartisan good government organizations came together to find new ways to engage and affect public policy.

In recent years, under the leadership of Carlene Bechen, the coalition has built and maintained a grassroots activist network dedicated to creating fair maps, which has engaged in many mobilization efforts around the state.

The long-term goal of the Wisconsin Fair Maps Coalition is to create a legislative fix to a very partisan problem: severely gerrymandered legislative districts. The coalition works to connect the dots of what is or is not happening with gerrymandered districts and to develop a nonpartisan process for drawing legislative districts to effectively put an end to gerrymandering.


Community Shares of Wisconsin Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Julie Andersen in front of trees

Julie Andersen

Over the span of her 40-year career, Julie Andersen has played an integral role in a variety of social, racial, economic, and environmental justice causes, connecting people with each other, ideas, and their individual and collective powers. Her career in nonprofit work and philanthropy encompassed community organizing, international development, domestic violence prevention, and the intersection of inner healing with systemic change. She worked with youth in North Carolina and Washington, DC, women in Kenya, and marginalized neighborhoods in Des Moines. She served as Executive Director, Interim ED, and other important roles in many organizations within the Community Shares of Wisconsin network including Working Capital for Community Needs (WCCN), Wisconsin Apprentice Organizers Project, UNIDOS Against Domestic Violence, and End Abuse. She currently works as a professional life coach and co-leader at CORE.

Julie has been a Big Sister through BBBS for 15 years, more than half of them with her current “Little Sister,” from whom she is constantly learning. She also currently volunteers with Groundswell Conservancy, on the Town of Dunn Parks Commission, and with the League of Women Voters.

Julie’s parents’ dedication to serving their community as a foster family and in numerous other ways helped shape her commitment to social justice. In addition to learning from her family, through vocational studies, and via life experiences, Julie has a bachelor’s in elementary/special education, a master’s in international development studies, and a graduate certificate in sustainability leadership.

Julie lives in the Town of Dunn with her husband, Steve Greb, and enjoys outdoor activities that connect her to nature, herself, and others.

Have questions? Contact Megan Diaz-Ricks at [email protected] or call 608-256-1066.

Community Shares of Wisconsin strives to host inclusive and accessible events that enable all individuals to participate. Please contact us to request an accommodation or to register for this event outside of the Eventbrite system.

Community Shares of Wisconsin is committed to protecting your health at our events by following the current guidelines from Public Health Madison & Dane County.

At the in-person event, we have added an extra hall at Union South so we can all spread out more in the space and will only have 8 people to a table instead of the usual 10. Masks are encouraged and will be available along with hand sanitizer.

We are also offering an online virtual option if you would rather not attend in person. If you are not feeling well on the day of the event, please attend using the online virtual option instead.