Volume One


Northwestern Bank


Selika Ducksworth-Lawton


Selika Ducksworth-Lawton

Selika Ducksworth-Lawton advances equity, diversity, and inclusivity efforts in the Chippewa Valley through her work as president of Uniting Bridges. Ducksworth-Lawton doesn’t stop there. She collaborates with nearly every social justice organization in the Chippewa Valley to continue to promote lasting change.

Dr. Selika Ducksworth-Lawton makes the Chippewa Valley a better community through her extensive work in our community as a part of the “Wisconsin Idea” — or putting her expertise to practice by working hard to make her community better.

“We learn by doing,” she said. “We don’t learn by being ranted at. Nobody learns by being yelled at. To have a conversation is at the heart of being human. And to facilitate those conversations, and to facilitate people seeing people who are different from them as human, I think is the most important thing we can do.”

She works as a history professor at UW-Eau Claire, president of social justice organization Uniting Bridges, is a founder and facilitator of live-streamed event Conversations in Color, acts as a liaison for the Eau Claire Police Department and the Eau Claire Area School District (educating in areas of racial justice and equity), acts as a state representative of the Chippewa Valley’s ACLU chapter, acts as co-regional lead for Toward One Wisconsin, is a community advisory committee member for Eau Claire’s Transformation Project, and is an Opportunity Wisconsin Steering Committee member.

Most recently, she helped found the Chippewa Valley Equality Initiative, which connects social justice organizations and their resources in one convenient online presence.

Ducksworth-Lawton was recognized in 2019 as one of the most influential Black leaders in Wisconsin by Madison 365. This year, she was awarded the 2021 Board of Regents Diversity Award from the UW System and the Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Leadership Award from UW-Eau Claire.

But Ducksworth-Lawton is not one to rest on her laurels. Her awards and accolades just encourage her to learn more from others around her.

“I hope my children will say that their mother stood up, and their father stood up. That when we saw evil, we stood up and were courageous … I hope other people will see what I do and say, ‘OK, I can do that too.’”

“The activists here aren’t headbutting each other,” she said. “We have a culture that says we’re not going to name-call. We’re not going to dehumanize. We’re not going to humiliate people just because they’re on the other side of a political line.”

Most recently, Ducksworth-Lawton helped organize Black Lives Matter protests in the Chippewa Valley, co-curated a Black Lives Matter art exhibit at The Pablo Center at the Confluence, and continues facilitating complex conversations about race via Converge Radio through Conversations in Color.

“I hope my children will say that their mother stood up, and their father stood up,” she said. “That when we saw evil, we stood up and were courageous. … I hope other people will see what I do and say, ‘OK, I can do that too.’ ”

“I admit, I’ve felt overwhelmed,” she continued. “But if we can break the project into smaller pieces, and find the people who have the same heart, and do those pieces with them, we can make differences.”


Dr. Abel Zurob
Dr. Selika Ducksworth-Lawton
Michael McHorney