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The original item was published from 3/19/2024 5:50:57 PM to 3/19/2024 5:50:57 PM.

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Posted on: March 19, 2024

[ARCHIVED] County Executive, Mayor to honor the late Katherine Marks at March 23 event

Photo of Katherine Marks speaking at community event

Kenosha County Executive Samantha Kerkman’s next Coffee and Cocoa with Kerkman event will serve as a tribute to the late Katherine Marks.

This open house event will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. this Saturday, March 23, at the Kenosha History Center, 221 51st Place.

The festivities will include the presentation of a joint proclamation by Kerkman and Mayor John Antaramian, declaring it Katherine Marks Day in the city and county of Kenosha.

“We invite the public to join us for this tribute to a very special person in our community,” Kerkman said. “Katherine was a leader and a trailblazer whose loss is very much felt, and it is more than fitting to honor her memory during Woman’s History Month.”

Marks, 66, passed away Feb. 14. In 1992, she was the first Black woman to be elected to any office in Kenosha County, when she became the 8th District representative on the City Council — a position she would hold for 20 years, during which she also became the first woman of color to be elected Council president.

During her years in office, Marks was a passionate advocate for her constituents, playing an instrumental role in the revitalization of the Lincoln, Frank and Uptown neighborhoods. 

Later, she became the first woman of color to work in the mayor’s office, directing various community outreach efforts including the upcoming launch of the Emerging Leaders Academy in the former Brown National Bank building.

Marks also served as Chief Professional Officer of the United Way of Kenosha County from 2005 to 2012, leading the organization through the establishment of visionary programs including Read Across Kenosha, Young Leaders of Kenosha and Youth As Resources.

Later Saturday, the Southport Light Station will be lit in Marks’ honor from dusk to dawn.

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