Charles Tubbs Receives 2021 Manfred E. Swarsensky Humanitarian Service Award

Introduced by Steve Goldberg

Top left: Steve Goldberg and Charles Tubbs; Top right: Bob Dinndorf, Charles Tubbs and Charles McLimans

Charles Tubbs is the Director of Dane County Emergency Management, but that’s just part of his story. Charles has been a model of humanitarian service and leadership throughout his entire career, leveraging his skills as a peace-maker, a problem solver, a healer, a mentor, an innovator and a bridge-builder way beyond his profession and across many communities. His lifelong career has been in the field of law enforcement and public safety, and he has approached all of his jobs in this field in much the same way Rabbi Swarsensky would have done.

For example, he has always insisted on treating incarcerated individuals with dignity and respect. That’s what the Rabbi would have done. He places a high priority on protecting the most vulnerable, marginalized citizens in our community and throughout the country. That’s what the Rabbi did. He uses his special talents and insight on mental health and addiction issues to lead local and national initiatives addressing those complex challenges. That’s what the Rabbi would have done.

Ten years ago, Charles placed himself at the center of the prolonged demonstration in and around the State Capitol building to provide a calming influence during a volatile, tense time — much as the Rabbi did during the Vietnam War protests in the sixties. And just like the Rabbi, he places the highest value on each person entrusted to his care. And today this man plays a key role in leading us through the pandemic.

He’s served in leadership roles with local human service organizations, including 100 Black Men of Madison, Journey Mental Health Center, Restoring Roots, Madison’s NAACP Chapter, and many others. 

His nominators wrote: “Charles is engaged in the same fierce pursuit of justice and mercy that made Rabbi Swarsensky such a remarkable gift to our Rotary Club, to the community and to the world. Indeed he lives the very qualities that led our club to establish the Swarsensky Humanitarian Service Award.”

He’s the type of humanitarian Rabbi Swarsensky would have been proud to know; proud to work with; and proud to walk with. So it is in that spirit that the Rotary Club of Madison presents the 40th annual Manfred Swarsensky Humanitarian Service Award to Charles Tubbs.   

Along with this award, a $2,500 grant is presented by the Madison Rotary Foundation to an agency of the recipient’s choice.  Charles Tubbs has chosen Restoring Roots to receive this grant.  

The Manfred E. Swarsensky Humanitarian Service Award was established in 1982 and identifies individuals who have, through their voluntary efforts, made a particularly outstanding contribution to the humanitarian service in the greater Madison community, in the tradition so well exemplified by the life of Rabbi Swarsensky.   The award-winning documentary video, “A Portrait:  Rabbi Manfred Swarsensky,” that was created and produced by Rotarian Dick Goldberg with assistance by Wisconsin Public Television, provides background on Manfred Swarsensky and can be viewed on YouTube, and the Rotary office also has a copy of the video for any member wishing to view it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s