A Wisconsin State Board voted Monday to approve the construction of a statue of prominent civil rights activist, judge and University of Wisconsin alumnus Vel Phillips.

The statue will be the first Capitol monument honoring a Black woman in the United States, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

In an email statement to The Badger Herald, Representative Shelia Stubbs, D-Madison, said this is a step in the right direction.

“With this approval from [the State Capitol and Executive Residence Board], our state capitol will begin to represent the true diversity of our state, and we will honor one of the greatest heroes that called Wisconsin home,” Stubbs said in the release. “Vel Phillips was a trailblazer, a pioneer, a mentor and a true leader. Her legacy is an inspiration to Black women across our state, and this statue will extend her legacy for generations to come.”

Phillips was the first Black woman to graduate from UW’s law school, both the first Black person and the first woman to become a Wisconsin judge as well as the first non-white woman to be the Wisconsin Secretary of State. She left an empowering and powerful legacy in 2018 at the age of 94.

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District 8 Alderperson and co-founder of the UW-BIPOC Coalition Juliana Bennett said the statue will usher more representation in state facilities. Bennett said she believes it will inspire other Black women in the future.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County CEO Michael Johnson, said he hopes representing more people of color will inspire children of color to believe in themselves.

“In 100 years, kids of color will be able to see great women of their race being represented like this,” Johnson said. “It represents togetherness, as both Democratic and Republicans voted together in support, and I’m happy that Black kids and white families will be able to see that the state supported something like this.”