Can Atlanta still be considered the ‘Black Mecca?’ A mecca of equity? Opportunity for all? What about racial equality or Black economic growth?
The City of Atlanta has seen quite a few changes over the years in terms of social inequality, race and gentrification. Now leaders from three major Atlanta universities are looking for new ways to address these issues.
Emory University’s James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference, in conjunction with Georgia State University and Clark-Atlanta University, are set to host a half-day public symposium discussing the status of racial equity in Atlanta.
The conference, appropriately titled “Still the Black Mecca? Race, Social Inequality and Urban Displacement in 21st Century Atlanta,” will take place Nov. 9 at Georgia State University’s Law School. Local researchers, activists and grassroots leaders are welcomed to attend.
According to a Georgia State press release, the symposium will focus on three main goals: highlighting research initiatives of local universities surrounding agents of structural racism in the greater metro area; critically examining and encouraging political, cultural and economic solutions with the potential of positively affecting racial justice; and connecting both local and national scholars, activists, students and policy-makers, among others, to work together in achieving justice-oriented transformation.
“Much has been studied and said about Atlanta’s racial past, said Dr. Kali-Ahset Amen of the Emory University James Weldon Johnson Institute. “However, there is much yet to explore about the ways in which old patterns have held fast and found new expression in the present moment. We believe that this symposium addresses a need in Atlanta for honest, critical, and evidence-based conversations about the contemporary formulations of racialized dispossession, carcerality and social segregation in our city.”