Metro Atlanta leaders heading to a reviving Detroit for the annual LINK trip

Detroit, Michigan may sound as an unusual place for a group of metro Atlanta to visit to learn how another region has addressed similar issues.

But the top leaders of the Atlanta Regional Commission – Executive Director Doug Hooker and Chairman Kerry Armstrong – believed the lessons to be gained from Detroit would be enlightening for the 130 metro Atlantans who will be part of the 2017 LINK (Leadership. Involvement. Networking. Knowledge) trip.

Operation HOPE convenes global leaders and the poor in Atlanta to promote financial literacy

For several years running, Atlanta has become the venue for addressing the problem of poverty in the United States while focusing on solutions.

The convener is Operation HOPE’s Global Forum, which just met in Atlanta at the Marriott Marquis from April 10 to April 12. This year’s theme was “Uplifting the Invisible Class” – focusing on the people who have fallen between the cracks.

New leaders at Morehouse: ‘Time to turn the page’

A new leadership team is in place at Morehouse College as its Board of Trustees elected a new board chairman – Willie Woods; and named William “Bill” Taggart as the interim president.

The trustees, who met in Atlanta on Friday and Saturday, made the leadership changes after a host of reports revealed a fractionalized relationship between the board – in particular its Chairman Robert Davidson – and its president for the past four years – John S. Wilson.

Atlanta’s multiuse trails create linear parks and alternative travel options in light of I-85 breach

Transportation options.

Never have those two words held as much meaning for Atlanta as they do now. The Friday collapse of a section of Interstate 85 – has severed a key transportation artery for the region.

Immediately, and with good reason, there were pleas for us to get serious about regional rail transit – once and for all. A silver lining of this manmade disaster is the probability that transit will gain momentum during this transportation debacle.

Atlanta’s experts in affordable community redevelopment pushed to sidelines

When the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development came to Atlanta on Nov. 4, 2015 to celebrate its 50th anniversary, it turned to Renee Glover, Egbert Perry and Shirley Franklin to highlight its successes in Atlanta.

Former U.S. HUD Secretary Julian Castro was so impressed by what he saw in Atlanta during the 50th anniversary visit, that he complimented Glover, Perry and Franklin for all their “trail-blazing work” in transforming communities.

Most Georgians support civil rights protections for LGBT community

A large majority of Georgians (74 percent) support passing a state law to protect gay and transgender people in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodations, according to a survey conducted by the Just Win Foundation.

But the same survey shows that an equal percentage of Georgians think it’s already illegal under state law to fire, refuse to hire, deny housing or public accommodations access to a person who is gay or transgender.

Atlanta emerging as a nexus to address climate change and global health

Atlanta’s significant role as a center for global health is now well-recognized and appreciated.

But last week, when the Atlanta-based Carter Center hosted the Climate & Health Meeting, it became apparent that our region’s contributions to improving global health must now take into account the growing challenges of climate change.

And Atlanta has an opportunity to become a nexus for expert knowledge and action to address how climate change will impact global health.

Atlanta, Georgia likely to feel brunt of Trump’s anti-trade policies

From its inception, Atlanta has been a hub of transportation, commerce and communication.

Those factors have made Atlanta a center of global commerce – a role that has been boosted by having the world’s busiest airport and one of the world’s largest airlines.

Georgia also is a leader in global commerce and trade – and its presence is growing because of the state’s investment in its Port of Savannah, one of the fastest growing seaports in the country. The state also has numerous international offices established to promote the exports of Georgia products, as diverse as agriculture, poultry and professional services.

As Trump enacts ban on refugees, Atlanta doubles down as a ‘welcoming city’

First in a two-part series

An anti-urban wave is flowing downstream from Washington, D.C. – bringing with it anti-immigrant, anti-refugee and anti-trade policies.

Atlanta is among the major cities in the United States – as evidenced by the protests and the words of its civic leaders – trying to reverse the sentiments of isolationism, protectionism and prejudice.

And Atlanta could be one of the cities that will experience retribution from the administration of President Donald Trump.

Marchers envelop Atlanta’s streets until they are blocked out of state’s ‘Liberty’ Plaza

Atlanta is a city known for peaceful protests and a commitment to civil and human rights.

As evidence of Atlanta’s legacy, Saturday’s March for Social Justice and Women attracted more than 63,000 people to walk from the Center for Civil and Human Rights to the State Capitol.

The peaceful spirit for a more inclusive society was in full force – until the marchers arrived at the State Capitol.

Transit making headway in Georgia and Fulton – with trip to Dallas

Transit in the Atlanta region is gaining traction.

As evidence, an incredible trip took place last Thursday and Friday with the state’s top transportation leaders and officials from Fulton County going to the Dallas region to take a focused look at possible transit options.

That took place two days after Georgia House Speaker David Ralston’s strong support for transit during his comments at the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s Eggs & Issues Breakfast on Jan. 10 – suggesting the state could be more supportive of transit.

Let’s do a better job preserving Atlanta’s past in 2017

The coming of a new year heightens our sensitivity to the changes in our life and our city.

This year marked the last Peach Drop as we know it. Sadly, the rain and the cold dampened the final event held at Underground Atlanta before it is sold to WRS Realty in the near future.

The good news is that the historic structures in and around Underground will be preserved as new buildings are constructed as part of the new development.

But there are so many other landmarks in danger of being demolished during 2017 with Atlanta having a spotty record of preserving its most precious landmarks.

Green infrastructure plan can link Atlanta’s HBCUs with Westside communities

Westside Atlanta represents the rise and fall and the impending revival of a community.

The historic core of the community is the Atlanta University Center, a consortium of historically-black colleges and universities. The consortium of the black colleges began in 1929.

“We were in the business of aspirations and dreams,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, president of Spelman College.

Finding hope in people who believe in public spaces and planet Earth

After a brutal presidential campaign and election season, it has been a struggle to envision a brighter future for our nation and our world.

My emotions have vacillated from despair about the future of our planet to concern about the future of our cities to empathy for the millions of people seeking a better life – hoping to find comfort and acceptance in America.

With that backdrop, I attended two distinctly different events last week that helped give me hope for the future.