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Literacy Action taps Austin Dickson as its new president and top executive

By Maria Saporta

Literacy Action, Georgia’s largest nonprofit provider of adult basic education, has a new president and executive director — Austin Dickson.

Before joining Literacy Action, Dickson served as director of philanthropy for Action Ministries, a statewide, faith-based, homeless services and basic needs organization. He also has worked for the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta on its regional and environmental initiatives.

Dickson is a Texas native and a graduate of Texas Christian University. He earned master’s degrees from the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, where he was the student body president. He also holds a master’s in public policy from Georgia Tech. He has taught philosophy at Clayton State University since 2008.

Austin Dickson

Dickson also is involved with community organizations, serving in a leadership role at the East Lake Family YMCA and at several startup nonprofits, such as the Atlanta Music Project, Community Farmers Markets, Georgia Benefits Counsel, and L’Arche Atlanta.

After his tenure as the president of the East Atlanta Community Association (2010-2011), the community received DeKalb County’s Ernest Prather Neighborhood Award, which recognizes best practices in community development. He is a member of the LEAD Atlanta Class of 2012 and the Leadership DeKalb Class of 2013.

“It’s exciting to take on this leadership role with one of the most high-performing organizations here in Atlanta. We look forward to expanding our services in the city and in the region,” Dickson said in a statement.

Dickson succeeds James Rodgers, who had been named interim president in January. Rodgers, who had been serving on Literacy Action’s board, agreed to take on the role on an interim basis after Karen Webster Parks resigned after serving less than a year as the nonprofit’s top executive.

In the coming year, Literacy Action will continue to focus on its student-centered mission by providing exceptional programming for adults seeking literacy and work skills, as well as raising awareness on the low-literacy epidemic in the Atlanta region and throughout Georgia.

Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.



  1. Lewis November 1, 2012 9:25 pm

    Congratulations to Austin.  He is a wonderful leader and person. This position will be a wonderful fit.Report

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  3. essay May 10, 2013 2:59 am

    Knowledge Action will continue to pay attention to its student-centered objective by offering remarkable development for grownups looking for literacy and work skills, as well as increasing attention on the low-literacy outbreak in the The atlanta area area and throughout Georgia I am please to see and to read about this great postReport

  4. mia morris March 18, 2014 10:01 pm

    you doing a great joy keep up the good work.Report


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