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Civil and Human Rights by Kelly Jordan

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King's bookcase

Center for Civil and Human Rights gives us timely inspiration

For me, the Power to Inspire gala – the benefit for the Center for Civil and Human Rights – inspired a sense of gratitude for what we have in our town.

The Center will celebrate its fourth anniversary next month, and it’s hard to imagine an Atlanta without this touchpoint for our community. It combines in one place our unique place in the history of civil and human rights.

King family

Atlanta commemorates 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination

It was a day of sad memories as Atlanta marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of its hometown spiritual leader – Martin Luther King Jr. – on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.

At the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, King’s family gathered at King’s crypt to lay a wreath and to commemorate the actual moment of King’s death 50 years ago.

Joe Biden

Guess who’s coming to dinner? Joe Biden

In a major coup, the Center for Civil and Human Rights will honor former Vice President Joe Biden at its fourth annual “Power to Inspire” tribute dinner on May 17 at the Georgia Aquarium.

The event has become the biggest annual fundraiser for the Center, which opened in June, 2014, to showcase Atlanta’s role in the Civil Rights Movement and to serve as a gathering place to shine the light on current human rights struggles.

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Liz Koch Jim Hannan

Commentary: A call to help Georgia’s young entrepreneurs

Original post on WABE by Maria Saporta

Liz Koch Jim Hannan

Elizabeth Koch and Jim Hannan at recent reception celebrating 10 years of Youth Entrepreneurs Georgia (Photo by Maria Saporta)

The Koch brothers have a national reputation for funding Republican candidates and conservative causes.

But in Georgia, there is another side to the Koch family. Koch Industries bought Georgia-Pacific in 2005. One year later, Charles Koch’s wife, Elizabeth Koch, started Youth Entrepreneurs Georgia to help spark an entrepreneurial spirit among students attending public schools.

Elizabeth Koch remembers how upset her husband was when he realized economics was not being taught in most public schools.

Ten years later, YE Georgia has expanded to several counties and worked with 2,000 students. The program currently reaches 360 students a year in 13 schools.

But Koch, along with Georgia-Pacific CEO Jim Hannan and YE Georgia executive director Scott Brown, have much more ambitious plans for the program.

They would like to reach 1,000 students a year by 2020.

YE Georgia celebrated its 10th anniversary in May at a reception held in the Center for Civil and Human Rights.

That’s when Koch launched the Chairman’s Circle, asking for support from individuals, foundations and corporations.

During the reception Scott Brown said YE Georgia is now primed for its next level of success by reaching more classrooms throughout the state.

With expanded support, the organization will be able to change even more lives of young people in Georgia by opening up new doors of opportunity.

Atlanta skyline - piedmont park

Commentary: Atlanta has become a hub for negotiations

Original Story on WABE

Atlanta skyline - piedmont park

Atlanta is home to problem-solving institutions. During the civil rights era, Atlanta stood out as a city where black and white leaders could meet and work through the tense transition from segregation to integration. (Photo by : Frank Southworth – 2015)

The United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations agreed to a trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership in Atlanta on Oct. 4. It took more than five years of difficult negotiations to hammer out this agreement.

Atlanta’s spirit of mediation fits right into the image that came out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks.

Hala Moddelmog, president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, called it a “thrill to host the final meeting — the one when they reached an agreement — in Atlanta.”

Some would say conflict resolution is in Atlanta’s DNA. During the civil rights era, Atlanta stood out as the one city in the South where black and white leaders could meet and work through the tense transition from segregation to integration.

Atlanta is home to problem-solving institutions like the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Carter Center — a gathering place for international leaders to address key issues impacting the world.

And a high-level group of local business leaders with a global focus established the new Atlanta Center for International Arbitration and Mediation at Georgia State University.

A.J. Robinson, president of Central Atlanta Progress, pointed out the city’s advantages, saying: “We’ve got a big airport. We have got great meeting facilities. We are not expensive. And we are hospitable. It’s a great place to solve a problem. Maybe because of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, we will be discovered.”

I agree. After all, mediation and conflict resolution is in our DNA.