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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.

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Focus on 2015 by Kelly Jordan

Outta sight at Ft.Mac (Perry Homes)

Outta sight at Ft.Mac (Perry Homes)

Lobby for the ("old") Civic Center

Lobby for the (“old”) Civic Center

Free (to marry) at last!

Free (to marry) at last!

It's her birthday (too) yah!

It’s her birthday (too) yah!

Immigrant community out for TEA (Walk)

Immigrant community out for TEA (Walk)

How 'bout mercy for homeless (too)

How ’bout mercy for homeless (too)

Grin & bear it on the Beltline (east)

Grin & bear it on the Beltline (east)

Rebirth of (morbid) office market?

Rebirth of (morbid) office market?

Extending behind MLK (damn right!)

Extending behind MLK (damn right!)

Ponce City arrives (farewell Sears)

Ponce City arrives (farewell Sears)

Day (before) top Dog deposed.

Day (before) top Dog deposed.

The Texas

Best campaign from Texas (ever)

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.

Photo of VOX founder Rachel Alterman Wallack

Gutsy voices of teen writers help VOX survive

After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1989 that schools could censor student newspapers, teenagers responded by creating their own uncensored and independent newspapers. Atlanta became home to VOX—Latin for “voice.”

Many of these papers folded in an era of massive cutbacks in professional journalism. But against those odds, VOX Teen Communications celebrated its 20th anniversary Saturday. Through VOX, many students launched successful college and professional careers in fields beyond journalism, earning the Gates Millenium scholarship among other awards.

In those short hours and on the weekends, VOX attracted students from all over the metro Atlanta area, who were mentored by professional journalists and other advisers. They reported, edited, photographed and designed a newspaper that publishes five times a year and a website www.voxteencommunications.org, that updates continuously, filled with work not likely to be deemed suitable by most high school administrators. Some of it is truly groundbreaking.