As Sandy Springs moves forward with revitalizing the North End, we are hopeful that not only the decisions themselves, but also the process, is inclusive and reflective of the needs and well-being of all of our neighbors. Everyone should be included and heard in the decision making process.
This is true no matter how much you earn, what you look like, or where in our city you live. Everyone deserves a voice.
All of us bring value to Sandy Springs. Isn’t that what Martin Luther King, Jr. would say?
Recently, Alicia Philipp, president of the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta addressed the Atlanta Regional Commission’s annual meeting. Her remarks were truly impactful, and as we celebrate this week the life and legacy of MLK, we wanted to take time to highlight a few of Philipp’s remarks.
In her statement, she asked, “What is our path forward … as a city and as a region?”
She states that we must not only face the difficult issues, but that we must change the way decisions are made. In metro-Atlanta, more than a quarter of families do not have $400 on hand in the case of an emergency, while another 1 in 3 families spend more than 30% of their income on housing costs. She points out that we have all of the ingredients to become the land of opportunity and provide pathways to the American Dream, but that the system is falling short for so many.
She talks candidly about race, and how we tell ourselves the lie that there are no racial biases in society. Yet, in reality, we are more divided than united along racial lines, especially when it comes to education, health outcomes, employment and housing. The data is there — our minority neighbors are not prospering.
But at the same time, how decisions are made also contributes to these inequalities. She talks about the “Atlanta Way”, and how this needs to change, to be a more inclusive process.
“The future is not one voice, one language, one race, one faith or one gender,” Phillipp said. “We don’t all look the same, and the center of power should look like all of us not just some of us. How do we become more inclusive of all voices, races and perspectives?”
She concludes by saying, “Let every one of us find a way to reject indifference and make a difference in our community and our region. We MUST be better than that, we are better than that”.
We couldn’t agree more, and that’s why we were compelled to share this moving message with you.
If you’d like to read more from Alicia Phillipp, you can here: http://bit.ly/2TDBl7X