The Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE), seizing the opportunity to collaborate with local partners in addressing and improving the health and wellbeing of underserved and disenfranchised communities throughout Metro Atlanta and the American South, is co-hosting the PSE Equity Tour, a series of Community Listening Sessions designed to address and improve racial equity and shared prosperity for all citizens.
The Community Listening Sessions are planned for the following locations:
Albany – Tuesday, January 31
Albany State University
West Campus Student Center Ballroom
2400 Gillionville Road
Albany, GA 31707
Time: 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.
Register for the Albany Listening Session Here: bit.ly/equitytouralbany
Brunswick – Wednesday February 1
College of Coastal Georgia
One College Drive
Brunswick, GA 31520
Time: 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.
Register for the Brunswick Listening Session Here: bit.ly/equitytourbrunswick
The PSE Equity Tour is an extension of the work implemented by the Georgia Systemic Change Alliance. The Alliance was created in the summer of 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that deepened existing racial, social, and environmental disparities. Through a grant from the Sapelo Foundation, and with PSE selected to manage and coordinate activities and provide technical assistance, four placed-based networks emerged and united to launch the Alliance. The networks share three critical goals:
· Recovering, rebuilding, and reimagining systems and policies post-COVID.
· Advancing the movement for black lives and broader racial justice across systems and policies.
· Building internal muscle and infrastructure of networks for the short-term and long-term.
The Alliance released reports for Albany, Brunswick, and Savannah. A case study was also released, highlighting its behind-the-scenes-work, which happened during a year of unprecedented challenges and opportunities in Georgia. Read the Alliance Case Study.
Each report is a roadmap for systemic policy change, racial justice, and network-building. Since their release, each network has worked to implement the recommendations in their given reports.
Albany Network – “Reimagine Albany” – is led by the United Way of Southwest Georgia. This network launched in 2020, when Albany had the fourth highest rate of COVID per capita in the world. Its report includes recommendations for (1) housing, (2) education, and (3) health. Read the Albany Report.
Brunswick Network – “Community First Planning Commission” – is led by a long-standing collaboration of 18 black churches and allies called Community First. It has been convening for over a decade and deepened their efforts in the wake of the murder of Mr. Ahmaud Arbery. Its report includes recommendations for (1) criminal justice and (2) environmental justice. Read the Brunswick Report.
Savannah Network – “Racial Equity and Leadership [REAL] Task Force” – is led by the Mayor’s Office. Savannah Mayor, Van Johnson, announced the Task Force in 2020 and appointed former Savannah Mayor, Dr. Otis Johnson, as chair. Over 30 cross-sector members collaborated. Its report includes recommendations for (1) criminal justice, (2) economic empowerment and wealth development, (3) education, (4) environmental justice, (5) health, and (6) housing. Read the Savannah Report.
Statewide Network – “Just Georgia Coalition” – is led by the NAACP of Georgia and includes formal partnerships with Black Voters Matter, New Georgia Project, Southern Center for Human Rights, Working Families, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, and Black Male Voter Project. Instead of a report, its leaders and partners developed a website with plans and demands.
The Community Listening Sessions build on these reports by further cultivating relationships with stakeholders, community members and leaders, nonprofit organizations and professionals who serve and support these communities.
“Real systemic change begins with people,” said Nathaniel Smith, PSE’s founder and Chief Equity Officer. “To truly address equity, and disrupt and dismantle the systems that hinder us from becoming the best we can achieve, we must come together and listen to the community. Combined with lived experiences and supported by data, we can provide communities with an organizing strategy and roadmap that addresses these inequities so prosperity can be created and shared by all.”
About The Partnership for Southern Equity: Based in Atlanta, PSE is a nonprofit organization that advances policies and institutional actions that promote racial equity and shared prosperity for all in the growth of metropolitan Atlanta and the American South. Through forums, research, and organizing efforts, PSE brings together the regional community to lift up and encourage just, sustainable, and civic practices for balanced growth and opportunity. www.psequity.org