Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lillian Smith-Nominated Books Made Available for Atlanta Students


The Southern Regional Council ("SRC") has entered into a partnership with 100 Black Men of Atlanta (the "100") for the establishment of a reading library within the 100's Resource Learning Center (the "Center"). As a result of this partnership, the Center will acquire a collection of books previously nominated for the Lillian Smith Book Awards.

The Center, now located at 241 Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta, offers tutorial services in English, Math, Science and Social Studies, as well as Parent Computer Literacy Training, and the use of computers for student research. The Center is open to all Atlanta Public School students and their parents. The library is the latest addition to the Center's resources.

SRC is an inter-racial organization founded in 1919 to combat racial injustice in the South. SRC initiated he Lillian Smith Book Awards shortly after Smith's death in 1966 to recognize authors whose writing extends the legacy of the outspoken writer, educator and social critic who challenged her fellow Southerners and all Americans on issues of social and racial justice. Since 2004 the awards have been presented by SRC in partnership with the University of Georgia Libraries, whose Hargret Rare Book and Manuscript Library houses a historic collection of Lillian Smith's letters and manuscripts. The Georgia Center for the Book became a partner in 2007, whe the awards ceremony first became part of the Decatur Book Festival.

The 2008 winners of the Lillian Smith Book Award were Wesley Hogan for Many Minds, One Heart: SNCC's Dream for a New America, and Joseph Crespino for In Search of Another Country: Mississippi and the Southern Counterrevolution.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cobb Immigrant Alliance Focus Group


Atlanta – The Southern Regional Council (SRC), an organization founded in 1919 to combat racial injustice in the South, recently conducted the fourth in a series of focus group interviews examining coalitions between African American and Latino communities leading to sustained action against political, social or economic injustices impacting both minority populations.

Project Director Joel Alvarado and Principal Investigator Charles Jaret recently traveled to Cobb County, Georgia, to interview several African American and Latino residents who have worked to improve conditions through a multi-ethnic collaboration. Under the banner of the Cobb United for Change Coalition, working class people have developed a grass roots collaboration to address crime, racial profiling and racial justice.

"We are very grateful that Rich Pelligrino and the Cobb Immigrant Alliance were able to share their stories with us. Their experiences will be extremely valuable to others in the region trying to organize two distinct communities across racial, cultural and linguistic lines," observed Charles S. Johnson, Chair of SRC.

The Cobb County focus group follows earlier focus groups in Miami, Florida, Atkinson County, Georgia and Greensboro, North Carolina, as part of SRC's effort to examine coalitions among African American and Latino communities in the Southeast to address issues of mutual importance. These focus groups will form the basis of case studies to be included as part of report to be published in a special issue of the Southern States Legislative Review. Funding assistance for the project comes from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Alvarado has previously served as a policy analyst for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, as Associate Director of the Southern Center for Studies in Public Policy, and as a Congressional Aide. Dr. Jaret is Professor of Sociology at Georgia State University, whose teaching interests lie in the areas of urban sociology, race/ethnicity and immigration.

Brown v. Board of Education - A Dream in the Balance - Part 2


video

On May 17, 1954, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Brown v. Board of Education.

This decision, outlawing segregation in public education, was the product of an ongoing quest for racial equality which had begun decades before. For many at the time, the decision seemed to promise that inequalities based on race would soon become a thing of the past.

Fifty-six years later, many things have changed, but the optimism inspired by the Brown decision has sometimes been difficult to sustain. The broad consensus for racial justice which once existed has faded in many quarters. Inequalities have persisted, and efforts to correct them have often been met with fierce resistance.

The Southern Regional Council believes that the business of achieving a just society in the American South remains unfinished. Our work to illuminate opportunities for change continues


As part of the Council’s observance of the 50th Anniversary of this decision, Carol Mitchell Leon and the Clark Atlanta University Players presented a dramatization of the events leading up to the decision and its meaning.


This video features excerpts from this presentation.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Southern Regional Council to Examine Black-Brown Relations in South


Atlanta- The Southern Regional Council (SRC), a multi-racial organization founded in 1919 to combat racial injustice in the South, was recently awarded a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York to enable SRC to research and publish a special issue of the Southern Legislative Review focusing on African American and Latino relations within various Southern states.

"I am ecstatic about this opportunity for SRC to engage in this meaningful and timely research. The demographics of this region are changing exponentially and we have a responsibility to illuminate the challenges which this change represents," stated Charles S. Johnson III, President of the SRC board.

Specifically, the purpose of this project is to examine coalitions among African Americans and Latino communities in the Southeast to address issues of mutual importance. A critical component of this research is convening focus groups and individual interviews with key participants in any Black/Brown initiative that led to significant action, i.e. the formation of an organization that has actively engaged in a sustained effort to confront political, social or economic inequities and injustices adversely impacting both minority populations. Focus groups have been scheduled in Georgia and North Carolina with more forthcoming.

This project will be led by Joel Alvarado, President of Power of the Pen, LLC, a political communications and consulting company located in Atlanta, Georgia. His past work as a Policy Analyst for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Congressional Aide and current Executive Committee Member for the NAACP Atlanta Branch offers Mr. Alvarado excellent insight as to the complexity and possibility of forging strong Black/Brown relations. He is originally from New York and has lived in Atlanta, Georgia for 17 years. Mr. Alvarado holds a B.A. in History from Morehouse College.

The other principal researcher is Dr. Charles Jaret, Professor of Sociology at GSU. His research and teaching interests lie in urban sociology, race/ethnicity, and immigration. Dr. Jaret's research focuses both on individuals' attitudes and behaviors (e.g., racial-ethnic identity; responses to racial-ethnic humor), as well as on larger units and social processes (e.g., connections between metropolitan economic restructuring and economic inequality among racial groups; the process of suburban sprawl). He also studies immigration and recently published a comparison of American attitudes towards immigrants today and in the early 1900s. Dr. Jaret earned his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago and has been on the facult of GSU since 1975.

The Carnegie Corporation of New York was created in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. "We are delighted the Carnegie Corporation has decided to support our effort to effectuate positive change in the region by examining the issues and identifying viable solutions that will benefit the common good. We are also ecstatic to have Georgia State University as a partner," offered Johnson.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Lillian Smith Book Awards - Featured Juror


Jerry Ward
Professor of English
Dillard University



The jury for this year's Lillian Smith Book Awards, presented by the Southern Regional Council and the University of Georgia Libraries, includes Dr. Jerry Ward, a distinguished professor of English and African American World Studies at Dillard University, New Orleans, LA.

Ward spent 20 years as the Lawrence Durgin Professor of Literature at Tougaloo College in Jackson. He is recognized as one of the leading experts on Richard Wright.

He is editor of The Richard Wright Encyclopedia, published by Greenwood Press; founding member of the Richard Wright Circle; and author of The Katrina Papers.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Miami Workers Center Focus Group

Atlanta – The Southern Regional Council (SRC), an interracial organization founded in 1919 to combat racial injustice in the South, recently conducted the third in a series of focus group interviews designed to examine coalitions between African American and Latino communities that have led to significant action, such as the formation of an organization that has actively engaged in a sustained effort to confront political, social or economic inequities and injustices impacting both minority populations.

Project Director Joel Alvarado and Principal Investigator Charles Jaret recently traveled to Miami, Florida, to interview several African American and Latino residents of the Liberty City and Wynwood communities who have worked to improve conditions through a variety of multi-ethnic collaborations. With support from the Miami Workers Center, working class people have developed grass roots coalitions to address welfare reform, voter rights, racial justice, gentrification, economic development and fair trade.

"We are very grateful that Badili Jones and his colleagues from LIFFT (Low Income Families Fighting Together) and MIA (Miami in Accion) were able to share their stories with us. Their experiences will be extremely valuable to others in the region trying to organize two distinct communities across racial, cultural and linguistic lines," observed Charles S. Johnson, Chair of SRC.

The Miami focus group follows earlier focus groups in Atkinson County, Georgia and Greensboro, North Carolina, as part of SRC's effort to examine coalitions among African American and Latino communities in the Southeast to address issues of mutual importance. These focus groups will form the basis of case studies to be included as part of report to be published in a special issue of the Southern States Legislative Review. Funding assistance for the project comes from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Alvarado has previously served as a policy analyst for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, as Associate Director of the Southern Center for Studies in Public Policy, and as a Congressional Aide. Dr. Jaret is Professor of Sociology at Georgia State University, whose teaching interests lie in the areas of urban sociology, race/ethnicity and immigration.

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The Anatomy of a Controversy


Throughout the first half of the Twentieth Century, the Commission on Interracial Cooperation and the Southern Regional Council struggled against stereotypical images of African Americans in the media.

The Homecoming: A Profile of the Southern Regional Council


In 1919, an interracial group of progressive Southerners came together fight racial injustice under the banner of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation. In 1944, the Commission adopted a strategy to pursue social change though research and action under the banner of the Southern Regional Council. Eighty years after the establishment of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation, several of the Council's supporters came together for a Homecoming, for which this video was produced.

The Homecoming: A Profile of the Southern Regional Council

In 1919, an interracial group of progressive Southerners came together fight racial injustice under the banner of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation. In 1944, the Commission adopted a strategy to pursue social change though research and action under the banner of the Southern Regional Council. Eighty years after the establishment of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation, several of the Council's supporters came together for a Homecoming, for which this video was produced.