Saturday, March 6, 2010

SRC Team Briefs Atlanta Leaders on Black-Brown Collaboration

A group of Atlanta's leaders recently gathered to discuss the impact of the region's changing demographics.

Georgia's Latino population grew 300% between 1990 and 2000, and it grew 70% between 2000 and 2007. Much of this population growth has resulted from people moving from other regions of the United States, from Mexico, or from other parts of Latin America. At the same time, the African American population in the region has also continued to increase, largely due to the fact that more Blacks have moved into the region than have moved away.

This has produced a novel situation in which African Americans and Latinos are increasingly encountering each other in work settings, schools, neighborhoods, and other places. Latinos comprise a majority of the student population at many public schools in Atlanta and the adjacent DeKalb County. In other schools the student population includes large Black and Latino contingents but no ethnic majority.

In many other parts of the country, the interaction between African American and Latino populations has been marked by conflict and competition. The Atlanta leaders who gathered on this recent evening, under the auspices of the Leadership Atlanta Aumni/Membership Program, sought to address whether this same conflict and competition will characterize the interaction between these communities in the Atlanta region. the listened intently as Rich Pelligrino and representatives of the Cobb United for Change Coalition found a way for African Americans and Latinos to come together to address the common problems of crime, violence, and racial profiling.

The discussion w
as facilitated by a team from the Southern Regional Council, including Joel Alvarado, Charles Jaret and Charles Johnson. this team shared lessons learned from Cobb United for Change and three other collaborative efforts in communities around the South. All four of these community collaborations are profiled in the Council's recent publication: Building Black-Brown Coalitions in the Southeast: Four African American-Latino Collaborations.

To learn more about the Best Practices which the Council has identified for bringing communities together, or to obtain copies of the Council's recent report, contact Charles Johnson at

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