News Release: Events, Sustainability

Feb. 20,  2009

Southern Sustainability Summit Seeks to Advance Regional Equity

Strategies and opportunities for balanced, inclusive and fair growth in the metropolitan Atlanta region will be the focus of the Southern Sustainability Summit sponsored by Emory's Office of University-Community Partnerships (OUCP) to be held this Saturday, Feb. 21, from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. at All Saints Episcopal Church, 634 W. Peachtree St. in Atlanta.

“We hope to bring focused attention to the issues and opportunities to promote a shared prosperity agenda in regional development,” says summit organizer Nathaniel Smith, OUCP's director of Partnerships and Research for Equitable Development.  “The summit will bring together myriad organizations and individuals working to advance regional equity with a goal of unifying strategies within and across the region.”

The event will begin with a trio of dynamic speakers followed by a series of issue-based workshops as well as opportunities for networking and building alliances throughout the day. Speakers include a "State of the Region" presentation from Michael Rich, OUCP director, and Bob Bullard of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University.  Featured speaker Angela Glover Blackwell, founder and CEO of PolicyLink, will introduce the equitable development framework and principles the summit will use.

Workshop topics include:

  • Regional growth and its impact on community competitiveness and sustainability;
  • Ensuring meaningful community participation, leadership and ownership in neighborhood planning and development activities;
  • Promoting "triple bottom line" (environment, equity, economy) investments in low wealth communities; and
  • Encouraging a measurable intersection of “people-focused” and “place-focused” strategies when implementing neighborhood transformation initiatives.

Lead sponsors of the Southern Sustainability Summit include OUCP, Georgia Power, The Neighborhood Fund (an initiative of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta), Annie E. Casey Foundation, Equity Atlanta, The Zeist Foundation, and Mayson Avenue Cooperative.  Summit participants are expected to be neighborhood and grassroots leaders, local and regional planners, environmental justice advocates, elected officials, business leaders, university and college faculty and students, faith-based leaders, and labor advocates. For more information, call 404.712.9893.

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