Box 4, Folder 4, Document 64

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Individual Plan
Illustrates Ways
to Help


This article was written at the request of
the editorial staff of the Atlanta Journal
and was published on its editorial page.
The Community Relations Commission
believes that this 10-point Plan is worthy
of wide distribution in the Atlanta com-
munity and has made available this reprint
for use by civic, church and service organi-


Dr. Samuel W. Williams, Chairman
Community Relations Commission

Epiribenetoar apnea oes

out the
_ Forum Writer

MR. WELCH is execu-
tive director of the At-
lanta Community Rela-
tions Commission which
is charged with the re-
sponsibility of fostering
mutual understanding
and improvement in hu-
man relations.

He wrote this article
for The Atlanta Journal.

sear paca










The Atlanta Zournal

Saturday, May 17, 1969

The foremost problem America faces at home is the urban
crisis. Regardless of where I make that statement in Atlanta,
few disagree with it. The urban crisis is real. It is more than
deteriorating buildings and open spaces. It is a human con-


Atlanta is known as a pro-
gressive city. It has attained
a favorable national reputa-
tion because its people have
been willing to change, espe-
cially in regard to race rela-
tions. The city is now faced
with the challenge of improv-
ing on that reputation or fall-
ing away from it.

Human relations must be
improved between white peo-
ple and black people—not
only on a group basis but as
an individual. An individual
usually has a feeling of good
will toward his fellow-man
but has little knowledge of
what helpful role he can per-
form to make it a visible

Here are 10 specific sugges-

BE INFORMED on what is
happening in regard to local
urban problems.

READ THE Report of the
National Advisory Commis-
sion on Civil Disorders. We
need to understand more
about the problems. This is
one of the most important
presidential Commission re-
ports ever made. If you can’t
wade through the several-
hundred page paper back edi-
tion, an excellent 30-page di-
gest is available.

* Ok Ok

TAKE A tour of some of
our economically depressed
areas and let the local resi-
dents teli what they are doing
to improve their lot. These
tours are sponsored by Eco-
nomic Opportunity Atlanta for
individuals and groups. Ar-
rangements can be made by
calling Mrs. Mary Lou Mitch-
ell at 525-4262:

VISIT THE Hungry Club at
the Butler Street YMCA. This
is probably the most stimulat-
ing luncheon club in the city.
Speakers since the first of the
year have included Mayor
Ivan Allen, former Goy. Carl
Sanders, Julian Bond, local
NAACP President Lonnie
King, Dr. John Letson,
SCLC’s Andrew Young and
Donald Hollowell.

re es *

the upper income Negro resi-
dential areas as Collier
Heights and Peyton Forest in
the Cascade area. You will
see that Atlanta has a sub-
stantial number of middle and
upper income Negroes who
take pride in home ownership
just as any other comparable

* ok

ness or professional organiza-
tion to expand its Negro
membership. The Atlanta
Chamber of Commerce took
the initial step some ten
years ago. This way lawyers
get to .know lawyers and
teachers get to know teachers
as persons and prejudice

kK * *

LEARN TO pronounce the
word “Negro” correctly. The
word is pronounced ‘‘knee-
grow.”’ This is difficult for a
white Southerner who has
grown up saying “Nigra.” If
you can’t pronounce it ecor-
rectly, just say black since
both are acceptable. The term
“eolored person” is old hat.
Proper titles are also very

Four members Of the Commu-

nity Relations Commission
are outstanding minisiers.
They are the Rev. Sam Wil-
liams, pastor of the Friend-
ship Baptist Church; Rabbi
Jacob Rothschild of the Tem-
ple; Dr. R. E. Lee, pastor of
the Lutheran Church of the
Redeemer; and Dr. John
Randolph Taylor, minister of
the Central Presbyterian
Church. Visitors are wel-
comed as in other Atlanta

ATTEND A lecture or con-
cert at the Atlanta University
Center, Emory University,
Georgia State or one of Atlan-
ta’s several other institutions
of higher learning. Become
exposed to some new ideas
and new people.

The two most interesting
lectures my wife and I heard
last year were those of John
K. Galbraith and Walter Hel-
ler at the Atlanta University
Center. And when the Atlanta
Symphony was doing a spe-
cial series at Spellman Col-
lege, a friend remarked,
“They might as well be play-
ing at Dahlonega as far as
most Atlantans are con-

JOIN AN inter-racial dis-
cussion group. This small
movement was started last

year by Dr. and Mrs. Joseph ~

A. Wilber. Four white couples
and four Negro couples meet
once a month for an evening
of discussion. The host selects
the subject which might be a
community problem or a per-
sonal prejudice.

One participant remarked,
“These are pretty frank dis-
cussions. After three or four
sessions, you don’t look on
each other as white or black
but as individuals.” There are
now over 100 persons in At-
lanta involved. After a year
the group splits up into two or
three groups.

THE PLACE to start im-
proving human relations is
where you are—your neigh-
borhood, your school, your
church, your business and the
organizations with which you
are affiliated. If a person is
treated with genuine dignity

and respect, he will respond

in kind. If treatment is sec-
ond class, this is what can be
expected in return.

A homemaker can start by
paying domestic help the min-
imum wage of $1.60 and
seeing that the employe’s
quarterly social security form
is filed.

eo ke

WHAT ELSE can be done?

One institution that needs to
be revived in Atlanta is the
neighborhood organization or
group. We have lost the
“neighborhood cohesiveness”
that is so important.

White middle and upper in-
come neighborhood groups
tend to become defensive

mechanisms to insulate the:

neighborhood from the rest of
the city. In so doing we tend
to develop sterile neighbor-
hoods. The neighborhood
needs to relate to the city.

The disadvantaged neigh-
borhoods are making substan-
tial progress by strengthening
their neighborhood groups
through local leadership with
the help of EOA, Model Cities,
and the Community Relations

* ok o&

THE GRANT Park area is
an encouraging example. It
was selected by CRC as the
area in which to initiate their
1969 Town Hall meeting pro-
gram. The usual procedure is,
first, a meeting with the citi-
zens to get their ideas on
what their problems are and,
then, a follow-up meeting in
which City Hall officials re-

port on actions taken in re-
sponse to the citizens.

The first meeting was on a
cold March night with a
rather slim crowd at the Je-
rome Jones School in Grant
Park. The public officials al-
most outnumbered the citi-
zens. The crowd tripled at the
follow-up meeting held re-
cently. A total of five alder-
men, two state representa-
tives, eight city department
officials and five members of
CRC participated in these two

THE CALIBER of leader-
ship shown by the Grant Park
citizens impressed me _ tre-
mendously. Both white and
black citizens and white and
black elected officials showed
dignity and respect for one
another and an earnest desire
to move on with solving the
community problems at hand.

Cecil Alexander, head of the
Mayor’s Housing Resources
Committee, has stated, “At-
lanta no longer has the choice
of beng a white or a black
city. The choice is either to
be a black city or an inte-
grated city.”

These two Town Hall meet-
ings produced strong evidence
that the citizens ... white
and black have made
their choice. Grant Park is
their- home and they are
going to stay there and build
a great community again.
Model Cities, assisted by
CRC, is making a valuable
contribution in helping de-
velop this indigenous leader-
ship. i

men) ee. THe

LET US hope that as other
neighborhoods move into tran-
sition, they will follow the ex-
ample of the resurging lead-
ership in Grant Park.

Dr. Samuel W. Williams, Chairman
Vice Mayor Sam Massell, Jr., Ex-Officio

Mr. T. M. Alexander, Sr.
Mr. R. Byron Attridge
Mrs. Sara Baker

Miss Helen Bullard

Mr. R. J. Butler

Mr. Mike Cheatham

Rep. James E. Dean

Mr. Robert Dobbs

Rep. C. G. Ezzard

Mr. L. L. Gellerstedt, Jr.
Mr. Charles Hart

Dr. Robert E. Lee

Mrs. F. W. Patterson
Rabbi Jacob M. Rothschild
Mr. Paul Shields

Mr. L. D. Simon

Mrs. Mary Stephens

Dr. J. Randolph Taylor
Rev. J. A. Wilborn

Mr. William McGee, Ex-Officio
Atlanta Youth Congress

Mr. Nat Welch
Executive Director

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