Box 9, Folder 7, Document 19

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Box 9, Folder 7, Document 19

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Mayor's Comments to Atlanta Service-Learning Conference
June 30, 1969
White Houee Mot or Inn
70 Houston Street, N. E.
Atl anta , Georgia 30303
Total Attendance:
300
Purpose o f Conference
To explore existing service programs invol v i ng you th
and governmen t i n urban, domestic, and f oreign setting
and develop a metro-Atlanta model of service-learning
between area colleges, government units , age nc ies a nd
~tuden t s.
Two day Conference sponsored by:
Urban Corps
VISTA
Corps
Atlanta Colleges
Economic Opportunity Atl~nta, Inc.
Teacher Corps
Southern Regional Education Board
Peace
�- DRAF T -
Introductory remarks - welcome to Atlanta, etc.
We canno½any more than past generations, see the face of the i uture, 11
Ralph McGill has writeen.
tion."
"But we know that written across it is the word Educa-
Education today is r e pidly changing from the old monolithic forms of
ye s teryear.
Todays youth are demanding educational reforms.
-
Many of you young
-
people are in fact creating a new kind of education through your off-campus set:vice
activi8ies.
The service-learning concept i a not new but its youthful applica tions
are having a new a ffect on both domes tic and foreign problems.
Whether young
pe ople are se rving in the Peace C~rps in Zambia or workigg in Cabbage Town as a
VISTA Volunteer they are having a learning experie nce.
They are learning that education doesn't end at the class room door.
In
f act those of you that are Urban Corps interns will probably be amazed at your own
learning exper i ence after this brief summer .
The Urban Corps is a n excellend example of educatioIBlinnovation coupled
with service.
Interns will see the problems of our ci t y by a ctually participating
in city government as wel l &s private agencies.
paaatical extension of their academic studies.
They will be learning through a
In short, they help the city, expand
their education, and help pay college expenses - all in one.
Thie Urban Corps is truly a student program.
I firat heard of thi
idea
of relevant internships in city government when a group of student leaders from
v rioue Atlanta colleges came to City Hall with the idea more than a year ago .
These
studente wanted a way to learn about the city and perform a service by actually work•
ing in it.
After many meetings and a gre t deal of encouragement by Dan
Sire t
of my
staff and Bill Ramsay of the Southern Regional Education Bo rd , we provided a group
�young activists some support to see if this program would work.
Almost all of
the planning, development o f jobs and placement was actually done by students • .
From what I hear, the intern jobs are very challenging and exciting.
Just the
physical appearance of City Hall has been greatly improved by all these young
faces.
Naturally there will be some disappointments and I'll assure you that
you'll become frustrated a nd you'll see that we do have some almost un•solvable
I urge you not to become discouraged but to help us find new ways of
problems.
correcting the ills of our seeming l y archaic system.
We need your youthf~l
enthusiasm and you'd be surprised how it will change the attitude of those in
our c ity who have been laboring, almost alone at times, for change and progress.
We in t he city hope that this brief exposure to our problems and potentials
will attract some of you young people t o return after graduation and pursue t his
as a caree r.
Governing our cities is this nations greatest problem.
It is an
exhaustive but rewarding e xpe Lience that you young people mus t now begin to take
responsibility for.
I hope the Urban Corps is only a. beginning .
Already we're ha-ting pre•
dictiona of three-fold e~cpansion of this intern program for next year .
Just the
f act that nearly 1,000 students applied t his year is astounding , and when one
c onsiders tha t Atlanta has almost 40,000 students a nd nearly 35 colleges we can~
begin to see the poten tial .
people .
We reed t h i s f ocused, a ggres3ive concern of young
We need move moveme nt between t he two worlds o f academia and city .
In New York, a n outgrowth of their intern p rogram haa been a rapid exchange
of ideas a nd personnel between city gove rr,rn.en t and universi t ies .
a miable rela t ionship of unive rsity and c ity i n Atla nta .
We need this
We have just begun a n Urban
Life Center at Georgia State which al l local colleges are being asked to participa t e in .
We i n the cities mus t t ake grea te r advan tage o f our universities and
v i ce versa .
- 2 "'
�As John Garnder has said , t he three main purposes of the univers i ty are
research, teaching, and service to the community.
We've seen how students are
serving the community already but there are still many unexploited potentials
inside our college gates.
If we look at the h istory of higher education we note that the greatest
impetus was with the Land-Grant University almost 100 years a go - a system built
to aid our agricultural society.
Today our society is urban.
But by comparison,
our education system has not properly responded t o our change in society.
more people working on our c i ties problems.
We need
If t he discipline of city planning
can be used as an example , we will recognize the dramatic crisis.
universities combined we graduate less than 400 plam1era per year .
In all our
More graduates
of Medieval History are pu t on the ;ob marke.t t han are urban experts.
What do we i n the cities d o f or manpowe r.?
We must innovate and try to
compete with indus t ry for talent and we are in the d isadvantage." Hence another
r eason why our c ities a r e ungoverna ble.
Key urban perarnas i on posts are occupied by lawyer s, ddueeot•; undet:takers ,
c.lergymen~, busines smen, bankd r s and social workers.
produced by un:!.versities .
These professionals have been
The3e people are usually consulted on a technical o r
opecialized problems' but the solving of ~be se p).·oblems depends on r elated matters
almost always falli ng outside the e,q,ertise of t he consults'bb.
In other words,
the ke y exper~a in our ur ban society - through the exercise of their expertise enter a realm o f generalization for which t hey haven't been properly prepared by
undergraduate or professi.onal education.
Therefore , universities ghould try to
expose their prof essionals i n urban areas to s ome type o f urban education.
The
The simplest method is by practical experience such as the Ur ban Corps, and the
eventual solution is more teaching in urbnn conce pts .
We must not neglec t t he professor i n our plan for cotmnunity involvement
of our universities .
····------·-.
ways hbould

-----
oe
f ound t o i nvolve professors in a r eas o f their
�academic prowness in the city.
poofessors too!
Perhaps we should have an Urban Corps for
I am s ure that there are needed areas of research in the city
that would interest &any college instructors.
This would insure that teaching
does indeed remain relevan t to our actual needs.
In order to facilitate this
dialogue, we must have more cooperation between colle '., ces.
should be able to more freely move between campuses.
Students and faculty
Atlanaa colleges are unique
and should keep their individu~l identity, but should encourage exchanges.
We
have great medical schools, law schools, schools of urban design and the ~reatest
predominantely Negro college complex in the world.
We've only looked at the city as a laboratory, let's see how the city
can help the university .
Many young innovators on the urban scene could se rve as
gneaa lecturers or associa te professors in our colleges.
A vivid example of this
is Bill Allison, now Direc t or of EOA, who serves as an associate professor at
Georgia Tech.
This type of exchange s hould be greatly encouraged and ways should
be found to foster a nd develop both professor-city exchanges and administra t orcampus exchanges
We must not only research prob lems but we mus t implement them too.
Often
times a very good report is writtnn - only t o gather dust - or is written not with
an eye for implimenta t ion.
hoods.
It is the
sent
They are tired o f being st ud ied.
with reside nts in our deprived neighborThey want help.
Research must be balanced
by practicaHty and kept relevant .
Our cities will not
plan ioi that .
g o away.
They will eJtpand and multiply .
We
must
We must demand hilp from our univers ities .
The Urban Corps should only be a beginning .
We need youthful enthusiasm
of young people in VISTA, returning Peace Corps volunteers, Neighborhood Youth Corps
enrollees, service groups on campus, adult educat i on tutor ing by students in the
dozens of service projects .
We need more exchange between our city a nd our campuses
�on all levels.
I hope this Service-Learning Conference explores all these
possibilities and presents them to people who will acto~o develop and carry
them out,
Ralph McGill always said the South was the most exciting area of the
country and the most exciting part of the South was to be young and taking part
in its development.
Those of you who are stddents today must aa:cept this challe9ge
of developing the South and our city, and those of you who are educators must
help them.

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