Box 14, Folder 15, Document 8

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Box 14, Folder 15, Document 8

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A STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND A PLAN OF ACTION FOR ATLANTANS
CONCERNED ABOUT RIOTS, THEIR CAUSES
AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES
We, the undersigned Atlantans, are deeply concerned about the riots which have
occurred in our nation with increasing frequency and with mounting violence!
We are concerned about the consequences of continued rioting and believe that
the deterioration of human relations could do gre ater damage than the loss of mater ial things if we fail to bring an end to the riots and the conditions which spawn them.
We commend to every thoughtful citizen who believes in law and order and in
human progress the recently rel eased Report of the Nati onal Advis ory Comm i s sion
on Civil Disorders.
Whether one would agree absolutely with its methodology or
the conclusions of the commission, we believe the report contains food for thought
and suggestion s for action which m erit consider ation. The repor t is a good point of
reference and basis for discussion and action.
We are convince d that neither studies nor resolutions nor good int entions alone
will suffice . We b elieve that all of the r eligious l eaders of met r op olitan Atlanta
should act now to bring an end to conditions in our midst which create despair, con tribute to human degradati on and fuel violence .
We, therefore , commit oursel ves to assist in the task of transforming our urban
area that, insofar as our abilitie s and resources permit , we shall endeavor -to-respond
to this urban crisis and help create a city where there is personal safety for all persons and pr operty and whe r e there is reason for hope and opportunity for individual
growth and dignity for every citizen.
To do this, there are many things which we believe mu st be done.
There must be a pooling of all resources - a coordinated effort by rich and poor,
by affluent and depressed citizens, by leader s in religion and education, in busine ss
and the pr ofessions, in industry and labor, in government, and in all walks of life to meet our c itizen s needs in the following areas:
Police Protection
Ever y citizen is entitled t o b e secure in
his person and property and t o fair t reatment by l aw enforcement officials; and,
in turn, eaeh citizen has a duty to obey
the law and support and cooperate with
police officials.
�Education
Every citizen must have the opportunity for equal educational opportunity - lmowledge of one I s rights and
duties, education for employment,
and for living - the,, essentials to a
society of law and order and human
progress.
Housing
Every citizen must have access to
decent housing. This goal adopted
long ago has not been achieved, and
there is yet to be obtained a climate
in which every person will have equal
opportunity for housing that he c an
afford.
Employment
There must be training for new jobs
and retaining for other job s in our
changing technology, and the r e must
be an end to discrimination again st
qualified per sons based on sex , race,
age or handic ap.
As we see it, we mu st cre ate new attitudes even m ore than we need t o create
new programs , but both are needed! To e stablish new attitude s we must begin with
ourselves, our families , our churches and synagogues.
Therefore, we commit ourselves to an effort to:
1. Carry on mutual interchanges in our churches with ministers and layman of
all races discussing these critical areas of concern.
2. Preach and give courses within our own churches dealing with these areas.
3. Adopt and carry out special projects which contribute to the betterment of
conditions in each of the foregoing areas, and encourage such things as
positive support for day care centers, low cost housing corporation s,
health clinics, and training emp l oyme nt pr ogr ams.
In order to devel op wide acceptance of our stated purpose and our pl an of action,
we respectfully urge Mayor Ivan Allen, J r. to issue invitations to Atlanta' s political,
economic and religious leaders , and t o citizens repres entative of all areas of our
urban community to attend a meeting sponsored by the undersigned with the Mayor
serving as host. The purpose of the meeting will be to achieve in the Atlanta urban
�area an agreement on our stated purpose, and to arrange for a coordinated use of
all possible resources. We seek a true and new commitment and to develop a
simple connectional structure to carry out this commitment.
We, by signing this resolution, do declare ourselves to be an inter-faith .
committee, and authorize our designated representatives to visit the Mayor of the
City of Atlanta and other local leaders of this area for the following purposes:
1. To offer the full support of ourselves as representatives of the religious
community of the urban area for coordinated effort in meeting the needs .
of every individual.
2. To fund a luncheon for leaders and representatives of both races at which
time we could hear from Mayor Allen his suggestions as to how all available
resources might be coordinated to achieve our objectives.
3. To support a call for broader mini st erial and lay leadership in subsequent
meetings and projects.
4. And to offer ourselves for service on any Council or Committee dealin g
with these cr itical areas.
Finally , we invite all c iti zens to join with us in a com mit ment t o ou.r. statement
of pur pose and our plan of act ion, and we a sk the help of Alm i ghty God in this
endeavor to tran sform and r edeem our entire ur ban are a.
Signed on This Day, Tuesday 2nd of April, 1968
I

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  1. http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_014_015_008.pdf

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