Box 14, Folder 15, Document 9

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Box 14, Folder 15, Document 9

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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 \riolence !
We are concerned about the consequences of continued rioting and believe that
the deterioration of human relations could do greater 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 released Report of the National Advisory Commission
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 suggestions for action which merit consideration. The report is a good point of
reference and basis for discussion and action.
We are convinced that neither studies nor resolutions nor good intentions alone
will suffice. We believe that all of the r eligious leaders of metropolitan Atlanta
should act now to bring an end to conditions in our midst which create de spair, contribute to human degradation and fuel violence. ·
We, therefore, commit ourselves to assist in the task of transforming our urban
area that, insofar as our abilities 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 property and where 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 must be done.
There must be a pooling of all resources - a coordinated effort by rich and poor,
by affluent and depressed citizens, by leaders in religion and education, in business
and the pr ofessions, in industry and labor, in government, and in all walks of life to meet our citi zens needs in the following areas:
Police Protection
Every citizen is entitled to be secu r e in
his person and propert y and to fair treat-
ment by l aw enforcement offic ials; and,
in turn, e ach citizen has a duty to obey
the law and support and cooperat e with
police officials .
�Education
Every citizen must have the opportunity for equal educational opportunity - knowledge of one I s rights and
duties, education for employment,
and for living - the ess~ntials 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 can
afford.
Employment
There must be training for new jobs
and retaining for other jobs in our
changing technology, and there must
be an end to discrimination against
qualified persons based on sex , race,
age or handicap.
As we see it, we mu st create new attitudes even m ore than we need to cr eate
new programs, but both are needed! To est ablish new attitudes we must begin with
ours el ves, our families, our chur ches 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. P r each 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 corporations,
health clinics, and training employment programs.
In order to develop wide acceptance of our stated purpose and our plan of action,
we respectfully urge Mayor Ivan Allen, Jr. to issue invitations to Atlanta I s politic 81,
economic and religious leaders, and to citizens representative 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 ministerial and lay leadership in subsequent
meetings and projects.
4. And to offer ourselves for service on any Council or Committee dealing
with these critical areas.
Finally, we invite all citizens to join with us in a commitment to our st ateme nt
of purpose and our plan of action, and we ask the help of Almighty God in this
endeavor to t r ansform and redeem our entire urban area.
Signed on This Day, Tuesday l 2nd of Ap ril , 19 68

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  1. http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_014_015_009.pdf

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