Box 14, Folder 15, Document 10

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Box 14, Folder 15, Document 10

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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 r elations 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 l aw 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 r epor t is a good point of
r eference and basis for discussion and action.
We are convinced that n either studies nor r e solutions nor good intentions alone
will suffi ce. We b elieve that all of the r eligious l eaders of metropolitan Atl anta
should act now to bring an end to conditions in our midst -which create despair , contribut e t o human degradation and fuel violence.
We, ther efore, c ommit ou rselve s t o assist in the t ask of t ransfor ming our urban
area that, in s ofar a s our abilities and resources permit , we sh all endeavor t o respond
to this urban cri si s and help create a city where there i s personal safet y for all p ers ons and pr operty and whe r e there is re a s on for hope and opportunity for individu al
growth and dignity for every citizen.
To do this, t here are many th ings which we believe mu st be done.
There must be a pooling of all resources - a c oordinated effort by rich and poor,
by affluent and depressed citizens , by l eaders in religion and education, in business
and the professions, in industry and labor , in government, and in all walks of life to meet our citizens needs in the following areas:
Police Protection
Every citizen is entitled to be secure in
his person and property and to fair treatment by law enforcement officials; and,
in turn, e¥)Ch 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 es,sentials 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 per son s ba sed on sex , race,
age or handicap.
As we see it, we mu st create new attitudes even more than we need to create
new programs, but both are needed! To establish new attitudes we must begin with
ourselves , our families, our churche s 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 reach and give courses within our own churches dealing with these areas.
3. Adopt and carr y out special projects which contribute t o the b etterment of
conditions in each of the foregoing areas , and encourage such things a s
positive support for day care center s, l ow cost hou sing corporations,
health clinics, and t raining 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 Atlant a I s political,
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 de aling
with these critical areas.
Finally, we invite all citizens to join with us in a commitment to our stateme 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, Tue sday 2nd of April , 1968
I

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  1. http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_014_015_010.pdf

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