We at the Center for Social Justice, Human and Civil Rights at the University of Georgia School of Social Work grieve the loss of life and the suffering caused by recent violence involving civilians and law enforcement at home and abroad. Our hearts are moved by those who have been hurt directly or indirectly by violence in environments they assumed to be safe. We listen with keen sympathy as our sisters and brothers cry out for safety, for civility, for an end to fear and the root causes of distrust, and for equal participation in the benefits of society: jobs, housing, mental health services, child care and access to affordable food and transportation, to name a few.
We must find ways in which we all can work together to enact policies and programs that better address human needs, and to make peaceful, productive dialog between the powerful and the disadvantaged an integral part of civic life. As part of this commitment, the Center for Social Justice, Human and Civil Rights supports such activities as:
- The Athens Community Partnership for Youth Development, a multi-agency task force convened by the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government that focuses both on youth development and gang violence prevention in Athens-Clarke County;
- “Blue and You,” a multi-stakeholder collaboration spearheaded by the UGA School of Public and International Affairs to improve police-community relations in Athens, Georgia;
- The Charleston Syllabus Symposium: A Conversation on Racial Violence and Reconciliation organized by the UGA Press, to be held at the UGA Special Collections Library on September 23rd
We are also committed to ongoing engagement with local, state and national organizations to identify resources and opportunities to build trust and better communication between marginalized people and civic authorities, and are seeking ways to help those impacted by violence. If you have suggestions or interest in being involved, please contact me at (706) 542-0244 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Our steadfast commitment to change can make a real difference to the world we live in.
Llewellyn J. Cornelius, Ph.D, LCSW
Donald Lee Hollowell Distinguished Professor of Civil Rights and Social Justice Studies
Director, Center for Social Justice, Human and Civil Rights
Editor, Journal of Poverty