Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

Atlanta: a great place for sustainability

Agriculture center at Truly Living Well Wheat Street Gardens, 75 Hilliard St., Atlanta.

Agriculture center at Truly Living Well Wheat Street Gardens, 75 Hilliard St., Atlanta.

‘Do something, then do something else’

By John A. Lanier

By its very nature, the Earth is resilient.

The Cuyahoga River, which famously caught fire 45 years ago, has recovered. Now more than 40 species of fish are found in the river, and bald eagles are able to nest nearby.

Ecosystems are quick to rebound from all types of natural disasters too.

Just think about how quickly new grasses sprout up in the cracks of Atlanta’s concrete sidewalks.

But the Earth is also finite.

My grandfather, the late Ray C. Anderson, had some thoughts on how we could do things better, and the example he set forth gives us an answer:

“Do something, then do something else.”

Ray was rather insistent with this call to action. And, like the Earth, Ray was resilient.

Ray was a small-town Georgia boy who created the world’s largest manufacturer of modular carpet, Interface. He also made it a global leader in …

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Should medicinal marijuana be legalized?

Paul Lachine/NewsArt

Paul Lachine/NewsArt

Moderated by Rick Badie

The General Assembly was a breath away from adopting legislation that would have legalized medicinal marijuana. A supporter of the such a law outlines what it must entail to ensure that patients who benefit from cannabis are granted access safely and legally. Meanwhile, a community activist questions how any state could legalize a drug that currently bypasses FDA testing and research.

Passion must prevail over politics

By James Bell

No one would have predicted that medical marijuana legislation — with near-unanimous support from the Georgia House and Senate, the governor’s office, law enforcement agencies and the public — would have failed to pass the General Assembly.

So goes House Bill 885, legislation that would have expanded an old law allowing the use of the cannabis plant — marijuana — for certain medical conditions.

Unfortunately HB 885 would not have delivered the medicine to patients who could benefit. It did not allow for …

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Common Core: Our students’ perspective

Jon Krause/NewsArt

Jon Krause/NewsArt

The great majority of the fracas over the Common Core State Standards for public school curricula has involved adults.

By and large, Georgia’s children were not heard on the matter. Rather, it was activists and lawmakers who tussled over whether to abandon the so-called “Obamacore” standards that, in truth, arose from a Republican-led group of state governors. Those who should know better either forgot or deliberately ignored that one of Common Core’s leading champions was Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue.

Like students who hadn’t studied much for final exams, such facts didn’t seem to matter to anti-Common Core legislators who fought to give Georgia the freedom to not be beholden to national education standards that most other states had embraced. In the end, the revocation effort thankfully ground to a legislative halt.

Now that the General Assembly’s election-year hijinks are done for this season, we’ve found ourselves thinking about the 9 in 10 …

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Is religious liberty threatened in Georgia?



Moderated by Rick Badie

A bill that supporters say would have expanded protections under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was denied a floor vote during the 2014 General Assembly. That decision, notes a conservative activist, has given proponents of the so-called religious liberty bill more resolve to explain its purpose to the public. Our other guest writer calls the idea for such a law discriminatory and unnecessary because religious liberty isn’t under attack in Georgia.

No threat to religious liberty

By James Graham

When Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act 20 years ago, supporters intended the bill to be a shield for religion, not a sword to harm others. But today, people are using it to take away protections, rights and benefits of others.

If we are going to pass a religious freedom bill in Georgia, we must make sure it is not used to trump non-discrimination laws or deny women basic medical services, such as access to …

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Ga. aerospace firms soar

Moderated by Rick Badie

Aircraft and aerospace parts and productsAnsulNewsArt97k are one reason Georgia’s export sales are soaring. Today, the head of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Aerospace writes about exports, job growth and the state’s international standing in the industry. Elsewhere, a financial executive notes the importance of educating young people about the economy, enterprise and free market.

Ga. aerospace firms thrive

By R. Steve Justice

Last month, Gov. Nathan Deal announced Georgia’s record year in international trade for the fourth time, both in exports and imports. The state exported $37.6 billion in goods, the highest annual total in its history. And for the second year in a row, aerospace-related products led the way as Georgia’s largest international export.

Aircraft, aircraft parts and aircraft engine exports grew to $7.85 billion in 2013, up from $6.71 billion in 2012. Georgia now ranks third in the U.S. for aircraft engines and parts, exporting $1.29 billion in …

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The Editorial Board’s opinion: A necessary investment

Dean Rohrer/NewsArt

Dean Rohrer/NewsArt

The problems of troubled young males are well known to society. New, and existing, initiatives hope to make a difference in problems that affect us all. Some say the solutions are, in some cases, well within our grasp.

In February, President Barack Obama announced a new White House initiative called “My Brother’s Keeper.” Its purpose: To improve the lives of black and Hispanic males, and help them overcome challenges and reach their full potential. It’s a noble objective to help these at-risk young men of color, an effort numerous businesses, individuals and organizations undertake in our region.

One example: The Community Council of Metropolitan Atlanta Inc., founded and overseen by Norma Joy Barnes. The six-year-old nonprofit hosts workshops, mentoring programs and other events in an attempt to combat what she says are almost insurmountable odds — a vulnerable gap between youth and manhood experienced by many males, but disturbingly so for …

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The lingering hurt of colorism

By Naeemah Clark

Every woman of color knows she has to dig through the department store shelf in hopes of finding hosiery that matches her skin tone. Nude pantyhose aren’t made for her. This form of colorism happens all the time, so I should be used to it. But I’m not. Instead, it’s death by a thousand cuts.

The pain of colorism is magnified when we look at media representations of African-American women.

I was reminded of the hurt colorism can cause when one of my students cried when she saw a magazine cover featuring Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o. Nyong’o, like my student, is fabulous with her rich chocolate-brown skin and her short natural hair.

For her, Nyong’o’s appearance was a reminder of how rare it is to see a dark-skinned actress as a beauty on the big screen.

Hollywood has long considered lighter-skinned women, from Lena Horne to Halle Berry, to be acceptable images of African-American beauty. Nyong’o recently admitted that as a child, she wished that she would wake …

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The myth of missing black dads

Moderated by Rick Badie

The myth of the absentee black father may be just that. So says new data by the National Center for Health Statistics. Turns out, black dads who live with their children are just as involved as other fathers who live with their kids. Or even more so. I tackle the topic in a column, while a conservative offers a counterview. Meanwhile, a professor who has researched black fatherhood admonishes society to stop trying to identify “bad dads” and work to uplift them all.

Note: There are three columns today.

Commenting is open.

Fatherhood is tough, vital work

By Rick Badie

On Father’s Day 2008, then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama delivered a speech before a church congregation in which he criticized black fathers for being uninvolved, or completely missing, from their children’s lives. “Too many fathers are M.I.A., too many fathers are AWOL, missing from too many lives and too many homes,” he said at the time. “And the foundations of our families are weaker because …

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Protected bike lanes for Atlanta?

Rebecca Serna is executive director of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition.

Rebecca Serna is executive director of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition.

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

A national bicycle foundation recently chose Atlanta to participate in a two-year project to help build “protected” bike lanes — those separated from traffic by planters, curbs or posts. A People For Bikes spokesman tells why Atlanta was selected for its Green Lane Project; he cites Memphis as a role model for how a Southern city can become bike-friendly. Atlanta Bicycle Coalition chief Rebecca Serna writes about how her group targets local streets to make them safer.

Commenting is open.

New Southern stereotype: great cities for biking

By Michael Andersen

Some Atlantans are perhaps familiar with the phenomenon in which people make sweeping generalizations about the American South. “Braving the Deep, Deadly South on a Bicycle,” The Atlantic magazine shuddered in a headline last month.

In some sense, true enough. Georgia, for example, ranks 42nd of 50 states in estimated bike …

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Another bend in the river for Savannah Port

Keep it moving. That is the best way to ensure Georgia’s long-in-coming effort to deepen the Port of Savannah eventually gets done, even while every entity involved seemingly agrees the necessity for the work is, or should be, a foregone conclusion.
Metro Atlanta, the state that surrounds it and, arguably, the greater Southeast and even the rest of the U.S. will see economic benefits from making Savannah’s harbor more accessible to a larger class of oceangoing ships that already are hauling the products of commerce.
Such optimism provides the most productive lens through which to view the latest bureaucratic logjam that earlier this month delayed once more the final — really final — funding for the project. In truth, this latest event is but one more riverbend encountered in what’s been a long, tiring voyage. Election-year sloganeering by both the red and blue teams should not obscure this big-picture point.
Understanding all that helps interested parties — a group that should …

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