Georgia Municipal Association launches commission to focus on systemic racism

The 26-member group is called the Equity and Inclusion Commission. 

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DUBLIN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Georgia Municipal Association has launched a new committee to address systemic racism and inequality. The 26-member group is called the Equity and Inclusion Commission.

The commission is made up of city leaders across the state. And its role is to recommend actions and develop a long-term plan to address institutional and systemic racism. Members are also tasks with helping Georgia city leaders create constructive dialogue with residents.

“This is a big step, a courageous step and the right step for our cities and the state of Georgia, and our association is uniquely positioned to tackle these issues and serve as a catalyst for lasting change,” said Georgia Municipal Association President and Union City Mayor Vince Williams.

GMA says the commission is also called to listen deeply, unite widely and acting boldly in order to bring justice. The Commission will also address equity in housing, medical access, food disparities and development.

The commission was created in early June, under the leadership of Dublin Mayor Phil Best. The commission will meet monthly through June 2021.Equity & Inclusion Commission Members include:

  • Jim Thornton, Mayor, LaGrange (Co-chair)
  • Hardie Davis, Mayor, Augusta (Co-chair)
  • Linda Blechinger, Mayor, Auburn
  • Michelle Cooper Kelly, Mayor Pro Tem, Marietta
  • Carmen Chubb, Mayor’s Chief of Staff, Atlanta
  • Patti Garrett, Mayor, Decatur
  • Andrea Gibby, Mayor, Young Harris
  • Tyree Goodlett, Councilmember, Dalton
  • Keith Turman, Mayor Pro Tem, Royston
  • Bianca Motley Broom, Mayor, College Park
  • Liz Ordiales, Mayor, Hiawassee
  • Al Thurman, Mayor, Powder Springs
  • Amir R. Farokhi, Councilmember, Atlanta
  • Anthony Ford, Mayor, Stockbridge
  • Kelly Girtz, Mayor, Athens-Clarke County
  • Cornell Harvey, Mayor, Brunswick
  • Lisa Clarke Hill, Mayor Pro Tem, Moultrie
  • Doug Hollberg, Mayor, Griffin
  • Isaiah Hugley, City Manager, Columbus
  • Michael-Angelo James, Mayor, Waycross
  • Cam Jordan, Deputy Administrator, Fitzgerald
  • John Reid, Mayor, Eatonton
  • Matt Seale, Mayor, Ocilla
  • Julie Smith, Mayor, Tifton
  • Dr. Clemontine Washington, Mayor Pro Tem, Midway
  • Mike Young, Mayor, McRae-Helena
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Shelby Coates is an evening anchor/producer at 41NBC News. She anchors the 5, 5:30, and 6 evening newscasts. She also works behind the scenes producing the 5:00pm and managing newsroom assignments. She returns to 41NBC after working in Evansville, Indiana as the Morning/Noon Anchor and Executive Producer for WEVV. Shelby also spent time in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where she spent three years anchoring and producing the weekend morning newscasts at WSPA-TV. She also worked as a general assignment reporter, receiving several honors for her investigative and consumer reporting. Shelby has spent time working as a news anchor/reporter in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Macon, Georgia; and Abilene, Texas. Shelby is a native of Clarksville, Tennessee. She graduated from Abilene Christian University in Texas with a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism and Mass Communication and a minor in sociology. Shelby has a passion for empowering local communities, church ministry, public speaking, strengthening women and mentoring young people.