This article, written by Roz Edward, originally appeared in the Atlanta Daily World.

The purpose of the town hall is for panelists to discuss what charter schools and other school choice options mean for black and minority families in Georgia, Atlanta and the nation. This dialogue comes just before Martin Luther King Day in the heart of Atlanta’s historic civil rights community and is particularly timely due to the recent Charter School Moratorium Resolution approved by the NAACP’s National Board of Directors.

Georgia Charter Schools Association and GeorgiaCAN are cosponsoring the town hall. The event will take place on Friday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary of Ebenezer Baptist Church. Ebenezer Baptist is located at 101 Jackson Street Northeast in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward Neighborhood. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

“We want this to be a conversation where we talk with each other rather than at each other,” said Georgia Charter Schools Association President and CEO Tony Roberts. “Our association believes education solutions for children require us to have difficult conversations with those who may not share our same viewpoint. It is our hope this will be the first of many important education discussions on what’s best for Georgia’s children.”

Panelists for the town hall include: Award-winning journalist, NewsOne Now

Host and author Roland Martin; Georgia NAACP President Francys Johnson; National education expert and author of “Building A Learning Culture in America” Kevin Chavous; Atlanta Board of Education Chair Courtney English and KIPP STRIVE Primary School parent and administrator Terra Walker. Media personality and parent Rashan Ali will moderate the event. Lineur, Inc. is producing the town hall.

More than 600 people have already registered for the event. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask the panel questions. The town hall follows two recent hearings on charter schools held by the NAACP.

The Georgia Charter Schools Association is a nonprofit membership organization for Georgia’s public charter schools and petitioners. Our mission is to advocate for, foster and support autonomous, high-quality charter public schools throughout Georgia. We believe every child in Georgia should have equal access to a high-quality, transformative public education.

The Georgia Campaign for Achievement Now is a nonprofit education organization that advocates for all students across the state to have access to high-quality schools. Our goal is to ensure that students across Georgia have the opportunity to attend great schools and receive a great education that prepares them for future academic and professional success. We work to advance policies and programs that prioritize positive impacts for students statewide—especially those with the greatest needs.

Michael O’Sullivan is the executive director of GeorgiaCAN.


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