Business, college leaders condemn racism, pledge cooperation and help

A group of metro Atlanta business and education leaders condemned acts of racism and police violence that spurred this weekend’s protests and pledged to work on creating a “more inclusive and just society.”

The 42-member Atlanta Committee for Progress issued a statement Monday morning that “the senseless and horrific events of the past several weeks have left the people of our community reeling with anguish, fear, frustration and justified anger.”

Demonstrators took to the streets in Atlanta and numerous other U.S. cities to protest the recent killings of George Floyd, a black man who was in the custody of Minneapolis police, and Breonna Taylor, a black woman shot to death by officers in Louisville, Ky.

The ACP’s members said they feel compelled to “work to create a better future for everyone” and that “concrete actions and solutions are essential to reverse the long history of systemic racism and injustice that is a stain on our great nation.”

ACP members include Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank and Spelman College president Mary Schmidt Campbell. Alex Taylor, CEO of Cox Enterprises, is also a member. Cox Enterprises owns The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The organization was formed to bring together the city's leaders to foster community and neighborhood improvements. In 2017, the ACP provided a list of policy goals to incoming Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

One of the ACP’s signature projects was the creation of the Westside Future Fund, which promotes the revitalization of economically depressed neighborhoods west of downtown.