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Governor Perdue Announces Racial Reconciliation Forum

Tuesday, October 7, 2003  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Atlanta - Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that he will host a racial reconciliation forum on Wednesday, October 15, 2003, at The Carter Center in Atlanta. The event will begin at 7:00 p.m.

"I truly believe that all of Georgia must have an open and honest dialogue on race issues for us to continue making progress as a state. It might not be an easy conversation, but it is a necessary one," Perdue said. "I think that this forum provides us an opportunity to have a productive discussion, unite as one family, and move forward together."

Forum panelists will include Governor Perdue; former President Jimmy Carter; General Larry R. Ellis, Commanding Officer, Headquarters U.S. Army Forces Command, Fort McPherson; and Juanita Baranco, Atlanta businesswoman, civic leader, and former member of the Board of Regents. Stephanie Ray, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Diversity Issues at Georgia Institute of Technology, will lead the discussion. In addition, two university professors will provide a historical perspective on Georgia's role in the Confederacy, the Civil Rights movement, and the rise of Georgia as a model for the New South. Panelists will take questions and comments from audience members for approximately one hour during the program.

More than 400 guests will be in attendance including citizens, elected officials, community leaders and members of the media. Two hundred seats will be available to the public. To attend the forum, citizens must call the Governor's Constituent Services Hotline at (404) 656-1776 on Wednesday, October 8, 2003, from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. or Thursday, October 9, 2003, from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. All citizens that request a seat during that time will be entered into a lottery. The lottery drawing for seats will be open to the media and take place on Friday, October 10, 2003 at 11 a.m. in Room 107 of the State Capitol.