The Atlanta Pride Committee (APC) released a resolution today condemning police brutality and authorizing the creation of a complete Strategic Plan for the organization to focus on social and racial justice, human rights, and equity.
The resolution, co-written and introduced by Executive Director, Jamie Fergerson and Board Chair, Wil Bryant, was unanimously agreed upon by the entire APC board during their virtual meeting.
Simultaneously, the board approved an open letter to Atlanta Mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, calling for reformation and transformation of policing and support of a laundry list of policies contained within the letter. The letter, signed by the entire APC Board and Executive Director, also requested a face-to-face meeting between Mayor Bottoms and Jamie Fergerson, to discuss the letter’s content in further detail.
An excerpt from the letter to Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms states:
“We value the commitments made to centering LGBTQ+ voices by the creation of the Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Board, the LGBTQ Pride Receptions, the continued support for the Atlanta Police Department LGBTQ Liaisons, and non-discrimination ordinances that have been enacted to protect the citizens of the City of Atlanta.
We are grateful for the relationships that we have built and developed with you, the City Council, and various City Officials as well as the Atlanta Police Department. This access and privilege demands that we speak up for change as we fight for social justice.
We view your recent Administrative Orders as another step in the direction towards ending injustice in policing while realizing that true change will require much more. We realize that systemic problems require systemic and sweeping changes. Our advocacy is not against specific individuals, but towards a system that has historically devalued Black lives. Cash bail and the plan to transform the City of Atlanta Jail into a Center for Equity and Justice were led by community voices demanding change — we are adding our voices to demand change to end injustice and to bring equity and opportunity for Black lives.”
The letter also states possible solutions that can aid in reforming and transforming the systems that are in place now, including community building, community investments, training, demilitarization, implementing the 8 Can’t Wait Campaign, citizen review boards, and reforming police unions.
Throughout the years, APC has worked closely with the Atlanta Police Department on making changes an adjustments to the annual festival and parade that includes having an onsite coordinator, hand-picking police officers, demilitarizing officers on festival grounds, prioritizing violent crime over minor offenses, being a safe space for undocumented members of the community, minimizing unnecessary contact with attendees, and engaging with attendees in respectful and culturally appropriate interactions.
Atlanta Pride is still in the works to be an in-person event in October, although the APC is working on virtual and digital programming as well to minimize the health and safety of festivalgoers.
You can find more information on the resolution Atlanta Pride’s homepage.