University faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend a March 27 meeting to organize citizen participation in Partners for a Prosperous Athens, the initiative to combat causes of persistent poverty in Clarke County. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. at Cedar Shoals High School.
UGA is one of five convenors of PPA along with the Athens-Clarke County government, the Clarke County School System, the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce and Family Connection.
The initiative, launched in January, is aimed at developing a long-range plan to reduce the county’s 28 percent poverty rate, one of the highest in Georgia. A steering committee has spent two months organizing the initiative, and the March 27 meeting will be the first opportunity for local citizens to get involved in the effort.
At the meeting, committees will be formed to study six topics that impact poverty. The topics are education attainment; building a competitive workforce; building diverse housing and transportation options; promoting physical and mental health; promoting dependable, affordable, quality child care; and building a diverse economy.
Committees will be asked to thoroughly research their topic to understand how it relates to poverty, and to develop recommendations on how the information can be used to attack causes of poverty. Committees will be chaired by a member of the steering committee, and each group will be assisted by facilitators from UGA’s Fanning Institute.