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Atlanta’s Confederate Advisory Committee Holds First Meeting

This statue of a Confederate soldier in Piedmont Park  was vandalized with spray paint from protesters who marched through the city in August.
This statue of a Confederate soldier in Piedmont Park was vandalized with spray paint from protesters who marched through the city in August.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press

Mayor Kasim Reed’s committee that will study what do with Confederate monuments and streets named after Confederate figures in Atlanta met for the first time Wednesday night.

The members voted Atlanta History Center CEO Sheffield Hale as the group’s chair.

Hale said he has high hopes for the committee.

“My hope is that we can come up with a deliberative process and some principles that can be applied over time that will help us work through these issues in a way that’s helpful for the community and healthy,” he said.

State law prohibits moving or altering Confederate monuments, but Hale said the committee’s job is just to make recommendations.

“That’s above my pay grade,” Hale said when asked about dealing with state law. “We can come up with our recommendations, and then the mayor and the city council can determine what can and can’t be done with these monuments.”

The group will start taking public comment at its next meeting, Oct. 30.

Their other scheduled meetings are Nov. 6 and 13 and the public will be allowed to speak at both.

It’s supposed to deliver recommendations to the mayor and city council by Nov. 20.

The other committee members are:

  • Douglas Blackmon, Director of Public Programs at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center
  • Regina Brewer, Preservation Consultant
  • Larry Gallerstedt, CEO of Cousins Properties
  • Nina Gentry, Owner of Gentry Planning Services
  • Sonji Jacobs, Senior Director of Corporate Affairs at Cox Enterprises
  • Derreck Kayongo, CEO for the Center of Civil and Human Rights
  • Dan Moore, Founder of the APEX Museum
  • Brenda Muhammad, Executive Director of Atlanta Victim Assistance
  • Martha Porter Hall, Community Advocate
  • Shelley Rose- Senior Associate Director of the Southeast Region of the Anti-Defamation League