Tuesday, March 21, 2017

New Disability History Collections Open for Research

Since 2013 the Russell Library has been a partner in the Georgia Disability History Alliance, a group of activists, advocates organizational leaders, archivists, and others united to document and preserve the state’s disability history. Over the past year, through partial support from UGA’s Center for Social Justice, Human & Civil Rights, Russell Library staff has completed processing over a dozen collections that form part of the Georgia Disability History Archive. These newly available collections document individuals and organizations in the areas of disability rights and activism, developmental disabilities, mental health advocacy, public policy and law, independent living and support programs, and assistive technology. To explore these topics and more, see the collection descriptions below and follow the links for complete guides to these collections.

Excerpt from ADAPT activist Mark Johnson's
testimony before the U.S. Senate on the Americans
with Disabilities Act, 1989.
Carol Jones Papers
The Archive as a whole seeks to document the vital and transformative work undertaken by disability activists, advocates, and organizations and, crucially, the experiences of persons with disabilities over the past 100 years in the state of Georgia. Major collecting areas include, but are not limited to: accessibility, activism and social justice, citizen advocacy, independent and community living, self-advocacy, education, employment, culture and pride. These collections will support research, teaching, public programming, and exhibitions. For more information about the Archive, please contact Mat Darby at matdarby@uga.edu or 706-542-0627.

Dottie Adams Papers, 1968-2007
Dottie Adams is the former Individual and Family Supports Director for the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities. Her papers document her prolific career in advocacy and disability activism (1968-2009) and includes materials from her work with state agencies and commissions, support organizations, and philanthropic and activist work in the state of Georgia.

ADA Training Materials Collection, 1990-2004
The ADA Training Materials Collection includes curricula created by the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) for states and organizations to use in implementing ADA education and training.

Annette Bowling Papers, 1996-2013
Annette Bowling (1936-2016) served as the executive director of the Albany Advocacy Resource Center for over forty years. Her papers include materials related to her work advocating for people with disabilities, notably her service as chair of the Commissioner’s Oversight Committee, which oversaw the closures of the Brook Run Center in 1997 and the Georgia Mental Health Institute (GMHI) in 1998.

Disability Law and Policy Center of Georgia Records, 2000-2011
The Disability Law and Policy Center of Georgia is an organization that addresses the legal rights of the disabled in individual cases, employment, and education. The records include documentation of the Center's policies and priorities, grant-funded activities, and employee engagement.

Beth English Collection of Disability History Materials, 1968-2012
Beth English is the executive director of Easter Seals Southern Georgia. Her collection documents her work on the Commissioner’s Oversight Committee, which oversaw the closure of the Brook Run Center in 1997, her work as executive director of Easter Seals Southern Georgia, advocacy initiatives, and Central State Hospital, in Milledgeville, Georgia.

Roderick L. (RL) Grubbs Papers, 1973-2014
Roderick L. (RL) Grubbs (1959-2016) was an advocate for assistive technology, a disability rights activist, and a specialist in the Georgia Department of Community Health. His papers include subject files on a variety of disability-related topics and organizations and material related to Money Follows the Person, a state program.

Mark Johnson Papers, 1965-2015
Mark Johnson is the Director of Advocacy at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. He holds a Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling and has been an advocate and leader in the disability rights movement for over thirty years. His papers contain subject and chronological files, artifacts, t-shirts, and audiovisual materials related to his work as a disability advocate, organizer, and professional.

Carol Jones Papers, 1987-2011
Carol Jones is an advocacy specialist at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta and a long-time participant in the disability rights movement. Her papers include documents and memorabilia related to many advocacy issues and organizations, including ADAPT and the Long Road Home March and Rally.

Mary Kissel Papers, 1990-2007
Mary Kissel is a founder and interim executive director of Georgia Options. Her papers document her advocacy for person-centered care for individuals with developmental disabilities and her work with Georgia Options and other advocacy organizations.
The Bell Ringer, a publication of the
Metropolitan Atlanta Mental Health Association,
February 1962.
Beverly Benson Long Papers

Beverly Benson Long Papers, 1940-2009
Beverly Benson Long (1920-2015) served in state, national and international organizations as a mental health professional and advocate. Her papers document her extensive work and career in the mental health field and include correspondence, internal reports, papers, newsletters, memos, conference proceedings, and commission and board meeting materials.

Reverend Calvin Peterson and Disabled in Action Atlanta Collection, 1967-2015
Reverend Calvin Peterson is the founder and director of Disabled in Action, a non-profit organization with a mission to advocate, educate and empower people with disabilities living in poverty, their families and caregivers, and with an emphasis on equity and inclusion. The collection includes articles of incorporation, correspondence, press releases, news clippings, brochures, flyers, photographs, DVDs, and other materials that document Rev. Peterson and Disabled in Action's advocacy and activism.

Don Schanche, Jr. Papers, 1986-2004
Flyer for the organization, Disabled in Action,
circa 1990. Reverend Calvin Peterson and
Disabled in Atlanta Collection. 
Don Schanche, Jr. is a journalist who has written for many Georgia newspapers. His papers document his investigative work on state hospitals and his coverage of disability issues throughout the state.

Southeast ADA Center Resource Collection, 1990-2010
The Southeast ADA Center provides information, training, and guidance on the Americans with Disabilities Act and disability access for business, government, and individuals at the local, state, and regional levels. The collection includes materials created and distributed by the center for education, instruction and compliance with the ADA.

A publication of the Georgia Psychoeducational
Center Network, 1973.
Mary M. Woods Papers
Mary M. Wood Papers, 1972-2011
Mary M. Wood is an educator, researcher and founder of the Developmental Therapy Institute, which focuses on training, research, development and outreach in Developmental Therapy-Teaching (DTT). Her papers document her work to improve the lives of troubled children, teens, and their families through effective interventions and includes publications, research and grant files.

  

Thursday, March 02, 2017

From Dog Tags to Car Tags: Tommy T. Irvin and the GDA

Former Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) Commissioner Tommy T. Irvin spent most of his life serving the state of Georgia. Through his 42 years as commissioner (1969-2011), Irvin promoted locally grown food, created monthly statewide educational programming, supported marginalized farmers, helped monitor horses in competition at the 1996 Olympics, and attended countless agriculture events.

However, Irvin’s legacy does include one controversial lawsuit in 2007 involving the 1990 Humane Euthanasia Act. In the act, State Representative Chelsey V. Morton details the humane ways in which shelters could put down animals through lethal injection. Irvin and the GDA’s Animal Protection Division were responsible for ensuring that all shelters were killing their animals according to this humane code. The GDA and Irvin, as commissioner, were sued in 2007 by Representative Morton because they were licensing shelters that used inhumane methods of killing. The court found in favor of the plaintiff, Representative Morton. and, as a result,  issued a temporary restraining order to the GDA prohibiting them  from renewing licenses for shelters using illegal killing methods. Later that same year, the GDA was held in contempt for issuing a license to a Cobb County shelter that used an unapproved method.

Now, this all paints former Commissioner Irvin in a rather unfavorable light when it comes to overcrowded animal shelters and animal care. However, as documented in his papers, Irvin appears to have taken this issue very seriously but attacked it from a different angle. From 1999 to 2002, the GDA worked on passing a constitutional amendment to create a sterilization program to address animal overpopulation. On November 5, 2002, the Dog/Cat Sterilization License Plate program was put before voters. The referendum, which would allow the license plate to be sold and administered by the GDA, passed by a 70% margin, and the GDA undertook a process to implement the legislation which was enacted in the following year.

Irvin speaking in support of Amendment 6 at the state capitol in 2002.
Source: Series I, Box 11, Folder 14.
Excerpt from brochure advertising the tag program, 2005.
Series I, Box 9, Folder 26.
The Dog/Cat Tag Sterilization License Plate program treats the designated plate as any other “specialty” plate. The county tag office collects the fee for the plate ($25 in 2005). Those funds are used to pay for sterilization procedures, to provide educational materials about the importance of sterilization, and to promote sales of the plate. The funds are accessed through an existing state accounting system, and the GDA pays licensed veterinarians to spay or neuter the animals. Purchasing the plate is entirely optional, and importantly, tax-deductible.

By December 2005, about a year before the Morton v. Irvin lawsuit, the sale of the sterilization license plate was advertised by the GDA. In a quote from a 2005 brochure, Irvin stated, “This program is saving the lives of dogs and cats without increasing taxes.” By August 2006, another brochure boasted that more than 700 accredited vets had performed 20,000 sterilization procedures through this program.
Tommy Irvin quote from brochure advertising the tag program, 2005.
Series I, Box 9, Folder 26.
In 2008, GDA held a photo contest for a new “Feline Friend” license plate design. Winner Randy Bieniek submitted a photo of a beautiful, short-hair cat, Hope, who was later adopted. This Feline Friend plate was added to the Animal Friend and Dog Friend plates promoted by the Dog/Cat Sterilization program in December 2008. By January 2009, more than 1,000 licensed and accredited vets participated in the program, and more than 41,000 spay/neuter procedures were funded in all 159 Georgia counties.
Flier advertising for the new "Feline Friendly" license
plate, circulated by GDA, 2008. Source: Series I, Box 9,
Folder 26. 

The Dog/Cat Sterilization program is still going strong today. The program is now funded by tag sales and private donations, and since 2013, a grant program. In the initial round of grants, $125,000 were awarded to 19 applicants, and, in 2015, $200,000 were awarded. Since 2003, over 100,000 spay/neuter procedures have been administered through the program, and that number continues to increase.

So, the next time you are driving on a Georgia highway and see a spay/neuter license plate, you will be witnessing one of Tommy Irvin’s legacies.

Visit  the Russell Library to research the Tommy Irvin Papers and see documentation of the preliminary work for the Tommy T. Irvin Dog/Cat Sterilization program, a full transcript of the 2002 Dog/Cat Sterilization Bill, copies of newspaper clippings announcing the program, brochures, meeting notes, original sample plates, unveiling photographs, and more.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Campus and Community Partners to Host 3rd Annual School Lunch Challenge!

Local chefs will take on the School Lunch Challenge March 18, creating tasty dishes that meet USDA requirements for the National School Lunch Program. Attendees will have a chance to sample the creations at the cooking competition from 12-1:30 p.m. in the cafeteria of Whitehead Road Elementary School.

Building on increased public interest in the National School Lunch Program, and inspired by the 2014 exhibition, Food, Power, Politics: The Story of School Lunch, the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies and others partnered in 2015 to create a fun, educational event to engage the Athens community with the past, present, and future of school lunch. “Richard Russell co-sponsored the legislation which created the National School Lunch Program in 1946. We are glad to host this event, now an annual happening that draws attention to the NSLP today,” said organizer Jan Hebbard, outreach archivist at the Russell Library.
Chef Hugh Acheson demos a healthy recipe for attendees
at the 2016 School Lunch Challenge
The 2017 event will offer 200 free tickets to the general public, and offer hands-on activities and cooking demonstrations to attendees. Once again, the centerpiece of this event will be a cooking competition which invites participating teams, advised by nutritionists from the Clarke County School District (CCSD), to create dishes in accordance with USDA guidelines for the National School Lunch Program. A panel of student judges drawn from CCSD schools will vote to determine an overall winner. The winning team’s plate will be incorporated into the CCSD school lunch menu during the 2017-2018 school year. 

Last year a team made up of family and consumer science teachers from the Clarke County School District was voted the overall winner by student judges. Led by Almeta Tuloss, program director for Seed Life Skills, a non-profit committed to revamping Family and Consumer Science curriculum, the team won over judges with a chicken and spinach pasta with lemon cream sauce alongside a mixed salad with orange vinaigrette. This recipe is scheduled to debut on the CCSD School Lunch Menu in Spring 2017. The CCSD teachers will return to defend their title against new competitors Taqueria del SolLast Resort Grill, and The Place.

Student judges rating dishes at the
2016 School Lunch Challenge
A variety of organizations connected to sustainable agriculture, community gardens, childhood nutrition and farm to school programs in the Athens area will host information tables at the event. A display of historical documents and artifacts related to the history of the National School Lunch Program will also be on display. 

The event is free and open to the public but only 200 tickets will be made available, beginning February 24 through the Eventbrite websiteThe 2017 School Lunch Challenge is sponsored by the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, the Clarke County School District, the Athens Land TrustAthens Farm to SchoolUGA’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences and Department of Foods and NutritionThe Fresh MarketEarthfareSeed Life Skills, and Heirloom Cafe.   

To register for tickets, visit https://slc2017.eventbrite.com 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Many Roles of the Georgia Department of Agriculture

The Russell Library recently opened the Tommy Irvin Papers for research. To date, Irvin is the longest-serving Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture, helming the Department of Agriculture from 1969 until 2011. The papers of the previous commissioner, J. Phil Campbell (1954-1969) also reside at the Russell Library, giving researchers access to nearly 60 years of history of this critical Georgia department.
Figure 1: Photograph of Commissioner Irvin milking a cow at
the Capitol Building in Atlanta as part of Dairy Month celebration,
undated. Source: Series I, Box 10, Folder 25
So what exactly does the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) do? The department was founded in 1874, the first agency of its kind in the U.S. Initially charged with overseeing the production of and marketing of Georgia's agricultural commodities, they took on increasing regulatory authority through successive legislation and became a source for education for both consumers and farmers. Today their mission is "to protect consumers, promote agriculture both locally and globally and assist our customers using education, technology and a professional workforce."
Figure 2: Photograph of Commissioner Irvin with Jimmy Carter,
the National Watermelon Queen, and the Georgia
Watermelon Queen, undated. Source: Series I, Box 10, Folder 26.
Figure 3: Commissioner Irvin's annual Christmas card
with the Georgia Grown logo, circa 2002-04.
Source: Series I, Box 9, Folder 25.
Agriculture has developed into one of Georgia's leading industries. With a mild climate and a long growing season, Georgia farmers produce a wide range of products and are leading U.S. producers of poultry, pecans, peanuts, eggs, rye, and cotton, as well as being known for peaches, tomatoes, watermelons, and Vidalia onions. The GDA promotes Georgia's agricultural products through its Office of International Trade and Domestic Marketing. Commissioner Irvin was the first to establish overseas offices of the GDA to further develop international markets for Georgia products. Within the state, their "Georgia Grown" program is one of many initiatives that highlights Georgia products, including providing branding for local products and offering recipes for how to enjoy them, and the GDA operates a statewide system of farmers' markets to give producers a local market, including the Atlanta State Farmers Market, which started under Commissioner Campbell.

Figure 4: Cover of program for Georgia Agriculture
Day, 1997. Source: Series I, Box 1, Folder 9.
The department and the commissioners also promote Georgia agriculture and educate the public through participation at festivals and events around the state. One major event that the GDA puts on is Georgia Agriculture Day. This annual event brings together members of the General Assembly, 4-H and FFA students, representatives of various agricultural organizations, and the general public, providing groups with the chance to interact, learn from each other, and sample food. The event also features contents for the best food, student essay, and student art.



The GDA also plays an important role in consumer protection by maintaining safety and quality standards, enforcing regulations through licensing, and inspection. They have responsibility for the entire food production process, including the seeds, pesticides, and other components used to grow the food, livestock health, any facility where food is processed, stored, or sold, and the products themselves. They also have responsibility over nurseries and lawn care, exterminators, scales and fuel pump accuracy, and the pet and animal industries.
Figure 5: "Be Informed Before You Shop" pamphlet
produced by GDA for consumers about food safety, 1984.
Source: Series I, Box 4, Folder 27. 
One unique regulatory role for the GDA came with the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta when they had responsibility for monitoring the horses competing in the games. Controversy arose over whether horses with piroplasmosis, a blood-borne parasitic condition spread by ticks, should be permitted in the state. Concerned that attempting to ban these animals would result in an international decision forcing Georgia's hand, Irvin instead worked out a compromise that allowed the horses to compete while taking safety measures that prevented the spread of the illness.

The GDA also provides assistance to farmers through policy, research, and education.  Both Campbell and Irvin oversaw important disease eradication programs, including hog cholera (1971) and brucellosis and cattle tuberculosis (1974), and programs to control pests like screwworm and the fire ant. They also advocate for farming legislation and aid in the event of drought and other national disasters to keep Georgia agriculture competitive.
Figure 6: Photograph of Commissioner Irvin inspecting tobacco
leaves with two farmers, 1984. Source: Series I, Box 10, Folder 31.
So by helping the farmer, the consumer, and Georgia agricultural products, the Georgia Department of Agriculture significantly impacts the lives of everyone in Georgia, whether we realize it or not.

Post by Adriane Hanson, Digital Curation and Processing Archivist, Russell Library 

Thursday, February 09, 2017

ACLU of Georgia: Disability Rights

This is the sixth and final post in a series of posts about the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia Records, which were processed in 2015 and are now open for research. These records document the ACLU of Georgia's litigation, lobbying, and public education efforts to protect civil liberties for all Georgians. Their work, which began in 1963, involves issues such as freedom of speech and assembly, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, due process of law, and opposing discrimination against many groups. This post was written by Adriane Hanson, Digital Curation and Processing Archivist, and Shaniqua Singleton, a student at the UGA School of Law, who was instrumental in processing these papers.

Cover of handbook, "Your Rights in Georgia's
Mental Health Facilities," by the Georgia
Division of Mental Health, undated.
Source: Series II, Box 28, Folder 22.
The disability rights movement has long sought full and equal participation in life for people with disabilities in a wide variety of areas, such as receiving an education, access to public buildings and to homes, being able to use public transportation, and fair treatment in the judicial system, to name a few. The ACLU of Georgia has been actively involved in efforts to end discrimination against people with disabilities on many fronts. They protest the over-representation of people with disabilities in civil and criminal institutions such as nursing homes, psychiatric hospitals, and prisons, which isolate them from society. And they advocate for equal access to jobs, homes, education, healthcare, and families. Ultimately, their goal is for people with disabilities to be "valued, integrated members of the community" and for everyone to understand that "disability is a normal part of life."
Cover of the ACLU's amicus brief
for Olmstead v. L.C. in the U.S.
Supreme Court, 1998.
Source: Series III, Box 83, Folder 4.

One legal case that is well-documented in the records is Hightower v. Ledbetter, a class action suit brought in the 1990s by a group of patients at Central State Hospital, a state-operated mental health facility, challenging the unlawful administration of psychotropic medications without their consent. Under Georgia law, mental health facilities were permitted to administer medications without consent when physicians concluded that refusal would be unsafe to the patient and others. The District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, upheld the state policy, finding that the forced medication did not violate plaintiffs’ substantive and procedural due process rights. The records also include materials related to ACLU's amicus brief in Olmstead v. L.C., a landmark case related to the deinstitutionalization of people with disabilities, and Sierra Club v. Georgia Department of Transportation, challenging Atlanta's regional transportation plan for failing to consider those living with disabilities.

Sticker in support of the Americans with Disabilities Act, undated.
Source: Series II, Box 13, Folder 13.
Pamphlet for The Disability Action
Center of Georgia, ca. 1996.
Source: Series II, Box 13, Folder 13. 
In addition to the case files, the records include subject files on controversies involving people with disabilities, including the passing and implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, the right of people with disabilities to protest, access to public transportation, access to public buildings and the Georgia Dome, abuses at mental institutions and prisons, and education for "special needs" children.

The Russell Library actively collects on disability history in Georgia. For a list of collections, see the Georgia Disability History Archive finding aid. To further these efforts, the Russell Library is an active partner in the Georgia Disability History Alliance.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Beyond the Page: Reusing Data about DeKalb County Schools

In the Fall of 2016 the Russell Library opened the DeKalb County School Desegregation Case Files for research. These files document litigation from 1968 to 1997 to desegregate the schools. In the course of this work, the lawyers collected data on students, staff, and the school system. All of the data includes race-based demographics, but much more information was gathered. For students, there might be test scores, frequency of disciplinary actions, home situation, or free/reduced school lunch enrollment. For teachers and administrators, there can be salaries, education levels, the number of years they worked in DeKalb, turnover and transfer information, gender, and information over who was not hired. For the school system, there is information on average daily attendance, building capacities and programs offered, seats available for the M-to-M (Majority-to-Minority) transfer program, and per pupil financial expenditures.

All of this data was critical for the lawyers to make their case about whether the DeKalb County Schools were fully integrated.  But it could be of use to any study looking to analyze demographic information about DeKalb County children or educators from the 1970s thru the 1990s.  For example, a researcher could analyze the relationship between race and scholastic performance, likelihood of being disciplined, or likelihood of being hired, just to name a few possibilities.

By way of an example, we took a single data table from the collection, "Racial Composition DCSS Schools, 1955-1986" and converted it into a spreadsheet in order to analyze the data. The whole process took less than an hour. The steps involved are:

1. Make a digital copy of the table. In our case we made a PDF using our photocopier. PDFs can also be made using an app on your phone. (image 1)

Image 1: Scan of table "Racial Composition DCSS Schools,
1955-1986" 
saved as a PDF. Source: Series III, Box 53, Folder 6. 

2. Convert the image to a spreadsheet. We opened the file in Adobe Acrobat and saved it as an Excel file. Since it was already in table form, Excel could recognize what information should be in each row and column. If the data is not clearly formatted as a table, it may take a little extra work to make it usable. (image 2)
Image 2: Table, "Racial Composition DCSS Schools,"
saved as an Excel spreadsheet using Adobe Acrobat Pro. 

3. Clean up the spreadsheet. The table was originally designed to be easy to read by humans, so there were repeating column headers at the top of each new page, blank rows to make it easier on these eyes, and the date is not associated with every row. These all had to be addressed before using Excel to do data analysis. I also formatted some columns as numbers so that we could do math on the data and checked a few of the rows against the original to be confident that the conversion had been accurate. (image 3)
Image 3: Table "Racial Composition DCSS Schools" after
spreadsheet has been cleaned up using Excel.

4. Spreadsheets are very useful for asking questions of the data. To go one step further and get an overview of the data, I used Google Sheets to create a few graphs and to look for trends. By graphing the racial makeups of elementary and high schools over time (image 4), we can quickly see that there was always a higher proportion of black students in elementary school. Or by graphing the total number of students identified by race, we can see the number of white students steadily dropping beginning in 1971 (image 5) and trends in increasing diversity (image 6).


Image 4: Graph of the percentage of the elementary school
students and high school students who were black, 1955-1986.

Image 5: Graph of the total number of students who were
black, white,and other, 1955-1986.

This example shows how much can be gleaned from one simple table. Researchers who combine data from multiple tables will be able to look even deeper at trends of race, school and employment success, economics, and more. There are data tables located throughout the collection, but boxes that are particularly rich include Series I. Alphabetical Files - Unitary Status - Areas of Inquiry (Boxes 7-10), Series III. Working Files - Data (Boxes 52-53 and 62), and Series III. Working Files - School Information Notebooks (Boxes 58-59). Exhibits, which are located throughout the collection, can also be good sources of data.

Post by Adriane Hanson, Digital Curator and Processing Archivist, Russell Library

Thursday, January 12, 2017

ACLU of Georgia: Juvenile Rights

This is the fifth post in a series about the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia Records, which were processed in 2015 and are now open for research. These records document the ACLU of Georgia's litigation, lobbying, and public education efforts to protect civil liberties for all Georgians. Their work, which began in 1963, involves issues such as freedom of speech and assembly, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, due process of law, and opposing discrimination against many groups. This series of posts was written by Shaniqua Singleton, a student at the UGA School of Law, who was instrumental in processing these papers.

Cover of publication, "Student Rights &
Responsibilities in Georgia," undated.
Source: Series II, Box 38, Folder 7.
Adolescents are constantly exposed to signals from their families, communities, friend-groups, and media that influence how they develop and interact with the world around them. Like adults, adolescents may find themselves engaging in a range of activity in response to and as a result of these influences. Thus, they may choose to stage a demonstration in response to societal events. They may engage in criminal or otherwise illegal behavior. They may choose to distinguish themselves by their manner of dress or hairstyle. The ACLU believes students and juveniles, like adults, have certain constitutional rights that must be protected. The ACLU believes that if adolescents are expected to know their constitutional rights as adults, it is important to uphold those rights while they are young. The ACLU of Georgia Records highlight both legal challenges and legislative initiatives aimed toward protecting students’ and juveniles’ rights.

In 1996, the ACLU of Georgia addressed the issue of the detention of juveniles suspected of violating the criminal law. In A.M. v. Martin (1996-1998), the ACLU brought a case against Jay Martin, in his capacity as Court Administrator of the Fulton County Juvenile Court and Child Treatment Center, and Zell Miller, in his capacity as Governor of Georgia, on behalf of juvenile offenders held in warrantless detention for a maximum of 72 hours. Arguing that juveniles are entitled to constitutional guarantees of due process and fair treatment in the criminal justice system, the ACLU’s records feature several briefs filed before the courts in this matter. These documents provide useful insight into the development of legal arguments and factors considered by the courts as they entered judgments in this matter.

Cover of handbook, "Your Rights in School
and in the Community," 1996.
Source: Series II, Box 45, Folder 9.
The ACLU of Georgia also has challenged school dress code policies on behalf of students suspended for violation of said policies, such as Tillman v. Gwinnett County Schools. In Series II. Issues, researchers will find correspondence from prospective clients and concerned citizens regarding school dress policies, and legal documents filed in court challenging “zero tolerance” dress codes. Other cases have focused on free speech rights of students, such as J.U. v. Murray County, the right to form student groups, such as PRIDE v. White County Schools related to a student support group for LGBT youth, and illegal searches, such as Thomas v. Clayton County School District.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Campus and Community Partners to Host 3rd Annual School Lunch Challenge!

Local chefs will take on the School Lunch Challenge March 18, creating tasty dishes that meet USDA requirements for the National School Lunch Program. Attendees will have a chance to sample the creations at the cooking competition from 12-1:30 p.m. in the cafeteria of Whitehead Road Elementary School.

Building on increased public interest in the National School Lunch Program, and inspired by the 2014 exhibition, Food, Power, Politics: The Story of School Lunch, the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies and others partnered in 2015 to create a fun, educational event to engage the Athens community with the past, present, and future of school lunch. “Richard Russell co-sponsored the legislation which created the National School Lunch Program in 1946. We are glad to host this event, now an annual happening that draws attention to the NSLP today,” said organizer Jan Hebbard, outreach archivist at the Russell Library.
Chef Hugh Acheson demos a healthy recipe for attendees
at the 2016 School Lunch Challenge
The 2017 event will offer 200 free tickets to the general public, and offer hands-on activities and cooking demonstrations to attendees. Once again, the centerpiece of this event will be a cooking competition which invites participating teams, advised by nutritionists from the Clarke County School District (CCSD), to create dishes in accordance with USDA guidelines for the National School Lunch Program. A panel of student judges drawn from CCSD schools will vote to determine an overall winner. The winning team’s plate will be incorporated into the CCSD school lunch menu during the 2017-2018 school year. 

Last year a team made up of family and consumer science teachers from the Clarke County School District was voted the overall winner by student judges. Led by Almeta Tuloss, program director for Seed Life Skills, a non-profit committed to revamping Family and Consumer Science curriculum, the team won over judges with a chicken and spinach pasta with lemon cream sauce alongside a mixed salad with orange vinaigrette. This recipe is scheduled to debut on the CCSD School Lunch Menu in Spring 2017. The CCSD teachers will return to defend their title against new competitors Taqueria del Sol, Last Resort Grill, and The Place.

Student judges rating dishes at the
2016 School Lunch Challenge
A variety of organizations connected to sustainable agriculture, community gardens, childhood nutrition and farm to school programs in the Athens area will host information tables at the event. A display of historical documents and artifacts related to the history of the National School Lunch Program will also be on display. 

The event is free and open to the public but only 200 tickets will be made available, beginning February 24 through the Eventbrite website. The 2017 School Lunch Challenge is sponsored by the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, the Clarke County School District, the Athens Land Trust, Athens Farm to School, UGA’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences and Department of Foods and Nutrition, The Fresh Market, EarthfareSeed Life Skills, and Heirloom Cafe.   

To register for tickets, visit https://slc2017.eventbrite.com 

For more information, contact Jan Hebbard at jhebbard@uga.edu or (706) 542-5788.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

ACLU of Georgia: Religious Freedom

This is the fourth post in a series about the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia Records, which were processed in 2015 and are now open for research. These records document the ACLU of Georgia's litigation, lobbying, and public education efforts to protect civil liberties for all Georgians. Their work, which began in 1963, involves issues such as freedom of speech and assembly, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, due process of law, and opposing discrimination against many groups. This series of posts was written by Shaniqua Singleton, a student at the UGA School of Law, who was instrumental in processing these papers.

"Coalition to Protect Georgia's Bill
of Rights," flyer in opposition to
SR 49, amending Georgia's constitutional
provision governing religious freedom, ca. 2005.
Source: Series IV, Box 3, Folder 20. 
The United States is a rich melting pot of cultures and ethnic groups. One can drive through Athens and find many places of worship. The United States Constitution reflects this religious and cultural diversity, stating “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or the free exercise thereof.” The ACLU also holds tolerance of and respect for freedom of religion in high regard, and has been at the forefront of a number of legal and legislative battles to protect that right.

Flyer in opposition to HB 941
to allow local governments to
display copies of the
Ten Commandments, ca. 2006.
Source: Series IV, Box 2, Folder 37.

For example, the ACLU of Georgia’s records contain a number of challenges to displays of the Ten Commandments on state-owned property. In Turner v. Habersham County (2002-2003) the ACLU challenged a display of the Ten Commandments at the county courthouse. Researchers will find in these records photographs of the display and letters from the general public expressing support for and opposition to efforts to remove it. Researchers will also find documents outlining the ACLU’s legal arguments for why the display should be removed and press releases explaining its decision to move forward with the litigation.


Similarly, other records exemplify the ACLU’s challenges to depictions of the Ten Commandments on county seals and other documents authored by the county, including Doe v. Barrow County and King v. Richmond County. Perhaps the most interesting part of these records is a series of surveys conducted by the ACLU to determine whether members of the public associated a symbol of two stone tablets with the Ten Commandments. Beyond this, researchers will find expert testimony and scholarly opinions on the symbolism behind depictions of stone tablets, and court documents from the ACLU discussing these findings.
Cover of ACLU of North Carolina publication,
"God & Country in the Public Schools,"
undated. Source: Series II, Box 45, Folder 13.

The ACLU has also challenged invocations at public meetings when they made reference to a specific religion (Pelphrey v. Cobb County - 2005-2008) and disclaimers regarding evolution in school textbooks (Selman v. Cobb County - 2002-2006), protected the rights of people to wear religious attire in public places like schools and courtrooms, challenged official school prayer and other religious observances in schools, and opposed faith-based legislation that provides government funding to programs run by religious organizations. In each of these challenges, the ACLU’s position has been the same: government should avoid establishing, explicitly or implicitly, a national religion and should not interfere with an individual’s right to practice their religion.

Logo of "Sybil Liberty," from ACLU
Briefer on religious freedom in
schools, undated.
Source: Series II, Box 37, Folder 18.
The ACLU regards freedom of religion as one of the bedrocks of our constitutional rights and defends both religious and secular viewpoints to uphold this right. Researchers interested in tangible examples of the ACLU’s work in defending religious freedom and challenging perceived violations of said right will find a wealth information in these records.


Monday, November 14, 2016

ACLU of Georgia: Voting Rights

This is the third in a series of posts about the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia Records, which were processed in 2015 and are now open for research. These records document the ACLU of Georgia's litigation, lobbying, and public education efforts to protect civil liberties for all Georgians. Their work, which began in 1963, involves issues such as freedom of speech and assembly, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, due process of law, and opposing discrimination against many groups. This series of posts was written by Shaniqua Singleton, a student at the UGA School of Law, who was instrumental in processing these papers.

"Save the Voting Rights Act" cover
from Southern Changes, 1981.
Series II, Box 40, Folder 8.
In what has turned out to be an eventful and important election year, members of the general electorate have just cast their votes for America’s next president. On the face of it, the process of voting seems simple enough: an individual registers to vote, identifies a polling place, and casts a ballot, fulfilling what many view as a crucial civic duty. However, this simplistic description glosses over a long and continuing discussion about voting rights in the United States. The ACLU of Georgia frequently has been at the forefront of this discussion.

"Get Your Vote Back" pamphlet
produced by the ACLU for
ex-felons, 2008.
Series I, Box 8, Folder 51.
Over the years, the ACLU of Georgia has worked to protect and secure the voting rights of all segments of the population. The organization believes in the importance of the democratic process and seeks to promote voting regulations that incentivize as many people to vote as possible. The ACLU monitors electoral processes throughout the state to ensure the rights of voters are protected and litigates matters related to voting rights when needed, such as challenging the compliance of judicial elections with the Voting Rights Act or challenging redistricting plans for racial discrimination. Additionally, the ACLU engages in a number of voter education campaigns and actively works to reform laws allowing felon disenfranchisement.

"Vote No on SB 84 and HB 244" ACLU talking
points against legislation requiring a photo
ID to vote, 2005. Series IV, Box 7, Folder 36.
A key example of the ACLU of Georgia’s work in this area is its effort to challenge voter identification requirements. The records of the ACLU of Georgia highlight one such case. In Common Cause v. Billups (2005-2009), the ACLU challenged the Georgia General Assembly’s revision of the state’s voter identification laws. The new law limited the number of permissible forms of identification to 5, a significant reduction from the 17 different forms of identification previously allowed, and required individuals to pay for voter identification cards. The ACLU ultimately lost on this matter, but researchers interested in viewing these records will find many documents, including arguments filed with the courts, court orders, and debates among amicus curiae (“friends of the court”), illustrating the nuances of voting rights and the efforts of the ACLU to protect these rights. There are also materials in Series IV. Legislation related to photo ID requirements. Researchers might especially be interested in these records, since the arguments set forth by the ACLU echo much of the dialogue regarding voter turnout and participation heard in this election season.