The public can still participate in an event about eradicating poverty in Georgia at a symposium being held through Saturday at Wesleyan College.
The conference, organized by the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, will include 20 state legislators and five Georgia mayors, organizers said.
State Rep. James Beverly, D-Macon, who is one of the organizers of the conference, said he wanted to tackle all aspects of poverty in one conference, which is why he convinced the caucus to hold it at Wesleyan.
Beverly said about 40 percent of the people in his district make less than $22,000 per year.
“I want to see how we can use all the federal, state and local agencies to lift people out of poverty,” he said.
State Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler, D-Lithonia, is the chairwoman of the caucus. With 61 members, it’s the largest black caucus of any state, meaning that Georgia often is a leader for the rest of the nation when the caucus acts, she said.
She said Georgia is among the bottom 10 states when it comes to poverty, especially when it comes to blacks.
“One in four black women (in Georgia) live in poverty,” she said. “We’re trying to find remedies, whether it’s a raise in minimum wage or if it’s grants or more minority contracts. There are things we can do to boost minority participation in a way that contributes to the economy.”
The conference will include sessions on financial literacy, networking, transportation, housing and other issues related to poverty.
Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert opened the conference with remarks at a Friday luncheon.
Beverly said the conference is free and open to the public. Saturday’s events start at 8 a.m. with registration at Taylor Hall on Wesleyan’s campus. The conference will run until 4:30 p.m.
To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.