Jabari Simama


Jabari Simama is an education and government consultant and a senior fellow with the Center for Digital Government. He served two terms on the Atlanta City Council, from 1987 to 1994; as deputy chief operating officer and chief of staff for DeKalb County, Ga., from 2009 to 2012; and as president of Georgia Piedmont Technical College from 2012 to 2018.

Simama received his bachelor's degree from the University of Bridgeport, his master's degree from Atlanta University and his Ph.D. from Emory University. He is the author of Civil Rights to Cyber Rights: Broadband & Digital Equality in the Age of Obama, published in 2009, and has been a columnist for Creative Loafing and Southwest Atlanta magazine and a feature writer for Atlanta magazine. He blogs at Jabari Simama Speaks.

Public officials need the private sector to step up and use its moral and financial clout to counter the right-wing extremists who are bent on ending the American republic.
Conservative efforts to keep it out of public schools amount to an esoteric cultural war aimed at dividing us further. We should teach the truth — the good and the bad — about our history.
They need to leverage public spending and build partnerships to create and nurture sustainable-wage employment and training for local residents, particularly those from underserved communities.
Arguments among themselves about concepts like “wokeness” and “cancel culture” are divisive and demonstrate racial insensitivity. A new generation of leaders should be allowed to define and use its own terms.
Community and technical colleges are particularly well-suited to partnering with governments to bring broadband and digital literacy to underserved urban and rural communities.
Partisan lawmakers are moving to block cities and counties from managing their own police budgets and redirecting funding as they see fit. Decisions about public safety are best made close to home.
Voting is a sacred right. For African Americans, effort by state lawmakers to make it harder evoke memories of the violence, pain and dehumanization of the Jim Crow era.
The pandemic has devastated small businesses that employ millions of Americans. Public officials can tap the expertise of strategic partners to give these companies a chance to survive — and thrive.
Every neighborhood should be free of litter, debris and property- and housing-code violations. There's plenty that government can do, including helping residents understand their own role.
In clamping down on access to social media platforms by conspiracy theorists, white supremacists and domestic terrorists, we need to protect our truly marginalized citizens' ability to speak truth to power.