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GOV_jabari-simama

Jabari Simama

Contributor

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.

When it comes to pro sports, public officials are constantly dealing with issues from social equity to neighborhood development to taxpayer subsidies. Nothing illustrates these issues better than Atlanta’s long relationship with the Braves.
Facebook and its ilk bombard us with vitriolic content, and their algorithms help to divide Americans. Local-government leaders need to keep this in mind when they offer up incentives to attract their operations.
Insults, rejections and other lived experiences can fuel a desire for social change. So can meeting and befriending committed individuals.
Local candidate debates and town halls have devolved into substance-free, celebrity-focused dog-and-pony shows, at a time when we need serious examination of issues. Can’t we do better?
They anchored their communities, and Black teachers taught their students that everyone could learn and succeed. We should keep these strengths in mind as we try to re-integrate public schools today.
Victories in local and legislative elections show that their ideas resonate with a lot of voters, reflecting yearnings among much of the electorate for policies that enjoy broad support.
When public officials use words like “black” and “white,” they need to keep in mind the color bias of language and do what they can to eliminate it.
The case of UNC and Nikole Hannah-Jones is not just about one Black journalist being treated shabbily. It illustrates the dangers of political interference and underlines the need for a more diverse workforce of educators.
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.