A March 5 editorial by Jay Bookman in the AJC calls attention to data showing that Atlanta suffers from the largest disparity in income between rich and poor of any other large US city.
“The questions are why that gap exists, and how it might be closed,” Bookman writes. Having asked the questions, he does not pretend to provide definitive answers. But he observes that extreme inequality is closely associated with isolation and de facto segregation–and that the relevant data prove that positions at the bottom of the income scale are in essence hereditary.
Bookman concludes by observing that
what we see around us today are the results of patterns both in individual lives and in the life of a city that have proved stubbornly resistant to change. And the best catalyst for that change remains a strong teacher in a classroom, opening doors and opening minds, who is supported by a larger community that finds the status quo unacceptable.
That’s us. We find the status quo unacceptable. And that’s why we work with kids at Hope=Hill, Operation P.E.A.C.E., and Big Bethel AME Church. It isn’t always easy. But it’s work that must be done.