“Claiming A Street Named King” Project study in Augusta, Georgia that shows areas that need economic assistance – and that’s the same issue in many American cities that have streets named for civil rights leaders

“Claiming A Street Named King”

The “Claiming A Street Named King” project is the vision of the past Georgia Clients Council President Rev. Terence A. Dick of Augusta, Georgia.

The above Power Point presentation is the result of a study in Augusta, Georgia about a street named for Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

It began with research in Athens and Augusta (Georgia) through the University Of Georgia School Of Environmental Design.

Research was led by Dr. Mary Anne Akers in collaboration with Georgia Legal Services Program, Georgia State Trade Association of Non-profit Developers (G-STAND) and Neighborhood Works America, INC.
About The Project:

Derek Alderman, a cultural geographer at East Carolina University, has done extensive research on Martin Luther King Jr. roadways and was a key advisor for the Clients Council and stakeholders.

There are over 900 streets named after Martin Luther King in the United States.

There are also a number of other countries that have named streets in honor of Martin Luther King.

Many of the streets named in honor of Martin Luther King are in beautiful well-manicured neighborhoods, downtown business districts, interstate and highways.

But too many Martin Luther King Jr. thorough-ways are in poor, crime infested dilapidated communities.

“To name any street for King is to invite an accounting of how the street makes good on King’s promise or mocks it” states Jonathan Tilove author of “Along Martin Luther King”

The “Claiming A Street Named King” project is the Georgia Clients Council CED effort to make good on King’s promise one community at a time.

The “Claiming A Street Named King” project is more than building new houses or rehabbing homes.

This community economic development project is a citizen initiated economic development strategy which seeks to revitalize the economy of low-moderate income and marginal neighborhoods both urban and rural for the benefit of the whole community.

Its principal objective is to assist consumers in becoming producers, users to become providers, employees to employers.

The CED utilizes entrepreneurial methods similar to traditional business methods.
The Beloved Community:

This project is the Georgia Clients Council’s vision of the Beloved Community – one street at a time.

What is the Beloved Community?

The Beloved Community is Martin Luther King’s global vision in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth.

In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human indecency will not allow it.

Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood.

In the Beloved Community, international disputes will be resolve by peaceful conflict resolution and reconciliation for adversaries, instead of military power. Love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred. Peace with justice will prevail over war and military conflict.

King’s Beloved Community was not devoid of interpersonal group or international conflict.

Instead he recognized that conflict was inevitable part of human experience as people moved toward the idea of “positive peace” of social equality rather than the “negative peace” of maintaining social order simply for the sake of order.

He believed that conflicts could be resolved peacefully and adversaries could be reconciled through mutual, determined commitment to nonviolence.

In a July 13, 1966 article in Christian Century Magazine, Dr. King affirmed the ultimate goal inherent in the quest for the Beloved Community:

“I do not think of political power as an end. Neither do I think of economic power as an end. They are ingredients in the objective that we seek in life. And I think that end or that objective is truly brotherly society, the creation of the beloved community.”

“The Claiming A Street Named King” (CASNK) project provides a way of grounding and enhancing the idea of a Beloved Community in the spaces, places and streets in which we live.

The project seeks to evaluate the many roadways named for Dr. King and expose the forms of racism, discrimination, and inequality still found along and near these streets.

Our intention is to use community-based research and critical public dialogue to understand what social, economic/development, environmental, and health challenges face communities along Dr. King’s streets as well as think about concrete ways of improving the quality of life in these communities.

You can read more about Derek Alderman’s project by downloading the presentation here.

Athens, Georgia:

The first meeting of the Claiming a Street Named King (CASNK) project was held in Athens, Georgia.

It was presented by Terence Dicks, former president of the Georgia Clients Council.

Present were:

Alvin Sheats, Director of the Hancock Community Development Center

Phyllis Holmen, Director of Georgia Legal Services Program

Ovita Thornton, Director of the Georgia Clients Council

Dr. Maryanne A. Akers, University of Georgia Professor

After much discussion, Dr. Akers took the role of developing the research using her School of Environmental Design graduate and under graduate students.

Not only did college students do the research but Georgia Clients Council members took part in the community and classroom course, but “Sitting in a college classroom motivated me to go back to school and get my GED and now I am taking classes at Athens Technical College,” states Juanita Johnson.
Augusta, Georgia:

Collaborating with Marshall Crawford of Neighbor Works America and Kate Little of GSTAND helped produce the Augusta report. Georgia students interviewed and collected stories about Martin Luther King Street in Augusta, Georgia.

Senior citizens at the Mays Senior reflected on the changes they had seen on MLK.

Mr. Brown talked about the beautiful yards that used to be on MLK. Students interviewed business owners and local politicians on MLK about the how the area had deteriorated.

Tracomedia recorded these personal stories.

Livable Streets:

“Livable Streets” is an increasingly important theme in development and planning circles. Underlying this theme are a few key issues.

First, some streets and roads are more livable places than others and hence more or less supportive of a certain quality of life.

Second, livability is a broad concept that addresses the environmental, social, economic, and health conditions found along streets.

Third, livability is a human right and connected to improving people’s wellbeing, including the poor and historically marginalized. The concept of livable streets recognizes that there is an assortment of users of roads from a variety of walks of life.

Fourth, the livability of streets is not permanently set but can be altered through good planning, which begins with an assessment of the conditions, problems, and resources found along streets.

NLADA Presentation by GA Clients Council:

Georgia Clients Council presented the Claiming A Street Named King project at the National Legal Aid Defense Association (NLADA) in November 2010.

There were approximately twelve cities from across the country represented-as far as west as California, as far north as Massachusetts and as far south as Alabama.

When asked to describe their MLK streets some of the comments were crime infested, poor black communities, public housing area etc.
Jonathon Tilove, author of “Along Martin Luther King”, says “To name any street for King is to invite an accounting of how the street makes good on King’s promise or mocks it.”

Mr. Tilove has been directly involved in the “Claiming A Street Named King” project.

(Augusta, Georgia) – A longtime community and civil rights activist, Rev. Terence Dicks of Augusta, GA created the “Claiming A Street Named King” project.

The above is from a Power Point presentation explaining an economic study of a street named after Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Augusta, GA.

“Claiming A Street Named King” is an initiative Mr. Dicks started during his tenure as chair of Georgia Clients Council.

In hopes of spurring “community and economic development,” the project is about “taking back the street by building businesses and homes on the crime-ridden abandoned boulevards that bear the name of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

An advocate for the low to moderate income people in Georgia, Rev. Dicks hopes to help others “improve the condition of boulevards named after Martin Luther King, Jr. across Georgia” and hopes it will turn into a nationwide effort.

Mr. Dicks wants “to see those streets given a second chance with the support of the Georgia Legal Services Program and supporters like author Jonathon Tilove.”

Author Jonathon Tilove “wrote the book that inspired me” to start the “Claiming A Street Named King” project.

Mr. Tilove wrote the book “Along Martin Luther King: Travels on Black America’s Main Street.”

While the “Claiming A Street Named King” project is still in the planning phase, Mr. Dicks hopes those interested with call, email or message his internet sites like Twitter and Facebook.

The project is also receiving support from Professor Derek H. Alderman, a research fellow at East Carolina University.

“Dr. Alderman is a geographer who has helped us to work on a plan for the redevelopment of the Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards,” Rev. Dicks said. “He is an expert on how to develop those types of properties.”

Labeled by the media as a “King Street naming expert,” Dr. Alderman has written numerous formal papers and co-wrote a book about the naming of streets for the slain civil rights leader entitled “Civil Rights Memorials and the Geography of Memory.”

Mr. Dicks first heard Dr. Alderman during the Tavis Smiley radio talk show.

The 45th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination is only two years away.

“Some are and were really beautiful but vast majority were in really bad shape,” Mr. Dicks said.

“There was a lot of hope around those streets and what he did for me is he reminded me of why we name those streets for Martin Luther King, Jr.,” Mr. Dicks said.

“And the good feelings we had after we named the streets,” he said “But I realized we had not claimed the streets named after Dr. King.”

“Most important reason we are doing this because we were fortunate that Dr. King lived in our lifetime,” Mr. Dicks said.

While some of today’s youth have been taught a little about Dr. King, “we are heading into the second or third generation who doesn’t know about Dr. King and his achievements,” Rev. Dicks said.

“The generation that starts it (saving Dr. King boulevards) doesn’t have to be the generation who built it,” Rev. Dicks said.

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About TerenceDicks

A three-decade community activist for the Augusta, Georgia area, Rev. Terence A. Dicks is very concerned about civil rights, the needs of inner city and moderate and low-income children, fair civil legal representation for low-income and minorities, and many other issues. Terence has fought for civil representation for the low and moderate income involving cases like domestic violence and landlord disputes. In March 2015, Terence was sworn in for a second term to represent the Richmond County Democratic Party on the Richmond County Board of Elections. Rev. Terence Dicks is "widely-acknowledged for standing up for the rights of the powerless in his community and throughout Georgia," stated a press release on the GeorgiaAdvocates.org website when he was elected chair of the Augusta Human Relations Commission in July 2005. In 1986, Mr. Dicks was co-coordinator of the Mr. James Brown Appreciation Day in Augusta – the first time the town and its people earnestly expressed love and respect to the late great Godfather of Soul. About 5,000 people attended the event on the banks of the Savannah River including Mr. Robert Johnson (founder of Jet Magazine and much more), Mr. Greg Gumbel (who did story on BET), and Mr. Eldrin Bell (then asst. police chief of Atlanta). Along with Terence, the other co-coordinator was his lifelong friend and classmate Mr. Greg Peterson, an investigative journalist and outdoor environment reporter who started his career in Augusta and now lives in Ishpeming, MI in the Upper Peninsula near Lake Superior. The event broke the ice and led months later to the first concert Mr. Brown had ever performed in Augusta – ironically in the civic center that now bears his name (the renaming took another 20 years). Music Industry legends Casey Kasem and Dick Clark recorded radio PSAs to promote the free event. Mayor Charles DeVaney – a fan of Mr. Brown – prevented the celebration from being cancelled at the last minute by waiving the “mandatory” insurance requirements. Mr. Brown and Mr. DeVaney both died unexpectedly a month apart. We continue to love and honor the late great Mr. James Brown, who nearly single-handedly quelled Augusta's race riots and prevent further rioting in the 60, 70s. The "Hardest-Working Man in Show Business" Mr. James Brown made Terence Dicks the manager of his first-ever concert in Augusta, GA - about 6 months after the 1986 James Brown Appreciation Day. The concert was held on Saturday, December 27, 1986 at the civic center named in the godfather of Soul’s honor some 20 years later. Terence was the concert manager, producer and promoter. Tickets were only $15 ensuring all Augustans could afford to attend and the first 500 children under the age of 12 were admitted free in accordance with Mr. Brown’s wishes. Among those performing were Mr. Wilson Pickett, John Marshall, Buzz Clifford and Sequence 8. “Claiming A Street Named King” is an initiative Mr. Dicks started during tenure as chair of Georgia Clients Council. The project is about “taking back the street in by building businesses and homes on the crime-ridden abandoned boulevards that bear the name of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” However the project also has a wider scope. Dicks said the project would welcome claiming back streets named after other civil rights leaders and activists from all backgrounds. For example, the project would welcome groups or persons who want to revitalize streets named for late singer James Brown, the late Coretta Scott King, Muhammad Ali, Jesse Jackson, Grace Lee Boggs, Cesar Chavez and others. “All of these community leaders have messages of hope and accomplishment,” said Dicks, who hopes to hear from the centers, foundations and projects of these community leaders. “People can identify with their day to day struggles,” he said. “Above all they cared about the community they came from,” Dicks said. “They all have made a historic difference.” Reclaiming the streets and heritage of these civic leaders can reinvigorate “economic development and economic empowerment” in each community that honors their work. Rev. Dicks hopes to help others “improve the condition of boulevards named after Martin Luther King, Jr. across Georgia” and the nation. Author Jonathon Tilove “wrote the book that inspired me” entitled "Along Martin Luther King: Travels on Black America's Main Street.” Mr. Dicks hopes those interested will message him thru WordPress/Twitter/Facebook. The project is supported by East Carolina University Professor Derek H. Alderman. “Dr. Alderman is a geographer who has helped us to work on a plan for the redevelopment of the Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards,” Dicks said. “There was a lot of hope around those streets and what he did for me is he reminded me of why we name those streets for Martin Luther King, Jr.," he said. "We are heading into the second or third generation who doesn’t know about Dr. King and his achievements." “The generation that starts it doesn’t have to be the generation who built it,” he said. “We have to keep Dr. King’s work alive – keep it relevant and cogent.” Terence is a longtime member (2004-present) of the Augusta Progressive Religious Coalition. The coalition includes Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus, Unitarian Universalists, pagans, and local Yoruba, who practice folk religion from West Africa. Among the many positive aspects of the coalition, Dicks developed a relationship with Omar Neal, who has been the Mayor of Tuskegee, Alabama since Nov. 3, 2008. Mr. Omar Neal was the keynote speaker of the 2011 Martin Luther King Day celebration organized by the Augusta Progressive Religious Coalition on Mon., Jan, 24, 2011 at the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Augusta. After being an independent voter for two decades, Terence joined the Richmond County Democratic Party (RCDP) in 2002. He joined the Democratic Committee of Richmond County that “has jurisdiction over Democratic Party affairs in Richmond County” and a “purpose is to help select and elect Democratic Party Candidates to office” and whose platform includes “those of the Democratic Party of Georgia.” Terence has served as chair of the RCDP Political Action Committee (PAC) and performed duties that included community outreach. Mr. Dicks is member of the Richmond County State Committee (2011-2014) representing the 12th Congressional District. He served for six years (2002-2008) as state chair of the Georgia Clients Council plus served on the council board for eight years (2000-2008). For nearly a decade, Terence has been a board member (2002-present) of Georgia Legal Services Program and served (2005-2010) on the organization’s Georgia Committee on Civil Justice and is on the state bar president advisory committee. The mission of Georgia Legal Services Program is “to provide access to justice and opportunities out of poverty for low-income Georgians.” In 2007, Mr. Dicks founded the non-profit Georgia Center for Children and Education Inc. and serves as the volunteer executive director. The goal of the organization is encouraging parent involvement in education and to support community involvement in public schools. Originally the Center for Children and Education, the project was founded 1997 by Philadelphia, PA attorney Baruch Kintisch, a former staff attorney for Georgia Legal Services After exhaustive planning, Terence helped co-write and secure a $255,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in the spring of 2008 that is being administered by Paine College for the "New Tools, New Visions 2 Augusta" Project and he serves on the project steering committee. Rev. Dicks is a longtime member of the International Leadership Association (2001-present). Mr. Dicks serves as state of Georgia Coordinator (2008-present) for the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA). He joined the national PDA in 2007. For over a decade (1998-2009), Terence served on the board of the Augusta Human Relations Commission including two-terms as chair, three terms as vice-chair. Terence served as a board member (1994-1996) and the second vice president of the Augusta Branch of the NAACP including chair of the fair housing committee. Terence graduated from Westside High School in 1980 during which time he was a member of the WJBF TV-6 Junior Achievement Company that involved filming, editing, producing and hosting 30-minute issue-oriented public service programs that aired on weekends with student-sold commercials. Terence did a summer internship in 1980 – just after graduating from high school – at the Medical College of Georgia Television Production and was taught by people who include the late TV Director Mr. Armond “Brother” Jackson , Jr. - a longtime TV production expert in Augusta including at WRDW TV-12 and WJBF TV-6. During high school and for about 7 years afterward, Terence was a radio announcer at several Augusta radio stations including disc jockey (when records were vinyl 45s), sports, features, talk show and more. The stations included WBIA and WCKJ. Terence worked in production at WAGT-TV with Mr. Frank Crotts including being a live switcher (punching proper buttons to keep shows going and inserting commercials). He also worked at several Augusta restaurants as a chef and bartender.
This entry was posted in abandoned, Atlanta, Augusta, Augusta Human Relations Commission, Augusta National Golf Club, Bernice King, boulevard, build, building, business, businesses, church, civil rights, Civil Rights Leader, Claiming A Street Named King, Confederacy, Coretta Scott King, crime-ridden, Derek Alderman, Dexter Scott King, dignity, Divided City, DividedCity.US, Dr. Mallory Millender, Dr. Martin Luther King, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., dream, Dream Speech, environment, environmental, Environmental Racism, evil, Faith, fighting Racism, Free, Free at Last, Georgia, Georgia Clients Council, Georgia Legal Services, Georgia Legal Services Program, global, GLSP, grassroots, grassroots organization, hatred, homes, Hope, human rights, I have a dream, ingrained racism, James Brown, Jill Peterson, Jonathon Tilove, justice, KKK, love, Mallory Millender, Martin Luther King, Martin Luther King III, Masters Golf Tournament, Masters Tournament, MLK, mountaintop, Mr. James Brown, NAACP, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, news, news media, nonviolence, nuclear bombs, nuclear plants, old Jim Crow, old South, prejudice, project, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rev. Terence A. Dicks, Rev. Terence Dicks, Savannah River, Slave, Slave Port, Slaves, street, Streets named for Dr. Martin Luther King, Terence Dicks, Thank God Almighty I’m Free at Last, Thank God Almighty we are free at last, The Augusta National, The Beloved Community, The King Center, The Masters, tolerance, voter suppression laws, Waynesboro, Yolanda King, YouTube and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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