Terence Dicks hopes mankind will one day treat each other with compassion and love; and respect the Creator’s creation: A Progressive Democrat devoted to fighting for the rights of medium and low income people; while honoring those who have carried the civil rights mantle with a goal of equality and dignity

“Claiming A Street Named King”

A project dedicated to securing “economic development and economic empowerment” along streets named for Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other human rights leaders

A detailed study has been done on improving Martin Luther King Boulevard in Augusta, GA. The city has a beautiful River Walk on the Savannah River in the heart of the financial district – but so far funds have not been available to revitalize MLK Boulevard. Critics say all too often economic seed monies go to the white neighborhoods instead of inner city areas. The city honors Soul Singer Mr. James Brown on one end of the main street and the Confederacy on the other end. The prestigious Masters Golf Tournament is held a few miles from homes where children go hungry. Augusta skyline photo by Steven Schretzmann via Wikipedia
Development has revitalized Martin Luther King Boulevard in Atlanta, GA.      Economic development and community spirit are among the goals of the Claiming A Street Named for King” project.
Photo courtesy the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Our “Claiming A Street Named King” project is featured in excellent story by Huffington Post Media Group writer Stefanos Chen.

The Jan. 17, 2012 story by Mr. Chen is entitled:

MLK, USA: Many King Streets Stuck on Economic Outskirts

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 the summer of 1999, Rev. Dicks was ordained at the St. Johns Missionary Baptist Church by Rev. Zack Lyde.

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.

The decades old Augusta Human Relations Commission was shut down in 2009 by Augusta Commissioners when they took away funding for the staff.

Starting in Feb. 2012, Mr. Dicks was named Southern Regional organizer for the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA).

Mr. Dicks serves as the PDA state of Georgia Coordinator (2008-present).

He joined the national PDA in 2007.

After being an independent voter for two decades, Terence joined the Richmond County Democratic Party (RCDP) in 2002.

He joined the Richmond County Democratic Committee “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 12th Congressional District on the Democratic Party of Georgia State Committee (2011-2014) representing the 12th Congressional District.

The Democratic Party of Georgia State Committee is also known as the Richmond County State Committee and the RCDP State Committee.

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 1986 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).

It 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 canceled at the last minute by waiving the “mandatory” insurance requirements.

Mr. Brown and Mr. DeVaney both died unexpectedly a month apart.

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 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.

Rev. 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, retired boxer Muhammad Ali, Jesse Jackson, Grace Lee Boggs, César Chávez and many 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.

The project is supported by East Carolina University Professor and author Derek H. Alderman, who wrote “Martin Luther King, Jr. Streets in the South: A New Landscape of Memory.

“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.”

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 Twitter/Facebook.

“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 Mr. Omar Neal, who since Nov. 3, 2008 has been the Mayor of the amazingly historic city of Tuskegee, Alabama (Home of Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, Rosa Parks and the Tuskegee Airmen who are featured in the 2012 George Lucas movie Red Tails directed by Anthony Hemingway and the 1995 HBO movieThe Tuskegee Airmen” directed by Robert Markowitz)

Mr. Omar Neal, who is a motivational speaker, was the keynote speaker at 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.

In 1991, Mr. Neal foundedYou Got the Power” Enterprises Inc. – a “communications company that specializes in talk radio, motivational workshops, media consulting, advertising and motivational speaking.”

Mr. Dicks 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.”

Terence Dicks represents The Edge Connection with his seat on the board of the Georgia Legal Services Program (GLSP).

Dicks joined the Edge Connection in 2009.

The Edge Connection is one of my affiliations on the Georgia Legal Services Program Board of Directors,” Dicks said.

Based at Kennesaw State University’s Coles Business College in central Georgia just north of Atlanta, The Edge Connection “promotes and works with micro businesses and small businesses throughout Georgia,” Dicks said.

The Edge Connection creates “opportunities for long-term economic self-sufficiency and successful entrepreneurial training for low-to-moderate income individuals,” states the nonprofit’s Twitter page bio.

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.

Formerly 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 Program.

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).

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.

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