The last time Your Town was in Plains, Georgia, was 2002, with a workshop focused on the issues faced by historically African American communities. At that workshop, President Jimmy Carter suggested a future Your Town be focused on the Latino communities in Georgia. From December 13-16, 2007, Su Cuidad (Your Town) hosted 25 community leaders from throughout Georgia. Pratt Cassity, Public Service and Outreach Director from the University of Georgia School of Environmental Design, coordinated the workshop. Joining Pratt were groups of colleagues from UGA that specialized in the issues facing the Latino community.
The workshop speakers and exercises focused on building civic capacity and leadership skills within the Latino community. The design problem addressed the inclusion of manufactured housing into existing community fabric.
Maurice Cox, the Endowment’s new Director of Design, attended the entire workshop. This was Mr. Cox’s first Your Town experience, and it was wonderful that he could see the workshop in its entirety. The keynote speaker cancelled at the last moment, and Maurice volunteered to speak. The participants all found his presentation inspirational and perfect for the needs of the workshop.
As we had hoped, President Jimmy Carter stopped by to say hello to the workshop participants. Pratt gave President Carter a symbolic key to Your Town. At 83 years old, President Carter rode his bicycle to the workshop, reinforcing everyone’s desire to create more walkable and livable communities.
-Excerpted from Your Town: Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design, Update, Fall, 2007