February 10, 2023

Statement by President Helene Gayle
on the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center

As you may know, Spelman students are among those voicing opposition to building a new training facility for the city's police and firefighters. Communities of color, and in particular Black communities remain justifiably concerned about public safety policies and how policing is administered in our communities. As an anchor institution in our community, Spelman College has a rich history of advocacy and protest against injustice and inequity. In this case, our students’ activism is bringing attention to what are ongoing issues that need to be addressed: police misuse of authority and misuse of force, casualties that can be prevented and building trust between the communities that law enforcement are entrusted to serve and protect.

In the process, concerns have been raised that Spelman, as a member of the Atlanta Committee for Progress (ACP), is one of the project’s financial contributors. The ACP is not providing financial support for this facility. As such, Spelman is not directly or indirectly providing financial support. We will continue to work with the ACP on their priority areas of focus including affordable housing, homelessness, public safety and workforce development in the belief that these are areas that will continue to improve the wellbeing of our community.

We will also continue to support our students as they use their voice to address the key social issues of our times. We do, however, want to make sure the fact base is as complete as possible so that they can be as effective as possible in their activism.

Spelman College

Spelman College
350 Spelman Lane
Atlanta, Georgia 30314

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