One of the silver linings of the pandemics of 2020 was the chance to take a breath, reflect, and take stock of how well we were living our values in every aspect of GLISI’s organizational life. Since our inception in 2001, GLISI has brought more than 30,000 educators to Stone Mountain Park for our one-of-a-kind Base Camp and Leadership Summit experience. In the shadow of monuments that glorify ideals of the Confederacy as heroic; on ground that has historically been a gathering place for hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan; we convened educators for the purpose of creating learning spaces in their schools and classrooms that liberate the dreams and possibility within every child, most especially our children of color. This inconsistency has deeply troubled me for some time.
2020 was the right moment for us to seize the opportunity to reconcile our actions and investments with our mission and equity commitments.
We will no longer be hosting any GLISI event in Stone Mountain Park. Georgia is a state blessed with many beautiful meeting facilities and unique locales and we look forward to the opportunity to enjoy the enduring strengths of our BCLS experience in new settings around the state. I encourage all Georgians to learn more about the full history of Stone Mountain and the Stone Mountain Action Coalition and look forward to continuing GLISI’s work, unified in our actions and mission, to Uplift > Transform > Create > Build equitable schools to realize dreams and possibility for all of Georgia’s children.
Leslie Hazle Bussey, Ph.D.