New Mayor’s Commission on Unity, Diversity, & Prosperity holds first meeting

New Mayor’s Commission on Unity, Diversity, & Prosperity holds first meeting

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - It's been more than 10 years since "One Columbus" was created. On Thursday, it was dissolved and merged into a new city commission.

Two dozen members of the now-Mayor's Commission for Unity, Diversity and Prosperity met Thursday morning at the government center. The MLK Jr. Steering Committee will also be part of this new group. Leaders say the renewed mission will be looking at diversity through the prism of poverty...a think tank tackling issues like income disparity and housing.

"These are systemic issues, this is not a 2-year journey, this is a multiple year journey," said new commission chair Jane Nichols, Goodwill CEO.

"Residents living in poverty, with these types of challenges, it affects your business...your workforce...your crime rate...your education," said Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson.

"What this committee will do is make sure we have innovative ideas and strategies that possibly have not been used before," said Rev. Johhny H. Flakes III, pastor of 4th St. Missionary Baptist Church.

"Bring to light some of our community needs and try to find ways to solve those issues and make for a much more equal and vibrant community," said Terri Parodi, volunteer director for United Way.

We will continue partnering with this group for our annual diversity forum, which will be live on WTVM on January 24 from the Rivercenter in downtown Columbus. The one-hour special will be at 8 p.m. on that Thursday night.

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