Local Educator—'Pillar of Strength and Pride'—Succumbs


Dr. Robert Threatt, a native Georgian who ultimately advanced to become the 12th president of the renowned Morris Brown College in southwest Atlanta, from 1972-84, as well as a past president of the Atlanta chapter of NAACP, passed last month, on Saturday, Jan. 31. Dr. Threatt's life and legacy will forever be remembered by those he came in contact with—especially the many students of Morris Brown, as well as by youth seeking to find their place and others surrounding him within the Atlanta branch of America's oldest civil rights organization, the NAACP, alongside the chapter's legendary executive director, Jondelle H. Johnson.

Within NAACP's Atlanta branch, in particular, Dr. Threatt shall be remembered for always taking the time to give chapter youth and young adults an invaluable word of counsel, timely advice or simply a pat on the shoulder to otherwise indicate, 'job well done' or encouraging one to 'keep trying to do the best possible'. Along with his many talents and service to the Atlanta community, in general, via his educational post accomplishments and activism by way of NAACP involvement, Dr. Threatt ultimately organized the Council of HBCU Past College Presidents, as well as served as a consultant for the Georgia Accrediting Commission and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, or SACS. After the merger of the Georgia Teachers and Education Association and Georgia Educators Association, Dr. Threatt served as the Georgia Association of Educators' first president, in 1970-71. Threatt's work experience included teaching high school in Harris County, Spencer Junior High School, working and consulting with the Georgia state Department of Education, professor of Education and Coordinator of Student Teaching at Fort Valley State University and served as an assistant principal in the DeKalb Co. School System from 1984-86. Furthermore, in 1973, he became the 12th president of the renowned Morris Brown College of Atlanta, and served until 1984. Upon taking the helm of Morris Brown, he was the youngest of 10 presidents in the school's 98 year history. While president of MBC, he commissioned the publication, "Morris Brown College: The First 100 Years," as well as becoming a member of the Atlanta University Center's Consortium, thereby, serving as chief organizer for its ROTC program, which continues to exist in the New Millennium. Initially, Dr. Threatt grew from humble beginnings, being born in Columbus, Georgia, on April 2, 1928. With the aforementioned, education was always an intricate part of his life. Following matriculation at Columbus area schools, Threatt continued his education to become a 1949 graduate of Morris Brown. He then received a Master's degree from Atlanta University and a Doctorate's degree from the University of Oklahoma, with Sociology, Social Studies, Curriculum and School Administration as his major academic fields of study.

Married in 1965, Dr. Threatt and his wife Helen's work experiences ran the gamut of professional educator: from classroom teacher to college presidency for nearly one-half century. Dr. Threatt, additionally, was an active member of Flipper Temple AME Church, and much of his life was spent participating within numerous social and civic organizations, including Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., for over 60 years; past president of Atlanta's NAACP branch, the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), AARP and the Morris Brown College Alumni Association. He was also an active member of the Joymen Club of Atlanta since 1973. Dr. Threatt was a proud recipient of the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America's Whitney M. Young Award in 2008, with the Civil Beaver Award, as he was recognized for outstanding service for demonstrated involvement in the development and implementation of scouting opportunities for youth from rural or low-income urban backgrounds. Dr. Threatt was preceded in death by mother Theresa Threatt Robinson; sisters, Dorothy Threatt Johnson of Michigan and Juanita Threatt Coulon, and neice, Diane Coulon Dozier. Dr. Threatt's life and legacy will forever be celebrated by his wife, Helen, sister Janie T. Hendricks of Columbus, and a host of other relatives, including nieces, nephews and loving friends—and those youth and young adults of the '80s and '90s within the Atlanta NAACP chapter, in particular, he inspired and encouraged to forge ahead to obtain a good education toward productive livelihood to advance and enhance the 'beloved community' at-large. Dr. Threatt, along with inimitable elders, educators and elected officials such as Jondelle Johnson, Maynard H. Jackson, Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, Miss Ina Martin, Q.V. Williamson, Dr. Johnathan L. Roberts, William G. Revere, Vivian Williamson, et al., will be forever appreciated and respected for reaching back to uplift eventual successors—the new generation—and ultimately 'reach one, teach one' and to continually advance Atlanta as "the city never too busy to love". We thank you, Dr. Threatt, for always looking after and assisting the youth 'to bring up the rear' to enhance the community and advance the city to help all God's children prosper. Your time, gentle spirit and talents will never be forgotten. Godspeed.

Dr. Threatt's homegoing service was held on Feb. 7 at Saint Philips AME Church in southeast Atlanta, at Candler Road and Memorial Drive, with an array of educators and activists who remembered Threatt's educational feats and activism. The eulogist was the retired senior Bishop, Bishop John Adams, with interment as Green Acres Cemetery in Columbus, Georgia.

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APS Recognized For Commitment To Sustainability

David Freedman (left), Rep. Tyrone Brooks, Sen. Nan Orrock, Rep. Margaret Kaiser, Alvah Hardy, Yvonne Douglas, Jere Smith and Herb Joseph. PHOTO CREDIT DAN GILLETTE

ATLANTA—Atlanta Public Schools (APS) was recently recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council—Georgia (USGBC-GA) for completing LEED Silver certified buildings. During a recognition luncheon for Healthy Performance Healthy Schools (HPHS) in Georgia, House Representative Margaret Kaiser of the 59th district presented APS with House Resolution 222, commending the district’s sustainable building construction and design efforts at B.E.S.T Academy, Lakewood Stadium, Mays and Therrell high schools to transform schools into sustainable High Performance Healthy Schools.

APS’ sustainability efforts were acknowledged for transforming schools into sustainable and healthy places to learn, work and play. B.E.S.T Academy, Bolton Academy Elementary, and Centennial Academy Elementary, also were individually recognized by the USGBC-GA for their sustainability efforts that include participation in The Green Apple Day of Service—where businesses facilitate environmental service projects in schools like gardens and recycling programs.

“We believe all children deserve a healthy learning environment,” said Suzanne Haerther, HPHS Program Manager. HPHS strives to provide programs that help transform Georgia’s schools into places that can make a tremendous impact on student health, school operational costs and the environment. “We greatly appreciate what APS has done to help the students in Atlanta understand the importance of sustainability.”

APS has a total of 10 LEED certified buildings and six additional facilities that are registered—meaning that after construction APS will pursue Silver or Gold LEED certification. APS facilities make up 10 percent of all LEED certified K-12 buildings in the state of Georgia. LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. To receive LEED certification, building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification.

“LEED gives us an opportunity to design, construct and operate schools in an environmental manner,” said David Freedman, Executive Director U.S. Green Building Council of Georgia. “It is particularly important to provide schools that have less of a negative impact and better learning environments for students, staff and school visitors.”

Atlanta Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the state of Georgia, serving approximately 50,000 students across 106 learning sites. The district is organized into nine K-12 clusters with 87 schools, 17 charter schools and two citywide single-gender academies, where students are offered rigorous instructional programs that foster success in school and life. For more information, visit www.atlantapublicschools.us.

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3 Indicted For Councilwoman’s Nephew’s Murder

Atlanta—A Fulton County Grand Jury has indicted three alleged gang members in connection with the shooting death of Atlanta City Councilmember Keisha Lance Bottoms’ nephew, Darius Bottoms. The 17 count indictment returned Tuesday against 16-year-old Rashad Barber and 20-year-old Ryan Bowdery includes charges of Murder, Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Participation in Criminal Street Gang Activity and Criminal Damage to Property in the 1st and 2nd degree. In addition to Felony Murder and Criminal Street Gang Activity, 19-year-old David Dajunta Wallace, a third defendant, is also charged with weapons offenses, Hindering the Apprehension of a Criminal, Theft by Receiving Stolen Property, Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor and Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer for his alleged role in the murder of 18-year-old Darius Bottoms.

Mr. Bottoms was shot and killed on June 13, 2014 as he drove his vehicle along Legacy Drive in Southwest Atlanta. Two gunmen ambushed the vehicle and began firing several shots aimed at the driver. Bottoms was fatally struck in the head. A passenger in the vehicle escaped injury. The investigation revealed the victim was killed as a result of mistaken identity. The gunmen believed he was a fellow gang member with whom they had a dispute.

District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr. is pleased with today’s indictment and the hard work of the Atlanta Police Department saying, “A huge debt of gratitude is owed to the Detectives assigned to APD’s Homicide Unit. Despite the absence of substantial clues at the onset of the investigation, the Detectives did an outstanding job bringing to justice the individuals we believe are responsible for this senseless tragedy involving an innocent young man.”

DA Howard says the tragedy also sheds light on a larger problem, “The proliferation of gang activity in our community is a serious issue raising critical questions such as ‘Where are we now?’ and ‘What can we do to make sure the gang problem does not get worse?’ We must move beyond the comfort of denial towards the pain of real gang solutions,” says DA Howard.

Following today’s indictment, the case will now be assigned to a Fulton County Superior Court Judge and scheduled for trial. It will be prosecuted by the Major Felony Unit.