Registration for March 5 Regional Housing Forum Still Open


Registration is still open for the next Atlanta Regional Housing Forum, which will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, March 5 at 9:00 a.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta.

For full details and registration, visit

The topic this quarter is How Community Matters: The Nexus of Education, Communities and Housing, featuring two keynote speakers:

  • Dr. Cynthia Kuhlman, Director of Educational Achievement, Cousins Foundation, Inc. With more than 30 years of experience with Atlanta Public Schools and her direct role in building successful community collaborations to support schools, Dr. Kuhlman will frame the larger issue for discussion.
  • Margaret “Marjy” Stagmeier, President, TI Asset Management. Ms. Stagmeier is an industry leader with more than 25 years of experience in property and asset/portfolio management. She will provide an example of her direct partnership experience with a metro Atlanta elementary school.

The balance of the program will be dedicated to an interactive dialogue among keynote speakers
and Forum attendees.

Detailed Program Description

The academic achievement gap between poor and non‐poor students is well‐known. Low‐income children consistently fall behind their peers in test scores, graduation rates, college enrollment, and other measures of academic success. In many cases, low‐ and moderate‐income families cannot afford to live near high‐performing, high‐scoring schools. A growing body of examples demonstrates that building partnerships between schools, families, affordable housing stakeholders and community organizations can reconnect schools to their communities and improve educational achievements for young people.

Forging partnerships between schools, families, and community organizations helps develop targeted educational programs and supports, and helps increase access to services and opportunities to ensure that children succeed in school and are prepared for adult success. Likewise, partnerships have the opportunity to change traditional paradigms and improve school systems. In tough neighborhoods, and especially in large urban areas, schools can become disconnected from other assets, isolated from community leadership and concerns, and fragmented in their approach to young people’s development. Moreover, besides directly affecting the lives of individuals and families, young people’s educational success is important to the economic success of neighborhoods and cities.

The next Regional Housing Forum in June 2014 will take up the question of how these partnerships can improve the educational success of our region’s students and ultimately the long‐term health and viability of our regional neighborhoods. What roles do community stakeholders play in fostering partnerships between apartment building owners, developers, school board officials, non‐profit organizations, and others? What models can we look to in our region and others that have successfully used community partnerships to improve education?

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