Emory joins Georgia Prospers coalition to promote equality

Emory Report | Feb. 2, 2016

Story image

Emory recently joined Georgia Prospers, an initiative dedicated to the principle that nondiscrimination is essential for the state's continued economic growth and quality of life. Emory's government affairs team is working with other Georgia Prospers coalition members to bring this message to state legislators.

Emory University recently joined a coalition of businesses and organizations to launch Georgia Prospers, an initiative dedicated to the principle of nondiscrimination as a key to keeping the state economically competitive and fostering a high quality of life for all residents and visitors.

The coalition comprises some of the state's largest corporations, including Delta, The Coca-Cola Company, and Google. In addition to Emory, several other Georgia universities are members.

"Protecting equality for our students, staff and faculty is a top legislative priority for Emory during the 2016 General Assembly," says Jerry Lewis, senior vice president for communications and public affairs. "There are legislative attempts to undermine equal rights. Emory is opposed to those efforts and is working with Georgia Prospers and our allies to defeat any legislative measure that denies those equal rights."

Georgia Prospers coalition members are asked to pledge to uphold equality and ensure that Georgia remains a welcoming state for individuals and businesses. As a member of the Metro Atlanta Chamber executive committee, Emory President James Wagner helped develop this statement of commitment. To date, more than 100 other businesses and organizations have signed the pledge.

The Georgia Prospers pledge reads:

We believe that treating all Georgians and visitors fairly is essential to maintaining Georgia's strong brand as the premier home for talented workers, growing businesses, entrepreneurial innovation, and a thriving travel and tourism industry.

We believe that in order for Georgia businesses to compete for top talent, we must have workplaces and communities that are diverse and welcoming for all people, no matter one's race, sex, color, national origin, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

As signers of the Georgia Prospers pledge, we are committed to promoting an attractive, prosperous, and economically vibrant Georgia. A united Georgia is a prosperous Georgia.

Emory's government affairs team is working alongside other Georgia Prospers partners to stress the following points to state legislators:

  • We know our ability to attract top talent — including students, faculty and staff — is dependent upon the welcoming image of our state to the nation and world.
  • We stand behind the principle that nondiscrimination is key to building and maintaining a prosperous state.
  • We are proud to sign on to the Georgia Prospers pledge to demonstrate our commitment to an open and inclusive environment for our students, faculty and staff, which helps create a prosperous state.

Georgia Prospers will continue to evolve, and Emory is committed to the coalition's efforts, says Cameron Taylor, vice president for government and community affairs.

"We are building upon the strength of our collaborative advocacy efforts and carefully analyzing all related legislation," Taylor says. "The government affairs team is committed to a successful legislative outcome that protects equal rights for everyone."