October 2020
Help Youth in Foster Care Stay in School

Join us for this deep dive into Tribunal hearings and learn how you can become involved as a Tribunal Volunteer Lawyer to help youth in foster care who are facing long-term suspension or expulsion.

When: October 30, 2020, from 9 a.m. to Noon
Where: Via Zoom
Led by members of Georgia Appleseed’s Young Professionals Council, the training will cover procedural steps of a Tribunal hearing, important ways to address discovery issues, mitigation, and client representation.
Pro Bono Spotlight: Maria Turner

At Georgia Appleseed, Maria Turner is a well-known (and very well-appreciated!) name. As a paralegal coordinator for Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP with more than 30 years of experience, Maria has spent countless pro bono hours on projects to increase justice for Georgia's children. When Maria is brought on, the staff knows the work will be executed meticulously, thoughtfully, and with great passion.

“The opportunity to focus on others in a fashion which creates true advances in justice for others is very gratifying,” Maria says. “After reflecting on which Georgia Appleseed project was my favorite, I realized how deeply personal all the projects have been to me. I was part of the team that gathered the re-write of the juvenile justice code when my son was in middle school. Seeing the adverse impact that outdated and racially prejudiced laws could have on young lives was dumbfounding; knowing that a child’s life could truly be ruined in the blink of an eye gave me better insight into raising my son.”

Maria has also worked on Georgia Appleseed projects about zero tolerance discipline, race and law enforcement, and behavioral wellness, just to name a few. “I believe that participating in pro bono projects is my duty as well as an opportunity to give back,” she says.

Georgia Appleseed is grateful to have the continued support of Maria and Nelson Mullins. If you'd like to contribute pro bono hours to Georgia Appleseed, fill out our online pro bono interest form to get started.
Join the Georgia Healthy Housing Coalition

If your organization is committed to strengthening healthy housing access, we invite you to join us! The Georgia Healthy Housing Coalition engages organizations across the state to share, support, and develop efforts to enhance and expand healthy housing.

Housing is of particular importance to Georgia’s children because it affects every aspect of a child’s life. Substandard housing conditions lead to increased childhood illness, more home and school moves, and behavior and learning challenges that increase a child’s risk of involvement with the juvenile justice system.

To join the coalition for bimonthly meetings, fill out the online Healthy Housing Project interest form. We meet next on November 11, 2020, at 10:00 a.m.

To learn more about the coalition and other Healthy Housing Project programs, visit our website or email Caroline Durham, Georgia Appleseed Legal and Policy Director, at cdurham@gaappleseed.org.
Georgia Education Climate Coalition Working Group: HB 855

In August, Governor Kemp signed HB855 into law. The law focuses on the educational assessment of children in care, including the intent that a child in foster care should undergo an automatic trauma assessment immediately upon enrollment in a new school.

In order to ensure this law is enacted in a way that serves the best interest of children and protects them from potential further trauma, the Georgia Education Climate Coalition (GECC) has created a working group of experts to develop policy recommendations related to the law. The working group's recommendations are forthcoming.

Generous individuals and firms donated more than 3,000 pro bono hours in our last fiscal year (July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020) to ensure that Georgia’s children are able to stay in school and out of the criminal justice system and have access to safe, healthy homes. Interested? Fill out our online pro bono interest form to get in touch.
2020 Voter Guide

The 2020 election is underway with early and absentee voting. If you have questions about voting, take a look at our 2020 How to Vote Guide, which is now available in Spanish and mobile-friendly formats.
If a video is more your style, check out this Georgia Justice Reform Partnership webinar featuring Georgia Appleseed pro bono volunteer Matt Miehl (DLA Piper), who authored the guide.
Welcome to Thamiah Tutt, Interim Director of Development

We are thrilled to welcome Thamiah Tutt as our Interim Director of Development. Thamiah has over 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector and philanthropy.

She brings a strong wealth of knowledge, high energy, and hands-on experience to her role as Interim Director of Development, having implemented fund development strategies, capacity building efforts, and board and volunteer leadership development. Thamiah earned her BA in business administration from Clark Atlanta University and her MBA from Nova Southeastern University.
Save the Date: GAgives is December 1

Along with nonprofits across the state, Georgia Appleseed will be celebrating GAgives Day on December 1, 2020, this year.
GAgives is our state’s unique spin on Giving Tuesday, which takes place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and encourages people to take a day to appreciate the good work being done in the world and to give back.

Additional Resources

In recognition of the incredible impact COVID-19 is having on our lives and throughout our communities, we are continuing to share resources on our social media channels and our website. Below are a handful of resource lists gathered by trusted partners, which we hope will help connect people to the resources they need at this time:

  • GECC— Visit our Georgia Education Climate Coalition (GECC) page for information about partner organization's upcoming webinars and trainings.
  • 211—Calling 211 or searching the website can help you find food, pay housing bills, access childcare, and more.
  • Atlanta Legal Aid—This resource list includes information about court closings, emergency food help, and more.
  • Georgia Department of Education—This DOE site includes links to school closure information and online learning resources.
  • Voices for Georgia’s Children—Voices has put together a robust list of news and resources around COVID-19, including financial resources, food assistance, closures, guidance on talking to children about the pandemic, and more.
  • Children's Healthcare of Atlanta—CHOA's Strong4Life resource page provides parenting guidance for the COVID-19 era, including how to talk about social distancing with kids, avoiding injuries during isolation, and much more.

We'd also like to share additional links that are helping us think about justice-related issues of the day:

Georgia Appleseed Needs Your Support

At Georgia Appleseed, we focus on dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline and advocating for healthy housing because we believe these areas are powerful leverage points for meaningful, systemic change.

If you would like to join us in creating systemic change, please make a donation today.
If you are interested in volunteering with us, please fill out our pro bono interest form