October 2021


Welcome to Caren Cloud, Legal & Policy Director

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We are thrilled that Caren Cloud, a dedicated career advocate for juvenile justice and child welfare, has joined us as Legal & Policy Director. “Having worked in partnership with Georgia Appleseed on various projects throughout so much of my career, I feel like I've come full circle,” Caren says. “I'm so excited about the work that this exceptional team is going to accomplish and I'm just proud to be a part of it.”

Caren previously served as the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for the Fulton County Juvenile Court as well as the Court Program Administrator. Prior, Caren was Legal Director for the Truancy Intervention Project (TIP) Georgia and an adjunct professor of Juvenile Law at Georgia State University’s College of Law.  

“I'm so excited about the work that this exceptional team is going to accomplish and I'm just proud to be a part of it.”

Caren is the immediate Past President of the Gate City Bar Association and a former member-at-large of the Atlanta Bar Association’s (ABA) Board of Directors and the Atlanta Board of Education Ethics Commission. Additionally, she was honored among “The Atlanta 500”, Atlanta Magazine’s 2019 Annual Guide to the City’s Most Powerful Leaders, and has received accolades including: Distinguished Service Award, ABA (2018 and 2016), the Fred Gray Social Justice Award, John Marshall Law School (2010), the Child Advocate Award, State Bar of Georgia (2010), and Best Service to the Public, State Bar of Georgia Young Lawyers Division (2002-03). 

A third generation Atlantan, Caren is a proud graduate of the Atlanta Public Schools system, Clark Atlanta University, and the University of Georgia School of Law. Caren lives in Atlanta with her son. 

Celebrating Pro Bono in FY21


Thank you to the generous individuals and firms who donated more than 1,800 pro bono hours in our last fiscal year (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021). Your time and expertise help us deliver on our enormous mission to keep Georgia’s children in school and in healthy homes, and out of the criminal justice system.

To participate this year, please complete our online pro bono interest form or contact [email protected] with questions. 

Pro Bono Spotlight

When children in foster care move to a school district, they often do not receive the warm welcome and supports they need to make a successful transition to their new community. Separated from their family and known environment, discipline and learning challenges often follow. When children do receive the supports they need at school, they can succeed. This summer a new Georgia law (OCGA 20-2-152.2) required schools to meet with children in care when they arrive on campus and assess their individual needs.

Attorneys Marcus Sandifer (Celsius Holdings, Inc.), Matthew Newman (Alston & Bird, LLC), and DLA Piper attorneys worked tirelessly with our panel of experts to create guidance for the state and schools on how best to support these children. You can review the panel’s recommendations and proposed Department of Education guidance on our website.

Job Opportunities at Georgia Appleseed

We are growing and actively seeking two new team members: 

Senior Attorney to oversee our FAIR (Fairness, Advocacy and Individualized Representation for Children in Foster Care) Project, which ensures that children in foster care have the supports they need to succeed in school. 

Operations and Communications Manager to manage essential office functions, financial operations and organizational communications.

Reopening Schools Series  

Georgia Appleseed and the Truancy Intervention Project hosted three back-to-school community events over the last few months. Expert panelists and community members discussed the pandemic's impacts, racial justice, mental health, recovering from learning loss, and much more. 

Videos of these webinars are available! Check out these links. 

How Are the Children? A Social Justice Town Hall

Overcoming the Challenges and Barriers to School Reengagement

Recovering from Learning Loss

Upcoming Dates

November 2 – General Election

Early voting is underway for local elections and will close October 29, prior to Election Day November 2. For more information, visit the Secretary of State site.

November 4 – GECC

Quarterly meeting of the Georgia Education Climate Coalition

November 10 – Equity Working Group

Meeting of the Equity Working Group of the Georgia Healthy Housing Coalition' s Equity Working Group meeting

November 17-19 – The Summit

Join us at the Summit 2021, Georgia’s Child Welfare Conference. The Summit is a statewide, multi-disciplinary conference designed to bring together child welfare professionals to share best practices, and collaborate across professions. 

November 30 – GAgives

Looking for the perfect time to support Georgia Appleseed? GAgives is our local version of Giving Tuesday, following Thanksgiving and building on the sentiment of gratitude to encourage donors to collectively support the work and mission of nonprofits. Please consider making a gift on this year’s GAgives Day!

Date TBD – 3rd Annual Georgia Appleseed Justice Conversations

(hosted by Taylor English Duma and King & Spalding).

Join us as Georgia state and federal jurists discuss the role of the judiciary in our most pressing social justice issues. Registration information coming soon. 

Additional Resources

We’ve selected pertinent and timely resources to share about justice initiatives: 

Free Your Feels!

This mental health awareness campaign encourages Georgia’s young people to explore their real feelings and share them fearlessly. Free Your Feels is a joint effort from Georgia’s Children and Georgia DBHDD.

National Youth Justice Action Month

Learn about the newly-recognized observation of National Youth Justice Action Month from this summary from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. 

Indigenous Peoples' Day

For a brief background on Indigenous Peoples Day and why many cities and states are choosing to observe it along with or in place of Columbus Day: Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Explained. 

In recognition of the continued impact COVID-19 is having on our lives and throughout our communities, find below a handful of resource lists gathered by trusted partners, which we hope will help connect resources to need: 


Calling 211 or searching the website can help you find food, pay housing bills, access childcare, and more. 

Policing Alternatives & Diversion Initiative (PAD) 311

Community members in Atlanta can call 311 (or 404-546-0311) regarding issues of community concern related to behavioral health or poverty. PAD’s Harm Reduction team responds to the referral request and offers individuals short-term care navigation, stabilizing supports, and warm referrals to other service providers. Available citywide from 7am – 7pm, Monday-Friday. 

Atlanta Legal Aid Services

This resource list includes information on health, unemployment, emergency food help, and more. 

Georgia Department of Education

This DOE site includes updates on coronavirus and schools and a link to the Georgia Dept of Community Health’s Daily COVID-19 status report. 

Voices for Georgia’s Children

News and resources around COVID-19, including financial resources, food assistance, closures, and guidance on talking to children about the pandemic. 

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

CHOA's resource page provides news, FAQs and resources, including relevant links to information from the CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health.

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. 

Help us by making a donation today or volunteering via our pro bono interest form.