ALBANY, Ga. — Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin has a reputation as a straight shooter when it comes to politics, education and activism.
She will draw from her three decades of public service at 10 a.m. Friday as the speaker at Albany State University’s Honors Day Convocation in the HPER Gymnasium.
ASU students with a 3.5 or higher grade point average who meet the established criteria will be honored. A faculty member, researcher and employee will also be recognized at the event.
Using the theme “Potential. Realized. A Legacy of Academic Excellence,” Franklin will challenge students to engage in the political process, speak up, and listen to other perspectives about social issues, officials with ASU said.
The Howard University graduate was elected Atlanta mayor in 2001, becoming the first woman to hold the post and the first black woman to be elected mayor of a major Southern city.
A native of Philadelphia, Pa., Franklin earned a bachelor of arts degree in sociology at Howard and a master of arts degree in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.
She founded Clarke-Franklin and Associates Inc., a public affairs firm specializing in community engagement and strategic planning and held the William and Camille Cosby Endowed Professorship Program chair for social sciences at Spelman College.
Franklin’s professional experience includes government management, ethics reform, oversight of the world’s busiest airport, water and sewer infrastructure expansion, advocacy for the homeless, digital access for underserved communities, and support of the arts and higher education.
She also spurred completion of a $6.3 billion runway project at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and an initiative called the “Blueprint to End Homelessness in Atlanta in Ten Years” program. Transportation improvements are her major accomplishments.
Franklin is currently board chair and CEO of Purpose Built Communities Inc., a national non-profit organization established to replicate mixed-use housing developments in cities around the country based on a model in Atlanta.
She is co-chair of the Atlanta Regional Commission on Homelessness and co-chair of the Board of Directors of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.
Friday’s event is free and open to the public.