Emmaus House’s 50th anniversary gala featured a history walk, where 30 posters lined the Carter Center’s beautiful reflecting pool, an apt place for people to read and reflect on Emmaus House, the Peoplestown community, and the civil rights movement in Atlanta. You can read more about the gala here.
The history walk began with a prelude to Emmaus House, the 1966 Summerhill Riot. The four-day incident resulted in the death of one African American and revealed the frustration among lower-income black communities in the face of systematic oppression. From there, the history walk moves right into the beginning of Emmaus House, with the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta buying the building and the Rev. Austin Ford moving into it in 1967. The other main events highlighted in the showcase include the opening of the Poverty Rights Office in 1970, the launching of the Summers Away Program in 1980, and the partnering with the Children’s Defense Fund to become a CDF Freedom Schools® program.
The history walk did not end with a sentence but with a "to be continued," echoing the theme of the evening, "Forward from 50." Reflecting back on the event, Emmaus House Executive Director Greg Cole said, “As we recalled the past, we were excited to look forward.”