Athens Justice and Memory Project

The Athens Justice and Memory Project is the first resident-led effort focused on addressing the history and impact of Urban Renewal in Athens-Clarke County. 

Mayor Kelly Girtz has charged the Athens Justice and Memory Project with “Work[ing] with Linnentown residents, historians, economists and other stakeholders to atone for the removal of the Linnentown neighborhood for the benefit of those residents and their descendants, while providing a model process for coming projects with other residents whose neighborhoods were removed and destroyed, or whose lives were diminished in quality through the efforts of the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government, or its predecessors, the City of Athens and Clarke County.”

On February 16, 2021, the Mayor & Commission unanimously approved a resolution in support of recognition and redress for Linnentown, its descendants, and Athens-Clarke County Black communities harmed by urban renewal.

On February 22, 2021, the Athens Justice and Memory Project gathered outside of City Hall to hear the reading of a Linnentown proclamation by Mayor Kelly Girtz, as well as hear from other speakers of the Athens Justice and Memory Project Team and first descendants of the Linnentown Project.


  • Hattie Thomas Whitehead (Linnentown community member)
  • Bobby Crook (Linnentown community member)
  • Geneva Johnson Blasingame ((Linnentown community member) )
  • Freddie Brown Jackson (Linnentown community member)
  • Christine Davis Johnson (Linnentown community member)
  • Dr. Jennifer Rice
  • Charlene Marsh
  • Commissioner Mike Hamby