Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Establishes Mayor’s Advisory Committee: Atlanta Children’s Memorial Taskforce

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Friday, May 17th, 2019

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an administrative order to establish the Mayor’s Advisory Committee: Atlanta Children’s Memorial Taskforce. The taskforce—comprised of mayoral appointees from the community—is charged with determining an appropriate acknowledgement of the lives cut short during the Atlanta Child Murders.

“It is important for Atlanta to acknowledge the innocent lives lost during one of our city’s darkest hours,” said Mayor Bottoms. “This taskforce will determine a lasting and appropriate tribute for the victims and their families, and serve as a testament that those lives mattered. That African American lives matter.”

Mayor Bottoms’ appointments to the Atlanta Children’s Memorial Taskforce are as follows:

Frank Ski, Chair

Catherine Leach, Vice Chair

Sheila Balthazar

Anthony Terrell

Andrea Boone

Valerie Jackson

Rev. Darrell Elligan

Carolyn Long Banks

Joe Drolet

Karen Graham

Michael Langford

Brenda Muhammad

Will Packer

“It is my honor to serve as Chair of the Mayor’s Advisory Committee: Atlanta Children’s Memorial Taskforce as we work to appropriately pay our respect and honor to the victims and families so affected by the Atlanta Child Murders,” said taskforce Chair Frank Ski. “We hope to create a space that not only allows for grieving and healing, but also for peace and hope in remembrance of the young lives lost.”

The administrative order states the taskforce shall begin its work within 45 days after the date of the administrative order. The taskforce will meet periodically and deliver a formal report to Mayor Bottoms within six months of the commencement of its work.

In March, Mayor Bottoms and Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields announced the City and APD—in partnership with Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office—will examine existing evidence related to the Atlanta Child Murders cases – which first unfolded nearly 40 years ago.

The Atlanta Child Murders were a series of killings committed between 1979 and 1981. At least 29 people, all African American, and mostly children and adolescents, were targeted. The first victims were two boys, one 14 and the other 13, both of whom disappeared within four days of each other. The series of bodies and lives lost after the initial murders horrified Atlanta residents and haunted law enforcement officials working to protect the community.