Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an administrative order to establish the Mayor’s Advisory Committee: Atlanta Children’s Memorial Task Force. The task force—comprised of mayoral appointees from the community—has been charged with determining an appropriate acknowledgment of the lives cut short during the Atlanta Child Murders.
The administrative order states the task force shall begin its work within 45 days after the date of the administrative order. The task force will meet periodically and deliver a formal report to Bottoms within six months of the commencement of its work.
“It is important for Atlanta to acknowledge the innocent lives lost during one of our city’s darkest hours,” Bottoms said. “This task force 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.”
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.
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.
“It is my honor to serve as Chair of the Mayor’s Advisory Committee: Atlanta Children’s Memorial Task Force as we work to appropriately pay our respect and honor to the victims and families so affected by the Atlanta Child Murders,” said task force chairman 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.”
Bottoms’ appointments to the Atlanta Children’s Memorial Task Force includes:
- 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