The Atlanta Project goes national with America Project

The blueprint for The Atlanta Project (TAP) was taken to a national level Jan. 1 with the launching of The America Project.

Former President Jimmy Carter announced the new initiative in December. Former TAP Program Director Dan Sweat was named director of The America Project, while TAP Program Administrator Jane Smith `70G was named Sweat's replacement as TAP program director.

"We have been studying plans for a full-scale America Project for the last year, and I'm pleased that Dan Sweat has agreed to become director of this program," Carter said. "He has done a superb job of getting The Atlanta Project up and running. Now it's time to start sharing what we've learned so far, both our successes and our failures, with cities across the country."

The America Project will disseminate information about TAP to other cities, act as a catalyst in efforts to increase the number and improve the effectiveness of partnerships between the private sector and low-income community groups across the country; and communicate at the national level the value of a community-based, holistic approach to addressing urban issues.

"Already, more than 150 cities have sent delegations to Atlanta to learn about The Atlanta Project and to exchange information," said Elise Eplan, America Project program administrator. "We anticipate an even larger volume in the future."

"Most cities want to learn about our corporate partnerships and grass roots effort to bring community residents together in a structured way to improve their own lives," Sweat said. "We hope they will benefit from our successes and learn from our mistakes."

Sweat expressed confidence in Smith's ability to lead TAP into its next stage of development.

"Jane and I have worked closely together over the last year to strengthen the organization and to develop some tools that will lead to long-term sustainable changes in people's lives," he said. "Jane has the vision to take TAP to the next level."

"In a relatively short period of time, TAP has given community residents an additional voice to improving the quality of their lives," said Smith. "I see my job as one of making sure that, through collaboration with other organizations and self-determination at the local level, our diverse neighborhoods can move vigorously to make the systemic changes that they know are necessary."