Recap | Insights 2021: Race, Resilience and Recovery

Each year the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute hosts an annual policy conference to inform policy discussions during the state’s legislative session. For the first time in GBPI history this annual policy conference was both free and virtual. We achieved record-breaking turnout with over 500 registered attendants from all over the state.

This year’s policy conference focused on race, resilience and recovery in the year following the outbreak of COVID-19. Our policy analysts detailed how the state budget cuts harm Georgians and especially Georgians of color. Our featured panelists in conversations about education, health and the budget gave first-hand accounts of policies that work to address disparities faced by communities of color, as well as policies that fall short or worsen inequities. Finally, our keynote speakers, Dr. Dorian Warren and Dr. Valerie Wilson discussed economic strategies we can use to drive Georgia forward to a more equitable state in a conversation presented by the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

Below, find links to recordings of each session as well as presentation slides and related materials.

COVID-19 and Budget Cuts

Tax and Budget Policy Analyst Danny Kanso presented an overview of the FY 2021 and proposed 2022 state budget and highlighted the cuts that were kept for both. He referenced research outlined in our 2021 budget primer and our new overview of Georgia’s 2022 Fiscal Year Budget.

You can view the entire presentation here or download the slides here.

Panel: Discussion with Appropriations and Budget Leaders

State legislative and budget leaders Chairman Chuck Hufstetler, Senator Dean Burke, Minority Leader James Beverly and Senator Jen Jordan led a conversation on priorities for the 2021-2022 Legislative Session of the Georgia Assembly and discussed the state budget for the upcoming 2022 Fiscal Year, which will begin July 1, 2021. Related materials include our 2021 budget primer and our new overview of Georgia’s 2022 Fiscal Year Budget.

You can view the entire panel here.

GBPI Analyst Panel on Budget and Racial Equity

GBPI policy analysts gave a deeper dive on specific areas of the budget, including K-12 education, higher education, health, human services, revenues and the criminal legal system. Analysts detailed how these dollars spent either impede or advanced racial equity.

You can view the entire panel here or download the slides here.

Panel: A Path to Racially Equitable Health Care

Moderated by Laura Harker, GBPI senior policy analyst for health, and featuring Dr. James E. Black, medical director for emergency medicine at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital; Dr. Sarah Vinson, founder of the Lorio Psych Group and Rachel Shanklin, the Georgia outreach manager for Small Business Majority, this panel outlined which policies would improve health outcomes in Georgia with specific policy recommendations. Related materials include our report Make Public Health a Priority in Georgia During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond and our blog Fast Facts on Medicaid Expansion.

You can view the entire panel here or download the slides used by Rachel Shanklin of Small Business Majority here.

Panel: K-12 in COVID: How to Overcome Cuts and Envision an Equitable Future

Moderated by Dr. Stephen Owens, GBPI senior policy analyst for K-12 education, and featuring Dr. Morcease Beasley, superintendent of Clayton County Schools and Dr. Mary McKillip, senior researcher of Education Law Center, this panel detailed the effects budget cuts have on our schools and policy recommendations that would help Georgia schools recover equitably. Related materials include our recent report State of Education Funding (2021) and Education Law Center Reports Making the Grade 2020  and $600 Billion Lost.

You can view the entire panel here or download the slides here.

Keynote Conversation with Dr. Dorian Warren, President of Community Change and Dr. Valerie Wilson, Director of the Economic Policy Institute’s Program on Race, Ethnicity and the Economy

Moderated by Alex Camardelle, senior policy analyst for economic mobility, and hosted by the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta, this keynote conversation commanded a future that rejects the status quo. It called for antiracist policies that keep Georgians that are most impacted by the pandemic top-of-mind. Related materials include our report Cash Matters: Reimagining Anti-Racist TANF Policies in Georgia and our blogs on the state of working Georgia, one was published mid-year and the other at year-end.

You can view the entire discussion here.

2021 Sponsors

Influencer Visionaries Leaders Partners Friends
Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

The Kendeda Fund

The Annie E. Casey Foundation


Georgia NAACP



Healthcare Georgia Foundation


United Way of Greater Atlanta

Families First


Georgia Alliance to End Homelessness


Southern Poverty Law Center

Center for Black Women’s Wellness


Essig Consulting LLC


Frank Family Foundation


Glenda and David Minkin


Georgians for a Healthy Future

Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education


Harry Heiman and Abby Friedman


The Junior League of Atlanta, Inc.


Voices for Georgia’s Children


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