Atlanta is changing dramatically in the wrong direction. We must promote public safety and criminal justice reform, support schools and youth employment, revitalize small businesses, improve roads and transit, fund and build affordable housing, increase services to seniors, and protect the environment.

Restoring a sense of safety and security and addressing the epidemic of gun violence and crime remain at the core of my vision for service. Atlanta must hire and train an appropriate number of police officers and responders per 1,000 citizens, fund the 24-hr operation of the PADS (Policing Alternative Division), provide a modern public safety training facility for public safety professionals, deliver 21st century policing and de-escalation training, institute retention bonuses and housing incentives for officers and responders who live in the City of Atlanta, and support @Promise Centers and youth employment programming.

I am a champion of entrepreneurs, new business development, and job creation. Every Atlantan should be able to actualize their dreams, afford a home, have access to connected transportation neighborhood-to- neighborhood, and live in a city that prioritizes a green agenda. Our roads and infrastructure require modernization and repair. Moreover, our social capital is best leveraged to collectively uplift those in need, support the extension of housing and wrap around services to the homeless, and to increase services to seniors.

Let’s come together! Old Atlanta to New Atlanta (because Old Atlanta planted the seeds that got us here, and an inclusive New Atlanta is steering us forward); Millennials to boomers (because they have new ideas about our future and we have a stabilizing compass that can keep the tasks at hand on track); South to North to East to West (as our tale of, “two” cities has to be reconciled); inequality to equity (though education and opportunity); and Wealthy to Wage Earning (because there are enough resources for everyone in Atlanta to thrive). See you in the trenches.


My name is Jodi Merriday (affectionately called Dr. Jodi). My vision for Atlanta is that we put people first in safe neighborhoods, schools, and streets with robust business expansion, jobs, unified transit, and a vibrant arts and entertainment culture. I was born in Atlanta, and rode the bus from Southwest to Northwest Atlanta to achieve the dream of Dr. King. I attended Warren T. Jackson Elementary, Sutton Middle, and Frederick Douglass High schools. By the age of 15, I had a work permit, worked at Six Flags and Wendy’s. After graduating high school, I attended Hampton University in the fall of 1989. Helping to realize this dream came from attending Atlanta Public Schools’ annual Dream Jamboree—where all APS students had a chance to explore colleges and apply to them on-site.

I explored the world after Hampton because that’s what Atlanta taught me to do. I earned a Master’s from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Doctorate from Temple University. I have lived in America, Africa, and Europe and can affirmatively say, there’s no place in the world like my home and, “I love Atlanta!”


Dr. Jodi Merriday is the Chief Executive Officer of Diplomacy, Inc. where she works as a Diversity Equity & Inclusion, Title IX and Multiculturalism subject matter expert, curriculum developer, trainer, speaker and curator. Over 100 Universities, Corporations and School Districts have utilized her curriculum for Trainings, Leadership and Professional Development Programming, New Student and Employee Orientations and Heritage Month Commemorations. Notable clients have included: Beam Suntory, (MEACC) Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, The NFL, Consolidated School District of New Britain Connecticut, Atlanta Board of Education, City of Atlanta, Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP, Penn State University, St. Bonaventure University, Indiana University, University of Tampa, PRATT Munson Wilson, Georgia Highlands Colleges and Ivy Tech Colleges. Her most notable skills include the capacity to bridge understanding and develop innovative trainings that increase knowledge and address ameliorating rac(ISM), sex(ISM), heterosex(ISM), class(ISM) able(ISM) and xenophobia.

Dr. Merriday has over 30 years of experience working in higher education, public education, and government and is an influencer in philanthropy, equity and social justice. She worked as an Assistant Professor at Gordon State College, Lecturer at Spelman College, Community College of Philadelphia, Art Institute of Philadelphia and Clark Atlanta University, Adjunct Lecturer at Georgia State University, Special Assistant to the President of Spelman College and as the Assistant Director of the Georgia State University Neighborhood Collaborative.

Dr. Merriday established Atlanta Public Schools’ Office of the Ombudsmen following the cheating scandal and provided resolution in over 1,600 incidents of constituent concerns. This body of work pivoted her to distinction as a subject matter expert, skilled facilitator, and diplomacy whisperer. She is often called upon to moderate crucial conversations and create safe spaces for unpacking bias, prejudice, microaggression, trending topics, controversial events, and incidents of organizational or community fracture. Dr. Merriday also wrote the grant that led to Atlanta becoming a recipient of the Rockefeller Foundation Cities of Service grant, helped launch City of Atlanta pilot Centers of Hope for youth, and served as Special Assistant to the President of Spelman College’s launch of the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement

Dr. Merriday is a State of Georgia Registered Neutral and Advanced Mediator {Atlanta Justice Center}, Arbitrator {Henning Mediation and Arbitration}, Certified in the Foundations of Organizational Ombudsman Theory and Practice {International Ombudsman Association}, Certified Anger Management Specialist and Fellow {National Anger Management Association}, Certified Trainer, Managing Workplace Conflict {Eckerd College} and Certified Workplace Mediator {Eckerd College}. She received her M.A. from Temple University in Sociology, M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science in Development Management and Ph.D. from Temple University in African-American Studies.
P.O. Box 310544 | Atlanta, GA 31131