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A Personal Tribute to Rosalynn Carter

By Dr. Alice Green


As the world pays a well-deserved tribute to Rosalynn Carter, I wish to add a local and personal
note that speaks to the sincerity and commitment of this wonderful woman.In late 1975, Mrs. Carter came to Albany almost unannounced. She was making designated
stops across the country to learn more about two issues of deep concern to her – children in
poverty and mental health. I was contacted and agreed to host her visit to Albany’s South End
and Trinity Institution (now Trinity Alliance) where I served as Executive Director. The Center
was operating an early childhood education and Head Start program. She was so impressed with
the work we were doing with infants and children, their mothers and families who were steeped
in poverty. We also talked about our joint concern over the lack of services and support for
those suffering from mental health problems. A few of the mothers in attendance shared their
stories regarding the impact of poverty in their lives.


Rosalynn expressed her deep gratitude to me for what she found to be an informative visit that
touched her deeply. Unfortunately, coming from Plains, Georgia to Albany, she had not dressed
appropriately for the cooler northern weather and was on her way to another stop in the
northeast. So, I went to my home, collected warm sweaters for her and her companion and took
them to the Albany County Airport where they were awaiting their flight for another visit
elsewhere in the North. Again, she was so appreciative. After arriving back in Plains, Georgia, she returned my sweaters and sent me a very kind letter of
thanks.


In 1976, I followed her as she became the First Lady and an “equal partner” with her husband in
the White House. I continued to follow her after the couple left the White House and was
amazed as they traveled the globe meeting with world leaders, fought diseases in poor countries,
built housing for the needy, and called attention to poverty and the lack of mental health
services. I applauded the couples’ founding in 1982 of the Carter Center, a not-for-profit
organization that helps in resolving conflicts, promoting democracy, and preventing diseases.
What a contribution Rosalynn Carter made to the whole world. She inspired me to continue my
work in promoting social justice and I hope others will receive her message of commitment anddevotion to peace and non-violence. I am so thankful that I got to spend that special time with
her. The world needs more who can embrace love of others as Rosalynn Carter did.

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