Rename the Joel Award

Reimagining the Joel Award

During the June IPNA meeting we discussed the renaming of our neighborhood community service award. As you may know, the award was created in the mid-1970s by Robert Griggs, the founder of Inman Park Restoration, as a way for young, pioneering neighbors to recognize one another’s efforts in revitalizing our long-neglected neighborhood. The award became known as the Joel Award in recognition of Joel Hurt, the surveyor and developer of Inman Park.

As awareness has grown in recent years about Joel Hurt and his history of using and abusing convict labor, his name has become uncomfortable for many. (For reference, see Slavery by Another Name by Douglas Blackmon.) Clearly, Joel Hurt doesn’t represent the values of 21st century Inman Park. It is time for us to select a new name for the award.

We would like your feedback on what the new name should be. Please add your suggestion for a new award name below in the comments section or email [email protected].

Award Name Process: 

July 1-July 7th: Submit suggestions for new name via blog comment or email. 

July 8-July 15: Online Voting Begins. All name submissions received will be put out to the membership for a vote.

IPNA Meeting, July 16th: The top two suggestions with the most votes will be introduced at the meeting. Members will cast 1 vote for their choice during the meeting. The name with the most votes will be the winner and our new award name. 

We encourage you to submit your suggestion or echo your support for a name someone has already posted. Thanks for helping us rename this award.



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Comments on "Rename the Joel Award"

Comments 0-5 of 26

Bobbie Paul - Tuesday, July 07, 2020

The Sweet. A generous, bold, unselfish, pioneer of Inman Park since the 1970s. Curious with a skilled legal mind that was open to all, John never tried to benefit financially from Inman Park's resurgence. He was always ready to lend his service to defend the poor, the environment, children, women, and Black and White allies working to build Dr. King's beloved community. His energy and passion for inner city kids to enjoy a sound inner city sports program began what is now Atlanta Youth Soccer. Raising money behind the scenes, coaching kids on the field and supporting their families off the field -- he always showed up. An arts and music enthusiast, he created a space for musicians to come regularly and play at his home. He often treated the uninitiated to a first experience of Sweet Honey & The Rock, first at Spelman College. A fun loving guy who made inspired appearances in plays in The Hollow for Caterpillar Ball - who could forget his black leather-jacketed rhinoceros in Who's In Rabbit's House ? He only got better with age and deeper in love with the world when ravaged by disease. First home he ever owned was 220 Elizabeth. Tore it to pieces, took a ladder and went up and down to fortify (redo) every nail in every piece of lathe. Encouraged others to buy here and welcomed folks to his home and backyard for 50 years - from Inman Park and beyond. A local man who stood for peace and justice (mining his early Quaker roots) attracting all races and creeds to his doorstep. First to extend hospitality (a room for weeks at a time and meals) to international travelers. Tough guy. Loving parent, husband, and neighbor, he recognized talent and cultivated people and to be leaders. A leader himself who fiercely protected historic Inman Park. How sweet he was. Thank you for offering the space to reflect on John.

Jerry Prine - Tuesday, July 07, 2020

If we consider that the Monarch butterflies profile was selected & has become " Our Mark" . And “Monarch” can be a “king or a Queen” . I would like to suggest " IPNA Monarch Service Award" as a realistic replacement.

DAVID WATTS - Tuesday, July 07, 2020

the Chrysalis award

Eric Goldberg - Monday, July 06, 2020

I like the John Sweet Award. Sure, we could create a separate award to be named after John, but wouldn't that be watering down his memory as the "Joel Award" is the most prestigious award in the neighborhood and honors service and volunteerism. I wouldn't be opposed to naming the award some variation of "Butterfly Award," but I'm not sure I agree with the take that the "Joel Award" shouldn't be named for a person. John personified service and volunteerism. Why not re-name the "Joel Award" for him?

Joseph Drolet - Monday, July 06, 2020

Some variation on the butterfly: Grand Butterfly Award or Golden Butterfly---or something descriptive such as the Inman Park Distinguished Service Award.

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