Atlanta is a beautiful city in the southeastern region of the United States and the capital of the state of Georgia. It ranks 6th economically in the U.S. with a gross domestic product of $270 billion, and 15th among world cities. The metropolitan area of Atlanta is home to about 5.5 million people, among the top 10 in the U.S. Atlanta is known for its diverse economy, global access, great educational institutions, a history and culture of civil rights and a vibrant quality of life. Atlanta hosted the 1996 centennial summer Olympic Games.
The Atlanta Hartsfield Airport is the world’s busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic, and has held that ranking since 1998. Last year over 100 million people transited through the Atlanta Airport. It is an international hub for flights from Africa, Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle East. The fact that Atlanta Airport connects so many regions of the world makes Atlanta a perfect site for an international conference.
Atlanta is a center of civil rights led by Martin Luther King, Jr. (1928-1968), an Atlanta resident who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. His wife, Coretta Scott King create The King Center for Nonviolent Social Change in 1968, which remains an important institution in Atlanta for study and reflection. According to King, “Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere”. A National Center for Civil and Human Rights was opened in Atlanta in 2014.
Atlanta is the home to a number of high-profile businesses. Coca-Cola was created in Atlanta and the city remains its international headquarters. Atlanta is also the world headquarters of Delta Airlines, which runs 5,400 flights a day and flies to 334 destinations in 64 countries. The global news carrier Cable News Network (CNN) also has its world headquarters in Atlanta. United Parcel Service (UPS) which transits cargo throughout the world, is likewise based in Atlanta, as well as Home Depot which sells home improvement and construction products. In addition, Atlanta is home to large corporate offices of AT&T (a multinational telecommunications corporation) and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics (an American global aerospace defense, security and advanced technologies company).
Atlanta is also a leading center for the film and music businesses. It currently ranks third in the United States in film production, and is the location for Tyler Perry Studios, Pinewood Studios and EUE/Screen Gems productions. It has a thriving music industry as a capital of hip-hop, rock, pop and gospel. LaFace Records, SoSo Def Records, and a satellite of Arista Records are located in Atlanta.
Atlanta is a premier center of education, with a number of leading universities. Georgia Institute of Technology (“Georgia Tech”) is ranked 7th among all public universities in the United States, and is a center of excellence for mechanical, electrical, civil and chemical engineering as well as computing and business administration. Emory University is a leading undergraduate and graduate institution which has national and international prominence in healthcare. Atlanta is also the home of the historically black colleges Spelman College, Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta College.
One of the largest aquariums in the world, Georgia Aquarium, opened in downtown Atlanta in November 2005. The facility contains 8 million gallons of water and houses more than 100,000 marine and freshwater animals. The aquarium has dedicated 25 percent of its public space to educational programs, and scientists at the facility conduct research in such areas as marine veterinary medicine and global conservation.
The greatest asset of Atlanta is its hospitality. The people of Atlanta are best known for their welcoming spirit to all visitors and its friendliness. This is a deep southern tradition that is now part of its diverse modern culture.