Atlanta-Based Consular Corps Joins Former President in Plains for a Weekend
John E. Parkerson, Jr., director of the Office of International Programs at Clayton State University, wears a lot of hats in his role as one of metro Atlanta’s foremost proponents on international relations. Thus, it seems only fitting that Parkerson recently had a chance to meet the Georgian best-known for international relations – former President Jimmy Carter.
Parkerson, who is also Honorary Consul for Hungary for the southeastern United States, and president of World Trade Center Atlanta, was one of a dozen members of the Atlanta-based consular corps invited to spend the June 16, June 17 weekend with former President and Mrs. Carter in Plains, Ga. As Honorary Consul of Hungary, Parkerson also serves on The Carter Center's Board of Councilors.
“We toured the President's boyhood home and farm, as well as his high school,” reports Parkerson. “Saturday evening, we enjoyed a private home dinner with the Carters, at which we enjoyed a wide-ranging `dinner table discussion’ of world affairs, including efforts to combat disease and human rights.”
It was inevitable that the latter subject would come up, since Carter had just finished preparing a New York Times op-ed article (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/opinion/americas-shameful-human-rights-record.html?_r=2) on the subject.
Sunday morning, the consular corps were guests at President Carter's Sunday school class, in which he taught the biblical lessons of selfless giving and prayer.
“It was an experience I will never forget,” says Parkerson.