The city of Newnan will honor the legacy of the late Minnie Robinson by naming the Community Action for Improvement building for its longtime service coordinator, who passed away in August at age 79.
Newnan City Council members voted to adopt a resolution to name the building for Robinson, who worked with CAFI in its many incarnations for nearly 50 years.
“Miss Minnie’s influence was felt by thousands of people,” Newnan Mayor Keith Brady said as he brought the resolution before the council at its Monday meeting.
Brady said adoption of the resolution is the first step in a process which will include renovation of the CAFI building on Savannah Street and a dedication ceremony to celebrate the Coweta-born Robinson’s legacy of service to the community.
In addition to being a wife and mother, Robinson also was active on the board of directors of the Newnan Boys and Girls Club, a member of the Newnan Kiwanis Club and director of the Krystallettes Civic and Social Club.
She was first hired at Newnan’s multi-purpose center – one of many established in communities across the country by the Office of Economic Opportunity to “fight the war on poverty” – to help run a program that offered sewing classes to train women for jobs in the local textile industry.
“I was what you call an outreach worker,” she told the Newnan Times-Herald several years ago.
Robinson was awarded additional responsibilities, becoming field coordinator and then the center’s director. Under her direction, the center helped pave the way for the first black employees at Woolworth’s and Gibson’s, as well as for the city’s first black telephone operator.
Despite not having been to college or having experience in social services prior to beginning work at the center, Robinson proved to be a natural, according to those who worked with her, and made CAFI a permanent part of Coweta County’s social safety net.
“I was a person who was willing and wanted to succeed,” she said. “I began to figure out that if people trusted me and wanted me to take on the program, I had to show them what I could do,” she told the NTH.
The resolution adopted by the council reads, in part, that the CAFI building will “be named after Minnie Robinson honoring the many years she spent as a wonderful ambassador for Newnan and Coweta County Communities.”
Robinson “helped to ensure needs were met for countless folks and it was clear that Minnie had a very special place in her heart for those who came to her for guidance and assistance.”
(Newnan Times-Herald news editor W. Winston Skinner contributed to this story.)