The Carter Center in Atlanta Georgia is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public institute founded by former U.S. president Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in 1982 (Carter
Center). The Center in dedicated to fighting disease, hunger, poverty, conflict, and oppression. At present, the Center operates 13 core programs, which have touched the lives of people in 65 countries, including the U.S.
Habitat for Humanity began in 1984 when Carter led a work group to New York City to renovate a six-story building with 19 families in need of descent shelter. Each year, Jimmy and Rosalynn give a week of their time to build homes. “We have become small players in an exciting global effort to alleviate the curse of homelessness,” Carter said (Carter and Habitat).
As president, Carter was deeply committed to social justice and human rights. He and his wife Rosalynn left the White House in search of meaningful ways to contribute in these areas. Ultimately, Carter focused his work toward charitable contributions, and non-profit work.
Jimmy Carter was born on October 1, 1924, in Plains, Georgia. Carter’s father, a farmer and businessman, ran a farm products store on the family farm in the rural community of Archery, a few miles west of Plains Georgia (“Jimmy Carter”). The Carters lived in Plains when Jimmy was born. Four years later, they moved to the farm in Archery. Jimmy grew up there and helped with the farm chores during his boyhood.
Jimmy went to public school in Plains. His favorite subjects included history, literature, and music. As a teenager, he played on the high school basketball team. In 1941, following graduation from high school, Carter entered Georgia Southwestern College in Americus. In 1942, he was appointed to the United States Navel Academy.
Carter met Rosalynn Smith, best friend of his sister Ruth. In the summer after graduation they were married. By the early 1950’s Carter and his wife had three sons.
In 1962, Carter entered the race for the Democratic nomination for the Georgia Senate. He lost by a few votes, partly because of fraud that included stuffed ballot boxes. Carter pursued his appeals until he was declared the winner of the primary. In spite of all the confusion, Carter won the election.
As a state senator, Carter advocated planning in government, and programs to help the poor and the disadvantaged. He was reelected in 1964. In 1971, Carter was inaugurated as governor of Georgia. Carter introduced policies that helped change the government and society. He supported integration, appointed many blacks to posts in state government. During his administration, the number of black appointees on major state boards and agencies increased from 3 to 53. The number of black state employees rose by about 40 per cent. Carter also established a project to honor notable black Georgians. He promoted prison reform and mental health programs.
During his term as governor Carter traveled widely and began to believe that he was well qualified to run for president. In late 1974, Carter announced that he was a candidate for president.
When Carter began his national campaign, he was not as well known as the other candidates, However, he entered 26 of 27 preferential primaries and finished first in 17 of them (“Jimmy Carter”).
At the Democratic convention in New York City in July 1976, Carter received the nomination on the first ballot. As his vice-presidential running mate, he chose Walter F. Mondale, a United States senator from Minnesota.
In an inaugural speech that emphasized old-fashioned virtues, Carter quoted from a Plains schoolteacher,: “We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles (“Jimmy Carter”).” Carter defeated Ford by 1,682,970 popular votes (“Carter World Book”).
In 1978, inflation became a major problem. In an attempt to fight inflation, Carter urged businesses to avoid big price increases, but this had little effect on it.
During that year, Carter won congressional approval of a national energy program. In 1977, Congress adopted the president’s proposal to establish a new executive department, the Department of Energy. The energy legislation was designed largely to reduce U.S. oil imports. The legislation included tax penalties for owners of automobiles that used excessive amounts of gasoline.
In March 1980, Carter announced a new program to fight inflation. The program included cuts in federal spending, and a tax on imported oil. This caused the inflation percentage to go down.
Carter established many other programs in his later years. The International Democratization and Development included programs such as Commission on Radio and Television Policy, Conflict Resolution, Global Development Initiative, Human Rights Program, and Latin American and Caribbean Program . The Global and Domestic Health included programs such as Agriculture, Guinea Worm Eradication Program, Interfaith Health Program, Mental Health Program, Not even one, River Blindness Program, and Task for Child Survival and Development.
Carter attracted worldwide attention in 1977, when he strongly supported the struggle for human rights in the Soviet Union and other nations. He banned U.S. aid to some nations whose governments he believed to be violating human rights.
After loosing the 1980 election, Carter returned to Plains and founded the Carter Center of Emory University. In the mid-1980’s, Carter worked as a volunteer carpenter on several projects for Habitat for Humanity, an organization that builds houses for the poor.