News & Stories

December 9, 2020

The history of poverty and disabilities in northwest Georgia 

Berry College students recently heard a historical case study about the treatment of poor and disabled people in northwest Georgia and continuing prejudices and public policies that impact these populations today.

Berry Psychology Professor Michelle Haney and Auburn University Associate History Professor Keith Hebert collaborated on a project documenting the progression of the Bartow County Poor House in the 1970’s to “Hickory Log,” a personal care home for men with developmental disabilities in 2020.

The case helped to reveal convergence between poverty and disability in northwest Georgia from the mid 1800’s to present time. This study offered considerable insight into political, economic, scientific, and social/cultural changes in the United States, while simultaneously bridging connections in the Bartow County area.

Through their research, Haney and Hebert proposed a future of inclusion and dignity with civil rights in the United States. 

Haney also serves as the chair of the Psychology Department and directs the Applied Behavior Analysis/Autism Program. For more information about majoring in psychology, visit


Written by Public Relations Student Assistant Reed Couch 

Office of Public Relations

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