Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Atlanta Civic Site Updates

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Atlanta Civic Site is grateful for the many partners who worked with us to support children’s healthy development and educational success, foster a more inclusive economy and promote thriving communities across the city.

Highlights from 2019 include:

  • Curbing Violence

    The Neighborhood Planning Unit V (NPU-V) Community Safety Committee — a volunteer group comprised of residents and representatives from local nonprofits, health care providers, law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders — sought funds to implement Cure Violence, a public-health approach to address shootings. More than $530,000 has been raised, with another $370,000 needed to fully launch in 2020.

    CHRIS 180, a local nonprofit, is leading the work. In the months ahead, the organization will begin training and hiring residents to intervene and ensure retaliation doesn’t occur following a shooting in the community.

  • Strengthening Black Entrepreneurship

    The Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative (AWBI) — a nonprofit supported by the Casey Foundation and nearly 60 other stakeholders from multiple sectors — committed $3.9 million to expand business opportunities for African American entrepreneurs living in rapidly gentrifying areas along the city’s BeltLine.

    These funds will support technical assistance and flexible financing options, including loans, guarantees and grants, for business owners as well as worker-owned cooperatives.

  • Shaping the Future of Pittsburgh Yards

    With 90% of phase-one construction complete, Atlanta’s Pittsburgh Yardsis on track for an early 2020 opening. Within the next decade, the developer, in partnership with local residents, plans to transform the 31-acre site into a commercial, recreational and community hub that offers living-wage employment, long-term career and entrepreneurship opportunities.

    Community members have taken the lead in shaping many design and architectural elements at Pittsburgh Yards, including names for building spaces and surrounding streets, the site’s visual identity and criteria for use of the public green space.

    Hiring residents and contracting with local businesses owned by women and people of color remain key priorities for the project.

  • Driving Community-Led Workforce Development

    This summer, the Casey Foundation awarded $350,000 in combined grants to four local partnerships helping residents in Southwest Atlanta strengthen their employment skills and find family-sustaining jobs that align with their career goals and interests.

    The grant recipients are providing a variety of services — including entrepreneurial coaching, industry-specific skills training and job-placement support — to help Atlantans of color fully contribute to, and benefit from, the city’s growing economy.

These are just some of the many innovative approaches local leaders are using to ensure all residents have the support and resources needed to reach their full potential. Many more examples, including Atlanta Public Schools’ adoption of a new equity policy, are highlighted in the Foundation’s Changing the Odds: Progress and Promise in Atlanta, released earlier this year.

We will continue supporting this important work in 2020 so that together we can establish more equitable pathways to education, housing, careers and wealth.

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season!

Kweku Forstall
The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Atlanta Civic Site