The Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE) and its Just Growth Circle are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 Just Growth Capacity Fund. The recipients include South Fulton People-Centered Community Economic Development Collaborative, Su-Kor Youth Program of Atlanta, West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, Sustainable Lakewood, Proctor Creek Stewardship Council and Mount Welcome Community Development Corporation.
After receiving a total of 24 applicants for this cycle, representing more than $400,000 in community need, the six awardees totaled $70,000. According to spokesperson Andre Legister, these organizations were most aligned with fund criteria and demonstrated commitment to their communities, and to furthering the values of the Just Growth Circle: that equitable development should anticipate and protect against displacement, respect communities, strengthen communities, and heal environmental injustice.
The following highlights the important upcoming work of each funding recipient:
- South Fulton People-Centered Community Economic Development Collaborative will be using their funds to support residents below I-20 (in Atlanta and South Fulton) by utilizing four Community Action Teams: Affordable Housing, Mental Health, Economic/Workforce Development and Environmental Health.
- Su-Kor Youth Program of Atlanta is a 6-month after-school workforce development program for NPU-V youth ages 14-19 and is using Just Growth funding to help pay for a shuttle to provide transportation to and from work for youth eligible for job placement.
- West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, a long-time partner with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB), is utilizing Just Growth funding to supplement registration to PISAB’s Undoing Racism training, scheduled for April 24-26th. By creating scholarships for residents and grassroots organizations to participate, WAWA facilitates equity capacity building in the greater Atlanta area. Click here for the link to the April training.
- Sustainable Lakewood will work on facilitating the actualization of inclusive growth that the residents of Lakewood Heights have been planning for decades, centering around community anchor South Bend Park. The goal of this project is to further develop the ideas that the community has created together, divide them into doable projects, prioritize them, and find the resources and partners to make these projects happen.
- Proctor Creek Stewardship Council educates and engages residents in the activation and stewardship of new green infrastructure amenities, expands the capacity of residents to gain and share knowledge more broadly via training, and supports an improved and healthier Proctor Creek. This fund will help with needed council training.
- Mount Welcome Community Development Corporation will be using funds to further its anti-gentrification education program in southeast Atlanta. The program has a commitment to racial equity, focusing on African Americans and legacy residents who are typically displaced. By introducing an Ujima model (collective work and responsibility), residents will be able to maximize their power and stand up against developers allying to improve their quality of life and the overall wellness of the community.
The Just Growth Capacity Fund formally launched as a competitive opportunity in 2018, distributing $30,000, and it grew by 133 percent in one year due to overwhelming community need. It is shaped by the Just Growth Circle, a multi-organizational community of practice and innovation convened by the Partnership for Southern Equity. The fund provides support to front-line, community-based organizations that are growing their capacities as civic leaders.
“These community leaders are living the shared values of our Just Growth Circle. It is our privilege to contribute towards their success,” said Suzanne Burnes, Just Growth director, “There was a lot of interest around this fund and we’re delighted that several of the fund’s recipients are new to the work of PSE, which helps to expand the equity ecosystem in ways we have yet to imagine.”