Residents in Atlanta’s Kirkwood neighborhood last week received a unique gift to their community when Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms cut the ribbon for the Good Neighbor Club at the Coan Park Recreation Center. 

This Good Neighbor Club is the first to include a multi-sensory inclusion room. It is the second sensory inclusion room the Hawks and KultureCity have collaborated on. The first is in State Farm Arena that opened over three years ago after the beginning of the partnership with KultureCity. 

“This is what Atlanta is all about, it’s what Ambassador (Andrew) Young calls the Atlanta way,” Mayor Bottoms said to the crowd. “Where we have this coming together of government, philanthropic and our corporate partners.”

State Farm and the Atlanta Hawks opened the new club in partnership with KultureCity, a non-profit focused on accessibility and inclusion for people with invisible disabilities.

Pro Basketball Hall-of-Famer Dominique Wilkins, who also sits on the board of KultureCity, explained why it was so important for the Good Neighbor Club to have a multi-sensory inclusion room.

© Kat Goduco Photo

“Autism is all around us, hidden disabilities are all around us. We have to be compassionate about how people live,” Wilkins said. “We have a responsibility to continue to educate ourselves.”

While this Good Neighbor Club will primarily serve the Kirkwood and Greenwood neighborhoods, over the last three years State Farm and the Hawks have opened six others throughout metro Atlanta.

“Our communities are what shapes our lives and to know that Atlanta Hawks and State Farm are willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing,”  KultureCity Executive Director Uma Srivastava said in a statement.

After the ribbon cutting ceremony children of all abilities were invited to take part in the new activities offered at the Good Neighbor Club and in the new multi-sensory inclusion room.

Current Hawks player Kevin Huerter and District 5 Councilwoman Natalyn Archibong also attended the grand opening. 

Madeline Thigpen is an education reporter and Report for America Corps Member. She joined the Atlanta Voice in 2021. At the Voice she covers K-12 education for the Atlanta metro region and higher education....