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Today, the busiest airport in the world is in Metro Atlanta, and the region has one of the fastest-growing economies in the country. However, Metro Atlanta’s growth and its forward-looking political climate have left many communities, especially low-income communities and communities of color, behind.
As economic opportunities expand for people attracted to Atlanta’s growing cosmopolitanism, disenfranchised neighborhoods find it increasingly difficult to access those opportunities. Beyond the memorials celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s work, the progressive prosperous future that Dr. King and other civil rights leaders fought for has not come to fruition for all.
Like the civil rights activists before them, Southern leaders are building an intersectional, grassroots and often countercultural movement ecosystem. Communities are collaborating across race, gender and generational lines to develop dynamic and innovative strategies to fight for a future where they, too, can experience the safety and prosperity Atlanta promises.
Yet, philanthropy has missed a crucial opportunity to support the people and communities trying to fulfill the hope of prosperity and inclusiveness that Atlanta has portrayed to the rest of the world. And, as the movements keep growing in power and size, they will need the support to expand their work beyond Metro Atlanta to ensure that their freedom and safety exists at the state level.