Just Growth

The Just Growth Circle (JGC) is a powerful community engagement platform
for residents of all races, incomes, and backgrounds to influence decision-
making within development projects that impact them (e.g. housing,
retail, infrastructure, transportation).

The Just Growth Circle (JGC) is a network of diverse businesses, politicians, non-profits, academics, and community members interested in furthering equitable development in the South. JGC takes a systems approach to realize communities and regions where all residents can participate in and prosper from decisions that shape the places they live. It influences development initiatives through research, community engagement, capacity building, and collective impact. Through these collaborative efforts, the JGC supports sustainable, self-sufficient communities and diverse participation in land-use, infrastructure investment and decision making in ways that benefit everyone.

Guiding Principles of the Just Growth Circle:

Projects must be transparent and ensure meaningful community participation, leadership, and ownership

Projects must benefit surrounding communities that have felt the cost of poor infrastructure in the past

Projects must improve the quality of life for residents as well as the overall wellness of the surrounding communities

Projects must manage surrounding property values in order to protect vulnerable populations

The Just Growth Portfolio Team:

Kirsten Cook, Just Growth Portfolio Manager

Kirsten currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where she works for the Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE). Her scope of work centers on PSE’s Just Growth Portfolio, which encompasses projects related to racial equity in planning, development, and infrastructure sectors. In the past, she has worked in local government as a County Planner and in non-profit planning organizations in both Atlanta and Chicago. Kirsten has a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Georgia Tech and a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Wheaton College. Having spent the first 18 years of her life in Cambodia and Malaysia, Kirsten thrives in diverse settings and approaches all of her work with a global perspective.


Advancing policies and institutional actions that promote racial equity and shared prosperity for all in the growth of metropolitan Atlanta and the American South.


Upcoming Events


Sign up to receive relevant news and information about the equity movement, and join us as we advance racial equity and shared prosperity for all throughout the American South.

We respect your privacy.