Registration is open for the SURJE Summit, taking place October 5-7 in Memphis, TN. The SURJE Summit will bring together national partners, allies, and friends for 3 days of learning, dialog, and healing. Our goal is to create actionable and sustainable solutions that establish equity and racial justice for disinvested communities of color.

Our Mission

The Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE) advances policies and institutional actions that promote racial equity and shared prosperity for all in the growth of metropolitan Atlanta and the American South.

Since 2008, the Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE), an Atlanta-based nonprofit, has been advancing the cause of equity through a ecosystem-based model for multi-demographic engagement in the City of Atlanta and the surrounding metropolitan region – a bustling area emblematic of many Southern communities riven by racial, economic and class disparities.

Using its strength in its ability to connect, educate, and empower diverse individuals and organizations to encourage just, sustainable practices for shared prosperity, PSE has stood at the forefront of promoting balanced growth and shared prosperity throughout metropolitan Atlanta and the American South.

Focusing on four key areas: energy, growth, health and opportunity, PSE has developed strong partnerships, which have resulted in a series of successful policy initiatives that helped elevate and enable the communities we serve.

Statement on Activities related to the Tennessee Three

Partnership for Southern Equity Welcomes Montravias King 

as Managing Director for Regional Organizing

Statement on the White House Update on Efforts Since the Signing of Executive Order 13985, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.

Rocket Community Fund Launches Neighbor to Neighbor in Atlanta

Alongside Partnership for Southern Equity and Atlanta BeltLine Partnership

to Ensure Stable Housing

PSE Founder and Chief Equity Officer Nathaniel Smith featured in
New CNBC Documentary "The Rise of Atlanta"

Our Focus

Our History


Nathaniel Smith leads a 22-member delegation from metropolitan Atlanta to attend PolicyLink’s Equity Summit in New Orleans where they realize Atlanta’s own inequities and moves to address them.


Equity Atlanta is formed and hosts the Southern Sustainability Summit on the intersections of environment, economy and equity. This event brought together
over 300 individuals from diverse organizations to engage in discussions about
true sustainability in Metro Atlanta and the American South.

Inaugural Equity Atlanta Forum: Recovering Stronger
Convening and Policy Brief

A diverse group of over 200 advocates united in a session to learn about the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act opportunities in Metro Atlanta. A supporting policy brief was created to highlight promising local practices for creating Recovery Act dollars equitably.

The American Dream Foreclosed:
Local and National Solutions for the Housing and Mortgage Crisis”
More than seventy members of the Emory and Georgia Tech communities came together to hear from a powerful, provocative panel of experts addressing local and national solutions to the mortgage crisis. Alyssa Katz, author of Our Lot: How Real Estate Came to Own US, was the keynote speaker. The dialogue galvanized participants to take this dialogue to their communities.

2009 (continued)

Equity Atlanta Forum II: Census Power!
Lifting Every Voice for Regional Equity

The second Equity Atlanta Forum highlighted the importance of a complete count in the 2010 U.S. Census. More than 100 participants representing diverse communities of color shared their efforts in promoting complete count in their respective communities.

Equitable Planning work session
convened with the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC)

Equity Atlanta partnered with the Atlanta Regional Commission to host
an equitable planning workshop in conjunction with ARC’s Plan 2040 long-term transportation planning. More than 100 organizations provided critical insight for shared growth and prosperity via equitable planning strategies.
The event was moderated by Equity Atlanta’s Co-founder, Nathaniel Smith.


PSE mobilizes the Just Transportation Circle (JTC)
to engage the public around pending Metropolitan Atlanta Transit Local Option Sales Tax
(TSPLOST) Referendum.

Equity Atlanta changes its name to the Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE) to reflect its collaborative nature and focus on the American South.

PSE collaborates with the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) to create a rubric for mapping equity gaps throughout the region to inform the Commission’s decision-making Equitable Target Areas (ETA) Index.


PSE provides community engagement for
the Beltline’s Equitable Development Plan.

PSE mobilizes the Just Transportation Circle (JTC) to engage the public around pending Metropolitan Atlanta Transit Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST) Referendum.


PSE launches the Metro Atlanta Equity Atlas (MAEA) – first report and web-based GIS mapping tool designed to articulate and map spatial inequities in the Metro Atlanta region.

PSE mobilizes Just Energy Circle (JEC)
to organize equity partners in climate advocacy around energy equity issues
in Metro Atlanta.


PSE mobilizes Just Energy Circle (JEC)
to mobilize equity partners in
climate advocacy around energy
equity issues in Metro Atlanta.


PSE works with the Southeastern Energy Efficiency Alliance and the Southern Sustainability Directors Network to develop an equity toolkit
and leadership module to instruct Directors on integrating equity tactics
and impact measures into their daily work.

PSE mobilizes Just Opportunity Circle (JOC) to mobilize equity
economic development leaders around economic inclusion
challenges in metro Atlanta.

PSE launches "Growing the Future" report that covers economic inclusion, and the "Opportunity Deferred: Race, Transportation, & the Future of Metro Atlanta" report on the history of transportation and development
inequities and potential solutions.

2016 (continued)

PSE mobilizes Just Growth Circle (JGC) around equitable growth
in metro Atlanta. Principles created by JGC members are integrated
into the City of Atlanta’s Green Infrastructure Action Plan.

PSE works with Atlanta City Council members to pass referendum encouraging MARTA and the Beltline to consider housing and jobs
in relation to the passage of $2.5 billion transit and infrastructure
expansion funding for the City of Atlanta.


PSE, the Center for Civic Innovation and ProGeorgia form Our Future Atlanta (OFA) to take a stand on the importance of local elections including the creation of a Quality of Life Agenda to hold future city and
regional leaders accountable.

PSE is awarded its largest single grant in its history – $1 million from the MacArthur Foundation to support its equity work throughout Georgia;
to empower vulnerable populations and communities of color most
affected by climate change.

PSE develops a strategic plan charting its growth
through 2020 in capacity and influence.