Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen the hurt and pain it has caused to our most vulnerable communities due to the lingering effects of systemic racism Many have lost jobs. The national unemployment rate for African Americans, Hispanic and other communities of color has jumped to 15 percent. On top of that, many in these communities are considered “front-line” and essential workers but are struggling to figure out how to keep the lights on and feed their families. 

The Partnership for Southern Equity along with the equity ecosystem throughout metropolitan Atlanta is working hard to change the fundamental systems that perpetuate these inequities. And at the same time, we see the immediate need to support Black and disinvested communities. We created the COVID-19 Rapid Relief Fund as a part of the Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund from the United Way of Greater Atlanta and the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta to fund front-line organizations in their efforts to support the communities we serve: low-wealth Black communities and historically disinvested communities of color.

So far we’ve distributed $100,000 to more than 20 organizations in metropolitan Atlanta:

  • Touching hundreds of lives through food distributions, mental health relief, COVID-19 testing, business support, and education services
  • 85 percent of the funding we received went to Black-led organizations
  • 100 percent of those organizations primarily serve Black communities and communities of color
Organization Name:Direct services funded:
Sweet Auburn Works, Inc.SAW is providing grant capital to subsidize the burden on our neighborhood’s salon and barber operators to reopen.
Hill’s Home Improvement (HHI)HHI will support their family owned home improvement businesses by providing 25 families and a local church with free raised beds complete with compost and a few produce seedlings in East Point.
STRIVE AtlantaSTRIVE Atlanta will purchase and distribution of Chromebooks to support residents’ access to virtual training and interviewing ith funding.
First African Community Development CorporationFirst African Community Development Corporation (FACDC)’s funding will aid the YOUR Community Food Pantry which organizes in low wealth communities by providing food and other services to families.
PSE GraduateThe Healthy Food Distribution in Stone Mountain will help families through food distribution.
Community Movement Builders, Inc.Funds will assist in providing groceries, fresh produce and toiletries to community residents
Feeding GA FamiliesFunds will assist in food & essential goods assistance; emergency food delivery/shipments to elderly and medically at risk; and hotel vouchers.
Soccer in the StreetsPSE funding will support the ‘Slices and Strikes’ project which distributes hot meals and soccer balls to youth in the East Point area as well as providing meals to some apartment complexes.
One Talent, Inc.One Talent, Inc. will support youth by addressing the educational and emotional needs of their girls, through virtual workshops on social and emotional learning.
COR, Inc.These funds will support weekly “drive-thru” distribution days for families to pick up essentials. Funds will also support grocery store gift cards, transportation assistance and mental health support for cohort of 13 Carver STEAM Academy Seniors.
Emerging Economic Equity Empire, Inc.Funding will be used to facilitate two community-based COVID-19 testing sessions in Black, low-to-moderate income communities.
Friends of Atlanta Urban Food Forest at Brownsmill Park Communities Collaborative, Inc.Funding will support an effort to rapidly disseminate COVID-19 prevention information, resource referral contact information and daily practice and routine for safety and infection control through a “speed dating” concept.
West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, Inc.Funding will support WAWA’s ongoing and new Emergency Response programming to COVID-19 addressing: community health education, family support services, and food and essential resource assistance.
Ujima Way, Inc.Funding will be used to enhance their current services in Clayton county such as food, hygiene kits, and PPE distribution to homeless indiviudals.
Harriet’s Turn100 Black girls and moms will be engaged in direct mental health and economic growth services through these funds by educational workshops.
The Come Up Project, LLCCUP will provide direct relief by employing Black youth in urban agriculture internships on local Black farms giving trainees classroom instruction, group and individual therapy, life skills assistance, and a living wage.
Georgia Advancing Communities Together, Inc.Funds from this grant will allow Georgia ACT to purchase and provide PPE Kits to 5 neighborhoods comprised of low-income, low-wealth black and historically disinvested community households of color.
UPPER90Due to the current challenges of COVID19 UPPER90 has been partnering with the program’s families to provide face masks to children/families and financial support through rent and groceries.
Housing Justice LeagueFunds will be used to provide eviction relief and rent support
Building Engaged Communities Aligned United Sustained and Educated, Inc. (BECAUSE, Inc.)Funding support will provide utility assistance and education to bring accounts current and avoid disconnections and potential displacement.

While these numbers and recipients are impressive, we cannot rest on our laurels or pat ourselves on the back. There’s still more to be done. So much so that organizations like The JPB Foundation and Healthcare Georgia Foundation have stepped up to increase the COVID-19 Rapid Relief Fund to more than $400,000! We are grateful for their support and there’s still room for you to lend your support to this effort.

Please donate to the COVID-19 Rapid Relief Fund so that together we can beat the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism, and build a community where all people matter.

Onward Towards Equity,
Nathaniel Q. Smith, Jr.
Founder and Chief Equity Officer

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