Impact Division

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The Partnership for Southern Equity's Impact division is comprised of the Data, Research, Innovation and Policy (DRIP) Team, PSE's social enterprise consultancy work through Just Solutions, and oversees volunteer support and leadership academies across the organization.

Meet the Team

John B Hammond III Headshot
John B Hammond III

Data, Research, Innovation and Policy

The Data, Research, Innovation and Policy(DRIP) team supports the entire PSE organization and works cross-functionally with all the issue area portfolios to leverage data, research, policy, and evaluation efforts that contribute towards racial equity and systems transformation.

In alignment with PSE’s mission and values, we recognize that racial equity is a “way,” not a “what.” The team is committed to applying equitable methodology to every project. This means that the whole data process clearly defines the outcomes, with a clear commitment to equity throughout. We lead with research and policy efforts focused on Black, Brown and historically disadvantaged communities of color. We work to center racial equity, put data in the hands of people, and rely on Community-Based Participatory Research to define our project priorities. We approach data collection as participatory and maintain full transparency with the public.

Our Data, Research, Innovation and Policy team is partnered alongside the Justice40 Accelerator project to create a StoryMap that helps shed light on some of those details -contextualizing the circumstances within a long history of federal climate and economic decisions, highlighting some existing barriers that exist for frontline organizations in securing funding, tracking the actions taken thus far, and ultimately crafting a story that helps us “leverage this pivotal moment to radically reimagine the government resource delivery system as a restorative and reparative framework to better support Black and historically disinvested communities of color.”

Just Solutions is the consulting arm of the Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE). We understand that equity is not a “check the box” moment, but one that involves a level of intentionality that requires time, commitment and patience, allowing leaders and the people they serve to effectively identify, name, disrupt and dismantle the endemic racism that exists inside and outside institutions.  A quick, unintentional approach to this work will solve nothing and is likely to cause harm. PSE knows that this "change can only happen at the speed of trust" and by people who are not looking just at a financial bottom line, but are, rather, mission-driven. This is what makes Just Solutions different.

In the wake of the 2020 summer social justice uprisings in response to the murder of George Floyd, there was an unprecedented cry for action to dismantle systems of white supremacy and to protect and assure different outcomes for Black people and communities of color. While there has been a record amount of financial support from governmental, philanthropic and private industries to explicitly right the wrongs of historical systemic racism, there continues to exist a vacuum at the leadership level in terms of  effectively making this powerful shift to equity happen.

PSE brings its more than 10 years of experience in advancing racial equity in the American South to work to Just Solutions offerings that work. We build organizational and leadership capacity to understand and address racial equity and other systems of privilege and oppression that produce inequitable outcomes across historically disinvested communities of color. PSE brings not only applies an equitable structural and systems lens that transforms individuals, institutions and communities, but we also integrate an analysis that connects racism to history and data.  We believe that true equity is a way, not a what. 

Leading with Race 
When we lead with race, we are more likely to find the answers to a community’s most challenging pain points. 

Catalyzing Relationships 
We are relationship accelerators. We identity relationships that should be made and encourage partnerships and collaborations that will move equity forward to bring about measurable change. 

Building an Equity Ecosystem 
No one individual or institution can achieve equity alone. With our community engagement strategies, we help to create an ecosystem of connectivity that fortifies and sustains system transformation over time. 

Grounding in Communities of Color and Low-Wealth 
Centering the voices and needs of those who have been marginalized helps to accelerate the equity process.  These voices serve as the conscience of all the work we do. 

Grounded in Data and Research 
People are entitled to make up their own stories, but they cannot make up their own facts.  Data driven equity based on research allows us to be effective in identifying the policy and system changes needed for change.  

Values-Based Organizing 
We believe that when communities organize their work around a set of core shared values, it enhances their ability to get to equitable system transformation. 

Uniquely Positioned - Our Results

As an Atlanta-based organization delivering regional impact, Just Solutions is uniquely positioned to address the American South’s equity issues. We envision a South where racial equity is the approach, rather than a concession, in our social, political, and economic development. Our work in more than 100 communities in metropolitan Atlanta, rural and coastal Georgia, and across the Southeast region has helped transform the lives of more 30,000 people through advocacy, training, and direct service. 

What We Do - Equity is the Way

Just Solutions sees our partners' decision to prioritize and embed a racial equity framework as the first step on a long journey to just systems, policies, regional and community change. PSE's interactive, full-day, capacity building opportunities are designed to meet leaders right where they are, level-set understanding of equity terms and principles among teams, and accelerate collaborative action around shared values. Whether you are a state-wide organization seeking racial equity training for your staff or a community-led coalition that is ready to organize their first social justice agenda, PSE can co-create a custom training or workshop that will set the foundation for change. 

  • Racial Equity 101 Training: Introduction - Understanding Equity Concepts 
  • Racial Equity 102 Training: Values to Victory - Intermediate to Advanced Action Planning Session
  • Organizing for Opportunities 
  • Why Health Equity Matters 
  • Climate Equity Training  
  • Customized Trainings 

These offerings can be facilitated virtually or in-person, one-day or two ½-day sessions. 

Just Solutions’ approach to planning for just and equitable change is rooted in viewing people as assets, not problems to solve. Just Advisors lead partners through a people-centered, planning and assessment strategy that bridges the gap between where partners are and where they desire to be. We call this process an "Equity Journey" - a step beyond just traditional strategic planning towards embedding racial equity as “a way” into the very culture of the organization. 


  • Equity Journey (1 to 3-year process) 
  • Racial Equity Audit 
  • Equity Strategic Planning 

Just Solutions believes that the people closest to the problem have the solutions to the problem. Values-Based Organizing (VBO) is an organizing model of shared core values that is focused on trust, respect and partnership with the community to put these values in action. Our organizers have a wealth of experience in building strong local and regional coalitions for social change. Our success is based on PSE’s community leaders forming an Equity Ecosystem organized to support a new vision of shared prosperity within the American South. 


  • Coalition Building 
  • Local Level Systems Transformation 
  • Convenings 

PSE’s YES! for Equity has partnered with hundreds of youth serving entities all across the country to bring about equitable organizational and local/regional systems change. We have a proven track record of helping our partners to understand and benefit from the value of partnering with youth to achieve the desired policy, systems and environmental changes needed to create equitable and thriving communities. The cornerstone of our work is our nationally recognized YES! for Equity Youth Power Model® through a racial equity lens. YES! for Equity provides training and technical assistance for youth leaders, led and facilitated by Youth Just Advisors as well as training for the Adult Allies who want to support their youth-led movements. 

  • Youth Leader Training 
  • Adult Ally Trainings 
  • Youth Empowerment and Racial Equity Organizational Assessments 
  • Consultative Technical Assistance and Coaching 
  • YES! for Equity Network 

Trainings can be facilitated virtually or in-person, one-day or two ½-day sessions. 

Just Advisors advise and coach partners with their hearts in mind. We know that heart change that is rooted in empathy and a commitment to equity has the greatest potential to bring about sustainable systems change at the institutional and community level. Through our Just Circles we support a peer-to-peer advising model where the ecosystem of community partners share key learnings and successes in advancing equity across a myriad of social justice issues. 

  • Equity Technical Assistance  
  • Equity Leadership Coaching 
  • Just Circles – Facilitated Peer Learning Opportunities 

Nathaniel Q. Smith, Jr., Founder and Chief Equity Officer of the Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE) is a sought after nationally recognized keynote speaker who provides expertise and analysis on advancing race equity in the American South. Through his leadership, PSE has cultivated a wealth of subject matter experts that serve as guest speakers, panelists, and conference presenters.

Just Solutions also provide partners with communications strategies that can help to advance equity in their marketing communications and social media platforms. 

  • Speaking Engagements 
  • Keynote Speaking 
  • Equity Communications Strategy  

To book Nathaniel Smith or any member of our PSE Team for a keynote or speaking engagement please contact Rhonda Thompson at [email protected].

Just Solutions Partners