PSE’s First Development Watch Academy Co-Hort

Our Just Growth team’s new tool teaches communities about development.

The Partnership for Southern Equity’s Just Growth Portfolio is thrilled to announce the graduation of the first class of the Development Watch Academy. The Development Watch Academy is a leadership development course focused on preparing graduates to effectively monitor and influence development activities in their communities. Throughout the 3-month academy, participants learned about the history of commercial development and land use in Atlanta, tools to identify the signs of gentrification in neighborhoods, and steps to communicate with developers and policymakers, and hold them accountable in the communities they wish to build in.

After receiving a total of 42 applicants for this initial cohort, 22 residents from across the Metro Atlanta area attended the 2021 Development Watch Academy. They are from the following communities:

-Barbara Guillory: Southwest Atlanta below I-20
– Franklin Mack: Summerhill
– Jess Peterick : Dixie Hills
– Judy Walker: Oakland City Comm.
– Kathy Green Wingfield: Scotts Crossing
– Maureen Sanchez : Bankhead/English Avenue
– Quinn Green: Washington Park
– Dr. Tawana Mattox: Athens
– Ramona Hasan: Darrah/Narron
– Brandon Sinnott: Cabbagetown
– Aziza D el-Shair: Jonesboro
– Nicholas Bamonte: Mechanicsville
– Jalia Killings: Jonesboro
– Melissa Harris: Snellville & Edgewood

After completing the first Development Watch Academy co-hort, The Just Growth is now working with a web development partner on the Democratizing Development Platform. This platform will provide resources to help Atlanta residents with monitoring and influencing development, as well as help developers to better adopt equitable development practices and be accountable for their actions.

Stay tuned for news of a launch later this summer.

PSE’s Just Growth portfolio is a community engagement platform for residents of all races, incomes, and backgrounds to influence the way development happens in the American South. To learn more about Just Growth and the Development Watch Academy please visit