About Westside Future Fund

The Westside Future Fund is a not-for-profit organization of Atlanta community leaders who believe in the future of the Westside and are committed to helping the area revitalize and grow.

Why the Westside?

Westside Future Fund was established in December 2014 out of the vision and leadership of former Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed. Recognizing the long-term growth inequity in Atlanta’s Historic Westside, then-Mayor Reed committed to fostering transformational change through a collaborative approach.

Now is the time for our city’s corporate and philanthropic leaders to join us and make their own commitment to the Westside as we make long-term, transformational change.

Former Mayor Kasim Reed

Mayor Reed set the stage for this work by engaging the Atlanta Committee for Progress, a coalition of top CEOs and leaders from Atlanta’s private sector, universities and nonprofits. The group boldly embraced his charge by making the Westside Future Fund one of their top priorities, providing board leadership and early philanthropic support.

A Vision for Collaboration and Engagement

The vision was set in early 2013. Partnering with Atlanta Falcons owner and The Home Depot co-founder Arthur Blank, Mayor Reed announced that the new Falcons stadium would be located adjacent to the Historic Westside and serve as a catalyst for growth and change in the storied neighborhoods of Vine City, English Avenue, Ashview Heights and Atlanta University Center.

Cementing the commitment, the City of Atlanta and The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation made catalytic lead investments of $15 million each.

Chick-fil-A Chairman and CEO Dan Cathy and the Chick-fil-A Foundation were also early, momentum-building investors and have devoted significant philanthropic capital and leadership resources. In fact, Vine City is now home to the community’s first Chick-fil-A. The restaurant will not only contribute to the economic development of the area, but will create a minimum of 50-60 new job opportunities for area residents.

Many other major Atlanta-based companies have made significant foundation-setting contributions in support of the vision, such as Delta Air Lines, UPS, SunTrust, Georgia Power, The Home Depot, The Coca-Cola Company, Equifax and Cox Enterprises.

A Groundbreaking Approach to Transformation

Westside Future Fund is committed to creating and curating an eco-system that disrupts the cycle of poverty. Based on best-practice research in community revitalization, the Westside Future Fund has identified and developed plans for four areas needing simultaneous attention: safety and security, cradle-to-career education, health and wellness and mixed-income communities.

The Westside Future Fund serves as the backbone coordinating organization for this collective effort. Through its host of cross-sector partners, the effort is already charting progress, such as:

A Commitment to the People and History of the Westside

At the core of the Westside Future Fund’s mission is its dedication to the past, present and future residents of the four Historic Westside neighborhoods. These neighborhoods include the world’s largest consortium of historically black colleges and universities, have a rich historical narrative of black Atlanta academic, religious, political and business leadership, and were home to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Julian Bond, Maynard Jackson and other luminaries of the Civil Rights Movement.

The award-winning Westside Land Use Action Plan is a tangible outcome of the commitment to preserve this rich history and ensure current residents can benefit from future development. The plan calls for initiatives that reduce blight, incorporate sustainable practices and balance affordable, market-rate housing.

The commitment is also being put into action through the 2017 launch of the Westside Future Fund’s Anti­-Displacement Tax Fund, funded completely by philanthropic support.

Charting a Path Forward

As the revitalization efforts gain momentum, the City of Atlanta and The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation continue to set the pace. On Sept. 8, 2017, Mayor Reed and Arthur Blank announced an additional $32 million worth of investments, bringing the Blank Foundation’s total commitment to $30 million and the City of Atlanta’s total to nearly $115 million.

“What we’re doing is putting a stake in the ground for the active development of the most challenged part of the City of Atlanta. The Westside Future Fund will be vital to the future development of the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive corridor and West Atlanta community. Backed by a dynamic public-private partnership, the Westside Future Fund will work to secure a stronger, healthier future and spur job creation, civic engagement and business investment for historic Westside neighborhoods.”
– Mayor Kasim Reed

As the Westside Future Fund looks to foster the holistic transformation of the Westside’s four historic neighborhoods, it will take the support of all Atlantans, working together, to make that happen.

Browse our site for opportunities to join the collective effort to revitalize one of the City’s most treasured communities and honor the words of former Vine City resident Dr. King:

“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly ... I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.”

Partners

Our partners are invested in the transformation of Atlanta’s Westside, and we work closely and collaboratively with each of them, supporting their efforts and initiatives.

Partners

Contributors

Our contributors graciously donate their time, money and other resources to fuel the various efforts that allow us to afford to keep thriving. Learn more about the way you can contribute.

Contributors

Leadership

The Westside Future Fund brings together community leaders from all areas of Atlanta – business, government, and philanthropy – who believe in the future of these historic neighborhoods and are committed to helping restore their strength.

Board of Directors

Richard Dugas

Chairman,
Retired President & CEO, PulteGroup, Inc.

Dr. Beverly Tatum

Vice Chair,
President Emeritus, Spelman College

Liz Blake

Retired SVP, Habitat for Humanity International

Michael Julian Bond

Atlanta City Council Post 1 At-Large

Rodney Bullard

Vice President of Community Affairs and Executive Director of the Chick-fil-A Foundation

Mark Chancy

Corporate Executive Vice President of Wholesale Banking, SunTrust, Inc.

Dan Halpern

Chairman & CEO, Jackmont Hospitality, Inc.

Virginia Hepner

Retired, Wachovia Bank

Tommy Holder

Chairman & CEO, Holder Construction Company

Penny McPhee

President, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice

President and Dean, Morehouse School of Medicine

Peter Muniz

Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of The Home Depot

Sylvia Russell

Retired President, AT&T Georgia

Helen Smith Price

President of The Coca-Cola Foundation and Vice President of Global Community Affairs for The Coca-Cola Company

Dave Stockert

Retired CEO, Post Properties

Beverly Thomas

Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs, Kaiser Permanente

Ivory Lee Young

Atlanta City Council, District 3

Ex-Officio Members

Richard Cox

Chief Operating Officer, City of Atlanta

Duriya Farooqui

Executive Director, Atlanta Committee for Progress

Frank Fernandez

VP Community Development, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

Eloisa Klementich

President & CEO, Invest Atlanta

Staff

John Ahmann

Executive Director

Jaren Abedania

Vice President, Real Estate Development

Suzanne Allman

Controller

Hailee Bastien

Program Associate

Brandon Burrows

Real Estate Associate

Rachel Carey

VP of Project Financing

Justin Carr

Director of Partnerships

Sonia Dawson

Executive Assistant

Helen Hampton

Chief Administrative Officer

Raquel Hudson

Director, Westside Volunteer Corps

Mitchell King

Director of External Affairs and Community Engagement

Cheryl Strickland

Managing Director, Real Estate

Cristel Williams

Director of Development

Sigele Winbush

Director of Communications

Resources

We’re committed to helping Westside neighborhoods revitalize and grow. It will take all of us, together, to make that happen. As we collaborate with residents and experts on the right approach, we share our plans here.