August Summit Recap: Fireside Chat with Danny Shoy Jr., Managing Director for Youth Development and Atlanta’s Westside at The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

Community members and business leaders convened at The Gathering Spot August 18th for the Transform Westside Summit. The program began with a moving devotion from Shade’ Yvonne Jones, CEO of Green is Lyfe and proud chair of NPU-L and liaison for English Avenue and Vine City. Jones spoke about the importance of developing unity between organizations and people of the community. “You cannot have a Beloved Community without unity… Where there is unity, there is strength and power, that enables us to do the work before us”, said Jones as she delivered a powerful message.

Following the devotion, Danny Shoy Jr., Managing Director for Youth Development and Atlanta’s Westside at The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, and WFF Board Member was joined on stage by Caroline Huston, Director of Strategic Communications for the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation for an insightful conversation around the foundation’s evolving strategy for their work on the Westside.

Key Moments from the Fireside Chat

1. “The neighborhood has a rich history and legacy that we believe should continue.”
As the Westside continues to change the Blank Foundation wants to work to make sure legacy residents aren’t displaced from a community that has been their home for decades.

2. “Legacy Residents should benefit from the positive changes that are happening in the community.”
The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation’s total Westside commitment over the past decade exceeds $55 million dollars and will increase with the support of philanthropic funders, community members and organizations neighboring the community who are invested in the growth of the Westside.

3. “We learned the importance of Listening.”
As The Blank Foundation developed its strategy to support the revitalization of the Westside, it uncovered how necessary it is to listen to residents and remember to be thoughtful and focused on the mission at hand.

4. “Communities are really defined by their people.”
Residents living in communities that have endured economic hardship and blight is not the vision for Westside residents, our community members want their
community to thrive.

Miss the event? Watch the full Transform Westside Summit on YouTube.