Exploring the Heart of Atlanta: Westside Future Fund’s Community Tour

The Historic Westside, and its neighborhoods including English Avenue, Vine City, Ashview Heights, Atlanta University Center and Just Us are part of our nation’s Civil Rights history and full of rich culture.

During our bi-monthly community tour, Westside Future Fund (WFF) invites the community to learn more about the stories, and history, behind the landmarks that shaped the Historic Westside’s identity.

A Journey Begins

The tour begins at WFF’s office at 970 Jefferson Street in English Avenue. Each tour begins by sharing the legacy of the Historic Westside and how, through decades of change, the neighborhoods that make up this community have experienced economic decline and depopulation. It also shares the mission and vision of WFF to advance a compassionate approach to neighborhood revitalization to build a community Dr. King would be proud to call home.  

Discovering Historic Westside

As the bus winds through the Historic Westside, each stop along the route offers a glimpse into the past, present, and future of the community, and the efforts led by WFF, with philanthropic support, and other community stakeholders and partners to bring key resources to residents. 

The bus tour unfolds like a tapestry of stories, highlighting the educational institutions that have nurtured generations of leaders including Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, Morris Brown College, and Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine and the Interdenominational Theological Center. 

Moving through the community, the tour passes by Rodney Cook Park, a hub of community activity, which showcases the dedication of individuals who have come together to create a safe and vibrant space. Kathryn Johnston Memorial Park pays homage to a beloved resident whose tragic passing brought about a collective resolve to foster unity and harmony.

The tour also takes participants to former residences of key civic leaders in Atlanta’s history including the Antonio Herndon Home, once belonging to a former slave turned founder of Atlanta Life Insurance and Atlanta’s first Black millionaire. Further along, the tour reaches the home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a place of profound historical significance that continues to inspire generations.

The journey isn’t complete without paying tribute to influential figures who have shaped Atlanta’s narrative. The home of the Jackson family, including the late Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson Jr., reflects their commitment to public service and their lasting impact on the city.

Witnessing Transformation

The bus tour also showcases the tangible results of WFF’s revitalization efforts. Participants witness the transformation of blighted, abandoned homes into quality, affordable housing. These newly built homes, and multifamily properties, parks, and schools including the Hollis Innovation Academy stand as a testament to WFF’s commitment to creating sustainable communities that provide key resources and amenities to residents and foster hope about the future. Additional landmarks such as St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, Historic Westside Gardens, Phillis Wheatley YWCA, and the Quest Community Development office are also included.Each site bears witness to the spirit of collaboration and determination of WFF and many other philanthropic and community partners.  

WFF’s monthly community tour is an immersive experience for participants that serves as a reminder that the heart of a community beats strongest when its members come together, united by a common vision of progress, equality, and hope.

Don’t Miss Next Month’s Tour!

Register today to join the Westside Future Fund team at their next Community Tour on August 12, 2023: https://www.westsidefuturefund.org/wfftours/