October 16th Virtual Transform Westside Summit: Shining a Light on Contributions to the Westside
The October 16th Virtual Transform Westside Summit featured: Erica Bolden, Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Corporate Social Responsibility at Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC; Ashley Gravelee, Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility at Novelis; and Nyra Jordan, Social Impact Investment Director at American Family Insurance.
As Westside Future Fund continues to support Atlanta’s Historic Westside residents through its four impact areas—Mixed-Income Communities, Safety & Security, Cradle-to-Career Education, and Community Health & Wellness—the summit helped to “Shine a Light” on the contributions of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium Partners, a collective of corporate and philanthropic partners focused on creating equity and opportunity for legacy Westsiders in their own neighborhoods. The featured panelists joined via Zoom to speak to the unique ways in which each of their organizations contributes to uplifting residents.
Erica Bolden, Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Corporate Social Responsibility, Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC
Erica Bolden highlighted how Mercedes-Benz USA is empowering the next generation of Atlanta’s Westside residents through sustainable pipeline projects which carry youths from elementary school to possible future employment with MBUSA, offering scholarships, access to school supplies, and donating 1000 meals a week to those in need.
Ashley Gravlee Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, Novelis
Ashley Gravelee spoke to how Novelis’ commitment to community engagement on the Westiside helped ignite a partnership with WFF. Novelis, taking a holistic approach to transforming the Westside, provides support to initiatives such as Recycle for Good, Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, and youth STEM education.
Nyra Jordan, Social Impact Investment Director, American Family Insurance
Rounding out the dynamic all-female panel, Nyra Jordan shared how American Family Insurance is contributing to the revitalization of the Historic Westisde. Jordan pointed out that corporate responsibility means more than offering monetary support—it means being a good citizen and community member. According to Jordan, companies thrive when the communities they serve also thrive. Therefore, closing the equity gap for underserved residents is in everyone’s best interest. American Family Insurance is dedicated to not just “having hope” but also “being hope” while empowering residents to do the same.
The summit closed with a video recognizing the Mercedes-Benz Stadium Partners who were not able to be present, including: AT&T, Delta, Georgia Power, The Home Depot Foundation, and Coca-Cola.
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