On Friday, August 3, Westside Future Fund hosted its 14th Summit of 2018. The Summit featured an opening devotion from Orrin “Checkmate” Hudson, founder of Be Someone, Inc., a non-profit designed to help kids create better futures by teaching them the principles of chess. A former at-risk teen who grew up to become an Alabama State trooper and Air Force veteran, Hudson emphasized the notion of “Pause, Ponder, Pray, Proceed and Prevail.” He talked about using this phrase as a mantra for turning lives around and the foundation of his vision for giving the world his best, in addition to setting up a life-sized chess board for the Summit audience to experience.
Westside Future Fund’s executive director, John Ahmann, then led attendees in self-introductions, followed by a Westside Future Fund impact update and community announcements:
The featured conversation consisted of an update to the Westside Security Plan and keynote remarks by Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields, who highlighted some key tenets of the plan that include: Operation Shield, Westside Blue, Secure Neighborhoods and the At-Promise Youth Center. Shields also touted the great working relationship between APD and Atlanta Police Foundation President/CEO Dave Wilkinson, and the ways in which their collaboration has led to impactful community outcomes.
The major headline of the day was the Foundation’s reporting of a 40% drop in crime in the Westside neighborhoods of English Avenue and Vine City since the launch of the Westside Security Plan in 2016.
Following Chief Shields’ remarks, a handful of APD officers addressed the audience to give personal reflections representing each of the key areas of the Westside Security Plan.
Watch the full Summit presentation below!