Summit Rewind: Westside Future Fund delivers annual update at September 21 meeting

On Friday, September 21, Westside Future Fund hosted its 17th Transform Westside Summit, with opening devotion remarks given by Che D. Watkins, president and CEO of The Center for Working Families, and a featured presentation by Westside Future Fund president and CEO John Ahmann.

According to Watkins, many of the efforts at The Center for Working Families are geared toward making sure families and individuals throughout Fulton County have an improved level of economic support and financial self-sufficiency.

Che Watkins, The Center for Working Families

During her remarks, Watkins elaborated on some of the key focus areas of the Center, and she invited a colleague to share her testimonial as a participant of the Center’s STRIVE program.

Natalia John, The Center for Working Families

Among his remarks, Ahmann gave a “State of the Westside” report from the perspective of the Westside Future Fund, updating the initial report published 14 months ago. He reinforced the intention that goes into WFF efforts to be people-focused, while being place-based. He also shared his background as an Atlanta native and his embrace of Atlanta’s legacy as a catalyst for positive change, which includes the importance of the “Beloved Community” as an extension of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s expression of the idea.

Ahmann emphasized resident retention, the preservation of cultural narratives, and uplift of the history of the neighborhoods as important keys to the work of the WFF, which have led to an adoption and framing of a modified vision statement informed by the question, “How do we develop a community Dr. King would be proud to call home?” This expression is both a reflection of the aspirational and important nature of this work and an acknowledgment of the location of King’s adult home in the Vine City neighborhood. In addition to this new vision, Ahmann also highlighted the Westside Future Fund’s updated mission statement, values and principles.

The majority of Ahmann’s remarks focused on updates related to the Westside Future Fund’s role and goals in its four impact areas:

  • Public Safety
  • Mixed-Income Communities
  • Cradle-to-Career Education
  • Community Health and Wellness

Click here to view Ahmann’s slide presentation. Watch the full Summit presentation below.

BONUS! Read John Ahmann’s column, “Two years of Westside Future Fund,” in the most recent issue of Saporta Report!