At our August 18 Transform Westside Summit, we challenged ourselves and members of our Summit community to make a pledge to find a small – yet meaningful – way to be a part of the revitalization of our Beloved Westside, bringing to life Dr. King’s quote, “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”
Thanks to our friends at The Home Depot Foundation, we were able to thank attendees who pledged with a brand new Westside Future Fund t-shirt!
Three “Men of Morehouse” – James Hammet, Kevin Simpson and Primas Simpson – accepted the challenge, each pledging to volunteer their time and talent. Read our Q&A below with James Hammet, Atlanta native and Morehouse College junior, on his pledge to the historic Westside, his responsibility to the community as a Morehouse Man and his hope for the Westside.
- What brought you to our Aug. 18 Transform Westside Summit?
I heard about the Transform Westside Summit through a relative and current member. I decided to attend the summit to become a part of transforming communities throughout the Westside of Atlanta.
- How would you describe your Summit experience?
I would describe the summit as an engaging and motivating event that allows you to network with people in various industries throughout Atlanta.
- At the Summit, you made a pledge to the four neighborhoods of the historic Westside. What was your pledge and why?
My pledge is to become more involved in the community because it’s important to give back and have a hand in developing the leaders of the future. The Westside has been my home for most of my life, and to finally be in a position where I can have an active role in developing my community, while setting an example for my peers and those looking up to me, is an honor and something I look forward to engaging in.
- You will also be volunteering with the Westside Volunteer Corps for its kick-off “Day of Service.” How did you hear about the event and what prompted your participation?
I heard about the event through one of my relatives who also attends the Transform Westside Summits. I was inspired to participate because, as a former resident of the Westside of Atlanta, I’ve always wanted to help transform and maintain the community in a positive way and this is one of the many ways I can be the change that I have always wanted to see in my community.
- What do you enjoy most about being a member of the historic Westside community? What I enjoy most about being a member of the Westside community is that I can relate personally to the areas where the service work will be done. Having lived in several communities throughout the Westside at a younger age, I know how much of an impact service work will have on not only the community as a whole but the individuals within it as well.
- As a Morehouse student, why do you feel it’s important to be involved in the community? Being a man of Morehouse, I feel it’s important to be involved in the community because our mission is to lead lives of leadership and service, not only in our community but in the world. The Westside and Morehouse College have a deep-rooted connection dating as far back as 1913 when we occupied our present day location. Since then, Men of Morehouse and Morehouse Men have been instrumental parts of the Westside community and I look to be able to continue being part of that relationship.
- What is your hope for the Westside? My hope for the historic Westside is to revamp and revive its scenery, culture, and bring values back into communities in order to ensure stability for generations to come. Historically the Westside has been a place for the African American community to call home, but over the years it has lost that value. In the future I hope to see the Westside return to that level of prestige in the city of Atlanta.
Visit our Facebook page to check out all of the pledges from our August 18 Summit. Interested in making your own pledge? Join us for September 1 Summit!