While the state of Georgia enjoys the title of the top place to do business in the country, Atlanta continues to struggle with leading the nation in income inequality and the lack of economic mobility for children living in poverty. The Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE) and its Just Opportunity Circle (JOC) will address this disconnect head-on at its inaugural Just Opportunity Summit on June 20-21 at Morehouse College.
The two-day conference will bring together community leaders like Michael McAfee, president and CEO of PolicyLink; civic luminaries including Bill Hawthorne, chief equity officer of the City of Atlanta; and corporate titans plus Sekou Kaalund, head of Advancing Black Pathways at JPMorgan Chase, to strategize and mobilize to eliminate barriers for those who want jobs, businesses, and a chance for success. PSE and its partners believe that this can realize a more just, inclusive and competitive economy in the American South regardless of someone’s race or where they live.
The summit will also convene strong representation from academics and researchers, public policy professionals, community advocates, college students, and young professionals, and provide an opportunity for regional leaders and subject matter experts to have roundtable discussions on priority topics for metropolitan Atlanta including:
- Closing the racial wealth gap for communities of color
- Growing sustainable communities for a stronger economy
- Leveraging public & private procurement for economic inclusion
- Policy transformation for working families
- Preparing and engaging youth for equitable employment
“The summit is central to our work of creating an intentional space for all who, regardless of their occupation or influence, are committed to moving the needle on racial and economic inclusion,” said Nathaniel Smith, founder and chief equity officer of PSE. “The Just Opportunity Summit is grounded in the belief of equity and hard data. According to PolicyLink’s Employment Equity Report, ‘achieving true ‘full employment’ across all racial and gender groups — bringing 384,000 more workers into employment—would add $2.4 billion in new state and local tax revenue annually. The hypothesis is that the more people with jobs will have enough money to spend in their communities, moving everyone up the socio-economic ladder. The Just Opportunity Summit is aimed at making this into a reality, not just for Georgia, but throughout the American South.”
Tickets to the Summit are $30 for individuals, $100 for nonprofit organizations, and $130 for corporate/civic entities. Use the code “EARLYBIRD,” for a 15% off discount through June 1, and nonprofit, civic and corporate organizations receive five tickets with their registration.