Bringing Good Energy To Homes and Businesses: How Southern Company Is Intentionally Empowering Black Communities
If you drive through Atlanta during the heat of rush hour, you may be a little frustrated with traffic. However, if you look at the traffic through the lens of a community development practitioner, the traffic is a sign of a vibrant city filled with endless opportunities and continued hope.
Home to the world’s busiest airport, top-rated colleges and universities, and several corporate headquarters, Atlanta is a southern utopia that has positioned itself as a place to thrive.
A vehicle for change, Southern Company has stayed true to its ATL roots while intentionally pouring back into the city they’ve called home for more than 100 years.
Southern Company brings energy, progress and peace of mind to homes and businesses across the Southeast and beyond. Prided on its customer-focused approach and dedication to clean, safe, reliable, and affordable energy, Southern Company is more than just energy. It is deeply committed to uplifting and empowering the communities it serves.
Understanding the long and complicated history Black communities have faced, Southern Company is committed to advancing equity. By strategically partnering with organizations that focus on the betterment of the Black community, Southern Company’s partnerships have had a lasting impact in Atlanta and beyond.
One of those key partnerships is with the PGA TOUR. Southern Company’s long-standing partnership with the PGA TOUR allows the company to positively impact our communities all year. The TOUR Championship tournament has generated more than $42 million for local community charities. Southern Company and the PGA TOUR are ensuring good energy makes a lasting impact in our communities.
East Lake Foundation
Founded in 1995, the East Lake Foundation is the forerunner of Atlanta’s East Lake neighborhood’s revitalization efforts. Its work has become a model for other neighborhood groups around the country. Part of the foundation’s programming includes community wellness initiatives and mixed-income housing. This neighborhood work led to a 99% reduction in the neighborhood’s crime
Since 1998, Southern Company has partnered with the PGA TOUR on the TOUR Championship, an event that has donated $38 million to the East Lake Foundation and other metro-Atlanta organizations.
Grove Park Foundation
Like East Lake, the Grove Park Foundation is the community arm responsible for historic Atlanta neighborhood revitalization efforts. The group works with local partners and residents to create equitable and healthy programming that uplifts the community.
Communities like Grove Park have benefited from Southern Company’s $225 million committed to advance racial equity and social justice.
Purpose Built Schools Atlanta
A success model in public education reform, Purpose Built Schools, is the blueprint for Purpose Built Communities. Taking advantage of the land of a former public housing site, the school brought together community stakeholders to create an institution that has anchored communities and been the catalyst for decreased crime. Supporting Purpose Built Schools Atlanta directly aligns with the $100 million contribution Southern Company made to advance educational equity in communities.
First Tee is a non-profit organization that uses the sport of golf to empower youth. Young participants learn life skills through the game of golf. Southern Company serves as the organization’s first-ever educational patron and supports First Tee’s National School program. To date, Southern Company’s partnership has helped serve more than 700,000 students across 1,400 schools.
Focused Community Strategies
As a place-based community development organization, Focused Community Strategies works with community members and partners to help support under-resourced communities through mixed-income housing, promoting sustainable economic development and empowering neighborhood engagement.
The organization has gone from 90 percent rental to 60 percent homeownership and created close to 200 units of housing and more than $15 million worth of investment into the community.
Click here to learn more about how Southern Company impacts the communities it’s connected to.