Tianna Evola on AT&T Georgia’s Focus on Social Equity

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021

Regional Director of External Affairs for AT&T Georgia Tianna Evola discusses AT&T's work to provide empowerment opportunities, especially for voices that too often gone unheard.

AT&T Provides Empowerment Opportunities to Drive Economic Mobility and Social Equity with #BelieveAtlantaSM Initiative

AT&T is passionate about the strength and success of Atlanta, and through Believe AtlantaSM, AT&T employees in Atlanta are collaborating with community leaders to provide economic empowerment opportunities for the traditionally underserved – challenging the wealth gap that currently exists in our city and driving a more equitable society.

“AT&T’s continuing commitment to empower all Atlantans with tools to secure a better and more equitable future is another key effort that supports our Administration’s vision of building One Atlanta,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “Thank you to AT&T for helping to remove barriers to success, especially for voices that have often gone unheard in our communities.”

Focused on workforce development, access to educational opportunities, resources for small businesses, career placement and financial literacy, through our Believe Atlanta campaign, AT&T is contributing $500,000 to the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia (CEFGA), Per Scholas Atlanta, the Village Market and On the Rise Financial Center (OTRFC).

“The current global pandemic has intensified the social inequities that have plagued metro Atlanta and our nation for too long,” said Katie Kirkpatrick, president and CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber. “We applaud leaders like AT&T who are helping the traditionally underserved stay connected to life-changing resources and opportunities that will allow us to create a more equitable and inclusive future for all.”

CEFGA’s Construction Ready is a 20-day program that includes hands-on skills building, the opportunity to earn eight industry certifications, safety training and soft skills development. Graduates of the program are placed in construction-related careers throughout metro Atlanta. AT&T’s support of Construction Ready will assist with the organization’s transition to a hybrid model of in-person and virtual learning amidst the global pandemic, as well as expand the program so more Atlantans are able to participate.

Per Scholas provides Information Technology, Software and Network education and training for Atlantans during a 15-week program. Upon program completion, Per Scholas assists graduates with job placement in STEM careers with Atlanta area employers. Similar to AT&T’s collaboration with CEFGA, AT&T’s support of Per Scholas will help move Per Scholas’ curriculum to a virtual environment, increase participant recruitment and expand program participation.

AT&T is also working with our WarnerMedia colleagues to support the Village Market to empower black-owned businesses in Atlanta through instruction on entrepreneurship readiness, business plan development and retail education. AT&T’s support will allow for the virtualization of the Village Market’s Small Business Resource Clinic, which prepares budding entrepreneurs for e-commerce and improves their digital presence with target audiences. AT&T’s support will help these small businesses grow revenue and become more financially sustainable for long-term success.

To maximize the opportunities Atlantans gain working with CEFGA, Per Scholas Atlanta and the Village Market, AT&T is collaborating with On the Rise Financial Center to provide increased access to financial development. These development services will help traditionally underserved Atlantans build proficiencies in financial literacy, increase economic mobility opportunities and support the path to homeownership.

“Voices that traditionally go unheard are too often considered “at-risk.” At AT&T, we know everyone deserves an equal opportunity ... regardless of zip code, age, gender, race or socioeconomic status,” said Venessa Harrison, President of AT&T Georgia. “It’s simple. Our society doesn't work if it doesn't work equally for all.”

In addition to the collaborations with CEFGA, On the Rise Financial Center, Per Scholas Atlanta and the Village Market, AT&T is collaborating with other local community organizations including: Westside Future Fund, Women in Technology, Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Centers of Hope, COR Atlanta, Atlanta Committee for Progress, Atlanta Partners for Education and more.

AT&T leaders launched Believe Atlanta with a $250,000 contribution to the Westside Future Fund in January 2018. Since that time, AT&T – through Believe Atlanta – has contributed more than $3.5 million to impactful projects with key community organizations that share our commitment to economic mobility and societal equity.

Believe Atlanta is an extension of AT&T Believes, a company-wide effort, localized to create positive change in our communities. AT&T Believes harnesses employees engagement, supports it with company resources and joins with area organizations and non-profits to make an even bigger impact on local communities and society at large.

At AT&T, we do more than live and work in these neighborhoods. We BELIEVE in them.

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