Historic Westside Atlanta Symposium

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Historic Westside Atlanta Symposium

March 15, 2018
Atlanta, Georgia 

Powered by the Congress for the New Urbanism, Presented by the Westside Future Fund, Sponsored by Chick-fil-A Foundation
Additional Support Provided by Spelman College

The Westside Future Fund is partnering with the Congress for the New Urbanism and the Chick-fil-A Foundation to host a symposium focused on equity, social justice, and innovative housing solutions.

The symposium will take place on the historic campus of Spelman College, located in the Westside Future Fund’s target impact area, and will convene nationally-recognized leaders for a day of presentations, information sharing, and peer-to-peer dialogue to offer actionable ideas and alternatives to traditional practices of equitable development. Local area experts will also be on hand to help contextualize the symposium in Westside Future Fund’s work.

As the nonprofit community quarterback stewarding the equitable revitalization of Atlanta’s Historic Westside, the symposium will also provide Westside Future Fund an opportunity to build on the Westside Land Use Action Plan, which was adopted in December 2017 by the City of Atlanta and now serves as the guide for future redevelopment of the Westside Future Fund’s four target neighborhoods. The plan was a collaborative effort made up of community residents, business owners, employees, faith-based groups, academic institutions, non-profit organizations and governmental agencies.

This symposium will be the first in a series of annual events to be held through 2020, aimed at building and growing a supportive, on-the-ground network and increasing community capacity.


The Westside of Atlanta is rich in history that should be preserved as the area adapts to future changes. Grounded in the Atlanta City Design plan, around Martin Luther King, Jr.’s concept of the Beloved Community, this project aims to offer actionable ideas and alternatives to traditional practices of equitable development, by offering innovative examples, including development strategies and community outcomes. As a companion to the symposium, a series of small- and large-scale tactical urbanism activities will take place in collaboration with the Westside Future Fund, the Home Depot Foundation, and other local civic organizations. These activities will help shift the focus of street design to designing for people and in harmony with nature. 

Dr. King’s Beloved Community is a global vision in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood.


This symposium and tactical urbanism projects are intended to affirm the guiding concept of the Beloved Community and create momentum and excitement for future work in Westside Atlanta, in keeping with that vision.


  • To create momentum in the Westside community between residents and local civic organizations around implementation and small-scale change.
  • To encourage stronger relationships and build trust between the community and outside organizations.
  • To provide a platform for learning and open dialogue around innovative housing solutions, green building and green infrastructure, and equitable development.
  • To demonstrate, through tactical urbanism interventions and case examples, exactly how Westside Atlanta can both honor its past and move into a more equitable future.


  • For the community to see the type of change that is possible: the Westside Community to come together, with the help of the Home Depot Foundation and other local civic organizations, and the leadership of the Westside Future Fund, and undertake a series of small-scale, tactical urbanism projects.
  • For local developers, CEOs, government officials, and others to collaboratively problem solve around affordable housing, gentrification, and equitable development for the Westside community. 
  • For new relationships to result in exciting on-the-ground projects, tactical and incremental interventions, and positive change in Westside.


Keynote: Majora Carter, Urban Revitalization Strategy Consultant, Real Estate Developer, Majora Carter Group, LLC 

  • Antwi Akom, Professor & Founding Director, Social Innovation and Urban Opportunity Lab, San Francisco State University  
  • David Alade, Managing Partner, Century Partners
  • Doug Hooker, Executive Director, Atlanta Regional Commission 
  • Tim Keane, Commissioner of City of Planning, City of Atlanta
  • Noel Khalil, Partner, Columbia Ventures, LLC
  • Eric Kronberg, Principal, Kronberg Wall Architects
  • Mother Mamie Moore, Community Leader and Activist 
  • Eli Spevak, Orange Splot, LLC


  • 7:30am
    • Breakfast and Registration
  • 8:30am
    • Welcome
  • 9:00am-11:00am
    • Key Note and Morning Speakers
  • 11:00am-1:00pm
    • ​Lunch
    • Facilitated Conversation
  • 1:00pm-5:00pm
    • Afternoon Speakers
    • Facilitated Conversation
    • Group Action Planning
  • 5:00pm-5:30pm
    • Wrap Up and Next Steps       

About the Westside Future Fund

Westside Future Fund is a not-for-profit organization with the mission to reinvigorate community growth by coordinating and accelerating efforts to elevate the quality of life for residents in Atlanta’s Historic Westside neighborhoods of Ashview Heights, Atlanta University Center, English Avenue and Vine City. 

These four neighborhoods hold historic and cultural significance, not only to the city of Atlanta, but the world, including being home to the world's oldest and largest association of historically Black colleges and universities, which have produced countless prominent African Americans, to birthing and nurturing catalytic leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, such as Ralph David Abernathy, Julian Bond, Joseph Lowery and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Westside Future Fund’s community development strategy is guided by the community-driven Westside Land Use Framework Plan, which provides a range of land use recommendations developed to oversee positive change and guide these in-town neighborhoods to become ‘whole’ and vibrant again.

In addition to Westside Future Fund’s work in community retention through the development of quality mixed-use housing, the organization also drives initiatives within the focus areas of safety and security, cradle to career education, and community health and wellness, taking a holistic approach to community development. Westside Future Fund works collaboratively with a host of execution partners across public, private and nonprofit sectors.

Westside Future Fund was established in Dec. 2014 by former Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed and the Atlanta Committee for Progress, a coalition of top CEOs and leaders from Atlanta's private sector, universities and nonprofits. For more information, visit www.westsidefuturefund.org.

About the Congress for New Urbanism 

The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) is an international nonprofit organization working to build vibrant communities where people have diverse choices for how they live, work, and get around. We believe that well-designed cities and neighborhoods are crucial for our health, economy, and environment. We build places people love.

Our 2600 members are diverse global thought-leaders on design, development, policy, implementation, and activism. They work in communities across the world—from major urban centers to historic small towns. From our annual Congress to our strategic policy initiatives, CNU connects and empowers the professionals, leaders, advocates, and citizens building places where people and businesses can thrive and prosper.

Through 24 years of advocacy, CNU has changed the national conversation from a debate over sprawl to a discussion on how to reinvest in our cities and towns. As Americans both young and old are demanding walkable lifestyles, the market for unique and green places is growing in every region. Through our projects, innovative tools, events, membership and programs, we empower people to deliver those places. For more information, visit www.cnu.org.

About the About the Chick-fil-A® Foundation

The Chick-fil-A® Foundation is the corporate foundation of Chick-fil-A, Inc. A not-for-profit organization, the Foundation’s purpose is to lead the company’s commitment to support youth and education in Chick-fil-A’s local communities. The Foundation’s work is focused on developing and educating young people so they can build a positive legacy and become all they were created to be.

In Chick-fil-A’s hometown of Atlanta, the Foundation is working hand-in-hand with local community members, civic and non-profit organizations, and corporations to restore and revitalize the city’s historic Westside. Together, we believe we can bring about positive, lasting change for the children and families who call the Westside home. For more information, visit www.chick-fil-afoundation.org.