Last night I had the privilege of attending the 1st (hopefully to become annual) Beloved Benefit; a fundraiser to help restore Atlanta’s Westside communities.
This was such a great evening that brought together around 2000 Atlantans to help bring awareness and support for nonprofit organizations like Westside Works, the Grove Park foundation, Westside Future Fund, City of Refuge and At-Promise Youth Center. Sponsored by the Chick Fil A Foundation and AMB Group, LLC (Arther Blank of Home Depot), 100% of proceeds going to these nonprofits working to revitalize historic Westside neighborhoods.
This is not meant to be a political event (y’all, politics destroys communities), but an event that unites communities to preserve, engage and save another community; one that is our neighbor.
Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Beloved Community” mentioned in his speeches and writings, this unique evening brought together both celebrities and Atlanta neighbors to unite around the historic Westside community; a community dying in poverty. As members of any community we should all remember that when “one person suffers, we all suffer.”
It’s up to us to make a change and help our neighbors.
The evening was hosted by comedian Steve Harvey and featured speakers included Rev. Bernice King (the daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr) and Justin E Giboney leaving us with inspired and informative messages (that brought tears) encouraging us to take action for our neighboring communities. Jeff Foxworthy, rapper, TI and Ceelo Green, and mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms were just a few notable people who introduced each of the nonprofits.
Entertainment that reflected Atlanta and the Westside community was provided by the staff and children of the Atlanta Music Project, including a spine-tingling version of Stand By Me with Casey J and Crystal Nicole. A group of dance students from a Westside studio also performed a fantastic interpretive dance routine for us. The evening was capped off by a performance from Bruno Mars that had the Mercedes Benz Stadium rocking!
Check out these images from the evening and see how you can help with the Beloved Benefit effort by clicking here. If you aren’t in Atlanta, make an effort to check out similar efforts in your own communities. Quit thinking the government is going to save our country; let’s go out, help unite our communities and save ourselves!