Thanks to a partnership with Southwest Airlines, Emory University students have the opportunity to work directly with local artists and community groups in Atlanta to learn about ethically engaged art and improve the city around them.
Working with Atlanta printmaker Jamaal Barber, Emory students created a series of prints emphasizing Second Helpings Atlanta‘s message of love and compassion for the hungry. Read more about the project here.
Below, explore a selection of the 100+ prints made for Second Helpings.
Emory students partnered with Atlanta photographer and filmmaker Melissa Alexander to create a video that captured First Step Staffing‘s mission to employ the homeless, the recently incarcerated and veterans, as well as showing the impact of the nonprofit’s work on individuals. Read more about the how this project came to be, here.
Artist Tara Olayeye, Emory graduate and filmmaker, partnered with Emory students to create a film that G.E.E.A.R.S. (Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students) could use as promotional material, and that demonstrated the importance of early education. Read more about how the project came to be, here.
(Carly Besser) We’re two out of the five students that created this project and it was such a pleasure working with both Melissa Alexander and First Step Staffing to make our short documentary. The filmmaking experience was relatively new to all of us on our team. Some of us came into this class with photography experience and minor editing skills, but we were able to pick up the skills needed to execute this project with the help of our amazing mentor and artistic guide, Melissa. I learned so much about how important it is to embrace the unexpected when creating a film and to be open to hearing the stories around us to gain new perspectives. We heard many incredible stories from First Step employees and clients that challenged all of our perceptions of what we identified with homelessness. We hope our film did the same for you all.
(Edward Hernandez) Our goal with this project was to tell a story that explained what homelessness is, what the common misconceptions of homelessness is, and how First Step Staffing is impacting homelessness in Atlanta and other cities. We decided to approach this goal by showcasing the experiences of one of First Step’s clients, Dale, and intermixing it with interviews from First Step employees. As a group, we felt that it was important to build an overarching story around Dale’s life because his experiences challenges common notions of homelessness, it shows the ups and downs of someone transitioning out of homelessness, and it shows the impact of First Step.
Monday, April 30 was the grand unveiling of this year’s final projects! Held at the Center for Ethics, the event was a great success. After a half-hour of mingling and viewing the poster exhibit, each student group and artist presented their final works and reflected on their experiences over the semester. Representatives from each nonprofit were also in attendance, and shared their hopes for how these projects will help promote their work in the future.
Documentary Group: Madelon Morford, Vivien Yang, Anne Pizzini, and Will Rogers
Group One: First Step Staffing & Melissa Alexander
Group Two: Second Helpings Atlanta & Jamaal Barber
Founded in 2007 in Atlanta, First Step currently employs 1,000 individuals and is on a mission to provide a path out of homelessness through work experience. In less than 10 years, First Step has assisted more than 7,500 individuals with their first job assignment, providing the opportunity for the community to save more than $300 million. We give preference to those who have recently experienced homelessness; military veterans; and individuals who have been previously incarcerated; while providing specific training programs to support our employees and customers.
First Step is on a mission to provide a path out of homelessness.
We aim to employ those who struggle most to break their own cycles of poverty, giving preference to those who have recently experienced homelessness, military veterans, and individuals who have been previously incarcerated.
We’re working to secure sustainable income for individuals transitioning from homelessness. Steady and sustainable income is the only permanent, reliable path out of homelessness. And we help provide that sustainable income by helping local businesses succeed.
What makes us unique?
We provide transportation to job sites, safety equipment, tools, and stable housing. We also operate a wage incentive plan, rewarding employees who consistently show up on time and prepared.
Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students
GEEARS is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization operating to inspire and provide leadership for a statewide movement on quality early learning and healthy development for all children ages birth through five. GEEARS was established in 2010 to help business, civic and government leaders maximize the economic return on the state’s investments in early care and learning.
Early education benefits children, their families and their communities.
Georgia’s children are falling below – or barely meeting – the basic standard in reading by the end of 3rd grade. On the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading test, just 34 percent of 4th graders scored at or above proficient. According to a longitudinal study commissioned by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, children who cannot read proficiently by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. Access to quality early education can help put these children on a path to success, which will have positive ramifications, not just for the children and their families, but for all Georgians.
GEEARS is focused on leading and convening powerful early childhood initiatives that create public awareness while sustaining positive change.
Initiatives led by GEEARS include First 2000 Days, Frontiers of Innovation, Mayor’s Summer Reading Club, Speaker Series and Rooted to Rise.
For this social activism project, each student was tasked with coming up with a slogan that they felt represented and reflected the mission of their organization, Second Helpings Atlanta. The mission behind Second Helpings Atlanta is to “drive out hunger 1 mile at a time”. Their website states:
90 minutes a month, that’s how long it takes to pick up and deliver a car load of nutritious food to those in need. In December 2017 Second Helpings volunteers had rescued over 1.4 million meals for hungry people in Atlanta, increasing their meals 13% since 2016.
The three driving methods that Second Helpings focuses on for driving positive change are: 1. Communicate, Convene, Collaborate, 2. Advocate, 3. Research and Innovate. By educating, informing and mobilizing stakeholders, the volunteers are able to ensure that all Georgia families receive the economic, community, and health benefits that are important, especially during the prenatal stage of pregnancy and the first five years of a child’s life. Through advocacy, the organization works for effective policies that support high-quality learning and healthy development. All of this is done through the support of evidence-based practices and research.