Compassionate Cities of Georgia Initiative

At Compassionate Atlanta (CA), we know that local grassroots organizations are critically important to create vibrant and healthy “Social and Community Contexts” of Social Determinants of Health (SOHD.)

At CA, we have a proven track record of using the elements of Compassion to support and build thriving and robust communities where every person has access to equitable health outcomes.  

The Social Determinants of Health, those conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks must be addressed with a compassionate and inclusive lens.

By increasing social and community support, these organizations provide programming that enhances relationships in the places where their community members live, work, learn, and play which, in turn, creates opportunities for interventions to improve health and wellbeing. To be healthy, a gathering space such as a community of faith, community center, local museum, or local non-profit must be a welcoming and inclusive place where stigma does not thrive.

Purpose

The Compassionate Cities of Georgia Initiative (CCoGA) is focused on rural communities in Georgia to increase social and community support while serving and connecting with a total of 1000 to 1200 people annually. Our grassroots rural community partners have experience in community building while strengthening networks and connections. CCoGA is built on existing partnerships where the high need for focused work within historically marginalized communities is front and center to their mission.

The racialized history of some of these rural communities results in:

  • Georgia ranking #3 in HIV risk in 2020, and
  • Blacks/African American persons having the highest rates nationwide of all people living with HIV/AIDS at 42.1%.[1]

Addressing HIV in rural populations, requires awareness and health access to get a diagnosis and, therefore, treatment.

By creating long-term meaningful relationships locally and throughout the state, CA will support these organizations as they support better health in their communities. Through collaborations with our rural partners in Georgia, our programming will positively impact the advancement of equitable health outcomes for PLWHA or those who may benefit from PrEP in rural America. 

[1] (https://ahead.hiv.gov/locations/georgia)  

Our Partners

The initiative has three aspects: 1. Programming within the communities that supports the social and community contexts of SODH; 2. Monthly support and infrastructure building for our rural partners, culminating in an annual retreat to meet, collaborate, share best practices, and re-energize for the work ahead; and 3. An annual CompassionCon conference in Atlanta with organizations who want to develop their rural network; health events; panels and information sharing and networking.
CA now has four trusted rural partners in Greensboro, LaGrange, and Augusta/Waynesboro, and Thomasville, Georiga with a goal of adding another partner in 2023 with new funding from Gilead Sciences. We are exploring building our network into other cities such as Macon, Putnam County, and Athens.
 

The Greene County African American Museum led by Mamie Hillman is located at 1415 Northeast Street, Greensboro, Georgia 30642.

This Museum is dedicated to the empowerment of and truth-telling about African American lives in Greene County, Georgia. The Museum is designed to inspire clarity of heart and mind by sharing all the important contributions and stories of Greene County’s African American community throughout its history to the present day. This organization is only 7 miles away, across the railroad tracks, from the prestigious Ritz Carlton at Lake Oconee where there are many medical services. However, a resident near Mamie Hillman's location will have to walk a long 7 miles to one of those doctors if care is needed.

Filling in The Gaps led by Onnie Poe is located at 305 Park Drive, Building #3 Waynesboro, GA 30830.

With a mission to offer education, advocacy, and support for individuals and families affected by mental health and disabilities, Filling in The Gaps strives to decrease the stigmas associated with mental health and disabilities. Through increased awareness and education, they create spaces where individuals feel inspired to "show up" as their authentic selves in safe, supported environments and provide programs and opportunities that promote holistic personal development. By working with communities, organizations, groups, schools, and families, they orchestrate ways that organizations can collectively work together to reverse the narrative from ignorance and bias towards compassion and understanding. This organization seeks to help engage in authentic dialogues about topics that are often hard to talk about such as race, disabilities, mental health and chronic illnesses.

Screenshot 2023-03-10 at 10.26.52 PM

Inspire Positivity led by Lanona Jones is located at 200 East Depot Street, Lagrange, Georgia 30240.

Inspire Positivity understands that there are many people in need of social aid and provides services to the people of Lagrange who may find themselves in a tight spot or in need of support. Inspire Positivity’s core principle is to provide access and help to all who ask. They provide customized services to neighbors in need and advocate for healthier outcomes for all. In addition to supporting disability voting rights, this organization is a hub in the community and is deeply involved in neighboring multi-county community events. Inspire Positivity's core principle is to ensure that no one winds up overlooked or without help. They also provide essential resources and services to disabled persons returning from incarceration who have no other options available to them.

The Greene County African American Museum led by Mamie Hillman is located at 1415 Northeast Street, Greensboro, Georgia 30642.

This Historic Black Church began in 1849 when Thomasville Baptist Church (white) was constructed. The Negro slaves were brought to church and won to God by their white masters and Negro worship was held separately from whites. In 1866, a year and a half after the end of the civil war, the Black division of the church separated and organized as a separate entity as “First African Baptist Church of Thomasville.”In the 1960’s, the Church became a “beacon of light” in all areas of spiritual endeavors in the community and became the headquarters for the Civil Rights Movement in Thomasville. The Church was not only a place of worship, but it was also a place of studying, learning, and evangelism.Under the leadership of Reverend Jeremy Rich, the church Church has strong outreach efforts in the Thomas County Community through the "Ministry Beyond the Walls Project," and an ongoing partnership with Thomas University.Pastor Rich is committed to honoring the traditions of the historic church, its practices, and its presence in the community, while serving in a contemporary context and fostering intergenerational involvement. Our initiative supports their Medical Ministries.

This space is reserved for our fifth city.

Who will it be?
A selection will be made before the end of 2023.

Funded by a 2023 to 2026 grant from Gilead

We are grateful to all our grantors. We cannot do this valuable work without their support. 

Kroger Community Rewards

Did you know that you can help create a more compassionate Atlanta every time you go to the supermarket?

If you have a registered Kroger Plus Card (available for free at the Customer Service desk in every Kroger store) and a Kroger Community Rewards online account, and choose us as your designated non-profit organization, your purchases will begin earning rewards for Compassionate Atlanta within 7 to 10 business days!