Community Foundation Board members share their “why” for volunteering
By Nikonie Brown, content and social media associate, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta recently launched a five-year strategic plan, TogetherATL, which encompasses our efforts to drive equity across the region. Our internal team, along with a broad array of stakeholders, helped inform this process by looking into the role we play in the region to identify our guiding principles. A big part of that effort was asking “Why?” frequently. Why are we doing the work we do? Why are we the organization to tackle such a huge challenge? Why are we, as stakeholders, the ones to drive change? What is my personal “why” in this effort?
Asking “What’s your why?” to a staff member or other partner gives us more insight into who someone is as a person, as well as a colleague, and why they came into this work. As a way to share our stories and bring more of #TogetherATL into our work, we have started a video series where staff and others share their “why” to help us, and our community, all learn more about our colleagues behind the Community Foundation’s mission.
Our Board of Directors are critical partners with us in our success. They help guide us as counselors and advocates and play an active role in the process. We ask our Board members to be present and engaged and to hold our internal team as well as themselves accountable. Recently, several of these Board members shared their “What’s my why?” thoughts on video. Click on each name to see their full remarks.
Ron Alston, Not-for-Profit & Government Banking Leader for Truist Financial, notes that after serving in another volunteer role with the Community Foundation for a few years, he realized the goals of the Foundation closely aligned with both his personal passions as well as his professional goals with Truist in the community. Joining the Foundation board gives him the opportunity to lean into the work more fully.
Jeffrey Hines, MD, Medical Director of Diversity, Inclusion and the Center for Health Equity for Wellstar Health System, sees volunteering as a matter of service and of making personal gifts and talents multiply for the good of the community. He also says it’s important to work with the broader community to co-create a way forward to boost racial and economic equity.
Dantes Rameau, Co-Founder and CEO, Atlanta Music Project, has worked as a nonprofit leader on a hyper-local level for more than a decade. He looks forward to applying the lessons he has learned that will drive impact widely across the region.
Kelli Stewart, Co-Founder, L.E.A.D., Inc. and L.E.A.D. Center For Youth, views volunteering as a tribute to her grandmother and a way to bring generations of voices to the table that historically haven’t been heard. She volunteers to pay it forward to others, and to pay back those who nurtured and supported her along the way.
Ryan Wilson, CEO and Co-Founder, The Gathering Spot, believes that giving back is a fundamental responsibility we all have to ensure that the community we know and love continues to be a place we can all call home. He is committed to the work, and the energy, required to give back.