No one anticipated the myriad of events of the past 14 months. Some may have anticipated one or a few, but no one saw them all coming down on us seemingly at once. For many it’s felt like wave after wave has been rolling over them and they’re doing all they can to keep their heads up from drowning or being taken in by the undertow. The Pandemic. Violence Against Black Americans. Latin X Facing Barriers to Immigration, Political Turmoil of Epic Proportions. Catastrophic Environmental Events. Violence Against Asian Americans. And the list goes on… 

The fallout has led to an untold number of consequences – lost jobs; failed businesses; children falling behind in their education; despite stimulus checks, families still struggling to pay the bills; and while the promotion of self-care and need for mental health care has grown, so has all of this taken such a toll on so many that the need for therapy and need for mental health assistance risen to unmeasurable heights. 

While the past year has led to problems for many families, for those that were struggling before March of 2020, it’s made their lives that much more fraught. For 131 years, Families First has been serving the Atlanta community by helping clients navigate comprehensive and sustainable solutions that improve child well-being and family self-sufficiency through adoption, parenting classes, education support, supportive housing, counseling and mental health services. Our focus is to build resilient families so that they can not only weather the current storm, but future ones that may come their way and in turn teach their children and future generations how to do the same. Through our services, we’re helping them make their way from surviving to thriving. 

Just like so many of the problems that the world is facing right now, we realize that we can’t solve them all on our own. To move forward and to make an impact, we need to work together, whether it’s racial equity, health services, education, or the number of other challenges the world faces, overcoming them will happen sooner and have a greater effect, the more people, organizations and businesses unite to face them. At Families First, we’ve realized that to best serve our clients, we can’t do it alone. By collaborating with other nonprofits that offer complimentary services, we can ensure that our clients receive the comprehensive care that meets their personal needs for their journey to resilience. 

Some of our key partners to create a continuum of care within the Navigator Care Model include the Westside Future Fund, the Community Foundation of Northeast Georgia, the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners, WorkSource City of Atlanta and Raising Expectations. While all of those involved provide outstanding services to their clients, we’ve realized that by collaborating, we’re providing our families and future generations the best opportunities for a better and more resilient future. 

As we look forward we know that when we unite together we can make lasting change. On June 9 at 9:00 am, Unity for a Difference brings together next generation voices, honoring top leaders in Atlanta focused on social equity, a look at how our city defines Unity and creative performances all focused on galvanizing our community to make lasting change. A common thread throughout is the true power of resilience. Families First believes that resilience is the foundation of building strong families and strong communities.

Honorees include:

– Pat Upshaw-MonteithLeadership Atlanta President and Chief Executive Officer, with the Community Impact Award 
– Carol B. ToméUPS Chief Executive Officer, with the Social Equity Award 
– Venessa HarrisonAT&T Georgia President, with the Making a Difference Community Service Award 
– Jim Curry, Families First Board Chair Emeritus and Ann Curry, Founder Coxe Curry & Associates, with the Montag Family Volunteerism Award

Join our host Ella Dorsey, WGCL/CBS46 Meteorologist, and our chairs Dan Gordon, co-chair and Atlanta Headquarters Lead at Jabian ConsultingVictoria Forbes-Roberts, co-chair and Senior Vice President for Reservations and Customer Care Delta Air Lines and Shan Cooper, honorary chair and Executive Director of the Atlanta Committee for Progress for an inspiring morning.

While this past year has taken so much from so many, when we unite, we realize that we still have more to give and working with others that we can make a greater difference. We’re all looking towards the future and how we can be resilient through whatever challenges may come our way. If we can focus on unity and collaboration instead of isolation and division, our communities as a whole can become not only stronger but better able to overcome difficulties and create positive impacts for generations to come.  We invite you to join us for Unity for a Difference on June 9: Unity for a Difference – Families First

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