Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. remains heartbroken over the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others. The uncertainties that were already brewing for so many people during COVID-19 are multiplied exponentially by the extraordinary pain and division we are witnessing across the country.
While we are disheartened by the violence and devastation that we have witnessed in recent days, we understand the pain and frustration behind the protests. The outcries are not only a painful reminder of the generations of systemic racism, they are a call to action.
We stand with advocates who are calling for an end to structural inequities and the creation of more equitable conditions in our communities. The BeltLine was envisioned as a beacon of light, a catalyst for hope, and a bridge between communities where barriers once stood.
While we acknowledge that there is more that we can and should do, we are committed to ensuring that all Atlantans benefit and prosper from the Atlanta BeltLine’s progress. We are focused on creating an organizational culture that values and advances equity and inclusion, refining our procurement and contracting practices, fostering access to economic opportunity and pathways to wealth creation, implementing strategies that mitigate displacement and increase housing affordability, and utilizing innovative strategies for engaging community and communicating with transparency.
In the days ahead, we pledge to work even harder to listen attentively to the voices and needs of the community. We will be intentional, work to build trust, and operate with empathy and concern for residents and businesses along the BeltLine who have felt isolated and marginalized. Our only option is to come together as one, respect each other, and reimagine a new reality where all lives are valued, and everyone thrives. Our future and our city depend on us coming together as One Atlanta.
Clyde A. Higgs
CEO, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.