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As we close out 2020 and our last "Onward Towards Equity" for the year, I'm reminded that without a strong participatory democracy, equity cannot live and grow. Although we at the Partnership for Southern Equity are committed to the marathon, there are these immediate moments that we must take advantage of so that we can move equity forward. The January 5 runoff election for the U.S. Senate and Georgia Public Service Commission is such a moment; so goes the south so goes the nation.

As the United States looks to Georgia for the country’s future, we’ve developed a simple initiative to help bring equity to the polls called #VoteforEquity; if you care about just and fair inclusion, make sure your candidates do too.

Our team has developed a #VoteforEquity social media toolkit, graphics, and suggested social media posts for your convenience and to share with your networks. You can find everything on our website,
To be clear, at PSE our candidate is and will always be equity. We do not support any candidate because of our 501(c)(3) status, but that does not stop us from asking people to vote with equity in mind as they go to the polls for early voting, now until December 30, 2020, and Runoff Day, January 5, 2021.
In closing, let me thank each of you for your continued support in the midst of the pandemic, uprisings against systemic racism, and a crazy election cycle. While PSE is not a get out to vote (GOTV) organization, the issues pushed by the ecosystem have fueled GOTV efforts over the decades per my November 17 article in Nonprofit Quarterly. Thank you for doing your part. Now let’s get this done!
If you haven’t done so, remember to vote early, now until December 30, 2020, or on Runoff Day, January 5, 2021! Confirm your ballot status and polling place at

Onward towards equity!

Nathaniel Q. Smith, Jr.
Founder and Chief Equity Officer
"With all the craziness going on in the world right now, it inspired me to get more involved in my community and figure out what I can do to make a difference," said James Barber, a membership associate with the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena, who set out to sell 100 of his "Be a Good Person" t-shirts, but sold 150 and donated $800 to PSE.

During the summer of 2020 and the uprisings against systemic racism, the Partnership for Southern Equity gained uncommon allies in its fight for racial equity and shared prosperity in metropolitan Atlanta and the American South. People like Barber and Big Peach Running Company (t-shirt pictured above) reached out to let us know that they had taken it upon themselves to set up fundraisers to support the organization and show their solidarity with protestors around the world.

From time to time, PSE will profile these allies to welcome them to the equity ecosystem and show its growing diversity.

PSE: Why did you want to get involved?

Barber:  "The things that I was oblivious to just became real and I had to do something to be proactive. So I made the t-shirt so I can get a message across; do the right thing, be a good person."

PSE: What did it feel like to do something like this?

Barber: "It felt good to get involved. People were appreciative to have their eyes opened their eyes."

PSE: Wait, people were appreciative to have their eyes opened? What was it like to engage your community about systemic racism?

Barber: "Yes, but it's an uncomfortable and tough conversation, but bringing up the topic and being able to talk about it is helpful. It's not as hard as people think."

PSE: Tell me about it. Now that we're past the summer and shifting into the work generated by the uprisings, how will you keep your part of the work for equity going?

Barber: "Without me doing this, I wouldn't have had this conversation. My job now is to help others to think differently. If they have an awareness and acknowledge their part then they can think about it from different perspective. It's important to continue having these conversations because we have to stand for what's right."
"While we were invisible to the nation, we continued to honor the legacy of our ancestors... We did what we always do: From the depths of our own community, we worked, we organized, we failed forward, and we won."
- Nathaniel Smith, Nonprofit Quarterly, "History Is Present in the Voting Booth: The Making of a Values Revolution" (November 17, 2020)
The Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) runoff is the most important race that you HAVE NOT heard of. If you value equitable utilities for all Georgians and an end to unjust cut offs during a pandemic then bring your values to the polls. Daniel Blackman is challenging the incumbent - Lauren “Bubba” McDonald (District 4). Learn more about the PSC and the candidates, and vote early for change until December 30 or on January 5, 2021. Mentions ≠ endorsements.
We are seeking to add a new consultant to our Just Opportunity team to co-manage Demanding Equitable Economic Development (DEED), a research and public education project intended to expand the public conversation about property tax incentives and their impact on the economic development and stability of metropolitan Atlanta neighborhoods, along lines of race and class. Want to lead PSE’s efforts to develop and implement highly effective programmatic strategies that realize measurable impacts in our systems transformation efforts? Apply to become our next Vice President of Strategy and Engagement! Looking for a change in 2021? Apply today to help ensure an equitable tomorrow!
Join our village! Apply today!
As a critical program of the Just Opportunity portfolio, the Partnership for Southern Equity is gearing up to launch the Just Business Roundtable (JBR) this fall. A core group of metro Atlanta business leaders has convened since last summer to plan the rollout of this initiative and this group was recently expanded to invite several prominent anchor businesses into the fold.

The JBR is seeking to influence how metropolitan Atlanta’s private sector advances racial equity in our regional economy. We believe that businesses committed to people create an impact in communities by cultivating strong relationships with the communities they serve, strengthened through trust. Businesses that embrace equity are uniquely positioned to build community by supporting innovative solutions to systemic issues and resourcing a more economically sound and sustainable future for all. 

The roundtable will also serve to support corporate professionals seeking to advance racial equity in their industry while reshaping corporate practice. To learn more, please contact Sterling Johnson, Just Opportunity manager, and Michelle Long, sponsorship consultant.
Keep up with Nathaniel Speaks, which will allow you to keep up with our founder and CEqO on his upcoming speaking engagements around the country, and Online Events to see what other virtual events PSE is participating throughout the equity ecosystem.
Support a more equitable future today!
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