Have we reached 1st round draft pick status yet?

If you are an Atlanta Falcons fan, let’s face it, this is not quite the season you had in mind. On paper, the Falcons have a lot of offensive weapons and you would assume that they could score enough points to win every Sunday. However, the reality is that the Falcons currently have a record of 5-7, mediocre at best. 

The City of Atlanta also looks good on paper as well, but we are tanking in a war that we can’t afford to lose.

According to the Atlanta Metro Chamber of Commerce, Atlanta ranks third in the nation among cities with the most FORTUNE 500 Headquarters, according to the 2012 FORTUNE list. Since Atlanta hosted the 1996 Summer Olympics, the city has consistently ranked in the top five cities with the most FORTUNE 500 Headquarters. Twenty-six metro Atlanta headquartered companies placed among the latest FORTUNE 1,000, of which thirteen are among the FORTUNE 500. Fourteen FORTUNE 1,000 companies headquartered in metro Atlanta ranked higher on the FORTUNE list than in 2011. Metro Atlanta’s headquartered FORTUNE 1,000 companies generated aggregate revenues of $321.2 billion, of which 90 percent was attributed to the FORTUNE 500.

With all of that said, Georgia ranks at the bottom in America in education, while America ranks at the bottom in the world. 

Georgia ranks number one in America for incarceration, while America ranks number one in the world.

Atlanta Public Schools serves 50,000+ students K-12 while 80% of those students live at or below the poverty level and 60% of black males don’t graduate from high school (at all or on time). In addition, 80% of Georgia’s Prison population consists of youth from inner-city Atlanta zip codes 30310, 30315 and 30318. One more thing, Georgia leads America with the most non-profits per state. Excuse my sarcasm here – how badly do we need to fail our children in order to get people to the table whose sole agenda is the empowerment of our children?

Members of the 2014-2015 Ambassador Class w/ Mike Hobbs (Partner, Troutman Sanders)

If we’re willing to be transparent, we all have agendas in Atlanta, including me. My agenda through L.E.A.D. (Launch, Expose, Advise, Direct) is to empower an at risk generation to lead and transform their City of Atlanta. As we continue to be successful as an organization, our L.E.A.D. Ambassadors will lead Atlanta to lead the world.

We have a lot of people in Atlanta doing a lot of great things while black males continue to drop out of high school and go to jail. How can this be?

Atlanta has earned the title ‘the City too busy to hate’. Unfortunately, we also seem to be the City too busy to support and scale programs that are actually on the ground floor, in the trenches and getting results. 

Like the new Georgia Dome coming out of the ground on the Vine City horizon – it’s time to Rise Up. 

For children this time and not just for profit.

Click here to check out L.E.A.D.’s impact stats.