The Center for Civic Innovation held Atlanta's second annual Civic Impact Awards on Thursday, December 8, 2016. Atlanta is home to some of the world's most powerful social movements. It is built on a history of people coming together to tackle challenges bigger than their own. The Center for Civic Innovation launched the Civic Impact Awards to celebrate the people who put in the time and energy day in and day out to change the lives of other people for the better. Without them, the story of Atlanta is incomplete.
We solicited nominations from the community to recognize these amazing Atlantans in seven categories. We received a record-breaking 200 nominations. With the help of outside judges, we whittled this impressive group down to three or four finalists in each category. At the Civic Impact Awards, we announced winners in each category!
Nonprofit Moving the Needle
The Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation won this award as an organization making significant headway against an issue facing Atlanta. AVLF was selected for their efforts in Thomasville Heights to keep students in school and families in safe, stable homes since schools cannot thrive with a student body forced to live in unstable housing with deplorable conditions.
Corporate Civic Impact
Wayfield Foods won this award, recognizing a corporation that goes above and beyond to make their hometown of Atlanta better. This corporation represents how cities and businesses can work together to solve systemic social challenges. Wayfield Foods, a chain of grocery stores, was selected for their commitment to educate the community on healthy living.
Investing in Innovation
In this category, for an Atlanta-based foundation that made investments in one or more programs that advance a new idea, we had a tie! The Decatur Education Foundation and the City of Atlanta's Women's Entrepreneurship Initiative won! The Decatur Education Foundation was recognized for their efforts harnessing community resources to provide educational and enrichment opportunities for all Decatur youth. The Women's Entrepreneurship Initiative was recognized for their efforts providing unprecedented access to human, educational, and financial capital to early stage entrepreneurs who just so happen to be women.
Small Business, Big Impact
CompostWheels won this award for a small business in Atlanta that has improved its neighborhood or community in a positive way. They were recognized for their efforts building resilient local food systems by recycling food nutrients between urban consumers and local urban farmers.
Innovation in Government
The Fulton County Board of Registrations and Elections won this award for a government agency at the local level that broke through the status quo and tried something different to make government more innovative, effective, and/or participatory. They were recognized for their efforts to promote early voting and ensure that all Fulton County voters are enfranchised.
We also had a tie in this category for an organization that uses art, film, music, and/or culture as a vehicle for social impact in Atlanta. Jessica Caldas won for using art to create conversation and reflection on topics such as domestic violence, sexual assault, and mental health. Out on Film also won for their excellent efforts putting on Atlanta's gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender film festival.
In the spirit of Congressman John Lewis, we wanted to recognize an individual who creates "good trouble" for Atlanta. We looked for individuals who are tireless advocates for people whose voices goes unheard. Congratulations to Jonathan Rapping of Gideon's Promise! He was recognized for his efforts, through the organization he co-founded with his wife Ilham Askia, Gideon's Promise, to end mass incarceration by building a movement of public defenders who provide equal justice for marginalized communities.