Changing the Odds: Comprehensive Solutions for Atlanta's Future

May 02, 2024
  • Description

In 2015, the Foundation released Changing the Odds: The Race for Results in Atlanta, which explored systemic barriers that keep Atlanta's kids from reaching their full potential. Exploring data on the communities where children and their families live, their educational experiences and outcomes and their access to economic opportunities, the 2015 report highlighted a racial divide between wealthier, majority-white communities to the north of Interstate 20 (I-20) and lower-income communities of color to the south. Charged with the need to identify solutions to address the barriers to opportunity revealed by the data, the Foundation convened a group of local leaders to form the Changing the Odds Network during the development of the report in December 2014. Four years later, the Foundation's Changing the Odds: Progress and Promise in Atlanta report reexamined the data and proposed policies and approaches — several of them advanced by members of the Changing the Odds Network — that showed promise for dismantling the barriers to opportunity faced by Atlanta families. 

As in many communities across the country, Atlanta residents experienced devastating setbacks during the COVID-19 pandemic, with disparate effects for Black children, young adults, families and communities. The pivot to online learning quickly revealed long-standing educational inequities, including unequal access to digital technology. Black children were less likely to have access to computers and digital devices as well as the broadband connections necessary for virtual learning, while their parents were less likely to be able to work virtually from their homes. Black Atlantans experienced a disproportionate number of deaths caused by the pandemic in part due to being more likely to be exposed to the virus from holding positions as frontline workers and facing greater barriers to health care access.

Atlanta is a city of great promise, but we know that opportunity isn't evenly distributed. This 2024 report builds on the first two Changing the Odds reports, shining a light on disparities, progress and promising solutions led by organizations and coalitions to ensure all Atlantans can live in thriving communities, receive a quality education and have access to economic opportunity to realize their full potential.