February Newsletter

Volume 3.5
February 9, 2021


Where do we go from here?  
The hope that now sparks in our nation is our 46th President, Joseph R. Biden, and his Vice President Kamala D. Harris.  These two leaders took their oaths of office at the appointed time of high noon on Wednesday, January 20, 2021.  The site for this auspicious open air ceremony was the very same place, the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building, where just two weeks before a coalition of supporters of the previous President had attempted a violent overthrow of the nation.  They did not succeed.

Two particularly inspiring moments during this ceremony stood out for me.  One was when Amanda Gorman, the 2021 Inaugural Poet read her poem, “The Hill We Climb.”  Many of us found the voice, spirit, insights, passions, and the confident sense of presence of this 23 year old woman to be a sign that we should not be afraid.  The future is not lost.  With Gorman as a torchbearer, we were able to see that the road ahead remains filled with potential for excellence, honor, and good.  Our obligation, as she says, is to be courageous enough to listen to our better selves; to act with social responsibility, ethical responsibility, and cultural sensitivity; and to work vigilantly with others to create a better world.  She stated:

A second moment of inspiration was when our fellow Georgian Andrea Hall, Captain of the South Fulton Fire Department, delivered the Pledge of Allegiance.  Not only did Captain Hall recite the Pledge in spoken word, she demonstrated that she is bilingual.  She also recited it simultaneously in American Sign Language, paying homage to the deaf and hard of hearing, and, in doing so, also to her father who was deaf.  The moment filled many hearts, including my own, with admiration for her commitment to inclusiveness, and also with pride in bearing witness to the commanding way that she represented her family, our community, and her fellow firefighters with truth and honor.
Another spark of hope is that we now have two vaccines for COVID-19 (from Pfizer and Moderna) currently being distributed across the nation.  In addition to these two, we have a third vaccine from Johnson & Johnson in the pipeline.  Last week, this group submitted their application to the Federal Government for emergency approval.  Moreover, other companies are in line right behind these three.  So, there is hope and great expectation that these medical assets will provide much needed leverage for getting the nation and the world through the horrors of this pandemic tunnel.  To be sure, while it will be months before we can actually manage this disease, light really is here, if we are persistent in using the tools that are available to us. 
What we still must pay attention to, however, is the inescapable fact of differential access for people of color—and in broader scope for poorer nations.  In the United States, the challenge is not that people in communities of color might resist taking the vaccine—as indeed some initially might do and with good reason.  The more evident issue is how do the huge numbers of people of color who want to take the vaccine or might be convinced to take the vaccine gain access to the inoculations as they become available.  As always, historically marginalized groups face barriers to access, from not having access to good information, or vaccine delivery sites in or near our neighborhoods, or transportation to sites in other neighborhoods, or access to the internet, not to mention having the very basic savviness that enables registration on line for appointments. 
In light of a full range of challenges, what we know for sure is that success in overcoming a pandemic can not be isolated or limited to those who are most powerful or privileged.  Solutions, and most certainly with an airborne disease—must be implemented nationwide—for all, worldwide—for all, with positive benefits for everyone in order for anyone to be secure.  There is no place to hide.  The bottom line, then, is that we have a way to go on several levels before we can take the deep cleansing breath that we all so keenly desire.  Fundamentally, our charge is to ready ourselves for a long haul.  We all need to be persistent in looking for information with an eye on the credibility of the sources.  When we determine that information is useful and of good quality, we need to share it, as we are doing below.  When we have good information in hand, we have to take advantage of whatever opportunities are available—despite the barriers that we may face, as we work simultaneously with political leaders to change the conditions of disparity and to reduce far more substantially its discriminating effects.  The goal, after all, is to do all that we can for ourselves and others so that we can live, work, take care of our families, and sustain our communities—in peace and prosperity. 
So, where do we go from here?  Forward.  As Amanda Gorman stated in her Inaugural poem:
“Our blunders become their burdens
But one thing is certain:
If we merge mercy with might,
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy
and change our children’s birthright”
In moving forward, we can fortify our spirits through the annual month of reflection on and celebration of African American history and culture—Black History Month.  Listed below are some of the special events that can help all of us to see and more fully understand that African American experiences and contributions are indeed quite core to the American experience generally.  Listed, as well, are special opportunities and announcements that you may find of interest. Also, it’s February!  During these trying times, we should always remember to take just a few moments to celebrate Valentine’s Day and let the people in our lives whom we care about know that they matter to us and that we appreciate them. 

As we make our pathways ahead, we can take comfort in knowing that we are a resilient people.  We are, in fact, a resilient nation.  As has always been the case, we have the chance to make the world a better place than it is now.  My hope is that we will choose to do the work that will make it so.  
Ever onward,
Jackie Royster

CEO, Communities Who Know, Inc. ™





Join the Northwest Business Association for their monthly meeting on Zoom with a special presentation on Paycheck Protection:
Thursday, February 18, 2021
6:00pm  – 7:00pm
Click here to register
The meeting agenda includes the organization meeting, a safety update from Atlanta Police Department Representative, the special speaker presentation, and time for business networking. Visit the NWBA website for more information: www.NWBusinessAssociation.com.  


Special Events



Celebrate Black History Month at The Center with activities and programs for the entire family! Black History Month programming is brought to you by Presenting sponsor PNC. Click below for a full listing of “On Site” activities, such as creating your own protest poster, as well as for a full listing of virtual Black History Month Programming: 

BHM Programs at The Center

DeKalb History Center’s 13th Annual Black History Month Celebration will focus on celebrating the African American families that shaped DeKalb’s and Atlanta’s history from Reconstruction to the present.

Thursday, February 11, 2021
11:00 am – 12:30 pm
The event will be LIVE via Zoom.
(Zoom link will be sent via email before the event.)

A great panel will lead the event and present fascinating information that will make the audience reflect, be inspired, and take action. (Cost is $10 – $15).
Click here to register

Click here to Register

Ruth E. Carter:
Afrofuturism in Costume Design

See the designs and costumes of Academy Award-winning designer Ruth E. Carter at the newest exhibit at the Savannah College of Art Design (SCAD)’s FASH Museum of Fashion + Film.

This covid-friendly museum asks visitors to wear a mask when they are in the building at all times. Timed ticketing is required online to book reservations with allowing only twelve people to enter at all times. Temperature checks will be administered at arrival and sanitizer stations are throughout. The exhibit is on display now until Sept. 2021. 

Although Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is not able to go on its usual tour, for a limited time, Ailey is thrilled to share videos of the Company performing on stage. Watch along with the Ailey community and please consider making a special gift today to help us continue Alvin Ailey’s mission to deliver dance back to the people.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in performance at Lincoln Center: this program includes Wayne McGregor’s Chroma, Ronald K. Brown’s Grace, Robert Battle’s Takademe, and Alvin Ailey’s Revelations.

Ailey All Access


Reaping What We Sow: A Conversation with Alice Walker
Darieck Scott and Ra Malika Imhotep will moderate a Q & A with celebrated novelist, poet, and activist, Alice Walker taking your questions. 
Monday, February 15, 2021
3:00pm – 4:30pm EST
(Event time advertised is 12:00pm -1:30pm PST)
Click here to Register
The Spring 2021 Critical Conversations series is hosted by the African American Studies Department at the University of California, Berkeley. This session will reflect on freedom, Black feminism/womanism, and writing in community.
In alliance with museums, cultural centers and historic sites all around the country, Microsoft Community is curating a series of immersive virtual experiences for K-12 Students that include:
  • Walk with MLK virtually & fight for civil rights in the Selma-to- Montgomery Marches of 1965
  • Fly through the eyes of WWII’s Tuskegee Airmen, at the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site
  • Hit a home run with Satchel Paige & Jackie Robinson and hear from Current African American MLB Players at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum


Special Opportunities:



Upcoming Events and Deadlines from the National Trust


Grant Funding for Sacred Places
** Due March 15, 2021 **

Historic houses of worship, from prairie churches to urban synagogues, are the bedrocks that continue to sustain us as a people, uniting us in service and celebration. Together, we can protect them for generations to come—apply for a grant from the National Fund for Sacred Places to keep these places as an important part of our national cultural heritage.

The National Fund provides training, planning grants, technical assistance, capacity-building support, and capital grants up to $250,000 to congregations of all faiths for rehabilitation work on their historic facilities.

Congregations are urged to submit their letter of intent by March 15 for the Fund for Sacred Places for projects such as:

  • Urgent repair needs that are integral to life safety.
  • Projects that improve the usability or ADA accessibility of the property.
  • Renovation projects for important community outreach.

In the four years of this program, 52 houses of worship from an Art Deco gem in Asheville, NC to a Modern sanctuary in New York City have received more than $10 million in funding supporting projects that range from steeple stabilization to exterior masonry repair to HVAC replacement. Learn about past participants Temple Beth Ahabah (Richmond, VA) and North Christian Church (Columbus, IN), as well as the full list of the 2020 recipients

Visit www.FundforSacredPlaces.org for more details, including eligibility requirements, guidelines, and online application.

Apply Now

Join this virtual event benefiting
The Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta
Friday, February 26, 2021

This is a unique online auction that challenges talented artists and design firms to create pieces of art from household furniture. 400 guests from the business, design, and artist community will be participating. The auction opens on February 19th, and the Live Stream Event is scheduled for Friday the 26th. You can purchase tickets, enjoy dinner delivered to your home for the event, register to bid, or donate items for the auction. All information is available on the Chairish the Future overview page.




The COVID-19 vaccine is available from the Fulton County Board of Health, but supplies are very limited.


At this time, the following are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine:
  • Healthcare workers
  • Long-term care facilities staff and residents
  • Adults 65 + and their caregivers
  • First Responders (fire, police, sheriff, 9-1-1 personnel, etc.)

Because vaccine supplies are still limited, there is a waiting list. Those on the waiting list may need to wait several weeks. Appointments will be released weekly, subject to availability of the vaccine. In coming months, when greater quantities of the vaccine become available, it will be available to more people. In time, everyone who wants to the vaccine will be able to get it.

The Fulton County Board of Health is following guidance established by the Georgia Department of Public Health and the CDC throughout this process.  
Please continue to check back frequently for updates. 


Visit the Fulton County COVID-19 Vaccine Webpage

** Remember that even after receiving the vaccine, it is important to continue to wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and washing hands frequently. **

Call the Fulton County Board of Health COVID-19 hotline at 404-613-8150. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays or the Georgia Department of Public Health COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at (888) 357-0169.

In addition to Fulton County, private pharmacies and health providers also offer the COVID-19 vaccine.

Click Here to find Other COVID Vaccination Providers

If you have announcements that you would like to share, please note two important points:
  • Please direct messages and send flyers and announcements to:  communitieswhoknow2020@gmail.com
  •  Currently, the CWK Newsletter will be posted monthly – in the first half of the month. Please submit your flyers and other relevant information to the email address above – as close to the beginning of the month as possible. Thank you!


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