From Left to Right: Melissa Hoover (Co-Executive Director for Partnerships & Growth, Democracy at Work Institute), Monique Reynolds (VP of ECE Business Support & Sustainability, Quality Care for Children), Jason Hudgins (Director of Strategic Programs, Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative), Lisa Ling (Inspire Awards host, TV personality and author), Lynette Bell (President, Truist Foundation), Bill Rogers (CEO, Truist Financial Corporation), Aarti Sahgal (Founder & CEO, Synergies Work), Shlok Shah (Operations & Communications Director, Synergies Work), Dr. Masica Jordan-Alston (Co-founder, Black Wall Street AVL), Kristine Laughter (Director of Kinship Lending, Change Labs), Melinda Weekes-Laidlow (Founder & CEO, Beautiful Ventures)
Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative
Atlanta ranks high among U.S. cities regarding income inequality. To overcome these disparities, the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative (AWBI) was created to address sustaining and accessing wealth for households of color.
AWBI submitted its 1,000 Black Businesses in 1,000 Days Campaign idea to the Inspire Awards challenge in the hopes of receiving funding to expand local support for Black-owned businesses. On the night of the awards, TV personality and author Lisa Ling announced Jason Hudgins—the Director of Strategic Programs for AWBI—as the first-place recipient of $250,000 in grant funding for AWBI’s community wealth building framework.
“The goal is that communities of color have all the resources they need to thrive without any barriers. Success will mean we have overcome the systemic bias, racism, and systemic issues, that serve as barriers to the liberation of communities of color.”
– Jason Hudgins, Director of Strategic Programs, Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative
“When we celebrate entrepreneurs, that should also include entrepreneurs with disabilities.”
– Aarti Sahgal, Founder and CEO of Synergies Work
Supporting entrepreneurs for the long haul
The Truist Foundation is dedicated to opening more doors for racially and ethnically diverse and women-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs by investing in the network of solutions and organizations that support them—and we’re eager to continue the momentum with our 2024 Inspire Awards challenge.
About Truist Foundation
The Truist Foundation is committed to Truist Financial Corporation’s (NYSE: TFC) purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities. Established in 2020, the foundation makes strategic investments in nonprofit organizations to help ensure the communities it serves have more opportunities for a better quality of life. The Truist Foundation’s grants and activities focus on leadership development, economic mobility, thriving communities and educational equity.