AT&T is committed to creating economic opportunities and fostering upward mobility for Black and underserved communities in Dallas. As part of this commitment, AT&T, through our Believe DallasSM initiative, to help prevent and mitigate homelessness in Dallas, is donating $500,000 to local organizations that share in our mission to create more opportunities and paths to success for Dallas’ Black community.
This donation is part of a $10 million commitment from AT&T to boost economic opportunities in Black and underserved communities across the country.
“AT&T is proud to invest in these local organizations that are working to address these disparities.”Michael Peterson – Vice President, AT&T External Affairs
“Many of our fellow Dallas citizens lack access to quality education, economic opportunity, homeownership and other attributes that develop wealth and build the middle class,” said Michael Peterson, Vice President, AT&T External Affairs. “AT&T is proud to invest in these local organizations that are working to address these disparities.”
The challenges facing Dallas’ Black community including poverty and homelessness have been exacerbated by high unemployment rates, the coronavirus pandemic, and social unrest around the country. Our hope is that our $500,000 contribution will help alleviate some of these inequities.
Our Key focus areas include:
- Economic Empowerment
- Believe DallasSM will provide funding to organizations that support strengthening Black owned business and training programs to grow industry leaders in years to come.
- Impacts to the criminal justice system
- Black Americans make up a disproportionate population of incarcerated men and women – many of whom are dealing with drug addiction and mental health issues. Believe DallasSM will provide funding to organizations that try to disrupt this pipeline by helping those with criminal backgrounds find access to quality employment.
- Stabilizing neighborhoods
- Homeownership is the American dream. But for too many Blacks, this dream is out of reach due to systematic problems such as redlining, blockbusting, and gentrification that have negatively impacted Black communities. Through Believe DallasSM , AT&T will try to mitigate this by providing funding to organizations that positively impact neighborhoods with quality affordable housing that leads to homeownership.
One of the agencies benefiting from this donation is The Real Estate Council (TREC). TREC has established an affordable housing/gentrification prevention fund with $2.6 million seeded by JP Morgan, with a goal of raising $5 million, for their forgivable loan program to work with developers to acquire and build affordable homes in southern Dallas. It will also provide funding for small business real estate acquisition or improvements and work with community leaders in supporting their efforts in changes that ensure adequate representation for each neighborhood. AT&T is contributing $100,000 to this program to help catalyze the remainder of their campaign goal.
“Providing people with safe and affordable housing is one of the most important elements of our commitment to the Dallas community,” said Linda McMahon, CEO of The Real Estate Council. “The funds provided through the AT&T Believe Dallas initiative will help catalyze the $6 million effort to provide accessible housing and avoid gentrification in communities of color.”
The balance of the $500,000 will be distributed to the following agencies as follows:
- $100,000 – Safer Dallas/Better Dallas on behalf of the Dallas Police Youth Summer Intern Program
- $50,000 – For Oak Cliff
- $50,000 – Communities Foundation of Texas on behalf of Dallas Violence Interrupter Partners
- $50,000 – Texas Offenders Reentry Initiative (TORI)
- $50,000 – Redemption Bridge
- $50,000 – Dallas County Diversion Program/Homeward Bound
- $30,000 – Moore Philanthropy on behalf of Power in Action
- $20,000 – Revive Dallas Small Business Fund
AT&T has a long history of equality; participating in this struggle is a moral and business imperative – not just for AT&T but for all companies and for all communities and citizens.