About

Georgia is at a crossroads. We are enjoying the rewards of a growing economy and vibrant communities that make Georgia one of the country’s most popular places to do business and raise a family. However, hundreds of thousands of seemingly invisible men, women, and children are facing barriers that prevent them from achieving their dreams and reaching their potential, including the stain of a criminal record, being trapped in a welfare system that discourages work and family formation, and being ill-prepared for work or college as a student.

The challenges are multi-dimensional and pose threats not just to individual wellbeing, but also to continued economic growth, opportunity, and mobility.

Though the odds may seem insurmountable, these individuals can flourish if given the chance. So how do you create prosperity for those brimming with potential but faced with overwhelming barriers? The answers lie in providing meaningful opportunities to receive a good education, find gainful employment, and form and sustain healthy families.

Join us in December as some of the nation’s most innovative researchers, policy experts, and community-based practitioners lead a series of discussions on solutions that are unlocking human potential in Georgia and around the country, enabling individuals and families to flourish.

Schedule

December 5th

8:30 – 10:00am Breakfast Program
10:15 – 11:45am Education to what degree: The promise of education innovation
12:15 – 1:00pm Lunch panel — “Business! Mankind was my business.”: How some Georgia companies are bringing solutions and hope to disadvantaged communities
1:15 – 2:45pm A bolder bottom line: Work as the most effective antipoverty intervention
3:00 – 4:30pm Healthy Families: Incubators of the next generation
4:30 – 6:00pm Closing Reception

Full Schedule

December 5th

8:30 – 10:00am Breakfast Program
In this session, GCO’s President and CEO will welcome you to the event and introduce you to GCO’s work on education, employment, and family formation – also known as the “success sequence.” He will then sit down for a discussion with Dr. Ron Haskins, one of the country’s leading researchers on the success sequence. Together, they will explore the origins of the success sequence, its impact on public policy and community practice, and its ongoing relevance to poverty alleviation.

10:15 – 11:45am Education to what degree: The promise of education innovation
Innovation and flexibility are pillars of creating an education system that serves all students. In a panel moderated by Jamie Lord, GCO’s Government Affairs Director, top education experts from Georgia and across the country will explore policies and programs that break outside of a one-size-fits-all mold in order to give students a cutting edge to compete and thrive in a growing workforce.
Special guest interview with Jack Harris, President of Junior Achievement 
Ben Scafidi, Director of the Education Economics Center
Tyler Thigpen, Co-Founder and Head of School at the Forest School 
Anthony Flynn, Executive Director and COO of 100 Black Men of Atlanta
Dr. Robert Lerman, Institute fellow in the Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population at the Urban Institute

12:15 – 1:00pm Lunch panel — “Business! Mankind was my business.”: How some Georgia companies are bringing solutions and hope to disadvantaged communities

Businesses have an important role to play in shaping vibrant communities. Moderated by Bill Rodgers, GCO’s VP of Workforce Solutions, this panel will provide us with a glimpse of the employment landscape in Georgia, challenges faced by various communities, how some of Georgia’s top companies are creating opportunity and promoting human flourishing through jobs, community engagement, and venture philanthropy.
Greg Beadles, COO, AMB Sports and Entertainment 
Chris Clark, President and CEO of Georgia Chamber of Commerce
Rodney Bullard, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at Chick-Fil-A and Executive Director of the Chick-Fil-A Foundation

1:15 – 2:45pm A bolder bottom line: Work as the most effective antipoverty intervention
In Georgia, the workforce has faced a quiet crisis. While unemployment has dropped to a commendable low, there is a teeming, uncounted number of able-bodied men who have simply given up. During “A Bolder Bottom Line,” panelists will address the problem facing unemployment head-on, proposing ways that existing businesses and nonprofits help these individuals find their way back into the workforce, and policies that can have a quick impact on breaking barriers to employment.
Special guest interview with Luke Marklin, CEO of Bellhops
Dave Derocher, Managing Director of The Other Side Academy
Stacey Howell, Executive Director of Every Woman Works
Phillip Hunter, Executive Director of Georgia Works!
Lloyd Martin, VP of Manufacturing and IT for CKS Packaging, Inc.

3:00 – 4:30pm Healthy Families: Incubators of the Next Generation
“Family first” is more than an adage, it’s a critical and time-tested framework for building a strong society and stable, confident workforce. In this session, GCO’s Healthy Families Initiative Director, Joyce Whitted, leads a panel discussion highlighting the value of healthy families on the economy, along with policies and business practices that can ensure Georgia is truly the best state to work and thrive.
Brian Amero, Henry County Superior Court Judge
Julie Baumgardner, President and CEO of First Things First
Brad Wilcox, Director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia
Erin Norman, Senior Solutions Consultant at Heart+Mind Strategies

4:30 – 6:00pm Closing Reception
15 minute rolling tours of Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be offered at this time.

Speakers

Venue

Mercedes Benz stadium is home of both the Falcons and Atlanta United, is a concert venue frequented by talented musicians, and next February, will host the single most-watched game in American sports: the Super Bowl. But the stadium is more than a sports venue. It’s symbolic of Georgia’s promise. It’s an expression of human aspiration and innovation. Within its walls and reflected in its gleaming glass are the ideas, gifts, skills, and sweat of Georgians from all walks of life: architects, electricians, plumbers, tradesman of all kinds; entrepreneurs in construction, technology, food service; corporate leaders and philanthropists.

Directions

Guests that are driving
Directions to Silver Deck:

Address: 1414 Andrew Young International Blvd NW, Atlanta, GA 30303
Take elevator up to the 6th floor of the parking garage and enter the stadium through Gate 2.

Guests that are taking Marta:

Get off at “Dome/GWCC/Phillip Arena/CNN Center” stop
Walk across International Plaza to the stadium
Please enter the building through Gate 2

Guests that are taking Uber/Lyft:

Address: 1414 Andrew Young International Blvd NW, Atlanta, GA 30303
Ask to be dropped off across the street from Red Deck by the huge Falcon statue
Please enter through Gate 2

Sponsors

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For more information on sponsorship opportunities, contact us at events@georgiaopportunity.org.

Registration Is Closed!

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Deep Red Valleys Report

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Georgia's Welfare System Reference Guide

Georgia's Welfare System Reference Guide

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An Alternative To Incarceration

An Alternative To Incarceration

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A High Price To Pay

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Increasing Employment Opportunities For Ex-Offenders

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Prisoner Reentry | The State of Corrections

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Prisoner Reentry

Prisoner Reentry

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Increasing Access to Quality Healthcare for Low-Income Uninsured Georgians

Increasing Access to Quality Healthcare for Low-Income Uninsured Georgians

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Disincentives for Work and Marriage in Georgia's Welfare System White Paper

Disincentives for Work and Marriage in Georgia's Welfare System White Paper

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Disincentives for Work and Marriage in Georgia's Welfare SystemExecutive Summary

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