American Family Insurance and Atlanta United
American Family Insurance Field-Side Sweepstakes
Get Even Closer to Your Favorite Players
Protecting Your Dreams with Miles Robinson
Here at American Family Insurance, we believe in providing the protection your dreams deserve. Because when you feel totally protected, you can dream fearlessly. Check out Atlanta United’s defender, Miles Robinson share some words of inspiration to remind you that with consistency, determination and perseverance, you can accomplish anything.
Narrator: Dreams aren't just something you have when you sleep
They're what wake you up in the morning
Success isn't about never losing
It's about refusing to stay down
Keep pushing yourself
Keep working hard
Keep dreaming fearlessly
You never know where it might take you
A Year in Review: Our Commitment to Atlanta
Narrator: American Family Insurance is committed to Atlanta.
Atlanta is a soccer town.
Our goal is to protect and inspire dreams.
Part of that can start here.
Today we're in Sugar Hill, enjoying a beautiful day of a three on three soccer tournament as part of the kickoff of the American Family Insurance Cup.
We truly believe that investing in the community is our responsibility, and we're making a difference every day.
American Family protects dreams and Atlanta United allows people to reach their dreams.
The All ATL Cup
Andre Dickens, Mayor of Atlanta: Good morning, everybody, good morning! It's good to see each and every last one of you all here today. What a wonderful day in the city of Atlanta.
Tony Carter, Director of Programs, Soccer in the Streets: Here we are at Lindbergh Station, opening up our Station Soccer location, and we're quite excited to finally have some kids playing some footy here. Soccer in the Streets, essentially what we're trying to do is eliminate the barriers by providing access to the game.
Michael Riggs, VP of Sales, American Family Insurance: The access is critical. I think it's a great concept, it’s one that's going to continue to expand and one that we’re definitely proud of.
Tony Carter, Director of Programs, Soccer in the Streets: American Family has really stepped up to be a great partner for us. They are providing the support to program these locations and that goes deep with the kids.
Alonso, Player, Soccer in the Streets: Being here today made me feel more brave and better and made me have more confidence in myself.
Katie Carlson, Teacher, Garden Hills Elementary: I was sitting next to my players as Mayor Dickens was talking and he's like, “These are our future players. They're going to be playing at Mercedes-Benz someday.” And I saw them, like, elbowing their friends, like, that's going to be you. And they're like, yeah, yeah, that’s going to be me.
Michael Riggs, VP of Sales, American Family Insurance: Our goal is to protect and inspire dreams and we're proud to help these kids dream fearlessly.
A very unique experience
Supporting Youth Soccer at the Inaugural AmFam Cup
Tony Carter, Director of Programs, Soccer in the Streets: Soccer in the Streets is a non-profit organization that provides free soccer for kids in all neighborhoods. We're here to provide access to the game of soccer. American Family Insurance has been a great partner for Atlanta United and for them to partner with us, I think what it says about American Family Insurance is that they truly care about all facets of communities.
Hugo Zamora, Agent, American Family Insurance, Former SITS Coach: From the first day I saw the roof on the jersey: chills. American Family Insurance focuses on committing to the community. So donating $100,000 is a huge deal. American Family, the roof life, the protection that we provide, we can help our community. The relationship with Soccer in the Streets takes it to the next level for us.
Tony Carter, Director of Programs, Soccer in the Streets: We hope that kids are feeling that they are empowered. Through these team experiences, through these engagements with our partners, that they too can not only be a healthy component of their neighborhood but then to pass that along to not only to their family and friends but hopefully to the future generation within Atlanta. The fact that the kids are not only coming to the stadium but to walk out on that field but to shake hands and wear that jersey, that's a lifetime memory for them.
Young Fan: This is crazy. We just met the players of Atlanta United. It feels legendary!
Tony Carter, Director of Programs, Soccer in the Streets: And to see that smile?
Group: Dream Fearlessly!Tony Carter, Director of Programs, Soccer in the Streets: Nothing beats that.
Uniting Atlanta Series
Partnership for Southern Equity
Chandra Farley, Energy Equity Advocate: As a racial equity organization, we focus on historically marginalized communities, black communities, rural communities, low wealth communities, that really represent, folks who have been marginalized by race, income, zip code, which we have a broad spectrum of across the state of Georgia.
Nathaniel Smith, Founder and Chief Equity Officer, Partnership for Southern Equity: We choose to do work in four distinct areas. One area is around energy equity and climate justice that is our Just Energy portfolio.
Chandra Farley, Energy Equity Advocate: Just Energy is a framework for advancing energy equity, and we define energy equity as the fair distribution of the benefits and burdens of electricity production and consumption.
Michael MacMiller, Jr., Just Energy Student and Youth Organizer, Partnership for Southern Equity: I'm working with college-age students to learn more about sustainability issues, that is energy usage, water usage, who gets the benefits of energy, and who gets the burdens of energy, and ultimately how you can find an opportunity in that space to show your brilliance. 85% of all green jobs are white males and we want to do something about that. We we know that it doesn't take a Yale degree, it isn't take you to be 35 years old to be able to go get on the roof and install some solar, or go into a sales department and work in hydroelectric or go and be an advocacy person at a law firm. You can do all of those things while being young, and of color, in Atlanta right now.
Nathaniel Smith, Founder and Chief Equity Officer, Partnership for Southern Equity: It's not just about equity being the right thing to do as it relates to the challenges, that various communities are facing but equity is actually good for business. And for American Family Insurance to begin the process of measuring value differently and understanding that their contribution to the community can really extend far beyond their profit margin. It means the world to me because there's so many people that don't understand that we all do well when we all do well and I think that is how in the private sector companies should understand the importance of their engagement in the community, in particular, around issues of equity and inclusion. And so I just believe that American Family Insurance is really leading the way, and I, you know, am definitely looking forward hopefully to continuing to work with them in the future.
The Village Market Atlanta
Kristen Smith, Small Business Champion, ELEVATE; Our Village United, Inc.: First market, nice location, basics, small table, you know, two people at the door. And when you walked in there were just so many people who were just excited about this opportunity and this event here in Atlanta. So with The Village Market, the actual Marketplace, the event, you have the public who is raving and excited about supporting your business. They saw the need, they wanted to close the equity gap. They wanted to make sure that those businesses were supported and that's one arm. Then you look at The Village Retail. You have a select few of vendors whose products are in here. And if you come in here on a daily basis, trust me, people are picking products. They're not just coming to window browse as they would in other shops. They're coming to specifically support, and they know that they can help close the gap. They know that they can help propel that business forward. And then when you look at the Elevate program in Our Village United, the nonprofit arm, we're helping those small businesses look at their pay gaps, understand how to get paid what they're worth. Look at their business plan, understand their company structure, and see how they can start really charging what they worth. Whether they're a service-based business or a product-based business. So that's how The Village is helping.
M. Cole Jones, Small Business Champion, ELEVATE: Our Village United, Inc.: Being an entrepreneur, being a black entrepreneur, can be challenging. You may have an idea that you want to pursue, but you may think that my idea isn't big enough. You may think that I don't have enough money to pursue this dream or you may just get, you know, nervous because you don't know which way to go, You know, so there needed to be a ecosystem, a Village to support them. Teacher Jade came to the program like, well, I got this service offering for online teaching, I got products and books I want to roll out soon. Like wow, slow down, so you're doing great. But again, let's make sure we're focusing on, you know, your mission, your purpose, your vision, alright and let's make sure that we're focusing on where you’re having the most success. So let's foster that, let's grow that and we pushed her and challenged her to want to expand her program but within the area where she was having the most success. So now she's doing 4X over, you know, the $10,000 a month that she was already doing. So now she's able to actually employ teachers, so she's going from being a solopreneur now to really having a functioning thriving business.
Jade Weatherington, M. Ed, Founder, Teacher Jade: Being a part of the cohort allowed me access to all these people who know what they're talking about as far as business. So that I actually had a legit business and I'm running it the way that it needs to be ran so that I can be successful and also so my staff can be successful. It kind of taught me all the steps that I would have just jumped right over and it gave me the motivation and the push to actually hire my teachers and I'm so glad I did.
M. Cole Jones, Small Business Champion, ELEVATE: Our Village United, Inc.: So then you have Christan with Complete Revenue Coalition. So it's a collection business. She fell into it, you know, it’s a very, very unique niche. We helped her streamline her focus, right? So, during her time within the cohort, within these 12 weeks she's been able to collect 1.3 million.
Christan Carter, Founder, Complete Revenue Coalition: I have a master’s in Business Administration, but the program literally gave me a bit more hands-on experience than that master’s that I have. The Elevate program really dug into the very specific techniques that I needed including strategic planning, financing, marketing, every little detail of what I needed to make my business successful.
M. Cole Jones, Small Business Champion, ELEVATE: Our Village United, Inc.: So success looks like many different things for each business, but more importantly, it's for them to know that they have a Village and that they can do this. They can be Free To Dream, you know, they can be free to achieve anything that they want to achieve and that's what we’re here to help them do. So when you think about the foundation of American Family. When you think about Atlanta United, you know, those organizations took what they have and, you know, are making a huge impact, within the communities that they serve. That's all that we doing here. It just makes sense for us to find a way to kind of work together. Find a way for us to unite collectively, while we are united on our journey to serve our communities respectively. So get involved become a part of the community and we'll see you soon.
Sandra Barnhill, Founder & CEO, Foreverfamily: Foreverfamily is an agency that really feels like home. It's where people come, particularly people who've been affected by parental incarceration, whether that be the children, the caregivers, or the parent in prison. It's a place that they come to work on remaining a family. In my 34 years what I’ve found about all of our families is they want what I want. They want a good quality of life, they want their kids to have a great future and they want to be contributing members of this society. One of the biggest ways that Foreverfamily helps families stay intact, is by taking children to visit their incarcerated parent. In our 34 years, we've taken over 45,000 kids on the road, minimum three hour drive, maximum five hour drive to spend three to five hours in a tiny little space with their parent, doing what families do which is love one another. Taking the children on that long trek to see their parents is something that we are the only people in this state doing.
Beth Githuku, National Board of Directors, Foreverfamily: I before reading about Foreverfamily’s mission had never stopped to think about the problem. You know, our kids’ parents a lot of times are incarcerated, you know, more than a hundred miles from where they live. They may not have a car as a family, they may live with someone who needs to work on the weekends. So if you don't have someone to take you to the prison, you don't get to see your parent, and that just feels wrong. The kids don't see the prison they see their parent. They're just hanging out with their mom for the day. They're telling them what's going on in school and, you know, just normal stuff. So that's what keeps me going, is their ability to keep doing that with their moms.
Marketa Harris, Deputy Director, Foreverfamily: For the kids that go through this program, they have a better school performance, they have less behavior problems. For the parents, they're less likely to recidivate when they come out and I would definitely say the reasoning behind that is because of the hope that they receive when they are able to see their children. They know I can come back out and I'll be able to have this connection with my child and that child knows, like, my parent didn't just leave me. They know the reasoning behind it so they don't have those feelings of abandonment.
Sandra Barnhill, Founder & CEO, Foreverfamily: Doing the work that Foreverfamily does, it's hard, and it's lonely. And so American Family is now coming alongside of us, right? And through their Free To Dream initiative, they are reminding me that yeah, even after three decades of this work, people still need to be Free To Dream. And it's nice to know that they're more people willing to dream with me and to support the dreams of the children and the families that we serve. And I think the tears are about what can we do in this world if all of us come together and we ourselves are Free To Dream, but we ensure that children and families are Free To Dream. The sky would be the limit.
Uniting Atlanta Mural by GFB3
Check it out in person at 515 Ponce de Leon Avenue in Atlanta.
George F. Baker III, Illustrator & Muralist: I think the beauty of being an artist and recognizing yourself as that is understanding that, you truly are a vessel and a funnel for the outside world. You know, you're literally walking through life collecting all these different stories, these different narratives, and you're supposed to process all of that. And then be able to generate some type of communicative effort from that or just idea from it.
This recent piece entitled Uniting Atlanta really is about simply just that. Once I kind of got my hands on the colors and the ideals behind the unity kit. Once I was able to see the red clay influence, this beautiful like peach color, of course that represents Peach State. It told me like, okay, this was something that was supposed to be grounded to Atlanta. I think one of the most beautiful things about me working out in public, is that I get to be in conversation with people. And in my personal opinion, I feel like that's how you close the gaps. You have honest conversations with people because that's what people, they want to be heard. They want to be felt, they want to be understood.
And with the support from American Family, I just, I really appreciate just the fact that they're trying to like, do their best to be a part of the conversation by highlighting initiatives that are already out here doing the work. They're saying like, no, we believe in those dreamers, we believe in those dreamers and their dreams, and we want to push that forward as best as we possibly can. Because, you know, by doing that you're allowing the people that are a part of that community to elevate themselves and to elevate others. And I just want people to recognize the potential that they already have, and that there's so much that can be gained from this moment, if we're just willing to do the work.
Refuge Coffee Co.
Leon Shombana, Customer Experience Coordinator, Refuge Coffee Co.: It's a good thing to work with people from different cultures, it helps us to understand how the world become like a small village.
Kitti Murray, Founder and CEO, Refuge Coffee Co.: Refuge Coffee is at its core, we’re a job training and job opportunity nonprofit. We do that in the context of a coffee business, all of our job training baristas are resettled refugees or immigrants from our community, but I think the better description is that we're a business that's all about welcome.
Leon Shombana, Customer Experience Coordinator, Refuge Coffee Co.: Imagine someone who just to left his country. He escaped death, he stays for many years inside the refugee camp and then when he came here he doesn't know exactly what to do. He doesn't know exactly how life is going to be here. So many things goes in his head trying to understand, is this community going to accept me, but here he found someone who said hey, you are welcome. So that word is very powerful. To welcome someone, you open your heart.
Kitti Murray, Founder and CEO, Refuge Coffee Co.: Here we are in what Time Magazine called the most diverse square mile in the country, filled with people, from 45 different countries, that speak 65 different languages, and then that represents a lot of cultures. But, there are also resettle refugees who are resilient and strong and often very heroic. And so, as we got to know our neighbors, I started sort of dreaming of ways to connect my worlds, you know? And the other thing we began to see in the community was that there were not good jobs that could lead to flourishing. It's gratifying to know that a big company like American Family Insurance and a big soccer franchise like Atlanta United, you know, that you all want to support this idea of welcome. I love the fact that that's getting noticed, you know, just that idea that welcome is important. And welcoming people rather than borrowing them or dismissing them.
Leon Shombana, Customer Experience Coordinator, Refuge Coffee Co.: When you talk about unity, it means togetherness. When you are together, which means there is no conflict, when you are together, which means there is a love. So if the people work together and they were united, there would be less harm and more love.
Common Good Atlanta
Dr. Sarah Higinbotham, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Common Good Atlanta: Recidivism rates in the state of Georgia are above 40%. That means almost half of everyone who leaves prison is rearrested and incarcerated again within three years. Common Good Atlanta is a nonprofit organization that teaches college-level classes inside four state prisons. One of the reasons that we called our organization Common Good, is that we wanted to emphasize the ways in which bridging Atlanta's colleges and universities with Georgia's prison system is a way to foster unity throughout the state. What has been proven to be the single most effective factor in reducing someone's chances of going back to prison is having access to college programming.
Tariq Baiyina, Alumnus & Member of the Board of Directors, Common Good Atlanta: I saw a guy reading some text or some literature in the in the dorm and he was reading you know, some things that were not really normal in prison, right? You don't see people normally reading classical texts like Dante and Shakespeare in prison, and so I saw him reading that and it intrigued me. I asked him about it, he told me well I'm reading for class, it’s a college class that I'm taking. I had to go check it out for myself and he was like, yeah man, just come up. They welcomed me with open arms, you know, smiles. When you walk into that environment, you know and you’re treated as a scholar. Which really you know, in our society, when we look at a scholar, we think of a scholar this is somebody who, you know, we uphold.
Janine Solursh, Alumna & member of the Board of Directors, Common Good Atlanta: I remember the moment that I met her as I walked up to my first class and she was there standing with an armful of books and the biggest smile you've ever seen in your life and just so absolutely genuinely welcoming. I feel that the universe, you know, sometimes brings the family that you choose into your life, and she has become family for me. She is as close as I've ever met to another human being, as an angel.
Dr. Sarah Higinbotham, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Common Good Atlanta:When college faculty come in and treat our students inside prison as valuable citizens of Atlanta, that human dignity is going to be conveyed. And I think we can harness dignity in ways that will make Atlanta stronger for everyone. So while Georgia's recidivism rate is in the high 40s, Common Good Atlanta's recidivism rate is .5%. That means less than 1% of everyone that we've had the privilege of teaching inside prison, has ever been convicted of another crime once they're released. And where our message about the Common Good and how we can see that strengthening Atlanta, we've seen that message challenged in many ways, throughout the city and throughout the state. Then to have American Family, reach out to us and say, we recognize what you're doing. It promotes unity, it allows people to dream, it can change people leaving prison, it can change their entire future. To have that kind of support has been so astonishingly, beautiful and inspiring, and encouraging for all of us.
Patrick Rodriguez, Alumnus & Director of Advocacy and Community Engagement, Common Good Atlanta: There's definitely multiple ways to help, one of them is monetary donations, right. Any amount obviously helps when it comes to the donation of time just reaching out and asking how you can be of help, you know, hands are always needed. There's never a shortage of tasks that can be done. I think that that inherently creates, creates community and also builds it. I want to live in a world where we can show grace and forgiveness for everybody. Because I believe that everybody deserves a second chance and an opportunity.