Loading...
 

It takes a village

Commerce and community come together at the Village Market ATL

Consumer Feature Featured
Photo credit: Sheree R Swann Photos
RETAIL THERAPY: Attendees shop at the most recent Village Market event at the Westside Cultural Arts Center.

Amixture of art, live performances, plant-based food and a collective of social entrepreneurs of color, the Village Market ATL experience is a unique one. The quarterly family-friendly affair invites the community to shop, be entertained, gain knowledge and fellowship.

“I wanted it to feel like one big family reunion/party,” says founder and curator Dr. Lakeysha “Key” Hallmon. “There’s a lot happening in the space, and I think that’s what makes it really special.”The concept for the marketplace was born after Hallmon began hosting master classes on business development and financial empowerment under another social enterprise she created, Young, Gifted and Black. The monthly sessions, which she called the Village Market Series, were free and quickly began to expand. “Each month, there would be over 100 attendees in these master classes, and more than 80 percent of them were entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs,” Hallmon recalls. “People were hungry for knowledge on how to build and sustain their businesses, but there wasn’t a platform for them to gain the exposure they needed to be successful.”

Hallmon recognized this as an opportunity to create that platform. So, leveraging the audience she gained through the classes, she began designing the blueprint for an event that the entrepreneurs could graduate to in order to put what they had learned into action.

With each event, the Village Market ATL has gained momentum and currently has a waiting list of vendors for its next expo. And to ensure they have a solid showcase, each merchant is thoroughly vetted. Hallmon’s team considers the length of time a potential vendor has been in business, payment options available to customers and more. They also have honest conversations with entrepreneurs about what the owner believes is stifling their company’s growth.“

I really have a very good vision of what I want for our community and black entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color,” Hallmon says. “I want us to have infrastructure of strong customer service, excellence in quality and sustainability.”But of more importance than the goods and/or services a vendor provides is its record of giving back to the community. “You have to be a social entrepreneur,” Hallmon says. “You can’t just come and make money. That’s being short-sighted in terms of what the village needs. I really believe in the model of when you give, you receive and when you receive, you give.”

And her belief seems to be proving itself true. The events get more than just foot traffic from window shoppers. At the most recent expo in July, more than 1,200 attendees spent a combined total of more than $25,000 with vendors with a portion of that money being redirected back into the community. Separate from vendor giving, the Village Market ATL itself applied a large portion of the admission ticket proceeds to We Got Your Back, a grant Hallmon set up to support organizations that focus on creating engaging and progressive opportunities for youth. Plus, a select number of attendees was awarded bundles of empowerment vouchers that could be used for free services, including therapy sessions, gym memberships and plant-based meals.

Once well established, the plan is to grow the Village Market beyond Atlanta. “We want to hit the urban cities of the United States and internationally bringing more exposure and consistency to buying in the local community,” she says. “The vision is to create a strong skeleton of buying black, buying local and being intentional about our spending, and for entrepreneurs, also being intentional about the product that they’re selling.”

Despite the various expos, festivals, entertainment and pop-up events that are a part of Atlanta’s  consumer landscape, it hasn’t given rise to a sense of competitiveness in Hallmon.

“I understand that this is Atlanta and everything is showy. There’s a place for showy, and there’s a community for it. I’m OK with that. It’s just not my area,” she says with a smile. “If Beyoncé is coming to town, it’s showy, and I’m going. But, the Village Market is truly like a family reunion with people you don’t know, and I want us to know what it feels like to come together again.”

The Black Friday edition of the Village Market ATL takes place Nov. 24-25 at the Georgia Freight Depot, 65 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive S.W. For more details and to purchase tickets, visit www.thevillagemarketatl.com.



More By This Writer

array(81) {
  ["title"]=>
  string(18) "Making yoga better"
  ["modification_date"]=>
  string(25) "2018-06-13T01:00:53+00:00"
  ["creation_date"]=>
  string(25) "2018-01-30T13:58:32+00:00"
  ["contributors"]=>
  array(1) {
    [0]=>
    string(29) "ben.eason@creativeloafing.com"
  }
  ["date"]=>
  string(25) "2017-08-10T22:36:00+00:00"
  ["tracker_status"]=>
  string(1) "o"
  ["tracker_id"]=>
  string(2) "11"
  ["view_permission"]=>
  string(13) "view_trackers"
  ["tracker_field_contentTitle"]=>
  string(18) "Making yoga better"
  ["tracker_field_contentCreator"]=>
  string(28) "clint@thenetworkedplanet.com"
  ["tracker_field_contentCreator_text"]=>
  string(12) "Clint Bergst"
  ["tracker_field_contentByline"]=>
  string(15) "Kennedy Spencer"
  ["tracker_field_contentByline_exact"]=>
  string(15) "Kennedy Spencer"
  ["tracker_field_contentBylinePerson"]=>
  string(8) "20855669"
  ["tracker_field_description"]=>
  string(81) "Rutu Chaudhari's mission to move the practice beyond pricey pants and fancy poses"
  ["tracker_field_description_raw"]=>
  string(81) "Rutu Chaudhari's mission to move the practice beyond pricey pants and fancy poses"
  ["tracker_field_contentDate"]=>
  string(25) "2017-08-10T22:36:00+00:00"
  ["tracker_field_contentWikiPage"]=>
  string(28) "Content:_:Making yoga better"
  ["tracker_field_contentWikiPage_text"]=>
  string(4610) "Tucked inside an Inman Park studio with a stylish yet unassuming red-framed glass fa̤ade, a petite businesswoman is planning a revolution in yoga. Rutu Chaudhari, owner of All Life is Yoga, wants to expand the footprint of yoga beyond cool pants, designer mats and power poses. It's not that she has anything against these trendier trappings of the practice, per se. But, she admits, it frustrates her that mainstream yoga is promoted in a way that misses the mark on more than one level.

First, the diversity thing.

"Yoga came from India, but in the West, it's not an Indian practice," says Chaudhari, who has been teaching yoga for 13 years. "When we think about who does yoga, there's a particular image that comes to mind. And, it's often an affluent, white woman.

"There are communities of people that need yoga, but I think the biggest barrier is that they don't see themselves represented," she continues. "I'm not saying that one group shouldn't have access. It's just that one group has far more access to it than others."

In response to the dearth of diversity, she started the Dharma Project, a nonprofit organization that offers a variety of self-care practices, including yoga and mindfulness, to public service organizations and the communities that they engage with. Her plan is to start with the leadership of these organizations and leverage those relationships to bridge into communities.

"We want to focus on public servants as a starting point and start bringing practices like mindfulness and yoga to teachers, to police officers, to social workers, to nonprofit leaders," she says. "If they take care of themselves, it means they're more available, more productive, more clear in the work that they do. And the work that they do matters for all of us."

The Dharma Project is just under a year old and has not formally announced partnerships at this point; however, Chaudhari is actively working to develop and roll out its programming. Last year, because of the project, she and seven other social entrepreneurs were granted six-month fellowships by the Center for Civic Innovation to evolve their nascent concepts. The fellowship provided business development workshops, mentorship, advising and leadership training.



While building out the infrastructure of the Dharma Project and soliciting clients, she's also moving her vision forward through inclusive initiatives within her studio. Currently, she's working to recruit 10-15 police officers for a pilot session of yoga, and on Aug. 19, she begins leading a 200-hour teacher training that will last nine months to take a step toward inclusion and accessibility. She believes that if yoga teachers looked more like a broader scope of the communities that exist in the city, it would draw others to the practice.

"I want to train more people of color, more in the LGBT community, larger body sizes, people with different shapes to their bodies, men, people that are sort of left out," Chaudhari says. "Right now ... we're leaving the majority of people out."

Her second frustration with mainstream yoga deals with the mindfulness issue or the lack thereof. "Yoga is not a form of athleticism," she says. "The essence of the practice is to teach you to become self-referential not to perform a pose."

From her perspective, that commercialization has transformed a sitting, contemplative practice that is thousands of years old to a series of postures that have only been around for roughly 150-200 years. She explains that, in reality, the postures should only take up a small portion of a yoga session and that they should come after the meditation portion. This is a sore spot for Chaudhari because when she began practicing yoga in college more than 15 years ago, it was the aspect of mindfulness that helped her to more effectively manage her own challenges with anxiety, depression and body image.

"It's been made into a fad," she laments. "But underneath all of that nonsense, there's the fact that this truly works and gives people a way to better the quality of their life, an outlet for their stress, a way to tap into peace and be self-aware, improve their relationships."

All Life is Yoga is a unique practice in the city, and Chaudhari is fine with that. And, she says, she's not in competition with other studios because her purpose is clear: to expose as many people as possible to the power and transformative capacity of yoga.

"I don't want yoga to be a luxury. I want it to be a way of life."

All Life is Yoga, 27 Waddell St., Suite D. 404-491-9027. www.alllifeisyoga.com."
  ["tracker_field_contentWikiPage_raw"]=>
  string(5638) "{HTML()}Arts Yoga1101AGENT OF CHANGE: Rutu Chaudhari, owner of All Life is Yoga and founder of the Dharma ProjectJoeff Davis{HTML}Tucked inside an Inman Park studio with a stylish yet unassuming red-framed glass fa̤ade, a petite businesswoman is planning a revolution in yoga. Rutu Chaudhari, owner of [http://www.alllifeisyoga.com/|All Life is Yoga], wants to expand the footprint of yoga beyond cool pants, designer mats and power poses. It's not that she has anything against these trendier trappings of the practice, per se. But, she admits, it frustrates her that mainstream yoga is promoted in a way that misses the mark on more than one level.

First, the diversity thing.

"Yoga came from India, but in the West, it's not an Indian practice," says Chaudhari, who has been teaching yoga for 13 years. "When we think about who does yoga, there's a particular image that comes to mind. And, it's often an affluent, white woman.

"There are communities of people that need yoga, but I think the biggest barrier is that they don't see themselves represented," she continues. "I'm not saying that one group shouldn't have access. It's just that one group has far more access to it than others."

In response to the dearth of diversity, she started the Dharma Project, a nonprofit organization that offers a variety of self-care practices, including yoga and mindfulness, to public service organizations and the communities that they engage with. Her plan is to start with the leadership of these organizations and leverage those relationships to bridge into communities.

"We want to focus on public servants as a starting point and start bringing practices like mindfulness and yoga to teachers, to police officers, to social workers, to nonprofit leaders," she says. "If they take care of themselves, it means they're more available, more productive, more clear in the work that they do. And the work that they do matters for all of us."

The Dharma Project is just under a year old and has not formally announced partnerships at this point; however, Chaudhari is actively working to develop and roll out its programming. Last year, because of the project, she and seven other social entrepreneurs were granted six-month fellowships by the Center for Civic Innovation to evolve their nascent concepts. The fellowship provided business development workshops, mentorship, advising and leadership training.

{HTML()}Arts Yoga1201TEACHABLE MOMENT: Chaudhari works with a student at her All Life is Yoga studio.Joeff Davis{HTML}

While building out the infrastructure of the Dharma Project and soliciting clients, she's also moving her vision forward through inclusive initiatives within her studio. Currently, she's working to recruit 10-15 police officers for a pilot session of yoga, and on Aug. 19, she begins leading a 200-hour teacher training that will last nine months to take a step toward inclusion and accessibility. She believes that if yoga teachers looked more like a broader scope of the communities that exist in the city, it would draw others to the practice.

"I want to train more people of color, more in the LGBT community, larger body sizes, people with different shapes to their bodies, men, people that are sort of left out," Chaudhari says. "Right now ... we're leaving the majority of people out."

Her second frustration with mainstream yoga deals with the mindfulness issue or the lack thereof. "Yoga is not a form of athleticism," she says. "The essence of the practice is to teach you to become self-referential not to perform a pose."

From her perspective, that commercialization has transformed a sitting, contemplative practice that is thousands of years old to a series of postures that have only been around for roughly 150-200 years. She explains that, in reality, the postures should only take up a small portion of a yoga session and that they should come after the meditation portion. This is a sore spot for Chaudhari because when she began practicing yoga in college more than 15 years ago, it was the aspect of mindfulness that helped her to more effectively manage her own challenges with anxiety, depression and body image.

"It's been made into a fad," she laments. "But underneath all of that nonsense, there's the fact that this truly works and gives people a way to better the quality of their life, an outlet for their stress, a way to tap into peace and be self-aware, improve their relationships."

All Life is Yoga is a unique practice in the city, and Chaudhari is fine with that. And, she says, she's not in competition with other studios because her purpose is clear: to expose as many people as possible to the power and transformative capacity of yoga.

"I don't want yoga to be a luxury. I want it to be a way of life."

''All Life is Yoga, 27 Waddell St., Suite D. 404-491-9027.'' [http://www.alllifeisyoga.com|www.alllifeisyoga.com]."
  ["tracker_field_contentWikiPage_creation_date"]=>
  string(25) "2018-02-17T22:15:28+00:00"
  ["tracker_field_contentWikiPage_modification_date"]=>
  string(25) "2018-04-07T23:55:03+00:00"
  ["tracker_field_contentCategory"]=>
  array(1) {
    [0]=>
    string(3) "730"
  }
  ["tracker_field_contentCategory_text"]=>
  string(3) "730"
  ["tracker_field_contentControlCategory"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["tracker_field_scene"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["tracker_field_contentNeighborhood"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["tracker_field_contentRelations_multi"]=>
  array(1) {
    [0]=>
    string(0) ""
  }
  ["tracker_field_contentRelatedContent_multi"]=>
  array(1) {
    [0]=>
    string(0) ""
  }
  ["tracker_field_contentRelatedWikiPages_multi"]=>
  array(1) {
    [0]=>
    string(0) ""
  }
  ["tracker_field_contentBASEContentID"]=>
  string(8) "20972203"
  ["tracker_field_contentBASEAuthorID"]=>
  int(0)
  ["tracker_field_contentLegacyURL1"]=>
  string(78) "http://dev.creativeloafing.com/image/2017/08/arts_yoga1_2_01.598caa885adb1.png"
  ["tracker_field_section"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["language"]=>
  string(7) "unknown"
  ["attachments"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["comment_count"]=>
  int(0)
  ["categories"]=>
  array(1) {
    [0]=>
    int(730)
  }
  ["deep_categories"]=>
  array(3) {
    [0]=>
    int(242)
    [1]=>
    int(244)
    [2]=>
    int(730)
  }
  ["categories_under_28"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["deep_categories_under_28"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["categories_under_1"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["deep_categories_under_1"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["categories_under_177"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["deep_categories_under_177"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["categories_under_209"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["deep_categories_under_209"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["categories_under_163"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["deep_categories_under_163"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["categories_under_171"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["deep_categories_under_171"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["categories_under_153"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["deep_categories_under_153"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["categories_under_242"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["deep_categories_under_242"]=>
  array(2) {
    [0]=>
    int(244)
    [1]=>
    int(730)
  }
  ["categories_under_564"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["deep_categories_under_564"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["categories_under_1182"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["deep_categories_under_1182"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["freetags"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["geo_located"]=>
  string(1) "n"
  ["allowed_groups"]=>
  array(2) {
    [0]=>
    string(6) "Admins"
    [1]=>
    string(9) "Anonymous"
  }
  ["allowed_users"]=>
  array(1) {
    [0]=>
    string(28) "clint@thenetworkedplanet.com"
  }
  ["relations"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["relation_objects"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["relation_types"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["relation_count"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["title_initial"]=>
  string(1) "M"
  ["title_firstword"]=>
  string(6) "Making"
  ["searchable"]=>
  string(1) "y"
  ["url"]=>
  string(10) "item266119"
  ["object_type"]=>
  string(11) "trackeritem"
  ["object_id"]=>
  string(6) "266119"
  ["contents"]=>
  string(4974) "    Rutu Chaudhari's mission to move the practice beyond pricey pants and fancy poses   2017-08-10T22:36:00+00:00 Making yoga better clint@thenetworkedplanet.com Clint Bergst Kennedy Spencer  2017-08-10T22:36:00+00:00  Tucked inside an Inman Park studio with a stylish yet unassuming red-framed glass fa̤ade, a petite businesswoman is planning a revolution in yoga. Rutu Chaudhari, owner of All Life is Yoga, wants to expand the footprint of yoga beyond cool pants, designer mats and power poses. It's not that she has anything against these trendier trappings of the practice, per se. But, she admits, it frustrates her that mainstream yoga is promoted in a way that misses the mark on more than one level.

First, the diversity thing.

"Yoga came from India, but in the West, it's not an Indian practice," says Chaudhari, who has been teaching yoga for 13 years. "When we think about who does yoga, there's a particular image that comes to mind. And, it's often an affluent, white woman.

"There are communities of people that need yoga, but I think the biggest barrier is that they don't see themselves represented," she continues. "I'm not saying that one group shouldn't have access. It's just that one group has far more access to it than others."

In response to the dearth of diversity, she started the Dharma Project, a nonprofit organization that offers a variety of self-care practices, including yoga and mindfulness, to public service organizations and the communities that they engage with. Her plan is to start with the leadership of these organizations and leverage those relationships to bridge into communities.

"We want to focus on public servants as a starting point and start bringing practices like mindfulness and yoga to teachers, to police officers, to social workers, to nonprofit leaders," she says. "If they take care of themselves, it means they're more available, more productive, more clear in the work that they do. And the work that they do matters for all of us."

The Dharma Project is just under a year old and has not formally announced partnerships at this point; however, Chaudhari is actively working to develop and roll out its programming. Last year, because of the project, she and seven other social entrepreneurs were granted six-month fellowships by the Center for Civic Innovation to evolve their nascent concepts. The fellowship provided business development workshops, mentorship, advising and leadership training.



While building out the infrastructure of the Dharma Project and soliciting clients, she's also moving her vision forward through inclusive initiatives within her studio. Currently, she's working to recruit 10-15 police officers for a pilot session of yoga, and on Aug. 19, she begins leading a 200-hour teacher training that will last nine months to take a step toward inclusion and accessibility. She believes that if yoga teachers looked more like a broader scope of the communities that exist in the city, it would draw others to the practice.

"I want to train more people of color, more in the LGBT community, larger body sizes, people with different shapes to their bodies, men, people that are sort of left out," Chaudhari says. "Right now ... we're leaving the majority of people out."

Her second frustration with mainstream yoga deals with the mindfulness issue or the lack thereof. "Yoga is not a form of athleticism," she says. "The essence of the practice is to teach you to become self-referential not to perform a pose."

From her perspective, that commercialization has transformed a sitting, contemplative practice that is thousands of years old to a series of postures that have only been around for roughly 150-200 years. She explains that, in reality, the postures should only take up a small portion of a yoga session and that they should come after the meditation portion. This is a sore spot for Chaudhari because when she began practicing yoga in college more than 15 years ago, it was the aspect of mindfulness that helped her to more effectively manage her own challenges with anxiety, depression and body image.

"It's been made into a fad," she laments. "But underneath all of that nonsense, there's the fact that this truly works and gives people a way to better the quality of their life, an outlet for their stress, a way to tap into peace and be self-aware, improve their relationships."

All Life is Yoga is a unique practice in the city, and Chaudhari is fine with that. And, she says, she's not in competition with other studios because her purpose is clear: to expose as many people as possible to the power and transformative capacity of yoga.

"I don't want yoga to be a luxury. I want it to be a way of life."

All Life is Yoga, 27 Waddell St., Suite D. 404-491-9027. www.alllifeisyoga.com.             20972203         http://dev.creativeloafing.com/image/2017/08/arts_yoga1_2_01.598caa885adb1.png                  Making yoga better "
  ["score"]=>
  float(0)
  ["_index"]=>
  string(21) "atlantawiki_tiki_main"
  ["objectlink"]=>
  string(200) "Making yoga better"
  ["photos"]=>
  string(130) "Coming Soon

"
  ["desc"]=>
  string(90) "Rutu Chaudhari's mission to move the practice beyond pricey pants and fancy poses"
  ["eventDate"]=>
  string(90) "Rutu Chaudhari's mission to move the practice beyond pricey pants and fancy poses"
  ["noads"]=>
  string(10) "y"
}

Article

Thursday August 10, 2017 06:36 pm EDT
Rutu Chaudhari's mission to move the practice beyond pricey pants and fancy poses | more...
array(87) {
  ["title"]=>
  string(22) "A legacy of resistance"
  ["modification_date"]=>
  string(25) "2019-02-20T04:56:27+00:00"
  ["creation_date"]=>
  string(25) "2018-01-31T07:07:11+00:00"
  ["contributors"]=>
  array(1) {
    [0]=>
    string(29) "ben.eason@creativeloafing.com"
  }
  ["date"]=>
  string(25) "2017-03-23T02:33:00+00:00"
  ["tracker_status"]=>
  string(1) "o"
  ["tracker_id"]=>
  string(2) "11"
  ["view_permission"]=>
  string(13) "view_trackers"
  ["tracker_field_contentTitle"]=>
  string(22) "A legacy of resistance"
  ["tracker_field_contentCreator"]=>
  string(29) "ben.eason@creativeloafing.com"
  ["tracker_field_contentCreator_text"]=>
  string(9) "Ben Eason"
  ["tracker_field_contentByline"]=>
  string(15) "Kennedy Spencer"
  ["tracker_field_contentByline_exact"]=>
  string(15) "Kennedy Spencer"
  ["tracker_field_contentBylinePerson"]=>
  string(8) "20855669"
  ["tracker_field_description"]=>
  string(56) "How intown residents fought the powers that be - and won"
  ["tracker_field_description_raw"]=>
  string(56) "How intown residents fought the powers that be - and won"
  ["tracker_field_contentDate"]=>
  string(25) "2017-03-23T02:33:00+00:00"
  ["tracker_field_contentWikiPage"]=>
  string(32) "Content:_:A legacy of resistance"
  ["tracker_field_contentWikiPage_text"]=>
  string(5066) "Cathy Bradshaw and many of her neighbors know what it feels like to fight a former U.S. president and win. The story of their journey to victory was recently depicted in the Inman Park pop-up exhibit Pickets, Protests and Parkways. And, while the exhibit showcased artifacts representative of key events of years past, some residents believe it is particularly relevant today.

“There are so many parallels with what they did that it’s like a how-to manual for activism today,” says Cristy Lenz, an Inman Park resident and co-organizer of the exhibit. “We’ve got to do more than marches because it’s gotten to the point where none of us can afford to not have activist on our resume. Whether you can devote 10 minutes or 10 hours, everyone can find a cause they’re passionate about — like Trump’s immigration ban or affordable housing around the Beltline — and get involved. Do something.

”Long before Inman Park became home to bike lanes, its annual festival and Tour of Homes, and Freedom Park, it was considered a “blighted urban community.” In fact, due to the dilapidated condition of many of the historic Victorian homes and more than 200 acres of empty land that was overgrown with kudzu, Inman Park and many of the neighboring communities were on the short list to become a casualty of development plans that were set in motion back in the 1960s.

Through the years, several elected and appointed officials offered solutions to hide, if not eliminate, the wart on the nose of Georgia’s capital city. And, in 1981, when ex-president Jimmy Carter was deciding on a location for his library, he and Mayor Andrew Young and Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Tom Moreland made a deal to create what would be known as the Presidential Parkway. The plan would’ve placed a high-speed expressway with truck traffic and five bridges over the intown neighborhoods and, among other things, placed a playground just a fence away from the new expressway.

Infuriated homeowners were galvanized. The line for a David and Goliath battle had been drawn. In spite of what the politicians and many others in the local business community thought, residents of the affected areas — artists, professors, lawyers, stay-at-home moms and the like deep in the trenches of home renovation and raising kids — knew the value and potential of their properties. And they were willing to fight.

"Pickets, Protests and Parkways" organizers Cristy Lenz (from left) and Sandi Parker with Cathy Bradshaw, past president of C.A.U.T.I.O.N.Judy Clements

Joining Inman Park neighbors, homeowners banded together from Poncey-Highland, Candler Park, Druid Hills, the city of Decatur, Lake Claire, Virginia-Highland and East Lake, and they strategized a multi-point attack. Legal and political matters were handled by C.A.U.T.I.O.N. (Citizens Against Unnecessary Thoroughfares in Older Neighborhoods), and Road Busters was set up as the protest arm.

Both groups worked tirelessly. Road Busters barricaded bulldozers, tied themselves to trees and came to the fight ready to be arrested — and often were. C.A.U.T.I.O.N. coordinated litigation, fundraising, volunteers and lobbying. They also interviewed political candidates to determine who was anti-road and got the word out. In the era before cell phones, fax machines, email, Facebook and Twitter, the volunteers created phone trees, block captains and posted fliers around the city to make things happen and to mobilize thousands of people.

“We knew that just because a certain set of people were in office, their term would end one day,” Bradshaw says. “We knew that even though we were fighting an ex-president, we had the power to have our voice heard.”Ultimately, the activists were able to get 64 pro-neighborhood candidates elected to various political offices, including roles in Atlanta City Council, the Fulton County Commission, the DeKalb County Commission, and local representatives to the House and Georgia Senate.

The reward for their labor — a halt to the high-speed freeway plans — came not long after Gov. Zell Miller urged for a compromise soon after his election in 1990. All vested parties, including each of the neighborhood organizations, had a chair at the table. At the end of it all, Freedom Parkway had a green light. It was to be an at-grade, low-speed highway with no truck traffic and no bridges over city streets to provide access to the Carter Center. The remaining 200 acres were to be made into a city park with biking and jogging paths.The entire movement spanned about 30 years, with C.A.U.T.I.O.N. and Road Busters turning up the heat more intensely the final decade until the ink was dry.

Bradshaw, who played a key role in C.A.U.T.I.O.N., is modest when she reflects on her role in a movement that helped save some the city’s most cherished communities. “I never set out to be an activist. I was a mother and a homeowner,” she says. “I got involved just because I was passionate about saving our neighborhood.”"
  ["tracker_field_contentWikiPage_raw"]=>
  string(5171) "Cathy Bradshaw and many of her neighbors know what it feels like to fight a former U.S. president and win. The story of their journey to victory was recently depicted in the Inman Park pop-up exhibit ''Pickets, Protests and Parkways''. And, while the exhibit showcased artifacts representative of key events of years past, some residents believe it is particularly relevant today.

“There are so many parallels with what they did that it’s like a how-to manual for activism today,” says Cristy Lenz, an Inman Park resident and co-organizer of the exhibit. “We’ve got to do more than marches because it’s gotten to the point where none of us can afford to not have activist on our resume. Whether you can devote 10 minutes or 10 hours, everyone can find a cause they’re passionate about — like Trump’s immigration ban or affordable housing around the Beltline — and get involved. Do something.

”Long before Inman Park became home to bike lanes, its annual festival and Tour of Homes, and Freedom Park, it was considered a “blighted urban community.” In fact, due to the dilapidated condition of many of the historic Victorian homes and more than 200 acres of empty land that was overgrown with kudzu, Inman Park and many of the neighboring communities were on the short list to become a casualty of development plans that were set in motion back in the 1960s.

Through the years, several elected and appointed officials offered solutions to hide, if not eliminate, the wart on the nose of Georgia’s capital city. And, in 1981, when ex-president Jimmy Carter was deciding on a location for his library, he and Mayor Andrew Young and Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Tom Moreland made a deal to create what would be known as the Presidential Parkway. The plan would’ve placed a high-speed expressway with truck traffic and five bridges over the intown neighborhoods and, among other things, placed a playground just a fence away from the new expressway.

Infuriated homeowners were galvanized. The line for a David and Goliath battle had been drawn. In spite of what the politicians and many others in the local business community thought, residents of the affected areas — artists, professors, lawyers, stay-at-home moms and the like deep in the trenches of home renovation and raising kids — knew the value and potential of their properties. And they were willing to fight.

{img src="http://dev.creativeloafing.com/image/2017/03/cover_freedomparkway1_1_48.58d14d62acb9e.png"}"Pickets, Protests and Parkways" organizers Cristy Lenz (from left) and Sandi Parker with Cathy Bradshaw, past president of C.A.U.T.I.O.N.Judy Clements

Joining Inman Park neighbors, homeowners banded together from Poncey-Highland, Candler Park, Druid Hills, the city of Decatur, Lake Claire, Virginia-Highland and East Lake, and they strategized a multi-point attack. Legal and political matters were handled by C.A.U.T.I.O.N. (Citizens Against Unnecessary Thoroughfares in Older Neighborhoods), and Road Busters was set up as the protest arm.

Both groups worked tirelessly. Road Busters barricaded bulldozers, tied themselves to trees and came to the fight ready to be arrested — and often were. C.A.U.T.I.O.N. coordinated litigation, fundraising, volunteers and lobbying. They also interviewed political candidates to determine who was anti-road and got the word out. In the era before cell phones, fax machines, email, Facebook and Twitter, the volunteers created phone trees, block captains and posted fliers around the city to make things happen and to mobilize thousands of people.

“We knew that just because a certain set of people were in office, their term would end one day,” Bradshaw says. “We knew that even though we were fighting an ex-president, we had the power to have our voice heard.”Ultimately, the activists were able to get 64 pro-neighborhood candidates elected to various political offices, including roles in Atlanta City Council, the Fulton County Commission, the DeKalb County Commission, and local representatives to the House and Georgia Senate.

The reward for their labor — a halt to the high-speed freeway plans — came not long after Gov. Zell Miller urged for a compromise soon after his election in 1990. All vested parties, including each of the neighborhood organizations, had a chair at the table. At the end of it all, Freedom Parkway had a green light. It was to be an at-grade, low-speed highway with no truck traffic and no bridges over city streets to provide access to the Carter Center. The remaining 200 acres were to be made into a city park with biking and jogging paths.The entire movement spanned about 30 years, with C.A.U.T.I.O.N. and Road Busters turning up the heat more intensely the final decade until the ink was dry.

Bradshaw, who played a key role in C.A.U.T.I.O.N., is modest when she reflects on her role in a movement that helped save some the city’s most cherished communities. “I never set out to be an activist. I was a mother and a homeowner,” she says. “I got involved just because I was passionate about saving our neighborhood.”"
  ["tracker_field_contentWikiPage_creation_date"]=>
  string(25) "2018-02-01T03:09:47+00:00"
  ["tracker_field_contentWikiPage_modification_date"]=>
  string(25) "2019-02-18T21:42:50+00:00"
  ["tracker_field_photos"]=>
  string(5) "13754"
  ["tracker_field_contentCategory"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["tracker_field_contentControlCategory"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["tracker_field_scene"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["tracker_field_contentNeighborhood"]=>
  array(9) {
    [0]=>
    string(2) "93"
    [1]=>
    string(2) "97"
    [2]=>
    string(2) "99"
    [3]=>
    string(3) "904"
    [4]=>
    string(3) "102"
    [5]=>
    string(3) "926"
    [6]=>
    string(3) "106"
    [7]=>
    string(3) "107"
    [8]=>
    string(2) "27"
  }
  ["tracker_field_contentNeighborhood_text"]=>
  string(31) "93 97 99 904 102 926 106 107 27"
  ["tracker_field_contentRelations_multi"]=>
  array(1) {
    [0]=>
    string(0) ""
  }
  ["tracker_field_contentRelatedContent"]=>
  string(189) "trackeritem:268170
trackeritem:268183
trackeritem:268184
trackeritem:268182
trackeritem:268181
trackeritem:268180
trackeritem:268165
trackeritem:268176
trackeritem:268156
trackeritem:268187"
  ["tracker_field_contentRelatedContent_multi"]=>
  array(10) {
    [0]=>
    string(18) "trackeritem:268170"
    [1]=>
    string(18) "trackeritem:268183"
    [2]=>
    string(18) "trackeritem:268184"
    [3]=>
    string(18) "trackeritem:268182"
    [4]=>
    string(18) "trackeritem:268181"
    [5]=>
    string(18) "trackeritem:268180"
    [6]=>
    string(18) "trackeritem:268165"
    [7]=>
    string(18) "trackeritem:268176"
    [8]=>
    string(18) "trackeritem:268156"
    [9]=>
    string(18) "trackeritem:268187"
  }
  ["tracker_field_contentRelatedWikiPages"]=>
  string(33) "wiki page:Neighborhood Issue 2017"
  ["tracker_field_contentRelatedWikiPages_multi"]=>
  array(1) {
    [0]=>
    string(33) "wiki page:Neighborhood Issue 2017"
  }
  ["tracker_field_contentFreeTags"]=>
  string(25) ""neighborhood issue 2017""
  ["tracker_field_contentBASEContentID"]=>
  string(8) "20855670"
  ["tracker_field_contentBASEAuthorID"]=>
  int(0)
  ["tracker_field_contentLegacyURL1"]=>
  string(90) "https://dev.creativeloafing.com/image/2017/03/cover_freedomparkway1_2_48.58d14df9f2345.png"
  ["tracker_field_contentLegacyURL2"]=>
  string(90) "https://dev.creativeloafing.com/image/2017/03/cover_freedomparkway1_1_48.58d14d62acb9e.png"
  ["tracker_field_section"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["language"]=>
  string(7) "unknown"
  ["attachments"]=>
  array(1) {
    [0]=>
    string(5) "13754"
  }
  ["comment_count"]=>
  int(0)
  ["categories"]=>
  array(9) {
    [0]=>
    int(27)
    [1]=>
    int(93)
    [2]=>
    int(97)
    [3]=>
    int(99)
    [4]=>
    int(102)
    [5]=>
    int(106)
    [6]=>
    int(107)
    [7]=>
    int(904)
    [8]=>
    int(926)
  }
  ["deep_categories"]=>
  array(14) {
    [0]=>
    int(1)
    [1]=>
    int(149)
    [2]=>
    int(1276)
    [3]=>
    int(27)
    [4]=>
    int(104)
    [5]=>
    int(93)
    [6]=>
    int(97)
    [7]=>
    int(99)
    [8]=>
    int(102)
    [9]=>
    int(106)
    [10]=>
    int(107)
    [11]=>
    int(103)
    [12]=>
    int(904)
    [13]=>
    int(926)
  }
  ["categories_under_28"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["deep_categories_under_28"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["categories_under_1"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["deep_categories_under_1"]=>
  array(13) {
    [0]=>
    int(149)
    [1]=>
    int(1276)
    [2]=>
    int(27)
    [3]=>
    int(104)
    [4]=>
    int(93)
    [5]=>
    int(97)
    [6]=>
    int(99)
    [7]=>
    int(102)
    [8]=>
    int(106)
    [9]=>
    int(107)
    [10]=>
    int(103)
    [11]=>
    int(904)
    [12]=>
    int(926)
  }
  ["categories_under_177"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["deep_categories_under_177"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["categories_under_209"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["deep_categories_under_209"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["categories_under_163"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["deep_categories_under_163"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["categories_under_171"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["deep_categories_under_171"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["categories_under_153"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["deep_categories_under_153"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["categories_under_242"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["deep_categories_under_242"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["categories_under_564"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["deep_categories_under_564"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["categories_under_1182"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["deep_categories_under_1182"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["freetags"]=>
  array(1) {
    [0]=>
    string(3) "641"
  }
  ["freetags_text"]=>
  string(23) "neighborhood issue 2017"
  ["geo_located"]=>
  string(1) "n"
  ["allowed_groups"]=>
  array(2) {
    [0]=>
    string(6) "Admins"
    [1]=>
    string(9) "Anonymous"
  }
  ["allowed_users"]=>
  array(1) {
    [0]=>
    string(29) "ben.eason@creativeloafing.com"
  }
  ["relations"]=>
  array(12) {
    [0]=>
    string(27) "tiki.file.attach:file:13754"
    [1]=>
    string(53) "items.related.pages:wiki page:Neighborhood Issue 2017"
    [2]=>
    string(42) "content.related.content:trackeritem:268170"
    [3]=>
    string(42) "content.related.content:trackeritem:268156"
    [4]=>
    string(42) "content.related.content:trackeritem:268187"
    [5]=>
    string(49) "content.related.content.invert:trackeritem:268183"
    [6]=>
    string(49) "content.related.content.invert:trackeritem:268184"
    [7]=>
    string(49) "content.related.content.invert:trackeritem:268182"
    [8]=>
    string(49) "content.related.content.invert:trackeritem:268181"
    [9]=>
    string(49) "content.related.content.invert:trackeritem:268180"
    [10]=>
    string(49) "content.related.content.invert:trackeritem:268165"
    [11]=>
    string(49) "content.related.content.invert:trackeritem:268176"
  }
  ["relation_objects"]=>
  array(0) {
  }
  ["relation_types"]=>
  array(4) {
    [0]=>
    string(16) "tiki.file.attach"
    [1]=>
    string(19) "items.related.pages"
    [2]=>
    string(23) "content.related.content"
    [3]=>
    string(30) "content.related.content.invert"
  }
  ["relation_count"]=>
  array(4) {
    [0]=>
    string(18) "tiki.file.attach:1"
    [1]=>
    string(21) "items.related.pages:1"
    [2]=>
    string(25) "content.related.content:3"
    [3]=>
    string(32) "content.related.content.invert:7"
  }
  ["title_initial"]=>
  string(1) "A"
  ["title_firstword"]=>
  string(1) "A"
  ["searchable"]=>
  string(1) "y"
  ["url"]=>
  string(10) "item268173"
  ["object_type"]=>
  string(11) "trackeritem"
  ["object_id"]=>
  string(6) "268173"
  ["contents"]=>
  string(5680) " Cover Freedomparkway1 2 48.58d139bc25ec2  2019-02-18T17:55:38+00:00 cover_freedomparkway1_2_48.58d139bc25ec2.png    neighborhood issue 2017 How intown residents fought the powers that be - and won 13754  2017-03-23T02:33:00+00:00 A legacy of resistance ben.eason@creativeloafing.com Ben Eason Kennedy Spencer  2017-03-23T02:33:00+00:00  Cathy Bradshaw and many of her neighbors know what it feels like to fight a former U.S. president and win. The story of their journey to victory was recently depicted in the Inman Park pop-up exhibit Pickets, Protests and Parkways. And, while the exhibit showcased artifacts representative of key events of years past, some residents believe it is particularly relevant today.

“There are so many parallels with what they did that it’s like a how-to manual for activism today,” says Cristy Lenz, an Inman Park resident and co-organizer of the exhibit. “We’ve got to do more than marches because it’s gotten to the point where none of us can afford to not have activist on our resume. Whether you can devote 10 minutes or 10 hours, everyone can find a cause they’re passionate about — like Trump’s immigration ban or affordable housing around the Beltline — and get involved. Do something.

”Long before Inman Park became home to bike lanes, its annual festival and Tour of Homes, and Freedom Park, it was considered a “blighted urban community.” In fact, due to the dilapidated condition of many of the historic Victorian homes and more than 200 acres of empty land that was overgrown with kudzu, Inman Park and many of the neighboring communities were on the short list to become a casualty of development plans that were set in motion back in the 1960s.

Through the years, several elected and appointed officials offered solutions to hide, if not eliminate, the wart on the nose of Georgia’s capital city. And, in 1981, when ex-president Jimmy Carter was deciding on a location for his library, he and Mayor Andrew Young and Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Tom Moreland made a deal to create what would be known as the Presidential Parkway. The plan would’ve placed a high-speed expressway with truck traffic and five bridges over the intown neighborhoods and, among other things, placed a playground just a fence away from the new expressway.

Infuriated homeowners were galvanized. The line for a David and Goliath battle had been drawn. In spite of what the politicians and many others in the local business community thought, residents of the affected areas — artists, professors, lawyers, stay-at-home moms and the like deep in the trenches of home renovation and raising kids — knew the value and potential of their properties. And they were willing to fight.

"Pickets, Protests and Parkways" organizers Cristy Lenz (from left) and Sandi Parker with Cathy Bradshaw, past president of C.A.U.T.I.O.N.Judy Clements

Joining Inman Park neighbors, homeowners banded together from Poncey-Highland, Candler Park, Druid Hills, the city of Decatur, Lake Claire, Virginia-Highland and East Lake, and they strategized a multi-point attack. Legal and political matters were handled by C.A.U.T.I.O.N. (Citizens Against Unnecessary Thoroughfares in Older Neighborhoods), and Road Busters was set up as the protest arm.

Both groups worked tirelessly. Road Busters barricaded bulldozers, tied themselves to trees and came to the fight ready to be arrested — and often were. C.A.U.T.I.O.N. coordinated litigation, fundraising, volunteers and lobbying. They also interviewed political candidates to determine who was anti-road and got the word out. In the era before cell phones, fax machines, email, Facebook and Twitter, the volunteers created phone trees, block captains and posted fliers around the city to make things happen and to mobilize thousands of people.

“We knew that just because a certain set of people were in office, their term would end one day,” Bradshaw says. “We knew that even though we were fighting an ex-president, we had the power to have our voice heard.”Ultimately, the activists were able to get 64 pro-neighborhood candidates elected to various political offices, including roles in Atlanta City Council, the Fulton County Commission, the DeKalb County Commission, and local representatives to the House and Georgia Senate.

The reward for their labor — a halt to the high-speed freeway plans — came not long after Gov. Zell Miller urged for a compromise soon after his election in 1990. All vested parties, including each of the neighborhood organizations, had a chair at the table. At the end of it all, Freedom Parkway had a green light. It was to be an at-grade, low-speed highway with no truck traffic and no bridges over city streets to provide access to the Carter Center. The remaining 200 acres were to be made into a city park with biking and jogging paths.The entire movement spanned about 30 years, with C.A.U.T.I.O.N. and Road Busters turning up the heat more intensely the final decade until the ink was dry.

Bradshaw, who played a key role in C.A.U.T.I.O.N., is modest when she reflects on her role in a movement that helped save some the city’s most cherished communities. “I never set out to be an activist. I was a mother and a homeowner,” she says. “I got involved just because I was passionate about saving our neighborhood.”           "neighborhood issue 2017"  20855670         https://dev.creativeloafing.com/image/2017/03/cover_freedomparkway1_2_48.58d14df9f2345.png   https://dev.creativeloafing.com/image/2017/03/cover_freedomparkway1_1_48.58d14d62acb9e.png               A legacy of resistance "
  ["score"]=>
  float(0)
  ["_index"]=>
  string(21) "atlantawiki_tiki_main"
  ["objectlink"]=>
  string(204) "A legacy of resistance"
  ["photos"]=>
  string(163) "Cover Freedomparkway1 2 48.58d139bc25ec2

"
  ["desc"]=>
  string(65) "How intown residents fought the powers that be - and won"
  ["eventDate"]=>
  string(65) "How intown residents fought the powers that be - and won"
  ["noads"]=>
  string(10) "y"
}

Article

Wednesday March 22, 2017 10:33 pm EDT
How intown residents fought the powers that be - and won | more...
Search for more by Kennedy Spencer