Westside Future Fund board of directors has selected Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum to serve as its chair beginning in 2020. Dr. Tatum has served on the Westside Future Fund board as its vice-chair since its inception in 2015 and will serve in the newly created role of chair-elect in 2019.
The chair-elect position was created to ensure leadership stability and a smooth transition of board chair responsibilities, so the organization can continue delivering on its mission to elevate the quality of life in Atlanta’s historic Westside neighborhoods without displacing legacy residents as the area’s economic outlook improves.
“The board felt it was an important time to create the role of chair-elect and unanimously agreed Dr. Tatum is the best person to serve in this new capacity,” explained Richard J. Dugas, Jr., Westside Future Fund board chair. “With her proven commitment to the historic Westside and leadership experience in education, she will help us accelerate our impact across cradle-to-career education, resident retention and community health and wellness initiatives.”
A scholar, teacher, author, administrator and race relations expert, Dr. Tatum served as president of Spelman College from 2002-2015. Her tenure was marked by a period of great innovation and growth, which included:
· Expanded opportunities for undergraduate and faculty research and international travel,
· Increased alumnae support,
· Campus improvements to provide more housing with a focus on environmental sustainability and
· A holistic wellness initiative designed to empower and educate Spelman women and the communities they will influence on key components of lifelong wellness.
“Dr. Tatum not only brings her professional expertise, but also her keen awareness of the culture and character of the historic Westside,” shared John Ahmann, president and CEO of Westside Future Fund. “Having led Spelman College for 13 years, she is intimately familiar with the community and injects compassion into every act of service.”
Dr. Tatum is a founding member of the Hollis Innovation Academy GO Team and continues to serve on this governance and advisory board, harnessing the perspectives of school leadership, parents and community members for the benefit of the students. She is also helping to drive the collaborative efforts of key organizations focused on Early Childhood Education with the goal of increasing access to high-quality early learning for families on the Westside.
“I am honored to serve the Westside community in this new capacity. I deeply believe that if we continue working together, we can achieve our shared vision of building the ‘Beloved Community’ Dr. King would be proud to call home,” said Dr. Tatum, Westside Future Fund chair-elect. “I want to thank Richard Dugas for his leadership and expertise in helping us focus on providing affordable housing to enable current residents to remain in their beloved neighborhoods for years to come. I look forward to working more closely with him to ensure a smooth transition.”
Dugas, retired president and CEO of PulteGroup, Inc., has served as the Westside Future Fund board chair since its inception and will continue to serve as board chair through 2019 turning over the reins to Dr. Tatum in 2020.
Under Dugas’s leadership, the Westside Future Fund has kept its commitment to providing a comprehensive approach to community retention which includes:
Establishing an Anti-Displacement Tax Fund which has protected 72 Westside legacy homeowners from rising property taxes,
Acquiring 603 Brawley and Villas of the Dome allowing nearly 60 families to live without constant fear of losing their homes to higher rents with more acquisition and development/renovation planned,
Developing the community-informed Westside Land Use Framework Plan in conjunction with six neighborhood associations and which passed unanimously by the Atlanta City Council and
Launching a $16.4 million partnership with Atlanta Public Schools focused on Hollis Innovation Academy to fund additional classroom teachers, curriculum support, and wraparound services
Throughout his tenure, Dugas has worked to ensure new resources and amenities like parks and greenspaces, job training programs, after-school programs and a wellness center are available to historic Westside residents.
Photo Credit: Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA