AT&T Believes Overview

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AT&T Believes Overview

AT&T Believes is an initiative that was officially started in September 2018. The initiative has spread to over 20 U.S. cities. Funding for these programs is mainly provided by AT&T and AT&T Foundation. Below is an overview of AT&T Believes covering its genesis, evolution, key programs, non-profit or corporate partners, funding, geographic reach, impact and press coverage.

Genesis

  • AT&T Believes was founded in Chicago in September 2018 by company employees to focus on supporting local communities.
  • The project was started by AT&T staff based in Chicago as AT&T Believe Chicago.
  • Cedric Wouldfolk, an AT&T technician, started supporting a local boxing club which strives to "get kids off the street" by teaching them boxing, as well as, teaching them skills in tackling confrontation. Cedric did this, as way of doing his part in stopping gun violence in his community, after his son got shot.
  • Additionally, Cedric got his colleagues to join in the fight against gun violence. These efforts served as key inspirations behind the development of AT&T's Believe Chicago.
  • John Donovan, CEO of AT&T's communications business got interested in starting an initiative that would be geared at supporting its employees, local non-profits and other stakeholders in lifting the lives of the communities in which they serve.
  • The program started with first identifying the unique problem within Chicago — gun violence. Once the key problem was identified, the company identified 19 communities within Chicago which would benefit from the program. These neighborhoods represented 54 percent of gun related shootings in the city of Chicago. These were Austin, Englewood, New City, South Chicago, North Lawndale, Chatham, Gage Park, Roseland, South Shore, Washington Park, West Englewood, West Garfield Park, South Lawndale, Auburn Gresham, Chicago Lawn, Humboldt Park, Greater Grand Crossing, East Garfield Park and Lower West Side (Pilsen).

Evolution

  • After the initial launch of Believe Chicago, the initiative went on to contribute over $2 million to various Chicago-based charities that ran sustainable programs geared at reducing gun violence and unemployment. Additionally, AT&T hired over 400 employees from the 19 neighborhoods that were covered by Believe Chicago.
  • On March 15, 2019, AT&T Believe Chicago produced and aired a documentary titled "Beacons of Hope — Stories of Strength from Chicago." This documentary was based on the lives of Chicagoans who were doing various activities aimed at stopping gun violence and assisting people to get jobs.
  • Believe Chicago's team developed an online skills readiness learning platform (AT&T Learn) aimed at teaching prospective employees and other beneficiaries foundational skill like resume writing, presentation skills, as well as, other advanced technology courses.
  • From the initial Believe Chicago, AT&T has replicated the project to over 20 cities within the US.

Key Programs

Non-profit or Corporate Partners