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.
- 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).
- 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.
- AT&T Believes initiative has various programs. These include: Believe Chicago, Believe Atlanta, Believe Bay Area, Believe Boston, Believe Dallas, Believe Denver, Believe Las Vegas, Believe New York, Believe New Orleans, Believe Los Angeles, Believe Phoenix, and Believe Seattle.
- Other programs that have been rolled out by AT&T Believes are Believe Houston, Believe Tennessee, Believe Albuquerque, Believe Philly, Believe Twin Cities, Believe Portland, Believe Durham, Believe St. Louis, Believe Kansas City, Believe the 'Burgh, Believe Louisville, Believe DC, Believe Birmingham, Believe Arkansas, Believe Cleveland, Believe Milwaukee, Believe Appalachia, and Believe Indy.
Non-profit or Corporate Partners
- AT&T Believes has partnered with numerous non-profit and corporate partners based on individual Believes programs. Below is a sample of partners per program.
- Believe Chicago: Chicago Tribune (Chicago Forward Series); Chicago Bulls, La Casa Norte; Boys & Girls Club of Chicago; My Block. My Hood. My City (MBMHMC), Chicago Police Department, Barack Obama Foundation, Primo Center for Women and Children, and Greater Chicago Food Depository.
- Believe Atlanta: Westside Future Fund, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Westside Works, Truly Living Well, Atlanta Police Foundation, Re:Imagine/ATL, Raising Expectations, Junior Achievement of Georgia, Cristo Rey Jesuit School of Atlanta, Atlanta Music Project (Cricket), and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
- Believe Boston: Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, The Base, Common Sense Media, and Camp Harbor View.
- Believe Denver: One Colorado, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado, The Trevor Project, City Year Denver, and LGBTQ Youth of Colorado.
- Believe Los Angeles: Brotherhood Crusade's, Los Angeles Community College District, Ghetto Film School of Los Angeles, Homeboy Industries, and Proyecto Pastoral.
- Believe New Orleans: New Orleans Recreational Development Foundation, STEM NOLA, the New Orleans Business Alliance, and East NOLA Business Development District (Clean Sweep NOLA initiative) among other organizations.
- Believe Houston: OneGoal, BakerRipley, Black Girls Code, Travis Manion Foundation,