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, Greater Houston Community Foundation to support the Bethune Empowerment Center, The Oasis Institute, and Genesys Works.
- Believe Tennessee: Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCAT), Nashville State Community College, Buena Vista elementary school, and The Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) among other community colleges and schools.
- Believe Albuquerque: Mission: Graduate, Albuquerque Museum Foundation, New Day Youth & Family Services, CLNkids, All Faiths Children's Advocacy Center, and PB&J Family Services.
- Believe Philadelphia: MenzFit and One Day AT A Time (ODAAT).
- Believe Twin Cities: Twin Cities Salvation Army, Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities, and People Serving People.
- Believe Portland: Free Geek, The Technology Association of Oregon (TAO), Blueprint Foundation, Numberz, Self Enhancement Inc., iUrban Teen & Black Women in STEM 2.0, and New Avenues for Youth. Durban Public Schools Foundation.
- Believe Durham: Shepard Middle school, Fayetteville Street Elementary school, Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, North Carolina Central University, Dreamworks, Kidznotes, The Salvation Army, and DPS Foundation.
- Believe St. Louis: Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, NPower, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Better Family Lifer, United Way, and Washington University (College Career Prep Program).
- Believe Kansas City: Tri County Mental Health, Mental Health America of the Heartland, Rockhurst University, ReDiscover, Friends of Johnson County Mental Health, #ZeroReasonsWhy, Headquarters, Inc./Kansas Suicide Prevention Resource Center, InterUrban Art House & Arts as Mentorship, Children’s Mercy Hospital, and First Call.
- Believe the "Burgh': Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank; Light of Life Rescue Mission; All Star Code; Pennsylvania Governor's School of Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University; East End Cooperative Ministry; Greater Pittsburgh Community Foodbank Northview Heights Family Support Center; Best of the Batch Foundation; Pittsburgh Pirates Charities; Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania; The Pitssburg Promise; and University of Pittsburgh Institute for Cyber Law, Policy, and Security (Pitt Cyber).
- Believe Louisville: Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) and Academy at Shawnee.
- Believe DC: United Community, Genesys Works, S.O.M.E. (So Others Might Eat), and Together We Bake.
- Believe Birmingham: Bush Hills Academy, Birmingham City Schools, Birmingham Legion, and Birmingham Education Foundation among others.
- Believe Arkansas: Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, Cricket Wireless, and Telecom Pioneers.
- Believe Cleveland: Digital C, The Urban League of Greater Cleveland, Esperanza Inc., and Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C).
- Believe Indy: One Congregation One Precinct (OneCOP), USO of Indiana, and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD).
- Believe Milwaukee: Feeding American Eastern Wisconsin, We Got This, The Salvation Army of Milwaukee County, and Friedens Community Ministries.
- Believes Appalachia: Huntington WV Habitat for Humanity, Huntington Fire Department, and Huntington Police Department.
- It appears that most of the funding provided to AT&T Believes initiative is from AT&T and the AT&T Foundation. However, funding has also been received by Telecom Pioneers (this is "an AT&T-supported volunteer organization")
- Currently, the AT&T's Believes initiative has been launched in over 20 cities within the US.
- AT&T Believes is present in the following US cities and regions: Chicago, Atlanta, Bay Area, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, New Orleans, Seattle and New York.
- Other cities and regions include: Tennessee, Houston, Albuquerque, Philadelphia, Minneapolis and St. Paul, Portland, Durham, St. Louis, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Washington, DC, Birmingham, Arkansas, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Huntington, and Indianapolis.
- AT&T's staff have donated over 60,000 hours in doing volunteer work in over 400 Believes events across the US.
- Believe Atlanta has offered over $1 million to various community organizations that are focused on solving various issues in Atlanta's Westside.
- Believe Los Angeles has donated over $1.6 million to various non-profits that focus on education, entertainment and digital media employment opportunities, career readiness programs, and workforce development.
- Believe Houston's initiative has contributed over $1 million to several Houston based non-profits working in the mentorship and educational outreach programs.
- By March 2019, Believe Chicago's work has resulted in hiring of over 500 employees from Chicago neighborhoods, over $3 million donated to organization working in Believe Chicago neighborhoods, more than 800 AT&T employees volunteering in Believe Chicago events, and over 60 events where hosted in Chicago.
- By the end of December 2019, Believe Chicago's achievements included: contributing over $6 million (from AT&T and AT&T Foundation) to over 100 local organizations (since quarter 3 of 2017), over 1,100 employees had volunteered at 85 functions (since January 2018), opened an AT&T-owned retail store in Englewood, assisted 40 interns from Believe Chicago at AT&T, and provided of 1,000 AT&T employee mentoring hours to various youth from Believe Chicago neighborhoods among other achievement.
- Believe New Orleans has contributed over $250,000 to several area-based non-profits that are focused on promoting entrepreneurship and innovation, academic achievement and skills development, and neighborhood beautification.
- AT&T through its Believe Philly initiative has donated $30,000 to both MenzFit and ODAAT. The contribution was geared at supporting the two non-profits' work in offering assistance to low-income individuals and families with Philadelphia.
- Believe Twin Cities has offered $100,000 to various local non-profits in support of their programs designed to assist homeless individuals and families within Minneapolis and St. Paul.
- Believe Albuquerque contributed $136,000 to a number of organizations that focus on youth related programs in Albuquerque.
- AT&T was ranked number 23 on America's Most JUST Companies awards in 2019. This ranking was supported by the company's Believes program. The awards team was impressed by AT&T's achievements including: employees volunteering over 1.5 million hours in 2018, employees donating over $31 million to more than 30,000 nonprofits globally and hiring of over 20,000 veterans.
- Believe Tennessee has contributed $150,000 towards the enhancement of post-secondary education. The money was distributed among TCAT's 27 locations and 13 community colleges in Tennessee.
- Believe St. Louis program donated over $1 million to several non-profits based in St. Louis Promise Zone and similar locations. The program aims at providing "youth with new pathways to success."
- Believe Kansas City committed over $300,000 to Kansas and Missouri based non-profit organizations that focus on youth mental health programs.
- Believe the 'Burgh's initiative has provided over $315,000 to various local organizations focused on tackling youth problems within Pittsburgh. Additionally, the AT&T employees together with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank provided over 1,000 meal kits to be distributed to local youths "over weekends and during breaks."
- Believe Denver donated $250,000 to various local based organizations that focus on prevention of youth suicide and promotion of awareness of youth issues in Colorado.
- Believe Arkansas committed $100,000 to local non-profits that are geared at tackling food insecurity and hunger in Arkansas.
- Believe Cleveland committed over $350,000 to various local organizations that promote technology-based learning and digital literacy initiatives in Cleveland. Also, the company strives to roll-out 5G mobile network in Cleveland in early 2020.
Overview of Articles about AT&T Believes
- This article was published in The Crossville Chronicle on January 9, 2020.
- The article discusses AT$T's Believe TennesseeSM's $,3000 donation to the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) in Crossville. The donation is part of a wider $150,000 contribution to the Tennessee Board of Regent towards the funding of 27 locations of the TCAT. Each of these locations will receive a donation of up to $3,000.
- The contribution to TCAT will enable the organization to procure "new networking setups used to teach infrastructure design, security and planning, and to practice implementing and protecting networks and operating plans." Also, the funding will promote "student emergency funds" in 13 community colleges across the state of Tennessee.
- This article is positive in nature as several politicians and the President of the TCAT spoke positively about the initiative.
- The Crossville Chronicle is a local publication and serves as the paper of record for the Cumberland County since its inception in 1886.
- The Crossvillle Chronicle is a newspaper.
2. AT&T launches ‘Believe Louisville’ initiative to improve communities.
- This article was posted in WAVE 3 News' website on August 13, 2019.
- The article delves into the launch of AT&T's Believe Louisville. Believe Louisville was launched as part of the wider AT&T Believes initiative which has reached over 20 cities across the United States.
- Believe Louisville will have four main areas of focus: "education and job skills in at-risk Louisville neighborhoods; support for Louisville’s homeless population, felony expungement and community engagement through employee volunteerism."
- The initiative launched with a total funding of total of $197,500 from both the AT&T and AT&T Foundation.
- One of the initial collaborators of the effort is Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), which is a nonprofit that which assists high school students to successfully transition to college or other alternative career paths.
- The article is neutral in nature.
- WAVE 3 News is a local television station serving Louisville, Kentucky.
3. AT&T launches ‘Believe Milwaukee’ initiative to fight hunger.
- This article was posted on Fox6 News' website on November 19, 2020.
- The article focuses on the launch of AT&T's Believe Milwaukee. The project aims at working with community leaders and utilizing "AT&T’s local assets, including financial contributions and employee volunteers, to help combat hunger and improve the health of Milwaukee neighborhoods."
- During the launch, about 170 AT&T employees prepared over 20,000 high-nutrient meals that were to be donated to The Salvation Army’s food pantries in Milwaukee. The organization would then distribute the meals to people facing starvation in Milwaukee.
- Also, the article mentioned Believe Milwaukee's donation of nearly $150,000 that would be distributed to four non-profits in Milwaukee to tackle hunger within the city. These non-profits include: The Salvation Army of Milwaukee County, We Got This, Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin and Friedens Community Ministries.
- The article is positive based on the feedback provided by local state representatives that graced the event.
- Fox6 News is a local television station covering Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
4. AT&T Foundation gives $300K to local nonprofits to help children realize their dreams.
- This article was published on the Miami Herald on November 15, 2019.
- The article discusses the inception of AT&T's Believe Miami initiative. Through the initiative, the organization aims at to removing "barriers that keep local youths and young adults from achieving their dreams."
- AT&T Foundation pledged $300,000 to several non-profits in Miami. These non-profits are Dibia DREAM, Florida International University (FIU), Pridelines, Miami Rescue Mission, His House Children’s Home, Breakthrough Miami, and the Miami Marlins Foundation.
- During the kickoff, AT&T staff assisted over 100 high school children in designing, building and racing vehicles at FIU. This exercise was part of STEM Saturdays program by Dibia DREAM.
- The article is positive based on the commentary provided by Dibia DREAM's founder Brandon Okpalobi.
- Miami Herald is a regional newspaper covering South Florida and Miami areas.
5. AT&T Believe Las Vegas Initiative aims to help homeless youth in Las Vegas.
- This article was posted in KTNV Las Vegas Channel 13 Action News on June 24, 2019.
- The article touches on AT&T's Believe Las Vegas initiative's launch. This event was unusual in that it focused on motivational presentations instead of the usual corporate and dignitaries parade.
- The initiative aims at instilling a belief and inspiring homeless youth that they "can transition away from being a homeless youth and be a successful adult.”
- Through the launch, AT&T donated $281,000 to local non-profits. Specifically, HELP of Southern Nevada received $213,500, Legal Aid of Southern Nevada received $37,500, and the Las Vegas Courtyard Homeless Resource Center received $30,000.
- The article is positive as it highlighted the positive response that the initiative received from its prospective beneficiaries.
- KTNV Las Vegas Channel 13 Action News is a local television station based in Las Vegas, Nevada.