One Region Initiative in metro Atlanta transitions ownership to Corners Outreach to lead regional inclusion strategy

Decatur, GA — Today, national nonprofit Welcoming America announces the transition of the One Region Initiative to local nonprofit Corners Outreach.

Formed in 2017 in partnership with The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, the One Region Initiative made Atlanta the first major metro area in the U.S. to adopt a regional welcoming plan that encompassed multiple cities and counties.

Led by a steering committee of a dozen local leaders — mayors, chambers of commerce members, nonprofit directors, academics, etc. — the plan contains a set of recommendations that serve as a blueprint for the region to ensure inclusive regional planning, development, and policies that benefit all residents, including the 848,960 immigrants in the Atlanta metro area.

A search was initiated in 2020 to find a new organization to lead it. After an extensive search, Peachtree Corners-based nonprofit Corners Outreach was selected. In addition to its direct services programs such as after school tutoring, teen mentoring, early learning intervention, and workforce development, Corners Outreach has also demonstrated its commitment to cross-sector collaboration and systems change. Their early and deep involvement with the One Region Initiative is among the reasons it was chosen.

Welcoming America will work with Corners Outreach over the next year to fully transition the initiative. Once the transition occurs, the steering committee plans to hold a series of meetings in December to determine its annual goals and plan for Welcoming Week (September 9-18, 2022).

Rachel Perić, executive director of Welcoming America, said: “We’re thrilled to have Corners Outreach take on the One Region Initiative and continue the work of galvanizing public and private sector partners around a shared agenda to ensure that all residents, including immigrants, fully participate in the civic, social, and economic fabric of metro Atlanta. We have seen how this regional approach has already inspired leaders in Welcoming America’s global network, and created opportunities for metro Atlanta to benefit from a collaborative approach to strengthening shared prosperity and belonging.”

Larry Campbell, president and CEO of Corners Outreach, said: “From day one, Corners Outreach has been a proud partner and participant in the One Region Initiative. We believe that harnessing the power and talent of all residents — including immigrants and refugees — in the wider metro Atlanta area can only bring greater innovation and prosperity to our communities.”

Katrina DeBerry, Program Officer at The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, said: “Everyone should feel welcome and wanted in Atlanta, no matter their cultural background, history, or faith. As a founding partner of the One Region Initiative, The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta was proud to support an initiative dedicated to building a more inclusive region.”

Additional quotes from the steering committee:

Paul N. McDaniel, Associate Professor of Geography at Kennesaw State University, said: “As many cities and metro areas across the South anticipate substantial population growth for the foreseeable future, municipal and metropolitan leaders should be inclusive, socially just, and resourceful in their planning efforts. The One Region Initiative is an example of a regional approach to encourage greater immigrant integration and receptivity.”

Kevin Shanker Sinha, Community Organizer & Founder, CivicGeorgia: “The One Region Initiative has been an amazing multiplier for CivicGeorgia’s ability to have community-led impact. From building new relationships and collaborating with fellow organizations and municipal leaders on civic, education, and service impact projects to sharing community stories, best practices, and new ideas: One Region has without a doubt enriched CivicGeorgia’s network and programs, allowing us to further embrace and lift up the voices of our immigrant and refugee communities in the metro region.”

Meck Xayavongsa, research coordinator for GSU’s Prevention Research Center: “I support the One Region Initiative because it actively facilitates and implements opportunities to welcome and integrate refugees, immigrants, and migrants into the areas where they live, work, and play. One Region delivers in making Atlanta more welcoming because it’s a testament to what can be accomplished when local and county coordinated efforts come together to mobilize the supportive conditions for this population to contribute to areas for meaningful engagement. Under the new leadership, I hope the initiative will continue to work towards a standardized evaluation process for a Certified Welcoming recognition.”


About the One Region Initiative
The One Region Initiative seeks to create an inclusive metro Atlanta region in which all people, including immigrants and refugees, have the opportunity to reach their greatest potential, engage with the larger community, and fully contribute their talents, expanding prosperity and well-being for all.

About Welcoming America
Welcoming America is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that leads a movement of inclusive communities becoming more prosperous by ensuring everyone belongs. We believe that all people, including immigrants, are valued contributors and vital to the success of our communities and shared future. Through the Welcoming Network, we work to help communities develop the roadmap they need to create welcoming policies and share new approaches to inclusion to create an environment where everyone can truly thrive.

About Corners Outreach
Corners Outreach is a 501(c)(3) organization focused on breaking generational cycles of poverty through equipping underserved students of color and their families to lead full lives. Our vision is one community where every person thrives, no matter their color, status, or background.

Photo options

Photo #1: Credit: Welcoming America. The One Region Initiative steering committee met several times in 2018 to draft the strategic plan at the offices of the Latin American Association in Atlanta, GA.

Photo #2: Credit: Welcoming America. Photo taken at the launch event for the One Region Initiative and unveiling of the strategic plan on August 23, 2018 at the Stone Ridge Event Center in Stone Mountain, GA.

Media Contacts

Lola Pak, [email protected]

Sam Aguilar, [email protected]