AAP Chat with the Chair: Yolanda Hawks

06-01-2016 · African-American Partnership

yolandaIt’s hard to believe there are just a few weeks left in United Way of Greater Atlanta’s fiscal year. AAP is currently at 91% of its goal, representing $1,841,837 in revenue.

I’m so grateful for those of you who participated in AAP’s sold-out Leadership Luncheon at Piedmont Park’s Magnolia Hall on April 29. It was a great success! Approximately 150 people attended to learn about UWGA’s focus on child well-being and about AAP’s new signature cause – Power the Potential of young African-American males. Startling statistics highlighting challenges for this demographic were shared, i.e. 42% of African-American youth attend poorly performing schools; 15% of African-American youth in Atlanta Public Schools receive suspensions versus 1% of Caucasian youth; and only 3 out of 50 African-American youth are mentored through current United Way programs. A call to action for AAP members to support the cause with resources raised $8,370 in approximately 30 minutes via Text-2-Give and two corporate sponsors. The luncheon culminated with a dynamic panel discussion where top executives shared business insights. The professional development topics included philanthropic leadership, building effective mentor relationships and strategic ways to maximize corporate restructuring relationships.  Special thanks to our panel and sponsors included:


  • Rock Anderson, SVP – People Strategies, Cox Automotive
  • Susan Somersille Johnson, Corporate EVP & CMO, SunTrust Banks, Inc.
  • Mike Turner, VP – Business Development – Logistics & Distribution, UPS Supply Chain Solutions
  • Condace Pressley, Manager Programming Operations and Community Service, Cox Media Group Atlanta (moderator)


  • Cox Automotive
  • Delta Air Lines, Inc.
  • Enterprise Holdings, Inc.
  • Georgia-Pacific, LLC
  • Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company
  • Southern Company

AAP has begun planning for their first project related to their new signature cause. The project is called “Read with a Hero,” and focuses on promoting literacy to middle and high school African-American male students. The project includes providing relevant books with African-American male protagonists to students with reading incentives. Additionally, students will be encouraged to increase reading via interactive activities with AAP members and noteworthy executives (heroes). APP is partnering on the project with The Villages at Carver YMCA, Boys and Girls Club of Atlanta, and Next Generation Men. Please sign up for a volunteer activity on 7/7 or 7/26.


Kind regards,
Yolanda Hawks
Chair, AAP
Recruiting Manager, Georgia-Pacific, LLC