Canopy Atlanta is a community journalism nonprofit founded in 2020. We choose, report, and share stories with Atlantans, redefining who journalism is by and for.


Local communities help us choose story topics through listening conversations, phone calls, social media, and other engagement methods. A paid community editorial board helps us refine story topics.


To report those stories, we pay and train residents—our Journalism Fellows—to tell those community stories alongside experienced journalists through words, photos, audio, and more.


After we publish an issue, we share stories with the community through events, partnerships, printed materials, and more. We also continue to work with our fellows to support additional reporting in their communities.

Our mission is to equip metro Atlanta residents to tell stories about the issues their communities care about most. We help residents access information about their communities, and tell and share stories that truly reflect those communities.

Click here for our team and contact info.

West End Journalism Fellow Naya Clark talks to a voter in the neighborhood on Election Day 2020. Photo by Billy Ross.

Canopy Atlanta works with neighborhoods in metro Atlanta’s five core counties to tell stories through Community Issues. In our first two years, we worked in three communities – West End, Forest Park and Bankhead, and before that, piloted the concept in Pittsburgh. We talked to more than 200 community members about the stories they would like to see and trained 15 community members in journalism as Fellows, learning and reporting alongside more experienced journalists. After the stories were complete, we shared the issues online, through a print-run partnership, and via live events. We’re doing this same process in more Atlanta neighborhoods in 2022, plus launching a newsletter with stories that cover the region and focus on community voices.

Our work has been featured in Columbia Journalism ReviewNieman Lab, the Atlantic, the American Press Institute, and others. Join our mission to make journalism more collaborative by supporting our work.


We need your help to bring community-powered journalism to more neighborhoods across metro Atlanta.



Genia Billingsley
Community Engagement Co-Leader
Genia has been a legacy resident of Grove Park for more than 50 years. She is a retired operations manager with a master's in leadership and most recently served as a member of Canopy’s Bankhead/Grove Park Community Editorial Board. Genia's interested in social and economic justice and is passionate about community- and team-building. Her personal mantra: “Operate with the intention of doing what is best for all and all should do what is best.”
About me
MaLika Hakeem
Community Engagement Co-Leader
MaLika Hakeem has substantial experience in community and external relations, communications, and public engagement. She has leveraged her experience to successfully build consensus and obtain buy-in for several high-profile projects in the Atlanta area working with elected officials and constituents on notable projects such as the Atlanta BeltLine, the Atlanta Streetcar, Mercedes Benz Stadium, the Regional Transportation Investment Act of 2012, and MARTA transit expansion program. She is adept at leading change and building consensus by collaborating with organizations and community members to promote objectives with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion in approach.
About me
Serena Garcia
Documenters Program Civic Producer
Serena Garcia has experience leading communications strategies for Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, and higher education institutions. She has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor, magazine editor, public relations practitioner, and communications director. Currently, she serves as a communications adjunct professor at Edward Waters University. Serena is the recipient of the 2016 Southern Regional Press Institute’s Louis R. Lautier Award for Communications Career Achievement. She completed her communications undergraduate and graduate work from Savannah State University and Fort Hays State University, respectively.
About me
Floyd Hall
Creative Director
Floyd is a Canopy Atlanta cofounder, media strategist, cultural producer, writer, and documentarian from Atlanta. He has worked across the media spectrum and has produced hundreds of podcast episodes covering art and culture, including projects for WABE, the High Museum, Flux Projects, the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, and WonderRoot.
About me
Ann Hill-Bond
Community Relations
Ann is a Jamaican-born, Ghana-raised, Southern Black-reared woman writer who currently lives in Atlanta. In 2017, she began writing for The Atlanta Voice. In 2019 and 2021, she was the licensee and producer of TEDx Collier Heights, which engaged residents from the Bankhead corridor. Ann has written on Bankhead history and is also, currently, working with former residents of Bowen Homes.
About me
Christina Lee
Contributing Editor
Christina Lee is an award-winning freelance journalist who's written for Atlanta magazine, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, NPR Music, The Washington Post and more. She co-hosts the Southern hip-hop podcast Bottom of the Map podcast with Dr. Regina N. Bradley.
About me
Mariann Martin
Operations and Development Director
Mariann is a Canopy Atlanta cofounder and award-winning journalist who has worked for Gannett and the Chattanooga Times Free Press as a reporter, writing about criminal justice, government, politics and healthcare. More recently, she has worked as a freelance writer and a coordinator for a nonprofit, managing community engagement, projects, and budgets. She has also taught college-level English and history.
About me
Sonam Vashi
Director of Growth Strategy, Documenters Program Manager
Sonam is a Canopy Atlanta cofounder and award-winning freelance journalist who’s written for the New York Times, Atlanta magazine, ProPublica, National Geographic, and several others. She is a John. S. Knight Community Impact Fellow. She often writes about criminal justice, immigration, racial history, and inequity. She grew up in Norcross and has lived in Atlanta since.
About me
Kamille Whittaker
Training Director
Kamille is a Canopy Atlanta cofounder and the managing editor of Atlanta magazine. She is a collaborative journalist and editor with more than a decade of experience researching, reporting and managing editorial operations all along the media spectrum, including for the Atlanta Tribune and Real Times Media, the parent company of operations including the Atlanta Daily World and the Chicago Defender.
About me
Ada Wood
Community Audience Producer
Ada is an Atlanta-based, award-winning journalist with published stories at Canopy Atlanta, CNN, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta magazine and Georgia Public Broadcasting. She began working with CA doing freelance community engagement by listening to local communities before joining full-time to help with various levels of production across stories, website, social media and the weekly newsletter, Canopy Atlanta Voices. She values journalism that prioritizes authenticity and intentionality.
About me


Max Blau
Max is a Canopy Atlanta cofounder and an award-winning investigative journalist with ProPublica. He has worked as a staff writer at STAT, CNN, Atlanta magazine, and Creative Loafing Atlanta. A graduate of the University of Georgia’s narrative nonfiction MFA program, he was chosen as a 2019 fellow by the Center for Civic Innovation.
About me
Brent Brewer
Brent is a West End resident for nearly 20 years and the managing editor/publisher of the Our West End Newsletter (OWEN) since 2006. He also participated in CA's inaugural Fellow cohort in West End. In curating the bimonthly OWEN publication, he has read, edited, and written hundreds of stories showcasing the neighborhood’s strengths. As a Canopy West End Fellow, he received training and mentorship and copublished a longform story about the West End Mall.
About me
Chenee Joseph
About me
Mindy Kao
Mindy (she/her/hers) is an Asian American Georgia native passionate about driving social impact, building community, and advancing racial equity so that everyone has the opportunity to achieve their full potential and a sense of belonging. Mindy works as an independent consultant and project manager at the intersection of equity, community, and institutions in the Metro Atlanta region. She currently resides in Adair Park with her husband, dog, and cat.
About me
Derona King
Derona is a recently retired nonprofit Executive Director who uses the art of listening and storytelling to create personal relationships between local people to bring about social inclusion and to effect social change.
About me
Marian Liou
Marian is a principal program specialist at the Atlanta Regional Commission. She previously founded We Love BuHi, a social enterprise that envisions a safe, fun and attractive Buford Highway that showcases its immigrant communities.
About me
Karyn Lu
Karyn is a Chief Inclusion Officer and a civic technologist, working in both fields to empower a more inclusive and equitable experience for everyone. Previously, she led digital efforts for ChooseATL, and was the user experience lead for iReport, CNN's citizen journalism initiative.
About me
Adam Newman
Adam is a digital project specialist at Emory University’s Center for Digital Scholarship. Previously he was the managing editor of Atlanta Studies, an open access, multimedia digital publication that examines Atlanta from all disciplinary perspectives.
About me
Hannah Palmer
Hannah works as an urban designer in Atlanta. She writes about the intersection of Southern stories and urban landscapes for venues like CNN, Art Papers, Atlanta magazine, and Atlanta Studies. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, she earned an MFA in creative writing from Sewanee: The University of the South. She lives near the Atlanta airport with her husband and sons.
About me
Sheena Roetman
Sheena, Lakota, is the education manager for the Native American Journalists Association. Previously, Sheena spent six years as director of membership and programs at the Atlanta Press Club, as well as nearly 10 years as a freelance journalist. Her work can be found at Indian Country Today, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Native Peoples Magazine, Vice Sports and more. Sheena holds a degree in Journalism with a research specialty in American Indian Media from Georgia State University. She is currently based in Atlanta, Ga.
About me
Nathaniel Smith
Nathaniel is the founder and chief equity officer of the Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE), which advances policies and institutional actions that promote racial equity and shared prosperity for all in the growth of metropolitan Atlanta and the American South.
About me