West End community members are working with Canopy and other established journalists to tell West End’s stories.
West End Community Advisory Board
Our West End Community Advisory Board, made up of seven neighborhood members who applied, is helping us choose stories for our fall issue based on feedback collected from more than 50 West End community members:
Mr. Adassa is a real estate investor, owner of locally produced AHi! Hot Pepper Sauce, and owner of the West End Community Center. He has lived in West End for 15 years and is a former District 4 City Council candidate. He would like to see the West End remain a diverse cultural hub where opportunity abounds for all of its current and future residents.
Jocelyn Dorsey is the award-winning and former anchor and director of editorials/public affairs for Channel 2 WSB-TV, where she was the first African American news anchor in Atlanta. She has lived in West End for longer than 30 years and wants to help citizens gain as much unbiased information they need to make the best decisions about their lives, their community, their government and their society.
Jocelin Drake Houston is an experienced IT professional, Howard University alum, and resident of West End for nearly 20 years. She wants to see the neighborhood improve and to preserve its rich history and diversity as development happens. She joined the West End CAB so that the concerns of longtime residents do not get overlooked.
Cecilia Houston-Torrence is a retired Community Involvement Banking Officer for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta and a current chair of the Atlanta Citizen Review Board and member of the Fulton County Election Task Force. She has been a West End community member for more than 30 years and wants to make the West End a safe place to live, work and play.
Nichole James Vickers is a partner at a law firm and has lived in West End since 2006—a return from her days as a student at Spelman College. She wants to contribute to how the story of West End gets told and make sure the interests of all West End residents are being addressed.
Terry Ross is a grant-writer and nonprofit consultant who sits on the executive board of the West End Merchants Coalition and is a parliamentarian for the West End Neighborhood Development Corporation (WEND) and Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU) T. He has lived in West End for 12 years and wants to see equitable growth and development in the neighborhood.
Robert Thompson is a neighborhood historian who runs Insight Cultural Tourism, a tour company based in West End that focuses on gentrification and revitalization in the area. He is a former media specialist and documentary producer, and he has lived in the neighborhood for nearly 25 years. He wants Canopy to create news that’s truly useful to the West End community.
West End Fellows
Our six West End Fellows, made up of community members who applied, are working with Canopy staff through a six-week paid training program, where they’re receiving instruction, mentorship, and assignments that will result in producing some of the stories in the West End issue.
Brent Brewer, a West End resident for more than 15 years, is the managing editor/publisher of the Our West End Newsletter (OWEN) since 2006. In curating the bi-monthly OWEN publication, he has read, edited, and written hundreds of stories showcasing the neighborhood’s strengths to portray West End as a vibrant intown community. With Canopy, he hopes to have in-depth conversations about what community journalism can accomplish beyond solely championing a neighborhood.
Naya Clark is a freelance content writer and editor and has been a West End resident for the last year. Naya hopes to successfully document the neighborhood's local arts and culture and to report, celebrate, and preserve the legacy of diversity within West End.
Adrian Coleman has been an Oakland City resident for 18 years. She worked in the IT industry for 20 years and is a photographer and videographer who loves capturing sights and sounds of urban communities. She wants to create community media that is participatory, sustainable, and scalable to reflect and preserve the culture of the West End community.
Ayana Dunston has claimed West End as home for the past six years. She brings a lens of equity to her work in education and training, exploring institutional structures and social dynamics around racial and economic justice. Ayana hopes to learn how to use a journalistic approach to unearth and capture the facts and sentiments surrounding an issue, and to contribute to the important work of documenting the voices and issues of West End.
Aboubacar Kante, a native Atlantan who grew up in West End, spends his days working as a photographer. A visual storyteller, he hopes to photograph and document more of West End’s rich and diverse culture.
Nzingha Thompson-Hall is a proud AUC alum, reproductive justice advocate and activist, and West End resident of one year. She sees West End as an organic, authentic, historically Black neighborhood and I truly feel that I belong here, and with Canopy, she hopes to become a radical truth-teller and bring the stories of her neighbors to the forefront.
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