HomeIssue 1: West EndBehind the West End Issue

Behind the West End Issue

Canopy Atlanta is a new community-led publication centering Atlantans in the process of journalism—from assigning stories to telling and presenting them, in collaboration with established journalists—and helping residents access information about the issues that matter to them most.

More than 50 West End residents gave feedback that helped us choose the stories in this issue. Our West End community advisory board refined the story angles, and our Fellows—West End residents trained in journalism—helped produce them with Canopy staff and other contributing journalists. Want to reach us? Email us at hello@canopyatlanta.org

Meet our West End Issue team:

Our six West End Fellows, who applied for the program in June, collaborated with Canopy staff and issue contributors through a six-week paid training program, where Fellows received instruction, mentorship, and assignments that resulted in multiple stories in the West End issue.

Brent Brewer
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.
About me
Naya Clark
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.
About me
Ayana Clarke
Ayana Clarke 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.
About me
Adrian Coleman
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.
About me
Aboubacar Kante
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.
About me
Nzingha Thompson-Hall
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 she truly feels she belongs in the community. With Canopy, she hopes to become a radical truth-teller and bring the stories of her neighbors to the forefront.
About me

West End Fellowship Mentors:

Max Blau, Jewel Wicker, Dustin Chambers, Camille Pendley, Floyd Hall, Rose Scott


Workshop Facilitators:

Max Blau, Sonam Vashi, Mariann Martin, Jewel Wicker, Kelundra Smith, Dustin Chambers, Thomas Wheatley, Floyd Hall, Jacinta Howard, Mike Jordan

Our West End Community Advisory Board, made up of seven neighborhood members who applied, helped us choose story angles over the summer based on feedback collected from more than 50 of their neighbors.

Mr. Adassa
Mr. Adassa is a real-estate investor, owner of both locally produced AHi! Hot Pepper Sauce and 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.
About me
Jocelyn Dorsey
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.
About me
Jocelin Drake Houston
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.
About me
Cecilia Houston-Torrence
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.
About me
Nichole James Vickers
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.
About me
Terry Ross
Terry Ross is a grantwriter 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.
About me
Robert Thompson
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.
About me

Other longtime local writers, photographers, and illustrators contributed to our West End issue, working on stories based on the neighborhood’s feedback or in collaboration with Fellows.

Eric Cash

Photographer, "Growing pains"

Eric Cash is a freelance photographer from Decatur. A graduate of Morehouse College and a lover of all things OutKast, there’s nothing he loves more than his adopted hometown of Atlanta.
About me
Dustin Chambers

Photographer and writer, "West End's school daze"

Dustin Chambers is a photojournalist and filmmaker born, raised, and living in Atlanta. He’s held staff positions at Creative Loafing Atlanta and CNN and has freelanced for 10 years, regularly working for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Getty Images, and Atlanta magazine, among others, documenting underrepresented communities and the American condition.
About me
Adjoa Danso

Writer, "Growing pains"

Adjoa D. Danso is a writer, editor, and social media coordinator based in Atlanta. Born and raised in the metro area, Adjoa completed her undergraduate and graduate education at Georgia State University. Adjoa has previously written about food and culture at Creative Loafing and coproduced local podcast About South.
About me
Sean Fahie
Sean Fahie (pronounced FOY) is a contract graphic designer, illustrator, creative consultant, and author based out of Atlanta. He specializes in print-based media with extensive experience in design, illustration, branding, marketing, and apparel. Fahie also has published three books, written one short film, and coproduced one full-length feature.
About me
George Galbreath
George Galbreath is an artist, teacher, and nonprofit cofounder living in Castleberry Hill. His award-winning work has been featured throughout Atlanta, as well as in Kansas City and Louisville. He currently serves as Art Department Chair at Westlake High School and has taught with Fulton County Schools for 15 years.
About me
Gavin Godfrey
Gavin Godfrey is a professional storyteller born, raised, and living in Atlanta. His work has appeared in CNN, NPR, Rolling Stone, Vice, Atlanta Magazine, and Creative Loafing. He currently lives in East Lake with his wife, two dogs, and a turtle named Lowery, aka Turtle Baskin.
About me
Kamille Whittaker

Canopy Atlanta Training Director
Editor, West End arts and West End Mall stories

Kamille is a freelance collaborative journalist and editor with more than a decade of experience researching, reporting and managing editorial operations all along the media spectrum. In 2017, after a decade with the Atlanta Tribune, Whittaker joined Real Times Media, the parent company of operations including the Atlanta Daily World and the Chicago Defender. Kamille led training and editing for our Fellows program.
About me
DeMarco Williams
Born and raised in Atlanta, DeMarco got his bachelor's degree in journalism from Georgia State University in 1999. Upon graduation, he did some freelance writing for outlets like Vibe, SLAM and AOL. Though full-time editor opportunities with ESPN and Bleacher Report were also rewarding, nothing has been quite as enjoyable (or as good for his passport) as the past eight years as Forbes Travel Guide's managing editor.
About me

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