A Beloved Event
Conceived by Chick-fil-A chairman Dan Cathy, who was inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of a “beloved community,” the benefit is now run by The Same House, a nonprofit that coordinates philanthropic efforts. The Same House gets its name from the words of civil rights icon John Lewis, who said, “We’re one people. We’re one family. We all live in the same house.”This year’s concert was scheduled to take place on August 24 at the Georgia World Congress Center, featuring John Legend as its headliner. It is a “come as you are” event, not black tie.
“The idea is to unify our corporate supporters with members of the communities they are helping, coming together for one night of Southern hospitality,” says The Same House CEO Rodney Bullard, who says 20% of the tickets are being donated to people who live in the historic Westside communities, especially English Avenue and Vine City. “We don’t want anyone locked out of the house,” he says.
The first concert in 2019 raised $5 million. It paused during the pandemic but picked up again with help from Usher and Jeff Foxworthy. This year’s beneficiaries include Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs, First Step Staffing, Urban League of Greater Atlanta and Westside Future Fund. Since its founding, this event has raised more than $12 million.
“We’re not being Pollyannas – this project effectively promotes economic mobility,” Bullard says.