Business as Usual: Exploring the economic impact of COVID-19 on financially disenfranchised businesses of color

Business as Usual: Exploring the economic impact of COVID-19 on financially disenfranchised businesses of color

Business as Usual: Exploring the economic impact of COVID-19 on financially disenfranchised businesses of color 1275 1650 HDDC Dev

June 5, 2020; 3-4:30PM
Business as Usual Flyer (pdf)

Topic Overview

Flyer for Business as Usual eventWe are aware that businesses and communities of color are experiencing the impacts of COVID-19 in a number of ways that intersect and overlap existing obstacles that hinder their success and survival. Not only is the virus impacting the health of black and brown communities at disproportionate rates, but the economic impacts of COVID-19 are yet to be fully seen or understood. HDDC is inviting subject matter experts to participate in conversations to unpack the economic impacts and providing strategies for resilience for businesses and communities.The business panel will consist of a business owner to discuss the perspectives on the ground, along with representatives from policy, banking, philanthropy, and the non-profit communities in Atlanta. The community panel will include representatives from housing, education, local government, policy and urban agriculture.  Our target audience are black and brown business owners, residents and businesses that serve these communities. We hope that this discussion will allow us to discover actionable solutions to assist businesses and communities in recovering from this pandemic and establishing resilience practices for the future.


Janelle Williams is a senior adviser on the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s community and economic development (CED) team. Prior to joining the Atlanta Fed, she led economic opportunity initiatives for the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Atlanta Civic Site. She was lead author of the foundation’s Changing the Odds: The Race for Results in Atlanta report and editor of the Partnership for Southern Equity’s Growing the Future: The Case for Economic Inclusion in Atlanta. Previously, Williams led efforts to incorporate data analysis and evaluation into program design and implementation at the Center for Working Families Inc. She has served as a congressional fellow in the U.S. House of Representatives, conducting policy research on issues tied to education, health, workforce development, and immigration. Williams holds a doctorate in international family and community studies from Clemson University, a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Georgia, and bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology from Florida Memorial University. She serves on the board of Grantmakers for Southern Progress, WorkSource Atlanta, the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative, and the Atlanta CareerRise Leadership Council.

Adrienne White, CPA, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development from Citizens Trust Bank, has over 15 years of audit and finance experience. Throughout her tenure, Adrienne has leveraged her accounting, budgeting and strategic planning skills to empower her marketing clients to deliver results of multi-million dollar budgets.  She has had experience with a broad range of functions throughout her career such as budget and resource planning, purchasing, contracting, human resources, technology, visitor services, and exhibitions and facilities management. She has experience at a Fortune 500 Global company and started her career for a Big 4 Accounting Firm.
“Give. Serve. Love,” is Adrienne’s personal mantra, which she embeds into her professional, civic, and personal life. Adrienne is passionate about education, women’s empowerment and health & wellness.  She has a relentless desire to help people and organizations seen through her volunteer work.
In 2018 she was recognized as a Women of Excellence by the Atlanta Tribune. In 2016 she was recognized by Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of the 40 Under 40 and has taken on various leadership roles in the Atlanta community including the Atlanta Track Club, The 20/20 Bipartisan Center, Atlanta Beltline 67 Advisory Board, Citizens Trust Bank Next Gen Advisory Board, Atlanta Public Schools Audit Committee, Black Girls RUN!, Outstanding Atlanta, LEAD Atlanta, and New Leaders Council.

Kyna Jackson is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio and relocated to Atlanta, Georgia over 20 years ago to continue to advance her blossoming career as a cosmetologist.  As a Certified Color Specialist and many years of expertise in Salon Management, with companies such as SuperCuts and the salon at Saks Fifth Avenue, Kyna achieved her dream and lifelong vision of opening her own salon. In December of 2004 J Miles Salon opened in the Dynamic Metal Lofts on Edgewood Ave.  She believes in giving stylists unprecedented control over his/her career.  Her vision and inspiration in opening J. Miles Salon was to create a hair boutique studio that values respect, diversity, hard work and most importantly superior talent.   For almost 10 years J Miles Salon has thrived and grown in clientele while contributing to the revitalization of the Old Fourth Ward. Kyna Jackson is a member of the National Cosmetologist Association and was elected as Co-Vice President of the Old Fourth Ward Business Association Board of Directors.  Last but not least Kyna is the proud mother of Jordan Miles.

Odetta MacLeish-White is the Managing Director of the TransFormation Alliance, a partnership of nonprofits, government agencies, and businesses working to ensure that opportunities and benefits provided by investment in transit communities are made available to ALL residents. The Alliance’s work is driven by racial equity and seeks to partner with residents of impacted communities in shaping better health, climate, and economic outcomes through arts & culture-based community engagement, and by improving housing, transit and jobs access. Prior to joining the TransFormation Alliance, Odetta was a Senior Program Director with Enterprise Community Partners in their Southeast market. She supported comprehensive community stabilization efforts around the country with a focus on equitable Transit Oriented Development initiatives and nonprofit capacity building in the state of Georgia and the Southeast. Odetta has also served as a community development specialist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and was the staff director for Florida’s Affordable Housing Study Commission. She discovered her love for affordable housing while working for a developer in Gainesville, Florida. Ms. MacLeish-White earned a juris doctorate and LLM in International Law from Duke University School of Law, and a bachelor’s degree in English and American Literature and Language from Harvard-Radcliffe University.