On June 20, 2007, the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving hosted Tom Cousins, developer and philanthropist from Atlanta, Georgia, and Charles B. Knapp, President Emeritus of the University of Georgia and Chairman of the East Lake Foundation. Their organization helped Atlanta’s East Lake neighborhood, which was once known for a crime rate 18 times the national average, develop into a thriving community that now boasts a celebrated charter school, a 95% decrease in violent crimes, and a remarkable increase in employment and income among its residents. Its golf course has been named the final stop on the PGA Tour, and the benefits of the revitalization continue to expand.
Mr. Cousins, whose dream is to see East Lake’s success spread to every major city in the United States, shared the story which led to that neighborhood’s sensational turn-around. Discussing his early attempts and failures at urban revitalization, and the public cynicism he faced when he set his sights on East Lake, to the eventual realization of his vision, Mr. Cousins expressed confidence that the transformation that occurred in Atlanta could certainly happen in Indianapolis.
The Lake Distinguished Visitor event included a morning seminar with representatives of local faith-based organizations, an afternoon seminar with neighborhood and community development organizations, and a luncheon with community leaders which included remarks from the Mayor of Indianapolis. To see photographs from the luncheon, please click here.
The following video is from CNBC. It tells that story of Tom Cousins and his East Lake project.
To obtain a copy of this video, please contact the Executive Director of the East Lake Foundation: