Global meets local at CARE’s new Innovation Hub

Andie Bobb, Director of the Southeast Region for CARE, Grace Lee of Casa Cafe, CARE President and CEO Michelle Nunn and Ryan Shepard, Executive Director @ Global Innovation Hub, participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony (Photos courtesy CARE/Laura Noel)

CARE USA CEO Michelle Nunn, staff, partners and community members celebrated the launch of the CARE Atlanta Global Innovation Hub with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Sept. 5. The hub is part of the ongoing mission of CARE, the nonprofit, international humanitarian agency that delivers emergency relief and long-term development projects.

“In Atlanta, we have an extraordinary history and legacy of human rights. It’s also the place where we are still fighting the battle here and around the globe of poverty and social justice… You all are part of something that has the capacity to be transformational,” Nunn said.

The Innovation Hub seeks to facilitate collaboration among activists, artists, thinkers and movement builders to explore, test, and scale new solutions. For starters, it will incubate a pilot of the Village Savings and Loans program in Clarkston and Atlanta to reach refugee, immigrant and low socio-economic status populations.

“CARE saw an opportunity to be much more present in the surrounding community,” Innovation Hub Executive Director Ryan Shepard said.

With support from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, CARE renovated its 20,000 square foot space at its Downtown location at 155 Ellis Street  to include private offices, co-working spaces, meeting space, events space and a cafe concept.

“The CARE team worked really hard and very fast to present to you a brand new refreshed CARE. It’s more vibrant. It’s more open. It has more opportunity for our partners and our peers here in town and is more in line with who CARE is today,” CARE Southeast Region Executive Director Andie Bobb said.

Anja & Jumbe Sebunya of aKAZ!ATL in their office at the Hub.

Six anchor partners – aKAZ!ATL, Black Feminist Future, Candid., Earth University, Girls Going Global and Cafe Casa – have already moved in. Husband and wife team Jumbe and Anja Sebunya of aKAZ!ATL have curated the hub’s first art installation with African fabrics from their private collection.

“We are very passionate about creating new narratives about Africa that’s not about war, conflict and poverty. We want to show the beauty, coping and resilience of people on the continent. The hope is to build traction for new African designers and artists here. Ours is a start up, just like the Innovation Hub, “Anja said.

“We want people to flood us with visits to come see and work with us. We invite folks to stop by, check out our website Innovation.care.org and reach out with thoughts or questions,” Shepard said.

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