Lisa Haygood was born in South Atlanta. Her father built a house in the neighborhood next door to Lisa’s grandparents and cousins. She loves this community, and it is has been home to her family for her entire life.
When FCS first got involved in the neighborhood’s housing, Lisa was serving as the chair of the South Atlanta Civic League, which was partnering with FCS. Haygood says she saw FCS starting where the need was: housing. “Their work grew into the Family Store, followed by the coffee shop and market now,” says Haygood. “I believe it organically grew as they were here. Their work was about what the neighborhood needs.”
She says the work has changed over time and that it has needed to because the neighborhood is always changing as well. “People driving community activities are in tune with what’s going on,” says Haygood.
Haygood is an employee at IBM and has served on the FCS board for about three years. She enjoys offering her voice into the community work. She also says she values the interactions with people she wouldn’t typically meet. “We all have the same goal of being of service to South Atlanta,” she says, “and that humbles me.”
“Many people have lived in South Atlanta because they have no place else to go,” Haygood says. “But that is changing.” She notes that new people are moving into the downtown neighborhood and feels this shift highlights the importance of FCS’ work.
“Structure is needed when things are changing,” Haygood says. “FCS has a vested interest in what change looks like later. FCS has a better understanding of inner city communities than many and while anyone could come in and say, ‘I’m going to be the change agent, FCS is important because they are sensitive to the community.’”
Haygood also notes the important connections FCS has outside the community. She feels this interconnectedness within and outside the community is a strength that can bring fresh resources. Haygood lives in a neighboring community and says, “While I am no longer there, I have an interest and investment there.” Besides her work on the FCS board, Haygood helped facilitate a partnership between IBM and South Atlanta’s Price Middle School, where she volunteers with EX.I.T.E. Technology Camp with students.
“I get my drive to help and be involved with the community from my family,” Haygood says. Her family still lives in South Atlanta, and this community will always be home.