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Pop-Up Drive-In shares an overall protection strategy

Updated: Jun 24, 2020

A community is an intangible commodity. While it can be found in a building, place, or organization, COVID-19 has shown the world that community is much more than the sharing of physical spaces. As complex as the word community is, it can be defined quite simply as people connecting. While thinking about this year’s outdoor movie events whole overall protection strategy, I’ve gained peace of mind connecting with two professionals helping me pull this off. Through the generosity of Amy Baxter MD and Senior Police Officer Eric King, attendees will be in good hands.

Pulling off a big free event during these challenging times requires abundant generosity. It takes people from all walks of life having a particular characteristic in common. What do an Atlanta police officer and a medical doctor have in common? They both care about people. It’s an opportunity to center people on what matters most.

One of my favorite books on this subject is, I Like Giving by Brad Formsma. I love the philosophy Brad presents, “Generosity is for all of us. It’s available to all of us, even when the cultural tide is moving in the opposite direction. Why not be brave and live differently?”

It’s refreshing and empowering to finding like-minded people. A frontline hero helping me pull off a safe environment is Senior Police Officer Eric King. While this is officer King’s second year volunteering for the outdoor movie night, he has always been the helper type. Prior to his position with APD, a Michigan native, King studied Psychology at Michigan State University and graduated in 2006. After college, he began working and volunteering with a non-profit group in Detroit that offered sex education as well as offered a safe space for youth to socialize called MPowerment Detroit.

Shortly after, King moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 2008 and joined the Atlanta Police Department in 2009. He started his career with APD on morning watch and sometime later was moved to bicycle patrol and from there, he served as the juvenile repeat offender officer.

He is excited about future initiatives with the Atlanta Police Department (APD) and thankful that he has the support for being a leader in LGBTQ equality within law enforcement. In 2014, King was selected to become an LGBT Liaison officer for the department. Since he entered on duty in this position, the APD has successfully passed a transgender interaction policy, hosted the first-ever transgender community meeting, an LGBT friendly resume workshop and Job Fair, and partners with community members on different initiatives.

One of the most impactful initiatives to date is the street out-reach that takes place engaging survival sex workers and identify other means to get them off the streets. King is also a part of a team that travels around the world representing the Atlanta Police Department and the US State Department teaching about Hate Crimes and their impacts. He has taught in El Salvador, Thailand, Botswana, Honduras, and Budapest.

I see generosity in the Center Hill community and from individuals who live outside my neighborhood. As a member of a workgroup making COVID emergency department guidelines and triage criteria, Dr. Baxter, Founder & CEO at Pain Care Labs, has offered to lend her knowledge as the events Coronavirus Safety Volunteer to ensure the event maintains a healthy environment.

There are many ways of building community and the Popup Drive-In is just one of them. Take more time than usual to talk with each other, build real connections by getting to know one another, and look for opportunities to give with people who have similar interests and values.

“When we choose to give, we change, and the people around us change” Brad Formsa

To learn more about the Westside Pop-Up Drive-In event or you would like to donate please contact event Producer, Rolanda Powell.

Event Details at a Glance:

Westside PopUp Drive-In

July 11, 2020 @7:00 p.m.

Salem Bible Church

2283 Baker Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

Click here to register.

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Leah LaRue, Assistant Director, Neighborhood Planning Units, City of Atlanta

Rolanda has done an amazing job of pulling together her neighbors to form CHNA, and they were directly involved in leading the efforts to bring pedestrian safety to Hollowell.


Alan Holmes, Senior Assistant to Council Member Dustin Hillis
Atlanta City Council, District 9

Rolanda has been a great leader and advocates on behalf of the Center Hill Neighborhood Association. I have worked with her on a few projects and always look forward to doing so because of her creativity, marketing skills, and passion for improving the community.


Najla Slowe, MBA

Working alongside Rolanda at Georgia Tech for nearly two years, I have watched her grow in her craft. She is a visionary and a catalyst in her community. She brings that same energy of wanting future growth and fostering creativity into her profession.