By Joel Hall
In 2003, Beverly Brewster, a Riverdale resident and a senior manager at AT&T in downtown Atlanta, received a $20,000 settlement after being involved in a serious automobile accident.
Instead of spending her money on a new car, Brewster decided to use it to bring attention to the plight of the poor, and to help people work their way out of the "projects."
Last year, Brewster founded National Leadership Group, Inc., a soon-to-be 501c(3) organization dedicated to helping those in poverty identify their talents and turn them into economic generators. Later this month, Brewster will premiere a documentary film highlighting seven Georgia families working to break the cycle of poverty.
"The Projects: Touch One, Touch a Generation," will premiere at the AMC Magic Johnson Theater at Greenbriar Mall in Atlanta on Saturday, Aug. 23, from 3-5 p.m. Brewster said the film will bring awareness to the "generational curses" faced by many people growing up in inner-city areas, and how those curses can be broken.
"In the documentary, all seven of them started in the projects," said Brewster. "Some of them have taken one step out, some of them are still there, and some of them are very successful. What this film is going to do is bring awareness that there are generations growing up in the projects and that all of these people have talents."
The seven families in the film come from the counties of Fulton, DeKalb, Bartow, and Cobb. Brewster said that a common thread among many impoverished families is low self-esteem.
"I have dealt with people who are the fourth generation living in the projects and they feel trapped," she said. "You have some people who have no dreams. They feel like there is no way out.
"Some of the questions we address is do they know how to get out, do they want to get out, and if programs are available, will they avail themselves to those programs," she said. "We are hoping that people won't look down at these people like they used too ... some of them are really trying to get out."
Lenora Daniels, corporate secretary for National Leadership Group, Inc., said proceeds from the film will benefit the organization, which provides assistance to people in inner-city areas and helps them develop their talents into marketable careers. She hopes the film will inspire working professionals to volunteer their skills to the organization.
"I'm hoping they will be inspired to volunteer their time and service in helping with the project," said Daniels. "People who have experience in counseling, criminal justice, financial planning -- those are the kind of people we will need."
General admission for the film will be $20, and $30 for reserved seating. Tickets for the film can be purchased in advance by calling (770) 997-6868, or by visiting www.t1tg.com.