Tyler Perry, the hugely successful African American actor, writer, director and producer recently built a major film studio on a 330-acre parcel in Atlanta. The studio has been busy since the land was purchased in 2015 -- it has already produced eight television shows, 22 movies and 20 plays, and hired a substantial number of skilled and unskilled workers from the local community. Recently Perry announced that he wants to create a facility on the site for homeless, abused, and sex-trafficked women and girls, plus LGBTQ youth who are put out and displaced. In a recent interview on CBS, Perry said “They live in nice apartments. There’s day care. There’s all these wonderful things that allow them to reenter society. And then pays it forward again.”
Perry is not alone in creating opportunity in Atlanta. The black Atlanta-based CEO and founder of Saltbox Tyler Scriven is launching an entrepreneurial community and co-warehousing space at its flagship location in the Upper Westside of Atlanta this fall. He promises two more Atlanta locations by 2021. Scriven is a hometown boy who returned came to Atlanta after a successful career in Silicon Valley. Knowing that the business environment for minority entrepreneurs in Atlanta was ripe he created Saltbox with the hopes of expanding Atlanta’s growing economy and making it easier for minorities with startup dreams to remain in the region and grow its potential.
Atlanta has become more than the “New York” of the South. It has earned a reputation for recovery, renewal, and rebirth thanks to people like Perry and Scriven. These native sons of Atlanta are making it possible for people to not only accomplish their dreams but expand them. Who would have guessed 20 years ago that Atlanta would rival Hollywood as an entertainment hub? Today, with the creation of Tyler Perry studios Atlanta is growing from its dark roots into a blossoming future capable of embracing all those with eyes to the sun.