Local businesses destroyed during the Atlanta riots are getting help from a teenager who helped raise $160,000 to help get black businesses back on their feet.
Speaking to WSB-TV Channel 2 in Atlanta, 17-year-old CJ Pearson said they raised the money “To show that black lives matter by supporting these black owned businesses that were adversely impacted by these recent events, and not intentionally so, but let’s go help them out.”
Janice Wilbourne was overcome with emotion for the teen and those who donated, saying she was “excited” and “truly grateful” after Pearson handed them a $10,000 check to help rebuild.
Her store, Wilbourne Sisters Designs, was heavily damaged during the rioting. Pearson, with help from the Georgia Association of Minority Entrepreneurs, raised the $160,000 in just one week.
“We’ll be teaching here, we’ll be using the space for more than just teaching clothes. It will be more of a learning center. As we teach sewing classes, our first project will be making masks.”
“I think it’s so important to put actions behind our words. Posting a black screen isn’t enough. We need to do something.”
Pearson is President of Last Hope USA, whose stated mission is to “ensure the preservation of America’s founding ideals through the promotion of civic education and civic participation to America’s next generation.”