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Our 2022 snapshots: a few special stories we covered in 2022 (part 1)

Time waits for no one.

It is somewhat hard to realize 2022 is just about over, and 2023 is less than a week away.

In our ever-evolving normal coming from the opening foray with Covid (yes, it's still out there ladies and gentlemen), in looking back at the year, we are very fortunate to cover a number of stories and narratives that far too often fly below the radar, let alone even get on the radar. Ranging from government and politics, sports, community, and other areas, we are grateful to all outlets and people who reach out to us to do our part in sharing their story of impact.

And yes, we welcome even more for 2023 (click HERE to email us your media requests).

Every story we cover is meaningful; these are a few from January-June of 2022 (selecting one for the month) which in its own way, just hits a little differently.

As we look ahead to what's next, let's take a look back at what helps us get here so we're ready to go there, starting with the first quarter of 2022:

  • January 2022: We've covered college football, college baseball, minor league baseball, and minor league hockey among other sports. However, we step into a different arena as we partake of the PBR experience (professional bull-riding). Our first-time experience on January 22, 2022 not only gives us a point of reference of how global it is (as a significant number of the riders are from countries beyond the United States), but how powerful the animals are (let alone the skill needed to last a minimum of 8 seconds in order to earn a qualifying score). Make sure to read our article (click HERE to read our article) and mark your calendars for their return to the Gas South District in January (2023).

  • February 2022: One of the themes covered during Black History Month is that of reconciliation. 110 years after the atrocities of racial and ethnic cleansing via the graphic and forced exile of African-American residents in Forsyth County, the light shed by the book Blood on the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America, the public forum and acknowledgement by Representative Carolyn Bourdeaux, along with community leaders (including some descendants of the families) including Pastor Avery Headd (of the host venue, Poplar Hill Baptist Church), Deacon Billy Green, Judge Rodney Harris (Gwinnet County), Pastor James B. Nuckolls, Elon Butts-Osby, and Gerald Sneed, discuss the history, present, and future in righting these wrongs. With improved community engagement, there are collaborative steps and efforts taking place (click HERE to read our article) to make things vastly better in building a better communiy.

  • March 2022: Poplar Hill Baptist Church is more than a place of worship. It's a community hub for improved engagement and social action. Taking the lead of its driving force, Pastor Avery Headd, the celebration of his 27 years of leadership and service is celebratory, but more of a reminder and call to action for sustained stewardship, outreach, service, and bridge-building within and beyond the community. Take a look at what is done, let alone making sure to get a sense of what they are doing (click HERE to read our article).

As if these and all stories covered in the first quarter aren't compelling, the core months of the spring and early summer build upon the engrossing and engaging things taking place. Here's a few which are just a little different and are synonymous with all of our coverage:

  • April 2022: Conversations are important as they allow for points of reference and understanding of what potential "next steps" can be taken. When it comes to mental health and wellness, New Mercies Christian Church takes this area of concern seriously and sincerely. With their Candid Conversation series, they not only provide a safe space and forum for discussion, there are proactive measures and "bridge building" to connect with professionals to get people the help they need. Be it during the holidays when there typically are "spikes" in mental health and stress management needs or any day, there is access to getting assistance (click HERE to read our article).

  • May 2022: The Alphas of Atlanta bring back their Kentucky Derby themed affair, the #AlphaDerbyWeekend. The first weekend of May (2022) provides a return to the 3-day weekend affair for the first time since 2019. Complete with a select meet and greet, golf tournament, old-school hip hop concert (featuring Slick Rick the Ruler), main event and watch party (which includes virtual greetings from Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, a proclamation presentation by Atlanta City Councilman Byron Amos), and Sunday brunch, proceeds from the event are donated to 8 nonprofits whose focus is on working with youth (including college tours, scholarship programs, and mentoring programs). With plans for another equally outstanding event in 2023 (click HERE for our article), it's a good idea to plan on joining them in the Winner's Circle.

  • June 2022: The celebration of Juneteenth has grown in recent years, including it becoming a federal holiday. Even more impactful is the way these celebrations not only bring communities together, but provide a way to use this to galvanize continued community outreach and engagement. We are fortunate to be a part of 2 such events in our home-state (Illinois), including how the "discovery" efforts of the Hunt for Foundation allows for something truly special and impactful in Central Illinois to truly grow (click HERE for our article).

2022 is yet another special year. The first half alone is complete with these and other leading stories we're able to cover.

Stay tuned as we have the second half of the year on deck.

Notes: All photos from the first photo grid are taken by Andrew Snorton. For the snapshots of the articles, the cover photos (the PBR cover photo is credited to EmoryRose Photography and the Alpha Derby Weekend cover is credited to the Alphas of Atlanta), all are taken by Andrew Snorton.


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