Respect Equality

Guaranteed income program for Black women launching in Atlanta in honor of MLK

Story at a glance

  • GiveDirectly and the GRO Fund are launching In Her Hands in Atlanta’s Old 4th Ward, the South’s largest guaranteed income program in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.
  • King was one of the first major leaders to call for guaranteed income in the United States.
  • In Her Hands will provide about 650 Black women in the Old 4th Ward monthly payments of $850 for two years.

A guaranteed income program for Black women is launching in Atlanta’s Old 4th Ward, Martin Luther King Jr.’s hometown, in honor of the civil rights activist. 

King was one of the first major leaders to call for guaranteed income in the United States, saying,The dignity of the individual will flourish when the decisions concerning his life are in his own hands.” 

From these words — and with the aid of community leaders, such as the current pastor of King’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, the Rev. John Vaughn — GiveDirectly and the GRO Fund are launching In Her Hands, the South’s largest guaranteed income program. 


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Starting in the Old 4th Ward and then expected to expand to additional predominantly Black suburban and rural areas in the state, In Her Hands will provide about 650 Black women monthly payments of $850 for two years. 

In Georgia, Black women are twice as likely to live in poverty as white women and are paid, on average, 63 cents on the dollar compared to white men. 

“Our community members are incredibly resilient and resourceful, but many are grappling with deep and long-standing inequities that leave families with thin financial buffers. Black women are among the most likely groups to experience cash shortfalls that make covering basic needs difficult,” Hope Wollensack, executive director of the GRO Fund, said in a press release.  

“This isn’t the result of poor choices; it’s the result of pervasive economic insecurity that has the sharpest impacts on women and communities of color and the people who live at the intersection of the two.”  

Wollensack added, “Guaranteed income is a step toward creating a more just and equitable economy — when we center Black women in this work, our communities thrive.” 


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