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Monday, Monday!

December 6 — Welcome back! Chad, Collin, and Amy are here with your Monday morning Draft.

🌧️  It's likely we'll see rain today. 67° is the high.

First, some truth from documentary filmmaker and local journalist, King Williams👇🏽:
✒️ According to multiple sources, former U.S. Senator David Perdue will announce plans to run for governor today, challenging Brian Kemp in what will surely be a savage Republican primary. Kemp's spokesman Cody Hall said, "Perdue’s only reason for running is to soothe his own bruised ego."

If you were focused on college football the last few days and missed it, Democrat Stacey Abrams announced her intention to run on Dec. 1. 

🏈 If you were focused on state politics the last few days and missed it, Georgia lost to Alabama on Saturday and slipped to #3, but still made the playoffs. The Bulldogs will face the newly #1 Michigan Wolverines on Dec. 31 in Miami. Alabama will play Cincinnati in the other semi-final matchup.

The winners will meet on Jan. 10 for the National Championship.   

😷 Yesterday, the AJC reported that a fully vaccinated metro Atlanta resident had tested positive for Omicron, the latest variant of COVID-19. Previously, a separate Georgia resident who is currently in New Jersey had also tested positive for Omicron. 

As of now, public health officials are saying that there’s no need for shutdowns. COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are widely available in Georgia to anybody over the age of five.

💎 Are you coming up short on extra spending money for the holidays? A French mountain climber who stumbled upon a treasure trove of emeralds, rubies, and sapphires on Mont Blanc in 2013 has been given half of his findings

🕖 Today's Rough Draft is ⑤ stories ➼

• Lights up for the holidays
• Meta grants millions to Georgia Black-owned small businesses
• A new community space for families

• Make your garden shine amid the winter landscape
• Podcasts we like

Have a great day, see you Wednesday! 
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1. Lights up! 

☃️ Holiday events are back this year, including live performances and  the timeless tradition of light displays so bright they're probably visible from space.

Here are just some of the holiday light events happening around metro Atlanta to check out with friends and family.

🎅 Light Up Brookhaven returns to Blackburn Park Dec. 8, featuring food, music, and Santa Claus arriving via helicopter. 

❄️ Dunwoody's Perimeter Center hosts “Holiday in Lights” at Ravinia Gardens Dec. 16, with live music, a hot chocolate bar, and a visit from Santa.

🎬 Through Dec. 27Brook Run Park will be adorned with 75,000 lights in a “Hollywood Holidays”-themed display giving nods to films such as “A Christmas Story,” “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

✨ Sparkle Sandy Springs' “Sparkle Village Houses” display of miniature lit homes runs through Jan. 1 at City Springs.

🌸 Garden Lights, Holiday Nights "Glowing Grove" is on display through Jan. 15 at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

👉 And we would be remiss not to remind you of Brookhaven’s hard-fought victory to display large, inflatable holiday yard decorations.

“Don’t touch Christmas inflatables, it’s very clear.” says Mayor John Ernst.
2. Meta grants $5.6 million to Georgia Black-owned small businesses

💸 Georgia is the largest grant recipient from tech conglomerate Meta’s investment of $100 million in Black-owned small businesses, creators, and nonprofits serving the Black community. [Meta is the new corporate name for Facebook.]

Meta’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg announced during a round of virtual events that more than 1,400 Black-owned small businesses in the state each received $4,000 grants.

Meta’s investment in Georgia totals more than $5.6 million.

Atlanta-based BK International Education Consultancy and Agape Gems were some of the local grantees. Agape Gems' creator Courtney Johnson is pictured above. 

To encourage Georgia shoppers to support Black-owned businesses during the holiday season, Sandberg is releasing an Instagram Gift Guide featuring some of the local businesses she met with, including Beautiful Curly Me, Agape Gems, and more.

Today at 11 a.m., Sandberg will join local entrepreneurs
 nine-year-old Zoe Oli and her mother Evana for an Instagram Live session.
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3. Social club: a community space for families

🏠 It’s said that it takes a village to raise a child. The recent pandemic has disrupted, even dismantled, many of those villages, adding more pressure than ever on parents and children.

Founded by CEO Sarah Kirkpatrick (above left) and Creative Director Grace Yu (right), Kiin will help relieve some of that pressure by providing support and a nurturing space. “Families, the backbone of our society, are struggling and desperate for childcare and community,” says aKirkpatrick.

“We know that parents need more time to accomplish their goals and more flexibility in managing their lives; kids need more opportunities to play and freedom to explore and grow in a safe environment; and families need more time together in a supportive community,” she adds. “It’s time we built a new kind of village.”

Aimed primarily at millennial families with children under the age of ten, Kiin will provide work, life, and play services such as on-demand, developmentally appropriate childcare. There will also be adults-only, distraction-free spaces for parents, as well as educational panels, networking opportunities, wellness classes, community gatherings, and family takeaway meals.

Kirkpatrick stressed that parents and kids are struggling with isolation and lack of support, an existing problem that has only been exacerbated by the pandemic.
4. Shining amid the winter landscape

🌲 December is here, and there’s a saying amongst gardeners: “If your garden looks good in winter, then it probably looks good throughout the year.”

While there are still all kinds of last-minute chores like weeding and deadheading, as well as planting spring bulbs you meant to put in the ground last month, the winter gardening pace is slower, and the days are shorter. This means it’s a great time to reflect upon the past growing season, and to make plans for the coming year.

Trees Atlanta advisor Erica Glasener checks in for this month’s Environmental Gardener, with a winter checklist that covers everything from proper groundcovers for shade to creating living sculptures in a winter garden. And remember, not all hollies are created equal.

Follow the link here to learn more about what plants will make your garden shine amid the winter landscape.
*Partner Message* 🌆 Interested in the future of America's neighborhoods and cities? Join CityAge for Building a Complete American Neighborhood Wed., Dec. 8 at 11:30 a.m. The Complete American Neighborhood seeks to launch a regional and national dialogue on how to ensure every community has an opportunity to build more complete, inclusive neighborhoods.  Speakers include Ryan Gravel, Ann Cramer, Dr. Morcease Beasley, Monika Davis, and Dr. Tauheedah Baker-Jones.
5. Look & Listen: Atlanta stories

🎧 Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Slavery by Another Name," Doug Blackmon, leads the latest episode of "Crucial Conversations," about the unsettling buried history surrounding the Chattahoochee Brick Company.

🎙️ Archive Atlanta talks with former Wellesley College professor Katherine Geffcken about life as a woman in “old Atlanta,” enduring the Great Depression, WWII, and more.

☎️ NPR's "Here & Now" reports on the city's new Policing Alternative and Diversion Initiative, a story we ran in our print editions of Atlanta Intown and Reporter Newspapers Fast-forward to the 36:20 mark for the story.

‍🎓 Speaking of NPR, do you know about the Student Podcast Challenge: College Edition? Submissions are due by Feb. 28.
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