Meet John Gordon, the founder of the nonprofit organization Friends of English Avenue, which spearheads the beautification, cleanup efforts, crime reduction and green-space development initiatives in Atlanta’s English Avenue community. The organization was formed after the death of Kathryn Johnston, a 92-year-old English Avenue resident who was wrongfully shot and killed by three former police officers during a botched drug raid. Her unjustified death illuminated the community’s issues of poverty and crime. With the help of the Rev. Anthony A.W. Motley, Gordon founded
Friends of English Avenue on the principles of justice, generosity and virtue on a mission to make the community a safer and better place to live. A few of the organization’s initiatives include the English Avenue and Elm Street Urban Farms, vacant lots that were transformed into an urban farm that provides job opportunities and organic produce to residents.