About ATL: Advance The Lives


Matt and Sarah Ryan launched ATL: Advance The Lives in 2020 with the mission to alleviate structural barriers to Black youth success by working with after school programs to increase the social capital of Black youth and their families



By engaging with Atlanta athletes, Advance The Lives will work to combat the systemic barriers that Black youth face by partnering with out of school time programs and local organizations to build long-term community engagement and create educational opportunities



ATL accomplishes its mission through partnerships with nonprofits, academia, professional athletes, businesses, law enforcement, and community advocates. ATL: Advance the Lives strives to create generational change by fighting inequality where it starts—at the youth level.


The Team


Matt Ryan



Sarah Ryan



Taylor Stanley

Program Director

Story of ATL

In June of 2020, after the death of George Floyd and in the midst of demands for change across the country, Matt and Sarah Ryan launched a GoFundMe to advance the lives of Black Atlantans. They recognized the negative impact racism has on access to opportunities for Black Atlantans and wanted to do something about it. Matt and Sarah personally committed $500,000 at that time and were able to raise an additional $800,000 through that initial campaign.

The Ryans sought counsel from various members of the Atlanta community and decided to fight inequality where it starts and focus their efforts on Black youth. Matt and Sarah also understood that if they were going to address the structural racism impacting the lives of Black children, that their efforts were going to have to be long term. As a result, they established the charitable trust that is now ATL: Advance The Lives. Since their initial $500,000 donation, the Ryans have contributed an additional $1,000,000 to ensure the longevity of the organization.

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