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Bullying in Henry County, selfies in Duluth, and two years since the Taliban takeover.
Before we start with the news, I wanted to highlight a few happenings in the next week: There’s a pop up market on Saturday, August 19 at 10am at Refuge Coffee, featuring entrepreneurs supported through an IRC program. The annual Clarkston Tell Me a Story festival is also this Saturday. We Love Buford Highway’s fundraiser FEAST is on Thursday, August 24. Pullman Yards is hosting its monthly Asian Night Market on Friday, August 25, and the Southeast Asian Summer Festival in Lawrenceville on August 26 and 27.
Also - I was fortunate and grateful to receive an Atlanta Press Club Award for this story about an Afghan family in Georgia in Atlanta Magazine (edited by Sam Worley and photos by Alyssa Pointer). It was heartening to see immigrant stories being awarded at the event, including this one by Daniela Cintron looking at Latina entrepreneurs in film. And - it was amazing to see community journalism be honored - Canopy Atlanta received the News Innovation award for Atlanta Documenters.
Okay, let’s get started.
New federal refugee initiative could bring more Latinos to Atlanta: The White House announced last month that some people currently in Mexico, who have migrated from Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Haiti, might be able to enter the refugee resettlement process. It’s not clear when and how many people could come to Georgia through the process, but resettlement agencies in Atlanta have applauded the move. “I feel like we have the team and the structure and the capacity in place… I think as a sector we’ll be ready,” said the IRC-Atlanta’s Justin Howell, in an interview with the AJC. Read the story here.
Donation boxes stolen from Al-Farooq Mosque: Two men went into the historic 14th street mosque in Midtown and stole donation boxes last Friday, according to the Atlanta Police Department (APD). Al-Farooq, which was founded in 1980, is among the largest and oldest mosques in the Southeast. The APD’s Burglary Unit is looking for public assistance to identify the suspects. Anonymous tips can be submitted via the Crime Stoppers Atlanta tip line at 404-57-8477 or by texting CSA and the tip to 274637. More from Rough Draft Atlanta here.
Gwinnett PD seeks public help to find 25-year-old Lilburn resident: Selena Garcia has been missing since October 2022, and the Gwinnett Police Department says they’ve exhausted all their leads looking for her, and are looking for public assistance. To submit a tip, contact GCPD detectives at 770-513-5300 or send info anonymously, contact Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477 (yes, the same as above). Read more from Prensa Atlanta here.
Parents protest bullying in Henry County school: Several Latino parents protested outside of Dutchtown Middle School last week to demand an end to bullying and show their support for Carmen Vega, a mother who says her son was bullied, but the school did nothing to address the problem. “I do not speak English and they [the school] told me several times that they did not have interpreters, that they could not use the translation lines and that no one could help us,” said Vega, in Spanish, in an interview with El Nuevo Georgia. After Vega went to the media with her story, Dutchtown Middle agreed to transfer her son to another school, according to the report. Watch El Nuevo Georgia’s video report here, and read the full story here.
Vietnamese entrepreneurs open a selfie business: Amy Tep and Kim La recently opened Ao Corner, a creative space in Duluth where patrons can take photos. “We curated the space for folks to experience the unique lifestyle modeled after Saigon streetscapes which are fast disappearing. Catering to the old and young generations, the space will transform you to Vietnam without having you to travel there!” said co-founder Kim La in an interview with Georgia Asian Times. Read more in the Georgia Asian Times here.
The surprising story behind a Korean Fried Chicken spot in Midtown: If you haven’t read this yet - check out 11-Alive’s Savannah Levins story about Sean Chang, founder of Mukja Korean Fried Chicken. After a nearly fatal car crash that left him paralyzed from the waist down, Chang decided to change his career direction from doctor to restauranteur. Just before his restaurant was set to open, the pandemic hit. But Chang kept going. “I'm just going to keep moving forward, be optimistic, take every day a little at a time and be appreciative of what I've been given," he said. "With that mindset, you can accomplish anything." Read it here.
And finally, it’s been two years since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. Since then, more than 1500 Afghans have come to Georgia to build their lives. Last week, I spoke to Ikram, the family I had interviewed for the Atlanta Magazine story and he told me he now works at the airport (he worked in a meat processing plant when I did the story) and his dad is working at Walmart. The family is very excited because they expect their sister to arrive from Afghanistan in the next few months.
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