‘Cop City,’ trafficking in Cartersville, and educating kids about Asian American history.
Plus: Pakistani mangoes.
Atlanta City Council approves funding for ‘Cop City’: After a more than 14 hour public comment period, Atlanta City Council members voted 11-4 on Tuesday morning to approve funding for the Atlanta Police Department’s public safety training center, dubbed ‘Cop City’ by opponents. Over 350 people showed up to comment, the vast majority opposing the project, and four people speaking in favor of it. Just days earlier, immigrant advocacy organizations Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta and the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR) joined a number advocacy groups condemning the arrest of organizers with the Atlanta Solidarity Fund, a nonprofit that provided financial support to activists organizing against ‘Cop City.” Read more from Capital B here, and check out this account from Canopy Atlanta (which powers 285 South) on the challenges of reporting the story.
Motel manager pleads guilty to human trafficking: 70-year old Shreesh Tiwari pled guilty to crimes of “trafficking with respect to peonage, slavery, involuntary servitude or forced labor,” according to a press statement from the Department of Justice. Tiwari was managing a Budgetel motel in Cartersville, Georgia when he hired a woman to work as a cleaner. According to court documents, he coerced the woman by threatening to evict her from the motel and turning her into law enforcement.
Georgia has among the highest human trafficking rates in the country, with 281 trafficking cases identified in 2021 alone, according to the National Human Trafficking hotline. To report suspected human trafficking call the GA statewide trafficking hotline at (866) 363-4842 or the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll free at (888) 373-7888. More info here.
Funding for Hispanic businesses in Georgia: The Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is receiving a half million dollars in federal funding to support Hispanic run businesses in rural parts of the states like Tifton and coastal cities like Savannah. "With the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce I try to participate in every program," said Elena Carne, a Venezuelan American fashion designer who runs a clothing manufacturing business in Americus, a city 2.5 hours south of Atlanta."Part of the resources and all the benefits and the things that I have been receiving is because they are there for me." Read the 11-Alive story here.
New nonprofit supporting Asian communities in GA: The Georgia AAPI Hub hosted its inaugural dinner in Norcross in late May, in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau. The organization “will leverage local, state, and federal connections to engage and to support local community partners to address community needs,” said founder Victoria Huynh, who was formerly the Vice President of the Center for Pan Asian Community Services. The hub recently released an infographic on demographics in the state, showing a 60 percent increase in Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities in the last 10 years. Read the full story in the Georgia Asian Times.
Teaching Asian history in Georgia schools: A grassroots group of Asian parents is helping educate children about the history of Asian Americans. The group, Asian American Voices for Education (AAVEd), began to take shape after the spa shootings in 2021. “If we don’t talk about Asian American role models, what does that say to our kids? That they are the ‘other?...I think that’s how I felt like growing up, ” said Lorraine Irier, a parent who spoke to her son’s fifth grade classroom for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Check out WABE’s story here.
And finally, rare mangoes. Karachi Broast and Grill in Norcross and Apna Bazaar in Duluth have a limited supply of two varieties of mangoes native to South Asia: Anwar Ratol - a small mango cultivated in Pakistan and northern India; and Sindhri - a large mango known to be sweet and aromatic, and grown in the Sindh Province. Pakistani mango supply chains are complicated, so they’re not cheap - but mango lovers (including myself) think they’re well worth it. Available until the mangoes either sell out or go bad (Tip: call in advance if you’re interested - Karachi Broast 678-291-0101; Apna Bazaar 470-209-6042).
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