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TPS for Venezuela, Vietnamese -American candidate for mayor in Morrow, and saffron pistachio ice cream.
Your 285 News Roundup.
Good morning 285 South readers,
How are you all? If you’re a new reader and subscriber, thank you for being here and welcome! I love hearing from people, especially if you want to share an idea about an issue or story you’d love to see covered. I also love hearing about how a 285 South story might have impacted your life in some way (ie: this week I heard from one 285 South reader who’s been teaching English to Angela for a few weeks, and it’s been going well!). As always, you can reach me by hitting reply to this email or via Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
Before we get to the news, I wanted to share a few things: Tomorrow morning I’ll be speaking at- Facts & Acts: Media Literacy - hosted by WABE and the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta. There are still seats if you want to join. It’s a great chance to ask your questions directly to journalists about how we do our jobs.
And, here’s an essay I wrote for Austin Ray’s How I’d Fix Atlanta series, about how everyone in Metro Atlanta deserves something so basic and so common to people who have moved to Atlanta from all over the world: the ability to walk to a neighborhood market. Read it here.
That’s all from me, for now! - Sophia
Biden Administration grants Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Venezuela: The Department of Homeland Security announced last week that nearly half a million Venezuelans nationwide, who arrived to the U.S. before July 31, 2023, are able to apply for or extend their work permits, as well as have temporary relief from deportation.
Jose Ramos was among the Venezuelans to arrive here in Atlanta in the last year. He’s been relying on under the table restaurant jobs to survive. Reporter Lautaro Grinspan spoke to Ramos about what the recent federal decision will mean for his life, as well as others, who have migrated here from Venezuela. Read the AJC story here.
Van Tran running for Mayor in Morrow: Tran, a city councilwoman in Morrow, where over 30 percent of the population is Asian American and over 20 percent is Hispanic, is running for mayor against incumbent Mayor John Lampl. “I think Georgia is overdue for a Vietnamese mayor,” state lawmaker Long Tran said, in an interview with the Georgia Asian Times. “In a town like Morrow where almost a third, if not a third of the population is Vietnamese, I think it's time for the city to have a Vietnamese mayor, so I'm very excited for that.”
Van Tran pushed to print ballots in Spanish and Vietnamese earlier this summer, and drew criticism from a fellow councilwoman for being “un-American.” The council passed a resolution earlier this month to offer multilingual ballots starting in 2025. Read the full Georgia Asian Times article here.
More bilingual therapists are needed in Metro Atlanta, but they’re hard to find: There are more than one million Latinos in Georgia. And, despite rising mental health needs across the state, "when it comes to counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists that speak Spanish...there’s less than 100...that disparity is enormous,” says Belisa Urbina of the nonprofit Ser Familia. In my latest for 285 South, I spoke to mental health practitioners working with clients from immigrant families about why bilingual therapy is so critical. "When you are talking from your heart, it's better to express in your own language...because that way, the connection is better. If you can get that connection, you’re gonna get better right away," said Melania Soto of CHRIS 180. Read the story in 285 South.
Mi Rincon Boricua: Michael Diaz has either been cooking and selling Puerto Rican food out of his house, his car, or out of his brick and mortar restaurant off Pleasant Hill Road in Lilburn for eight years. He serves some traditional dishes like arroz con gandules or rice and pigeon peas and pernil, or slow-roasted pork. "I’m really proud to be representing my island here. Very proud,” Diaz said in an interview with 11-Alive’s Paola Suro about the obstacles that have come in the way of that, and how he overcame them. Check out the story here.
And finally, good “Kwality” Ice Cream: Yes, it’s sort of fall, but it’s still pretty warm and you can still enjoy a cold ice cream, or in this case, even a *slice* of kulfi. Kwality Ice Cream, which has locations in both Sandy Springs and Cumming, specializes in South Asian flavors like kesar pista (saffron pistachio), rose petal, spicy guava, as well as treats like the Mango Mastani Falooda. They even have a Mitha Paan flavor - ice cream mixed with fennel seeds, rose petals, and cardamom. Read more about it in Khabar magazine.
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