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Two years since the spa shootings, Medicaid unwinding, and a fire in Bangladesh reaches Clarkston residents.
Your 285 South News Roundup.
It’s been two years since 8 people were killed in Atlanta area spa shootings: And loved ones are still navigating the legal, and emotional aftermath. Although much of the conversation around the shootings has focused on gun violence, Sarah Lee with the Immigrant Legal Resource Center said in an interview with WABE, “What’s come up more often has been grappling with the objectification of Asian women and grappling with the idea that this was a violent attack on elders.” Read the story here.
There are events in the next few days to mark the two year anniversary. This evening, there is a Community Concert at the Korean Community Center in Norcross at 6pm, and tomorrow (Friday) there will be a screening and discussion of the PBS film ”Rising Against Asian Hate: One Day in March” in Johns Creek.
Fire at Cox’s Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh impacts Clarkston resident: A fire tore through one of the world’s largest refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh last week, leaving more than 10,000 people homeless. Among them were family members of Abu Talib, a Clarkston resident and member of the Rohingya community. “All my family’s camps was where the fire ripped,” he told me. “They have no place to live now.”
Talib had visited his family in those camps last year ( I wrote about his journey back to see them for Atlanta Magazine). The U.S Commission on International Religious Freedom recently announced additional funding for Rohingya community members living in Cox’s Bazar, and several other fundraising efforts are ongoing, like this one and this one.
As Medicaid unwinds, one woman takes it upon herself to enroll hundreds of community members: Starting April 1st, the process of re-enrolling and re-determining Medicaid eligibility begins in Georgia. That’s because the federal public health emergency period - invoked at the start of the pandemic to expand health coverage - is ending. Anna Tam used to work for the Center for Pan Asian Community Services (CPACS) in the Social Services Department, where she would assist community members who speak limited or no English, with SNAP and Medicaid renewals. She was recently laid off, but is still dedicated to making sure community members don’t miss out on getting covered. Read the latest for 285 South here.
Meanwhile, unionizing at CPACS: Workers from CPACS have begun the process of forming a labor union. In 2022, the immigrant serving nonprofit came under investigation after allegations of fraud and mismanagement from the organization’s Board and senior leadership. Read about it in the Georgia Asian Times here.
Georgia House weighs bill to restrict some immigrants from land ownership: State representatives are considering SB132, a bill that prohibits visa holders of countries deemed by the U.S. State department as “foreign adversaries” or “countries of particular concern,” from buying farmland or land within 25 miles of a military installation. I spoke to the author of the bill, Senator Brandon Beach, who told me the intention of the bill is to stop “the Chinese Communist government from buying our Georgia farmland.” But immigrant advocates feel otherwise. Read my latest for the Atlanta Civic Circle here.
*Canopy Atlanta’s Spotlight on South Dekalb* Did you know that in 2021, real estate investors backed by Wall Street bought more than half the residential lots south of Memorial Drive? Despite this financial investment in South Dekalb, residents that Canopy Atlanta spoke to say they just haven’t seen much investment in the community. And - check out this love letter to South Dekalb’s unsung green spaces. Read Canopy Atlanta’s South Dekalb issue here.
And finally, in case you missed it: Muzhda Oriakhil talks to Atlanta Magazine about her struggle to navigate maternity care in Georgia, shortly after moving here. She now works at Embrace Birth in Clarkston, where she supports other women who are new to the U.S., with their birth journeys. Read the story here .
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