Learn more about the city that has been coined the ‘most diverse square mile’ in the United States. Click the titles below to see our blog posts or scroll down to get an overview of Clarkston!
- Sustainability InitiativesThe Clarkston International Garden started by Global Growers in 2009 was created to help refugees continue practicing their agricultural traditions here in the United States.
- Refugee Services EcosystemRefugee services in Clarkston are made up of many different partners working together and individually to support these communities. In the scope of this module, New American Pathways is the focus.
- Building Community through EducationThe Global Village Project is a school for refugee girls located right in the heart of Georgia, Decatur. The school started from a need noticed by the community in Clarkston.
An Overview of Clarkston
Clarkston is a diverse community with incredible lessons to teach us about cross-cultural collaboration. Clarkston is most widely known today for the large number of countries and languages (around 60) represented but the city’s refugee population. More information on the statistics and changing landscape of the city throughout the last few decades can be found in the video below from Atlanta PBS or further down in a variety of videos, articles and websites sharing information on the city of Clarkston.
As with any diverse community, Clarkston does have its growing pains in terms of tensions between different groups. However, the resident’s resilience and how they choose to engage in their community are what allow Clarkston to stand out as a rich community. Its differences and challenges bring people closer together creating opportunities for unity. We are not just speaking about the organizations or groups helping this rich-in-diversity community but the individual people who make up the community, whether they have been in Clarkston for decades or just a year or two.
There are many cultures melding together here and as you will see here, there is large interest and media coverage of the city of Clarkston. However, as Dr. Allen Hyde notes in our Global Spaces “Clarkston Podcast”, the people here are not just “a pet project” or incapable of taking care of themselves (00:00:48 – 00:01:20). They are capable, resilient and independent people, many of whom have overcome great obstacles not just in getting to the United States but also emotionally and mentally in having to uproot their entire lives and homes, often not by choice but by need for survival. We do feature some of the services that have gone into building the robust network of refugee services available to residents of Clarkston. However, what is not immediately apparent is that a large number of these services are founded by, supported by, and innovated by the very same people they set out to serve. The city of Clarkston is made up of community members who actively seek out the betterment of the city not just for themselves but for the well-being of others as well.
Below is the full-length interview featuring Professor Allen Hyde in which he walks through the history of Clarkston as well as some of the challenges it faces but most importantly, some of the lessons in resilience the residents can teach us especially in these unprecedented times.
Disclaimer: as with any media project, we are limited to our own perspectives as individuals and an organization. We invite you to take what we have culled and cultivated here as a steppingstone for further research but not an ultimate or full picture of what it means to live in Clarkston or be a member of a refugee community. Thank you.
We encourage you to continue investigating the city of Clarkston and its story as a way to deepen your understanding of community and diversity.