The Christian Science Monitor

Why a global village thrives in this small Georgia town

Community members and refugees attend a gathering at Cafe Clarkston in Clarkston, Ga., in 2015. The cafe, part of the nonprofit Friends of Refugees, provides educational opportunities, job-placement services, and emotional support for immigrants. Source: Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff

Eric Holland spent most of his nearly 50 years living in “one of the whitest counties” in Georgia. He never really thought much about its lack of diversity until he visited Clarkston, Ga.

Known as one of the most international square miles in the US where more than 60 languages are spoken, Clarkston is a suburb of Atlanta.

Nearly half of its 13,000 residents are refugees from violence-torn corners of the world: Bhutan, Myanmar, Bosnia. Dark Ethiopian coffee spiced with fresh ginger and cane sugar can today be had in a leafy town founded by goat herders in 1882.  

Not long after his 2013 visit, Mr. Holland picked up his family, his wife and their four kids, and moved to Clarkston. He confesses he still struggles a bit with

A favorite landing spot‘We live together’Moving too fast for some

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