Legacy of Love
By Paedia Mixon
CEO, New American Pathways
A reporter from New York recently came to Atlanta and interviewed me about our work in refugee resettlement. I was delighted to share with her the many successes that refugees have found in Georgia, and to explain Georgia’s long history of welcoming and integrating refugees.
The reporter responded with obvious surprise, noting that many of her viewers would be shocked to hear that Georgia is a welcoming place for refugees.
I don’t blame her or her viewers for feeling that way – after all, the Georgia General Assembly session began just last week, and a number of state leaders have already introduced multiple anti-immigrant and anti-refugee bills. In the current political context, and with the complicated history of the fights for civil rights in our part of the world, it’s not hard to understand why folks outside of Georgia might think us unwelcoming.
For the past twenty years, I have had the privilege of working alongside my fellow Georgians to welcome refugees and support them on their journey to citizenship. I have countless stories of amazing resilience on the part of refugees, and most of these stories feature hardworking Georgians opening their hearts and homes to people in need.
While Georgia’s history on inclusion is complicated, our state has been at the forefront of social justice work and humanitarian service in many instances. Georgia is the home of two Nobel Peace prize winners and was the cradle of the civil rights movement. We are home to institutions like the CDC, Care International and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. As important as these institutions are, it is the value that everyday Georgians place on resilience, hospitality and service that makes this a great place for survivors of persecution and war to rebuild their lives.
Read more of Paedia's story here.