Outcasts United by Warren St. John

For the better part of a hundred years, Clarkston, Georgia—a community of 7,100 on one square mile of land east of downtown Atlanta—was a mostly white town where little of interest happened. In the early 1990’s, the town was designated as a resettlement center for refugees from around the world, and refugees poured in from Southeast Asia, the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East. In less than a decade, little Clarkston, Georgia transformed into one of the most diverse communities in the country.

Outcasts United is the story of this town, told through the lens of a soccer team of refugee boys called the Fugees, a team founded and coached by an American-educated, Jordanian born volunteer named Luma Mufleh. The team and its remarkable coach ultimately provide the rest of us with powerful lessons about how to create community in places where everyone is different. (more…)

Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario

by Sonia Nazario, author of Enrique’s Journey

President Obama has vowed that he will soon raise the issue of immigration reform anew, likely igniting heated debates in homes around the country.

Yet in many high schools nationwide, teachers have already sought to help students better understand their newly arrived neighbors through discussions of Enrique’s Journey. Already, scores of high schools from Bay Shore, New York to Santa Monica, California—places that have seen a sudden surge of newcomers from other countries—have used my book about one Central American boy’s quest to reach his mother in the U. S. to take students inside the world of migrants, a world many know little about.

My visits to high schools all over the country have led to incredibly interesting and moving encounters with students, who reveal different responses to my book. (more…)