For the over 13,000 people of Ukrainian descent in Georgia, watching the scenes of devastation in Ukraine has been horrifying. The Ukrainian Community of Atlanta’s Facebook group has been circulating messages on everything from how to get relatives out of Kyiv to where to donate to organizing plans for protests. Many gathered at Centennial Park on Saturday, clad in yellow and blue, and holding signs saying “Pray for Ukraine,” “Stop Putin,” and “Protect Ukrainian Skies.”
Tetiana Lendiel, a member of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America’s Georgia Branch, told WABE, “Some people are panicking and they’re really afraid for their lives, that there will be a takeover of Kyiv. But some people are ready to defend the city as long as it takes.” Listen to the interview here. If you’re interested in learning about how to help, Atlanta based advocates with ties to Ukraine suggest three ways you can: Read here.
Cobb County redistricting maps move ahead in GA Legislature, and advocates are worried. Advocates across Georgia are worried that the diversity of Georgia won’t be reflected in the ballot boxes in upcoming elections because of the way new voting maps are being both drawn and approved. They’re demanding more transparency in the redistricting process, as new maps make their way through the Georgia Legislative Session.
At a press conference just hours after the passage of Cobb County maps, Poy Winichakul of the Southern Poverty Law Center said, “We’re very concerned about how fast things are moving, and how little the public has had a chance to weigh in on local maps that impact them for the next decade.” Maariya Sheikh, a Muslim American resident of Cobb County, said “We are the future, and the future is a diverse, multiracial democracy — drawing maps that suppress local control and silence communities of color is a threat to that future.” Read more here.
The impact of the fire on South Norcross Tucker Road - In case you missed it, last week I published an in-depth 285 South story about what happened to one Thai family in Norcross after a devastating fire tore through the strip mall where they’ve run a restaurant for over two decades. It's a story about, well, a lot: the strain of the pandemic on small family-run businesses; the lack of protections when disaster strikes in an informal economic arrangement; and how families change from one generation to the next. Read it here.
City of Brookhaven officially names Buford Highway as the “Buford Highway Cultural Corridor.” - It’s the first step in part of a larger plan to develop and celebrate the multicultural identity of the famous six lanes of highway running through metro Atlanta. And - check out this great podcast from We Love Buford Highway with James Han, aka Uzuhan, a second generation Korean immigrant and artist. He talks about what inspires his work and why he chose to live close to Buford Highway when he moved to Georgia, "I fell in love with what Buford Highway was...for me to get a taste of the world within a 10 mile radius, I thought that was superb." Listen to it here.