My name is Andrea Cervone and I’m a member of the Clarkston City Council.
I believe it's better to be authentic than perfect, and the authentic reason I chose to live in Clarkston is because I think this town embodies the best of what our country has to offer, and I want to help tell the story of this compassionate and incredibly diverse community. Now more than ever, when we are surrounded by polarized opinions, and divisive rhetoric, we have an opportunity to show people that even though we come from different backgrounds, we can all live, work, play together, harmoniously. We can show people what happens when communities come together, and start listening to each other.
“The most ethnically diverse square mile in America.”
Photos by Tomesha Faxio
The City of Clarkston is located in DeKalb County, Georgia (U.S. state), United States. The population was 7,554 during the 2010 census, but two annexations in 2015 and 2016 have increased the estimated population to 13,500.
Since the 1980s, up to 2,500 refugees have been resettled annually in Clarkston, GA, a little city on the edge of Atlanta that TIME magazine called "the most diverse square mile in the country." From over 145 countries, survivors of war and famine arrive right here in Atlanta's backyard. Since the resettlement began, Clarkston has gone from being 90% white in the 1980s to less than 20% white today, and we are home to thousands of refugees from places like Vietnam, Somalia, Iraq and Bhutan (to name a few).
If you want a deeper dive in the history of my town, check out these two short PBS documentaries.