Why Causes Matter

May I confess something to you? Causes exhaust me.
 There is no shortage of worthy causes that demand my attention these days. If you are on social media, you most likely hear the voices of a thousand causes every day. Their invitations to action are inserted between cute cat videos, clever memes, and graduation photos. […]

Hallowed Ground

“This is hallowed ground.” At a community event last year, a political group came and unfurled a large sign promoting their movement. (Who it was is immaterial to this article, so don’t ask… ) Thankfully, we noticed right away. So, we approached them and said as nicely as we could, “Please put that away. We […]

What Love Requires

Sometimes we make this rather bold claim: It is our goal to tell the world a more beautiful, accurate refugee story.  This isn’t our primary mission, but we approach it with the gravitas of a sacred vocation. It’s more like a privilege. A calling, even. We are grateful that small parts of the accurate, beautiful […]

Refuge Coffee serves opportunity to refugees in Georgia

At a small coffee shop in Clarkston, Georgia, you hear that question asked in imperfect English and thick accents. The employees at Refuge Coffee know what it feels like to long for a welcoming word. So do many of their customers, who fled wars and violence around the world.

Home Sweet Home

Placemaking  It’s our way of peacemaking.  You’ve helped us recycle old trucks and an old gas station into a place for peace. It costs you something, and it costs us something. But the price we pay is worth it. Peacemaking is like that. Costly, but worth it.  In Amsterdam, an entire prison complex was transformed […]

The Work Ethic of a Refugee

Most of you know that my husband, Bill, and I have four grown sons. They bring us so much joy and pride, especially these days. I can barely remember that season when I fretted over those crazy teenage boys… when I wondered if our sons would ever learn how work hard. When their adolescent entitled attitudes […]

The Questions That Made Dreams Come Alive

Five years ago, a few neighbors and I began to ask some seemingly innocuous questions: What if we could bring people to Clarkston, not to volunteer or gawk or even to donate, but just to hang out with us? Does the rest of the world want that? Would they show up for that? Does our community even […]

Empowering Refugees and Newcomers – Refuge Coffee

What gaps exist between resettled refugees and their communities and how might we go about bridging them? How can the simple act of spending time with one another in a common space help break down barriers?

This Coffee Company in Georgia Is Changing Refugees’ Lives—and Catering the Set of ‘Stranger Things’

It’s no coincidence Refuge Coffee launched in Clarkston, a town where the UN resettles a few thousand refugees each year. The place is a collective of the displaced, who’ve left jobs, a lifetime’s accumulation of education and wealth, to start over.

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt

While most look for a place that’s convenient for coffee, people from all over are driving well out of their way to one Georgia town for what might be called a ‘world brew.’ NBC’s Janet Shamlian reports.