What began as a quest to document the experiences of refugee, immigrant and non-English speaking students in DeKalb County School District (DCSD) has culminated in a book celebrating diverse American voices.
More than 30 students from Cross Keys High School, Clarkston High School and the International Student Center were recently featured in the book, Green Card Youth Voices: Immigration Stories From an Atlanta High School.
The book—edited by Tea Rozman Clark, Darlene Xiomara Rodriguez and Lara Smith-Sitton in partnership with Kennesaw State University, the Latin American Association, and Welcoming America—is an intimate look at the experiences of refugee and immigrant students as told by personal essays as well as six feature stories. Similar books have been completed by Green Card Youth Voices in Minneapolis, Fargo and St. Paul in Minnesota, as well as Milwaukee and Madison in Wisconsin.
Editors from Green Card Youth Voices collected essays and interviewed students in November 2017, eventually releasing the book in a limited capacity in May 2018 at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. The overall process was covered by local media, including theAtlanta Journal Constitution,Reporter Newspaper, andDeKalb Free Press.
Green Card Youth Voices: Immigration Stories From an Atlanta High School has since gained acclaim from university professors and college presidents across the country.
“The young people in this book—including six DACA recipients—come from 13 different countries and, in their own words, reveal the complexity and humanity of the immigration experience that is too often obscured in current conversations,” reads the book description. “Within these pages, these brave youth share reflections on their past, describe challenges from their immigration journeys, and illustrate the many ways that they contribute to their new home. These written and digital narratives–as well as the included study guide, glossary, and links to video narratives–are a unique resources for anyone looking to expand their understanding of the tapestry of different cultures that make up the United States. By seeing ourselves reflected in the bravery and honesty with which these stories are shared, we start to build the necessary bridges of understanding between us all.”
“[These] first-person essays by refugee and immigrant teenagers from Cross Keys High School, Clarkston High School, and DeKalb International Student Center shine a bright light on the excruciating and traumatic experiences families can go through to live here,” Bonesteel writes. “Their often new-user feel of English adds an especially tender tone to these testimonials.”
A wide release of Green Card Youth Voices: Immigration Stories From an Atlanta High School is scheduled for April 2019. You canpre-order the bookon Amazon.