Clarkston-Rollins Connection

The Clarkston-Rollins Connection (ClaRC) is a one-year community engaged learning program open to all Rollins students interested in ethical community development from an asset-based perspective, community engaged learning, and working with refugee populations.

The program makes its home in Clarkston, Georgia, recognized by TIME magazine as, "the most diverse square mile in the country."

Clarkston was identified as an ideal relocation city in the late 1980s. Today, approximately 31.8 percent of the population is foreign born. As a community with multiple refugee populations and a diversity of long-time American-born residents, it is an optimal place for public health students to practice ethical and responsive community engagement.

The ClaRC program consists of a weekly seminar course (PUBH 602) facilitated by instructors and supported by the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows as well as weekly service in the community (a minimum of 10 hours a month). Participants in ClaRC provide volunteer service to organizations that support the various populations that live in Clarkston (including, but not limited to resettled refugee communities). There are no prerequisites for participating in ClaRC other than being enrolled as a Rollins student. The program will show up as a non-credit S/U course on your transcript.

Watch the Clarkston-Rollins Connection (ClaRC) Webinar

Students complete their service component through one of the following organizations:

Friends of Refugees exists to empower refugees through opportunities that provide for their well-being, education, and employment. Friends of Refugees empowers refugees in many ways – teaching English, engaging children & students, managing a community garden, providing job search assistance and employment placement, mentoring refugee entrepreneurs, and supporting expectant refugee moms, just to name a few.

The Café Clarkston is a place where refugees and new immigrants develop job and life skills while expanding and deepening their social and professional networks.

Embrace Refugee Birth Support is a program under Friends of Refugees. It works to provide Childbirth Education and Labor Support to the Refugee community in Clarkston, Georgia.

Mommy and Me Refugee Family Literacy Program began in 2008 as a 2-day-a-week community program with just 4 staff members, trying to make a difference in their rapidly evolving neighborhood. Today, the program has a paid staff of 27, manages 20-30 weekly volunteers, and runs almost 15 classes for over 200 adult and young students. 

Each year, Lutheran Services of Georgia (LSG) resettles hundreds of refugees, assisting them with the transition to America and enabling them to achieve self-reliance in the United States. In particular, LSG takes responsibility for gathering resources, finding housing and employment, and providing general cultural orientation to the refugees they help resettle.

CDF: A Collective Action Initiative is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2010. We work to connect and engage the diverse residents of Clarkston, GA by helping residents recognize and develop their assets and assist them in creating activities and services that benefit the community. CDF engages residents and partners to craft innovative, culturally sound, community-driven education initiatives, building on community assets. Our mission is to transform education so that all Clarkston children and youth will be nurtured, supported, and prepared to learn – from before they enter kindergarten through post secondary education.

The Clarkston Community Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that is a reflection of the community around it: diverse, supportive, and strong. Aiding a population that represents over 150 different ethnic groups, has over 50 different countries of origin, and speaks over 60 different languages, the center does its best to address the many assorted needs of the community. We strive to be a gathering place for art, education, recreation and community building activities in Clarkston, GA and greater DeKalb County.

The Exceptional Community Building works to create equal opportunities for youth and adults with and without disabilities.

The Somali American Community Center (SACC) is a non-profit, charitable organization committed to serving the cultural, psychological and socio-economic needs of refugees and immigrants in and around metropolitan Atlanta. SACC assists in the promotion of personal growth, financial stability, positive family and community relations and community empowerment. The adjustment and development of all of SACC’s constituents is facilitated with programs in the areas of advocacy, education, employment, healthcare and community outreach.

Since 1998, Sagal Radio has given a voice to new Americans by offering radio programming on a variety of issues in the native languages of our listeners. We have grown from a two-hour local Somali news broadcast to a weekly broadcast in six different refugee and immigrant languages (Swahili, Somali, Arabic, Afaan Oromo, Bhutanese, and English). Our annual listenership of 40,000 spans across metro-Atlanta on the radio and for the world online. We offer educational tools (cultural information, translations of news), public service announcements (safety, health), resources (job information, community services) and opportunities for involvement (on-air discussions, volunteer information).

Center for Pan Asian Community Services (CPACS) is a private nonprofit located in Atlanta, Georgia. Our mission is to promote self-sufficiency and equity for immigrants, refugees, and the underprivileged through comprehensive health and social services, capacity building, and advocacy.

The Global Village Project works to develop a strong educational foundation for each student within a caring community using a strengths-based approach and intensive instruction in English language and literacy, academic subjects, and the arts. It's vision is to ensure that all refugee girls with interrupted schooling have access to the education necessary to pursue their dreams.