Inspirational Coach Of Refugees Soccer Team To Speak Here
Join Lakewood High’s Race & Diversity Club and the organization, "Facing History & Ourselves," on Wednesday, December 6, for a Community Conversation featuring Luma Mufleh, the inspirational coach of a soccer team called the Fugees—short for refugees.
Players on the team come from Congo, Burundi, Sudan, Liberia, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq, among other countries. They are boys whose families were selected for resettlement in a small town outside Atlanta called Clarkston. The boys on the Fugees, while from many different countries and cultures, share the experience of being caught between worlds, and something else—a love of soccer, a game many of the boys learned to play in refugee camps, using a bundle of plastic bags and twine for a ball. Their passion for the game and the bonds they form across cultural barriers help them compete against some of the league’s best teams, even as they struggle off the field to find a sense of security and belonging in their new home.
The remarkable story of how these players, with Mufleh at the helm, find ways to connect and cohere across broad cultural divides and oftentimes strong local resentment, was documented in The New York Times best seller, Outcasts United. The book focuses not only on the inspirational journey of Mufleh and the refugees, but also on the lessons the story provides on how to build community in environments in which people seem to have little in common.
The high school’s Race & Diversity club, or RAD, seeks to promote understanding and open discussion of issues between the many different cultures and ethnicities represented at the school.
"Facing History and Ourselves" is an international educational and professional development organization whose mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism and prejudice in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry.
Come out and hear this inspirational speaker and maybe learn some lessons that can be applied to us here in Lakewood.