One Region Initiative

Research and Evaluation of the Atlanta One Region Initiative

Since 2017, Georgia Immigration Research Network co-founders Dr. Paul N. McDaniel and Dr. Darlene Xiomara Rodriguez have served as steering committee members for Welcoming America's One Region Initiative in the Atlanta metro region. Additionaly GIRN members have also served on the steering committee, including Dr. Anna Kim (previously at Georgia Tech, currently at San Diego State) and Dr. Allen Hyde (Georgia Tech). Welcoming America, a nonprofit partner based in Decatur, Georgia, states that "The One Region Initiative seeks to create an inclusive metro Atlanta region in which all people, including immigrants and refugees, have the opportunity to reach their greatest potential, engage with the larger community, and fully contribute their talents - expanding prosperity and well-being for all. The program does this by gaining the solid commitment of local government, business leaders, community organizations, immigrant and refugee communities, and members of the receiving communities to create and then adopt welcoming practices. It is led by Welcoming America and supported by the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and regional entities...Becoming a more inclusive region means a more vibrant culture, more jobs created by immigrant entrepreneurs, and a thriving economy that benefits us all. But it isn’t only about supporting immigrant integration, it’s about creating communities where inclusivity and welcome improve livability and prosperity for all, including U.S.-born residents...A diverse Steering Committee made up of government officials, community members, nonprofit leaders, and business executives across the region, steered the development of the Welcoming Regional Plan. The plan was released to the public in August 2018. Currently, the steering committee provides programmatic and outreach support for the One Region Initiative." 

As One Region steering committee members, Dr. McDaniel and Dr. Rodriguez have contributed to the ongoing trajectory of the initiative, helping shape the One Region Initiative report (published in August 2018), and are leading the ongoing research and evaluation of the initiative through a community-based participatory research methodology in partnership with Welcoming America. 

Project Results

While this community engaged project is ongoing into 2021, results from earlier stages of the project have been presented at conferences and published in journals:

Presentations about this project have been made at the Race, Ethnicity, and Place conference, the Southeastern Immigration Studies Association annual meeting, the Southeastern Division of the American Association of Geographers annual meeting, and the Applied Geography Conference. 


Dr. Paul McDaniel, Department of Geography and Anthropology

Dr. Darlene Xiomara Rodriguez, Department of Social Work and Human Services