By Amber King and Sheyda Hovanloo
Diversity is the spice of life, and American is known as “The Great Melting Pot” for good reason. However, that diversity can appear in unexpected places, even in the Deep South.
Gwinnett County is a place of thriving diversity consisting of, black (24.2%), hispanic (19.6%), Asian (10.8%), and other nationalities taking up over half of the population count in comparison to the white populace (43.0%) within the county.
As young adults, college is a time to grow from experiences both in the classroom and out. GGC provides a unique opportunity to do so in an environment that is in Georgia, which majority white (61%) overall.
GGC students were asked about how they feel about living and learning in Gwinnett County differ from what they’re familiar with and how it makes an impact on their education.
“Yeah, I feel more comfortable,” freshman Demarcus Ellison said. “Interacting with more [people] outside my race, more then just my color, it helps me step out my comfort zone.”
GGC and to an extent, Gwinnett County, creates a multicultural environment for students. The campus reflects this, with its demographics including; black (32.6%), white (31.7%), Hispanic (20 %), Asian (11.1%), as well as various other ethnicities (4.7%).
“You meet new people, you meet new cultures, you learn new things,” said freshman Daquan Lamar.
There’s much more to Gwinnett County outside of GGC. Students can find so much to do, just outside of the campus and further beyond in the rest of the county. Lawrenceville alone hosts a plethora of worldly cuisine such as Thai, Japanese, Korean, Mediterranean, Italian, Chinese, Mexican, Cuban and much more.
Down Pleasant Hill Road, where many of the Asian populace consider home, a huge H-Mart grocery store resides. Shoppers of all kinds can delve into Asian cuisine and its imported goods such as varieties of chips and candies not found in the states, as well as many traditional Asian ingredients like miso paste and mirin. There is also a wide variety of pre-prepared foods to choose from and make at home.
The fun doesn’t stop at food options… there are ethnic beauty salons, multicultural grocery stores and shops, and non traditional places of worship such as BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, a Hindu temple in Lilburn. Gwinnett County nightlife thrives with venues such as Korean karaoke bars, hookah lounges, and late night eateries such as Sweet Hut Bakery.
While attending college in Gwinnett County, it’s easy to enjoy the wealth of shopping, food, and entertainment that the area has to offer. Not to mention its proximity to Atlanta, one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the nation. More students should attend college in Gwinnett and explore the world in their own backyard.
“As far as diversity goes, yes. I think Gwinnett, in general, has a lot of different communities that are all together.” Alexander Ross, a sophomore at GGC, said. “Universities like UGA you get a more traditional college look, or with Kennesaw you get a lot more urban, like one of us out there. I think it’s great, I think GGC is awesome, it’s well-blended.”