At 1951 Coffee, refugees gain job skills and
employment as their stories are brought into view
Story and photo by A.K. Carroll
What would it feel like to be separated from your country, culture, and the only home you’ve ever known? Grab a cup of Algorithm cold brew or Verve espresso at 2410 Channing Way, Berkeley, the home of 1951 Coffee Company, and begin your own journey toward understanding the refugee experience.
Just opened in January, 1951 Coffee is a center for caffeine, community, and cultural awareness. Engagement begins as you pass through the door: Colorful lines that run at angles along the floor lead you up to the counter. Evoking public transport routes that bring many refugees to relocation sites, the lines bleed onto the back wall and guide you to a corner where icons and statistics describe the long and circuitous journey a typical refugee follows toward resettlement—a process that can take up to 17 years. A corkboard map of the world shows the homeland of each 1951 Coffee barista and ties a hypothetical story to an actual person who just made your coffee.… Read More