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Fugees Family Receives $5 Million Grant to Build Permanent Campus

ATLANTA – March 12, 2024 – Fugees Family has received a three-year $5 million challenge grant from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to advance its work transforming refugee and immigrant education in the greater Atlanta area. 

Fugees Family is the educational service provider to the Georgia Fugees Academy Charter School (Fugees Academy), a tuition-free, community-based, public charter school serving students from more than 30 different countries in grades 6-12. The grant will directly support the construction of a permanent campus for Fugees Academy at 4046 Chamblee Tucker Rd, the former Northeast Baptist Church. 

“The Blank Family Foundation’s generous gift will help us build not just a state-of-the-art campus, but a hub of innovation, community and educational justice,” said Luma Mufleh, Founder and CEO of Fugees Family. “As America’s – and Georgia’s – refugee and immigrant population grows, we’re proud to be at the forefront of an education movement where being a newcomer is something to be proud of.”

“Fugees Family stands as a beacon of excellence, dedicated to nurturing a diverse student body of newcomers to this country,” said Fay Twersky, President of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. “The Blank Family Foundation is proud to invest in Fugees Academy because it provides unique educational opportunities for students, including centering soccer as a powerful and dynamic tool for fostering common ground and unity among diverse communities. It’s remarkable to witness how Fugees utilizes soccer as a bridge, offering young newcomers a transformative pathway for growth and connection.” 

The grant from the Blank Family Foundation will comprise one-third of the $15 million capital project and, as a challenge grant, is conditional on Fugees Family securing matching support from additional funders.

“We look forward to engaging other philanthropic partners to fulfill our vision for a more welcoming, equitable and empowered Atlanta,” Mufleh added.


About Fugees Family

In 2004, a wrong turn while driving through the town of Clarkston, Georgia led to the formation of an all-refugee boys soccer team with players from war-torn countries like Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Burma, Somalia, and Sudan. They called themselves the “Fugees” (slang for refugee). The coach, Luma Mufleh – a Jordanian immigrant and daughter of Syrian refugees herself – soon discovered that many of her players were unable to read or write proficiently and lacked the support they needed in traditional public school. In the years that followed, the soccer team grew into something much bigger – a tutoring program, a summer camp, a support network, and most importantly, a school.

Today, Fugees Family is a national nonprofit dedicated to advancing educational justice for refugee and immigrant youth. They are the educational service provider to the Georgia Fugees Academy Charter School (Fugees Academy), a state charter school in Atlanta serving students from more than 30 different countries in grades 6-12, and partner with school districts nationwide to improve outcomes for refugee and immigrant students.

About the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation is a philanthropy founded to help transform lives and communities by uniting people across differences to find common cause. Started in 1995 by Arthur M. Blank, co-founder of The Home Depot, the foundation has granted more than

$1 billion to charitable causes. Our collective giving areas are Atlanta’s Westside, Democracy, Environment, Mental Health and Well-Being, and Youth Development. Across these areas, we take on tough challenges by uniting the courage and compassion of our communities so we can all thrive together.  

In addition to the priority areas of giving, the foundation oversees a large portfolio of grants including support of essential Atlanta nonprofit institutions, such as Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Shepherd Center, and enduring founder-led initiatives, such as veterans and the military and stuttering, among others. The foundation will also continue to guide the seven associate-led giving committees operating across the Blank Family of Businesses.  

For more information, please visit  

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