Although the Macedonia Cemetery, which the city is in the process of acquiring, consists of over one-hundred burial sites of formerly enslaved African Americans and their descendants, as time has passed the conditions of the graveyard have substantially diminished, leaving the site uncared for. The cemetery has been abandoned leading to: unmaintained and broken headstones, unmarked graves of various enslaved individuals and their descendants, and deprivation of the overall Macedonia property. With the intended work and purpose of two groups from Student Leadership Johns Creek representing Centennial and Northview High School under the supervision of the Johns Creek Historical Society, headstones and footstones of graves are planned to be cleaned and restored, unmarked graves are planned to be mapped and identified, and the area will hopefully be restored to an area of peace and memory with a memorial garden.
Each year first-year students are tasked with finding a community project and this year groups from Centennial and Northview high schools banded together to work to help in the efforts to restore the Macedonia Cemetery. Rather than being a place of abandonment, the goal is to create a place of rest and reflection. According to Northview group leader Tara Ramesh, "By learning about the Macedonia Cemetery, I discovered that it is crucial to understand Johns Creek's history and spread awareness of such areas in order to restore and honor our community's history." Centennial team member Lauren Larsen reflected on their efforts noting that “through working at the cemetery, I've learned valuable information about Johns Creek's history and the people buried at the cemetery. It's important to preserve this knowledge for generations to come."
The students have established a website Macedoniacemetery.weebly.com/ as well as a GoFundMe page, Gofund.me/a07a6202 to help raise awareness and funds for this important project. In addition, the students have created an informational YouTube.
Student Leadership Johns Creek has been a valued member of the Johns Creek community for eight years and is currently accepting applications for this two-year program from rising sophomores and juniors at Centennial, Chattahoochee, Johns Creek, Northview and Innovation Academy. For more information, please contact: Irene Sanders Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org 404.406.0480 or visit our website at StudentLeadershipJohnCcreek.com.