Margaret W. Wong & Associates - Immigration Lawyers
Tending to all your immigration needs

Out & About

Read. Follow. Share.

American Nationalities Movement luncheon

At the American Nationalities Movement luncheon on Saturday, we spoke with Mr. David and Ms. Renate Jakupca who told us that we were welcome to join them at U.S. Congressperson Marcy Kaptur's office on Lorain Avenue on Monday, December 19th, when President Obama's Civic Service Awards would be presented to 15 people who were very active in the "Worlds Children Peace Monument."

We recalled receiving an email containing a press release about this very subject which read in part:

The International Center for Environmental Arts (ICEA) today announced the Cleveland reciepients of the 2016 PRESIDENT OBAMA’S CIVIC SERVICE AWARD, a national honor offered in recognition of her exemplary volunteer service to the community. They are:


Joseph Bailey

Marty Cephas

Kenneth Maxwell

Dr. Joseph Wendel

Kathy Wray Coleman

Patrick Cahill

Marty Allen

Abdul Jabbar Brohi

Eugene Schiopota

Leonard May

Don Bryant

Marianne Quasebarth

Joseph Kocab

Rob and Mary Bennett

On behalf of President Obama, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur will present the awards on Monday December 19th at 3pm at her Cleveland, Office:17021 Lorain Avenue. Cleveland, Ohio.

Established in 2003, the AWARD is conferred on an annual basis to individuals, who have met or exceeded requirements for civic service and have demonstrated outstanding citizen leadership.

In 2012, the International Center for Environmental Arts celebrated 25 Years of international community service with the 'ICEALITY SILVER REVELATION', and each year more citizens perform much needed community service on behalf of there community.

The WCPM confers the 2016 Awards to recognize the outstanding achievements towards Peace through the Worlds children Peace Monument.  Their efforts is another step forward to nationalizing ‘Great American Peace Trail’, the coast-to-coast trail of WCPM Peace Stones in city parks designed to stop the violence in America’s youth. The WCPM Project is a role model that also helps encourage positive community participation through the establishment of this international site-specific works of public art, through cultural education and entrepreneurial training to children around the World.

The Worlds Children Peace Monument (WCPM) had its conception at EXPO 2000, Germany's World's Fair 'Culture on the Move' segment. American Cultural Ambassadors David and Renate Jakupca addressed the 140 Nation Assembly of the concept for a physical permanent universal symbol of renewal and peace on earth for all living inhabitants through the 'Theory of Iceality on Environmental Arts'. This Universal Symbol of Living Peace was the WCPM Sculpture. This German American Peace Initiative project was initiated at EXPO 2000 in cooperation with the United Nations 2000 Culture of Peace Program and organized in support of the UN Decade of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

“In his 2002 the USA Freedom Corps was created, and called on every American to make a lifelong commitment to community service. This PRESIDENT’S SERVICE AWARD recognizes those individuals who have answered that call,” said Ambassador Renate Jakupca.

“The WCPM members work to make our communities stronger and safer. The International Center for Environmental Arts is proud to be aligned with this prestigious award, and we are especially proud of leaders who have made volunteer service a central part of their lives.”

“All recipients of the PRESIDENT’S CIVIC SERVICE AWARD are role models for all Americans,” Ambassador Renate said. “Each hour contributed using iceality makes a difference in improving the quality of life for others, and I encourage everyone to contribute to our community through the WCPM. The WCPM brings us closer together as families, as communities and as a Nation, through their commitment.”

Even though we were getting ready to leave for a vacation on Tuesday, we still found time on Monday to attend the ceremony where we talked to Mr. and Ms. Jakupca about the Peace Stone and learned that a total of 24 have been placed in areas of Ohio and Canada as well as more far off places like New Mexico and Alabama. Here is a link to an article about this project for those who would like to learn more about it:

Due to below freezing weather, not all of the award recipients could be present but Mr. Joseph Bailey, Ms. Kathy Wray Coleman, Mr. Patrick Cahill, Mr. Eugene Schiopota (despite being wheelchair bound; perhaps the most life-embracing person at the event), Mr. Leonard May (who is the president of the German Central Farm in Parma where we have attended many events), and Ms. Marianne Quasebarth all made it.

Congressperson Kaptur began the ceremonies by saying that those being honored on this day were the kind of citizens that our founders would be proud of due to their work on behalf of "preserving liberty and its full potential for generations to come" and the benefits of the work that they are doing extend far beyond Cleveland.

The Congressperson sadly noted the news that on this day a Russian Ambassador had been assassinated in Turkey. She then addressed the question, "can peace happen?" by telling us that we must never underestimate the power that each of us possesses in terms of being able to influence others. Accordingly, one never knows when the seeds one plants for the future will take root and bear fruit.

Congressperson Kaptur and Ms. Jakupca presented then presented each recipient with his/her award individually and everyone got to say a few words. Mr. Schiopota impressed the Congressperson and us all with his knowledge of former U.S. Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman and their accomplishments.

As she was presenting the awards, Congressperson Kaptur reminded us that we were very fortunate to live in a country where one could be engage in volunteerism and social activism without fear; in other countries such a person might be risking his/her life. Thus, all of us who are so engaged do so on behalf of those who cannot be.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Congressperson Kaptur took a few minutes to talk about how much the Cleveland Cultural Gardens meant to her and how disappointed she was that they are not more widely known and appreciated because there is no place in the world quite like it.  She recalled a cold and windy day years ago when there was a dedication in the Albanian Garden (we were there too and can attest to the uncomfortable conditions) in which people who immigrated here from Albania were so thrilled that they joyously danced in the rain and the mud. This illustrates why the Gardens are so important; we are a country of immigrants and the Gardens tell the story of those who journey here from other places in search of a life free of tyranny.

The Congresswoman thus designated us all as "ambassadors to Cleveland" and encouraged us to think about what we have here in terms of our Cultural Gardens and what they mean "to liberty", and, finally, what can be done to effectively share our treasure with others.


Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC


Kwasi Bediako