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Lakewood Library With Mr. Kovach

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After leaving the Kucinich gubernatorial announcement, we went to the Lakewood Library to write it up for the blog. We didn't have to go to far for our next event which took place in the Main Library Auditorium. It was the first part of a two-part program featuring our good friend Mr. Ken Kovach of ICC-WIN speaking about Immigration and Migration to the Cleveland area especially in Lakewood.

Unfortunately only a few people attended including ourselves and several concerned Lakewood residents but it was a very worthwhile experience as Mr. Kovach made use of a power point assembled by Dr. John Grabowski of the "Western Reserve Historical Society" to trace Cleveland's history and why immigrants chose to settle here.

 Thus we were able to review who came to Cleveland during which period of time; the historic ethnic neighborhoods and businesses that were created; and the role of the church and local industries in the lives of many immigrants; along with what motivated them to move to the suburbs.

 We, ourselves, love to visit Lakewood in order to write our blog at the Lakewood Library and enjoy a coffee and a vegan cookie (sometimes every day) at such venues as the "Breadsmith", "Nature's Oasis", and the "Root Cafe". Once, we even worked in Lakewood at U.S.

Congressperson Kucinich's district office.

 We didn't know much about its history until this evening, however, so it was neat to learn that its locale was incorporated as a village in 1889 and was named "Lakewood" simply because of its proximity to Lake Erie and because there were a lot of woods there.

 We knew that there was a lot of diversity in Lakewood but we had forgotten that students of 58 (!) different nationalities attended Lakewood High Schools and that the ethnic makeup of the city was:

 87.13% White

 6.98% African-American or Black

 4.00% Latino

 2.00% 2 or more races

 1.37% Asian

 1.00% Other

 Less than 1% Native American

Out of a population of 52,131 there are 3,871 foreign-born residents and 3.60% were born in Europe and 3.00% were born in Asia.

 We also talked for a little while about what makes Lakewood so unique and why certain people are drawn there. For our standpoint, we love the collection of old and new houses (well-maintained) and the funky atmosphere of the shops on Detroit Avenue. What's more, people are particularly accepting of diversity here and are likely to display patience and understanding of foreign-born people who are struggling with English.

 Next week Mr. Kovach will conduct Part 2 of this program in which the refugees living in Lakewood will be discussed.

 One of the Lakewood residents who was present said her church was growing more and more diverse and this was for the better. She really liked incorporating foreign-born newcomers into her community and learning from them just as they are learning from us.

 

Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC

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