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Out & About in Cleveland

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2018 Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month Celebration

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On Wednesday evening, May 30, we attended two events that promoted compassion and understanding amongst different cultures and faiths as well as leaders who have imparted their wisdom onto others thus enabling them to live better lives.

The first event was the 2018 Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month Celebration that took place in the Rotunda in Cleveland City Hall.

The event was put together by our good friend, Ms. Chia-Min Chen, Asian Liaison of the Community Relations Board of the City of Cleveland. Margaret W. Wong & Associates LLC was the event sponsor.

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Accordingly, our colleague Mr. George Koussa was called upon to say a few words about Ms. Wong and the services her immigration law firm provides.

Mr. Koussa established credibility by speaking of his own experience as an immigrant from Syria and then went on to testify with passion about how proud he was to be working with Ms. Wong who he termed "the voice of immigrants" as well as "the voice for the voiceless," especially during these troubled political times wherein DACA and TPS are really under attack.

One of the things Ms. Chen wanted to emphasize that night was the great contribution that teachers and educators have made to our society, so she asked Mr. Peter Paik, an American History teacher and the debate coach at University School, to be the keynote speaker.

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During the course of his speech, Mr. Paik, who immigrated to the United States from Korea with his family in 1972 when he was only three years old, talked about three teachers that really impacted his life, including his first grade teacher who helped him learn English.

Mr. Paik said that what made these teachers so special and why they became his role models were that "they truly cared about my learning; they truly cared about me; they created a special bond with me that inspired me to care about my learning; and they inspired me to do the best work I could in order to please them."

Another teacher who got to speak for a moment was Mr. Amit Ghose from Joseph M. Gallagher School, which is attended by quite a few students who are first-generation Nepalese Americans. Mr. Ghose gave some background information concerning how many families were forced to flee Nepal during the political crisis of the early 1990's before he introduced a small dance troupe from his school, which performed a couple of numbers for us that upheld the Nepalese culture.

Shortly thereafter the program ended, although Ms. Chen encouraged the attendees to stay and talk to each other for a little while.

"I love to connect good people," said Ms. Chen, "because when good people get together, good things get done."

 

Michael Patterson

Community Liaison

Margaret W. Wong & Associates LLC