On Saturday, August 28th, we tabled all day on behalf of Margaret W. Wong & Associates LLC at the Akron Pride Festival whose mission is “to unify and affirm the LGBTQ+ community and allies in celebrating our diversity and promoting our likeness. We promote acceptance of all individuals by defending human equity.”
We set up our booth just in time to catch the start of the equity march that was led by Mayor Daniel Horrigan, an important ally of the LGBTQ+ community. Certainly, we were quite heartened to see so many prominent organizations/businesses and churches also take part.
Our personal favorite though, was a couple who waved signs offering free mom and dad hugs in support of their gay daughter who, in turn, hugged them both dearly when the march concluded.
After the parade, we sat at our table for most of the day and chatted with various festival goers as we gave away pens, letter openers, as well as copies of Ms. Margaret W. Wong’s book, “The Immigrant’s Way.”
To be sure, we also gave away “Know Your Rights” cards and were very impressed by a middle-schooler who wanted one.
Among those who stopped off at our booth were:
A man who works with Nepalese/Burmese refugees at a local bakery and is willingly learning their language
A young woman who is here from Canada via an H-1B visa and plans to someday become a U.S. citizen
A person whose family immigrated to the United States from Russia several generations ago to escape the pogroms and is very much in favor of comprehensive immigration reform
Two people with a delightfully mischievous sense of humor; one was a guy who said that he might need an attorney some day because “I am bad sometimes…” and the other was a woman who told us that she didn’t really have a need for an immigration attorney because she was “grand mothered” into the United States by her ancestry, as is the case for most of us
Our booth was almost directly across from that of Plexus, so we had a good time visiting with Ms. Amanda Cole, its executive director.
Not too far away was a booth from the Rubber City Theatre in Akron, so we walked over and told Ms. Katie Wells how much we loved watching her perform Shakespeare several weeks ago at the Commemorative Peace Plaza in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens.
Perhaps the nicest moment of our day at the Akron Pride Festival occurred when we discovered that the top of our canopy was torn but our neighbor, Ms. Tracy Johnson of “Dream Unique Beads, told us that she had brought an extra canopy top and allowed us to borrow it.
Thus, we avoided being caught in the 90+ degree heat without proper shelter and for this we are forever grateful to Tracy.