Tri-C and Parma Schools Culture Shock 2012
Featuring Richard Herman Immigration Issues in Cleveland and the Midwest April 20, 2012
For the last 3 years, Cuyahoga Community College West has joined with the Parma City Schools to present Culture Shock.
Susan W. Lohwater, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, English as a Second Language and ESL Coordinator, Advisor to International Club & Conversation Connection worked with Ben Malecki
ELL Community Navigator of Parma City Schools to make it happen.
The event included tables representing various nationalities and cultures as well as multi-cultural performances.
Students from Brazil
Items from Palestine
Immigration attorney and author Richard Herman gave a keynote address titled: "Welcoming Who? Are We Still Afraid of Immigrants?"
Herman told stories about immigrant entrepreneurs and compared and contrasted Cleveland's immigrant welcoming efforts with Global Detroit, Global Dayton, the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians and others.
He spoke about the need to welcome refugees and gave the example of Google's Sergey Brin. Herman had interviewed Brin's parents for his book and told how without a welcoming culture for refugees, the world may not have had Google (or Intel or…)
Herman brought out an interesting point that showed that Cleveland and Silicon Valley had a similar number of "nodes of excellence." The difference between the two regions is the far fewer connections between the nodes in Cleveland.
In his summary that proclaimed "We are all immigrants (and need to think that way)" Richard Herman quoted both Omid Kordestani, the 12th employee of Google and his young daughter.
After his kenote, Herman introduced a panel to continue the discussion.
Cleveland Council's Dona Brady moderated the panel which included Johnathan Holifield, Co-founder and Chief Evangelist of America21, Roberto Torres, Former Economic Development Director, City of Canton, and now President of T & R Group, LLC in Cleveland and immigrant entrepreneur Derek Ng of China Great Lakes Innovation, LLC.
Dona Brady spoke about the diversity in her ward and how immigrants place a large emphasis on family.
Johnathan Holifield spoke about a comprehensive and connecting welcome of all people to Cleveland - immigrants and the migratory and inclusive thrust.
Roberto Torres spoke about the fear of immigrants and gave en example of his own Mexican roots.
Richard Herman introduced Chinese immigrant entrepreneur Derek Ng of China Great Lakes Innovation, LLC. and told how Mr. Ng is investing in Cleveland Ohio and marketing the city to China.
Mr Ng. told of the opportunities in Cleveland that he could not match in New York or Washington DC.
Derek Ng and Roberto Torres
Dona Brady and Johnathan Holifield
Derek Ng, Roberto Torres, Dona Brady, Johnathan Holifield and Richard Herman