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Akron, Ohio

An Open Letter in Support of our New American Neighbors

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City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of Ellen Lander Nischt, Press Secretary
Published: 01-31-2017

For generations, immigrants and refugees from across the globe have come to Akron and Summit County in hopes of a better life and a brighter future. Many of us were raised on the stories of the optimism and apprehension our ancestors experienced as they embarked on a new and uncertain future in a foreign land.  The life of a New American can be challenging, but America is the land of opportunity and Akron has long been a city of innovation and industry, where creative and hardworking men and women could learn, work, and raise a family.  

And while the landscape of our community has evolved over the years, these core values have remained the same—we reward determination, overcome adversity, build bridges, and dream big. The New Americans of today share these values of hard work and individuality, bring fresh ideas and ingenuity to the table, and help to build a stronger economy for all of us.

A recent study conducted by the Partnership for a New American Economy and the Knight Foundation demonstrated that as a result of immigrants and refugees settling in the greater Akron community, our local population is stabilizing, our tax base is strengthening, housing prices are climbing, and businesses are forming and reviving. Our local immigrant and refugee populations support our community’s growth and development in many ways and are essential to our future success.   

Diversity is not just an inevitable byproduct of an increasingly global civilization; diversity is an essential, treasured ingredient in any thriving and prosperous society. So, as leaders in this community, we want to make it clear: whether you are foreign-born or home-grown, there is a place for you here. 

Dreamers, Seekers, Learners and Entrepreneurs — Akron and Summit County welcome you.  

Daniel Horrigan, Mayor of Akron

Ilene Shapiro, County of Summit Executive

William Considine, President & CEO of Akron Children’s Hospital

Jim McIlvaine, Chairman of the Summa Health Board of Directors

Matthew Wilson, President of the University of Akron

Para Jones, President of Stark State College

Beverly J. Warren, President of Kent State University

Joe Kanfer, Chairman & CEO of GOJO Industries, Inc.

Elizabeth Z. Bartz, President and CEO of State and Federal Communications

Marilyn Keith, President of Akron City Council

David James, Superintendent of Akron Public Schools

Patrick Bravo, President of the Board of Education of Akron Public Schools

Pastor Eugene Norris II, Mountain of the Lord Fellowship

Bishop Joey Johnson, House of the Lord 

Staff, Board and Volunteers of International Institute of Akron

Kara Ulmer, Office Director of World Relief Akron

Michael Byun, President of ASIA, Inc. 

Michelle Wilson, Executive Director of Global Ties Akron

For further information, contact:
Ellen Lander Nischt
Press Secretary / Assistant Director of Law
166 South High Street, Suite 200
Akron, Ohio 44308
Phone: (330) 375-2325
E-mail: ELander@akronohio.gov

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