Contributors to this article: Amit Baniya, Nilam Ghimirey, Mangali Maya Gold, Terry Kuhn, Ganga Devi Shama, and Phul Rai
Speakers, dancers, musicians, young, old, and middle-aged people were pleased with the highly successful Multicultural Program: Bringing People Together sponsored by BCAA. The program took place at the Emidio & Sons Banquet Center located at 48 East Bath Road in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio on August 22, 2015. The association brought together people from different cultures to learn about each other's customs, beliefs, and ways of living and knowing. Since coming to the United States of America, Bhutanese refugees have learned a lot about life in the United States. Some have earned their U. S. citizenship. And many others are studying in classes so they can pass the citizenship class. This event was an opportunity to meet new people, to visit with friends, and to have fun!
-- Kyle Kutuchief, Akron Program Director of the Knight Foundation;
-- Esteban Nieto, Complex HR Manager from Case Farms;
-- Michael Byun, Executive Director at Asian Services in Action;
-- Jeff Fusco, Mayor of Akron; and
-- Don Walters, Mayor of Cuyahoga Falls.
Goran Debelnogich from the Administration for Children and Families at the U. S. Health & Human Services Department in Washington, D. C. attended with his family as did Sandra Hollingsworth, Ohio's Refugee Health Coordinator; May Chen, founder of ASIA, Inc.; and Elina Shakiya, MD.
Participating organizations included:
- Akron City Police, Captain Sylvia Trundle, Assistant Chief Charles Brown
- Akron City Council, Jim Hurley, John Valle
- Cuyahoga Falls City Police, Captain Steve Guldeman
- Cuyahoga Falls City Police, John Sim and Todd Shafer [security]
- Greater Akron Hindu Sewa Samittee, Sha B Neopaney
- Kent State University, Madhav Bhatta
- Kirat Society of Akron
- Magar Society of Akron
- Summa Health System
- Summit County Clerk of Courts, Dan Horrigan
- Summit County Public Health Department (Eric Hutzell, and Leak Turner)
- University of Akron, John Alvarez Turner, Rosa Muthoni Githiora
Several vendors interacted with those attending the program:
- Billa Angdembay, Mobile Service Center
- Udaya Dhimal, Keller Williams Chervenic Realty
- Edwin Hahn, Chase Bank
- Russ Iona, American Mortgage Service Company
- Liz Kuhn, Woven In Exile
- Lesa Lillibridge and Bhakta Rizal, Keller Williams Chervenic Realty
- Peace Zone Sporting Club
- Francisco (Franc) Quezada, Village Discount Outlet
- Manju Rastogi, DAWN: Developing Alternatives for Women in New communities
- Kimberly Rounds, Chapel Hill Chase Bank
- Doug Wurtz, Time Warner Cable
The following pictures show elements of the Multicultural Program: Bringing People Together.
The security officers from the Cuyahoga Falls police force said they had an enjoyable day.
One vendor said that the "Bhutanese people are being successful in obtaining home loans, and they pay monthly without delay. They have been good homeowners and responsible citizens." This was an opportunity to renew friendships and visit.
Kyle Kutuchief said that the Knight Foundation is interested in helping the Bhutanese refugees because they are great for the North Hill area of Akron because they are renting and buying houses, starting businesses, and making North Hill a better place to live." Don Walters, Mayor of Cuyahoga Falls, said that Bhutanese refugees are affecting his city in a good way by filling homes with families." He also said "I learned about the history of the Nepalese-Bhutanese refugee people, where they came from, and I am very proud and welcome everyone here to the Cuyahoga Falls community."
Esteban Nieto said that about 30% of Case Farm's employees in its Winesburg facility are Bhutanese/Nepalese.
The following flier was used to publicize the program.
A lot of people were brought together ... they emjoyed themselved ... and the BCAA officers were tired and needed some rest and family time ....