• “Royal Palace” origins and the story of entrepreneurs who opened doors for their community

    By Mason Jones Within North Hill, there are several grocery stores and restaurants owned and operated by immigrants and refugees, such as the Royal Palace located on East Tallmadge Avenue in Akron. Before it was the Royal Palace, it was called the Italian Center, until the building was bought out by Nepali immigrants Janga Baraily […]

  • ‘This makes a difference in your life’

    By Morgan McGrath Chelsae Poelking has been teaching English as a second language for the past two years, and every Tuesday night, she can be found in an Akron Crossings classroom, laughing with students as they collectively crack some jokes.  “God made all people valuable,” she said. “Everyone is valuable in his eyes, no matter […]

  • Overcoming barriers at Akron Crossings

    By Morgan McGrath Akron Crossings is in North Hill, tucked among a long stretch of residential areas. Bena Paisley is the founder of this non-profit, community-centric organization, and her central goal is to help refugees adjust to the United States through the guidance of Christianity.  “I encourage them [refugees] to be patient with themselves, and […]

  • Home, job, transportation-and mindfulness

    By Morgan McGrath “Do yourself a favor and do others a favor by being your best self,” said Edlyn McGarity Edlyn McGarity, a “Mindfulness Coach,” Ted Talk speaker, author, actress, and employee at Akron’s International Welcome Center. Photo courtesy of Edlyn McGarity.   A world traveler and Indian immigrant, McGarity is currently employed as the […]

  • Overcoming obstacles in refugee healthcare

    By Alencia Lang Sujata Burgess commutes between the Akron and Cleveland locations of the International Community Health Center (ICHC). When asked what her responsibilities included, she said “everything” with a light laugh. As the director of operations, she is behind all of the administrative work for the ICHC, including overseeing safety procedures, ordering medical supplies, […]

  • From jeweler to restaurant owner to head of arts and culture: The Deepak Gajmer story

    By Jimmy Oswald Children scream joyfully, their voices filling the large room, an open area with a multi-colored padded floor and a small stage along the back wall inside the Himalayan Arts Language & Cultural Academy.  “It’s the last day before spring break,” Deepak Gajmer, the head of arts and culture at the academy, explains. […]

  • Starting over in Akron

    by Kelly Krabill When Fazal Baryalai awoke on a Saturday morning in March after a late night driving Uber customers, his family was already downstairs. Shai tea, an Arabic drink served to visitors, was already in a pitcher on the coffee table waiting to be poured into ornately designed crystal glasses. As I sipped the […]