Welcoming Cleveland | Joe Cimperman | Esther Ngemba

Welcoming Cleveland | GigRoots Podcast Welcoming America Series, pt. 4

Are Immigrants the Secret Weapon to Advancing Black Achievement in America?

And Cleveland, OH Enters the Race to Become the New Wakanda.

About the episode:

In this final episode of the Welcoming America series, we’re in Cleveland, Ohio. It’s a swing-state, and a place where the stakes are higher than ever. Does it hold the secret to bringing about both economic and social transformation as a country? In Cleveland, there’s a cultural rift between blacks in America and African immigrants that dates back decades. Of course, the primary distinction boils down to volition—one group has come voluntarily while another are the descendants of those brought here against their will. That context makes all the difference for embracing America as a land of opportunity. However, the connective tissue is the idea of overcoming adversity, of demonstrating resilience even in the face of overwhelming odds. Will this rift be repaired through solidarity, or will the chasm become greater? Perhaps the very social fabric of the nation hinges upon the election and what shapes the next four years of leadership for the country.

Key Topics:

  • What’s the backstory behind the divide between Africans and native-born black Americans?
  • How do we overcome the trauma of slavery alongside the horrific experiences of many refugees?
  • Will immigrants help shape the country’s economic future or is that merely a pipe dream?
  • How do we come together across cultural backgrounds to change the social fabric of a nation?


Joe Cimperman, President of Global Cleveland

Esther Ngemba, Owner of Furahi Taste of Home

Helpful Links:



About the series:

During our third season, we’ve partnered with Welcoming America to help share the stories of foreign-born peoples who have come to call America home. Welcoming America is leading a national movement of cultivating inclusive communities. They work with non-profits and local governments, providing tools and resources to help make cities places where everyone can belong. Through their network, we’ve spoken with local leaders and business owners actively contributing to strengthening their communities.

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