Often when I come to work and encounter Clevelanders who have travelled thousands of miles and 3 lifetimes to get here the words of Winston Churchill come to the fore: “You will make all kinds of mistakes, but as long as you are generous and true and also fierce, you cannot hurt the world or even seriously distress her. She was meant to be wooed and won by youth.”

The people we serve daily, whether native born or from one of over a hundred twenty nations represented in Cleveland are risk takers, deep believers, compassion sharers, job creators, shelter providers, fellow journeyers.

They come with a wisdom too often with a high price but full of hope and common sense and a generosity that is bottomless. I start to think it’s because they left their first or second homes to come here and make it work. I think maybe they had some experience on the flight or road in. Maybe it’s because they have that entrepreneurial spark and steel will that helps them make it. But then I am reminded that what our international newcomers have is what we all have, theirs is just closer to the surface.

We celebrated Passport Awareness Month with a great gathering at Market Garden Brewery in Ohio City. Over 200 people from 48 nations and many citizens of the United States came to share their journey stories and encourage more people to get a passport and use it. We met some amazing people and yet they would be the first to remind us that they in so many real ways are no different than us.

Tonight our community at Global Cleveland bid a fond and grateful farewell to CJ Mosure, one of the first and longest serving staff members of our organization. While born in these United States, CJ in so many ways served our international community and our region as a volunteer, employee, and friend. He proved to all of us that it is possible to do great good for people from around the globe by focusing on who and what is right here in front of us, giving it your all and being kind to who you encounter.

Good thoughts for all of us in whatever field we choose. Good practice for us to recognize the world in Cleveland and the Cleveland in the world. To all of our collaborators and friends, thank you for believing in the welcome of our community, regardless of whose passport you hold. To CJ, thank you for being a champion for so many with your heart and brilliance. We’ll all try to be more generous, true and fierce as you were for so many. Thank you.


Written By: Joe Cimperman, president of Global Cleveland