The quiet city of Akron, Ohio, is known to many as the rubber capital of the world and the place where Sojourner Truth gave her “Ain’t I A Woman?” speech. But for nearly 200,000 people, it’s home.
HuffPost hung out in Cascade Plaza for a day talking to locals about what makes Akron, well, Akron. Here’s what they had to say:
“I like the quiet. ... I’m happy that people were very welcoming. I haven’t had any incidents being Muslim in Akron. It’s been easier.”
― Ayana Fakhir, 39, attorney
“I came back to Akron as part of a career change.”
― Kara Ulmer, 41, director of World Relief
“There’s no greater city on the planet. We’re a very welcoming, warm city.”
― Denny Wilson, 47, founder and executive director of F I Community Housing
“I just love the people here, I love the creativity, I love the energy. I love how everyone helps everyone.”
“And the food. We’re missing the mark on the food. Luigi’s is the best pizza you’re going to get.”
― Rachel Whinnery, 28, digital content, and Rachel Evans, 25, project manager
“All my family is from here. It’s where my roots are.”
― Matthew Luna, 31, flooring and construction
“My kids are very artistic and the art scene here in Akron is incredibly strong. It’s perfect.”
― Yoly Miller Heisler, 49, freelancer
“I love the way the city is set up. ... Twenty-three different neighborhoods, all diverse in nature. It’s a hub, if you will, for artists. Visual artists, vocal, poets, singers, dancers. A lot of people don’t know that about Akron.”
― Ace Epps, 46, community manager for BMe Akron
“It really has bits of the best of what America has to offer. ... We maintain an optimism and, hopefully, a unity here that can maybe be a little unique.”
― Phillip Martin, 27, health care and public safety
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