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Philadelphia’s City Hall was built 1901 and is the largest municipal building in the United States. The building’s exterior is covered with sculpture representing seasons, continents and allegorical figures. William Penn, who founded the province of Pennsylvania, is represented on the top. Below William Penn there are four smaller statues where two of the statues are of Swedish settlers. They are both facing south; the direction Swedish immigrants came from in 1968. The bronze statues depict a woman holding a child in her arms and a man with a child in his hand. The other two statues standing next to the Swedish settlers are Native Americans. Almost all 250 sculptures represented on City Hall are made by Alexander Milne Calder.  
 
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On April 19th the Museum of American Revolution will open their doors for the public. The museum is perfectly located in the historical part of Philadelphia, just steps away from Independence Hall. With a big collection of rare artifacts, interesting exhibitions and recreated historical monuments will make this museum a great place to learn more about the American history.
 
The opening day of the museum is also the 242nd anniversary of the “Shot heard round the world”, a day that was the start of the Revolutionary War. At 8:30 am the museum will honor the soldiers that fought in the War with a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Washington Square. The day will continue with more activities; you can find more information about the opening day here.
 
Please tell us about yourself and why you joined the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce Philadelphia?
My name is Vikki Kristiansson. I live in Philadelphia with my husband and my two boys – one who is seven and one who just turned six. I joined the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce Philadelphia because I am interested in Swedish culture and business. I am interested in attending the Chamber’s business mixer and events and supporting its activities. I am one-half Swedish; my father is Swedish and immigrated to the United States in the late 1960s and returned to Sweden in the 1980s. Before he met my mother, my father was married to a Swedish woman, and they had two daughters, Marie and Eva. I grew up in the United States with Eva and my younger sister Katy.  As an adult, Eva returned to Sweden and in April of last year, my boys and I visited Marie and Eva and also my Swedish nephews and nieces. It was a special visit for my family and me!
 
What is your professional background and experiences?
Before starting my career, I went to Indiana University to study English and Political Science. After graduation, I moved back to Philadelphia to attend law school at Temple University. I have spent my career working on cases involving child abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking. For the last six-and-a-half years I have worked for a non-profit organization called AEquitas. AEquitas’ mission is to refine the criminal justice response to crimes of violence against women and children. We research and write in support of this mission, and provide technical assistance and training to criminal justice professionals (police officers, attorneys, court officials, etc.) to help them engage in trauma-informed, legally sound best practices.
 
What are your professional goals?
I am now running for Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia. I want to preside over a fair and trauma-informed courtroom, and be able to apply trauma-responsive practices with the goal of restorative justice in all cases. Our primary election is May 16th.
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