June 11, 2012
TAMPA, FLORIDA - World Refugee Day celebration is slated for June 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Jefferson High School in Tampa. This year's theme is "It takes the WHOLE Community: Wealth, Health, Opportunity, Literacy and Education."
Department of Children and Families SunCoast Regional Director Mike Carroll will open the event and welcome everyone. Some other highlights will include a program at 11:00 a.m. which will feature two refugee stories, one from a high school student named Negar Sabethematabadi, who came as a refugee from Iran fleeing religious persecution and another from Hiram Ruiz, who came with his family from Cuba as a young boy and is now the statewide director of Refugee Services. Also, the second annual Community Spirit Award will be presented to Doretha Edgecomb, Chair of the Hillsborough County School Board and Lesleigh Lopez, Project Manager of the Hillsborough County Schools Literacy & Acculturation Center. A special award will be given to Saundra Amrhein author of the new book, Green Card Stories, and Saundra will briefly share some highlights from the book.
Each year, this event is sponsored by the Tampa Bay Area Refugee Task Force, a coalition with the mission to help refugees settle, integrate and thrive through support, education and community. To see a digital video of last year's celebration please go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmDMwfBEyn0 Along with the short formal program there will be drumming, free food, community resources, kid's activities, and free food and raffle prizes!
In Florida, more than 27,000 refugees are resettled each year. The Department of Children and Families Refugee Services program is funded by the federal government to coordinate and oversee many of the services provided to refugees who settle in Florida. These services, including education, legal assistance, employment programs, and youth and family programs, serve some 6,500 refugees in the Tampa area each year.
WHO: Tampa Bay Area Refugee Task Force
WHAT: World Refugee Day Celebration
WHEN: Saturday June 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
WHERE: Jefferson High School, 4401 W. Cypress Street, Tampa, FL 33607