Tampa Bay Celebrates National Welcoming Week: Small Shoes, Big Journey

For Immediate Release: Monday, Sept. 5, 2016


TAMPA – National Welcoming Week, an event promoting unity and highlighting the contributions of immigrants and refugees to American communities, occurs later this month in Tampa and at events throughout the state.

On Saturday, Sept. 17, the 2016 Tampa Bay Welcoming Week celebration will be held from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the University of South Florida (USF) campus at the Marshall Center Ballroom, 4202 East Fowler Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33620. USF Honors College and student organizations, in collaboration with members of the Tampa Bay Refugee Task Force and the refugee and immigrant community, will host this celebration.

This cultural festival will include live music, dance performances, educational and cultural tables, free food, campus tours and student performances. This year’s focus is on the youngest refugees arriving in Tampa Bay and the theme, Small Shoes, Big Journey, has launched a shoe drive to provide over 100 refugee kids with new shoes for their new life. Old shoes worn by refugee kids and youth have been painted and will be on display at the event, along with some stories of the journey with the title “If my shoes could talk.” Individuals, corporations and civic groups have donated shoes and backpacks to be given out at the event.

The event is open to the public. Free parking is available at the Crescent Hill Parking Garage located across from the USF Marshall Center. For more information, call Janet Blair, Community Liaison, at (813) 545-1716.

MEDIA CONTACT: Natalie Harrell, DCF Regional Communication Director, 813-784-1898