3rd Annual Welcoming Week Cultural Festival | Welcoming America

3rd Annual Welcoming Week Cultural Festival

We would like to extend an invitation to participate in the 3rd Annual National Welcoming Week Cultural Festival taking place during the week of September 10-17, 2016. This event will highlight the contributions of refugees and immigrants to American communities. 

The Tampa Bay National Welcoming Week event will be hosted at the University of South Florida, Marshall Student Center on Saturday, September 17th in collaboration with members of the Tampa Bay Refugee Task Force, USF Honors College, the Department of Global Health, and  the local refugee & immigrant community.

Take Latin dance lessons, get a henna tattoo, take a mock citizenship test, meet refugees from all over the world and watch a cultural fashion show. Live music, dance performances, educational cultural tables, volunteer opportunities, service providers from the community, and free food are all part of an international event that you are sure to remember.


The theme this year is Small Shoes, Big Journey to embrace the children that now call Tampa home. Focusing on children who have became refugees because it was no longer safe for them to stay in their countries or communities. That being said, we are hosting the Refugee Youth Shoe Project where our goal is to collect at least 110 pairs of new shoes to give away to any refugee child that will be coming to our National Welcoming Week event. 

We want to remind the children that they have a new future, a good life waiting for them in our community, here in America. The old shoes will symbolize their old life, when they were afraid and on the run. Many of our refugee children will bring their old shoes to be traded for a new pair of shoes. The old shoes will then be painted and turned into a piece of art to be donated to different companies and/or supporters of the Welcoming Week event.

This event is our tribute to welcoming refugee and immigrant families, to celebrate the variety of culture represented within our community, and to remind everyone that diversity is what makes a community beautiful, more colorful and rich of values. We hope to see you there!

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