A Panel On Soccer And Community Building


On November 3rd, 2105, the Ozark Literacy Council, Cisneros Center for New Americans, and Next Level Soccer in conjunction with the University of Arkansas and their program One Book, One Community held a panel discussion on soccer and community building.

The panel discussion was part of a series of events leading to a community-wide lecture from Warren St. John, the author of the book Outcasts United. The book follows the true story of a small town outside of Atlanta, Georgia, and a group of refugees from the Middle East and Africa as they resettle in their new home. One woman found a solution to bringing the town of “outcasts” together: community sports.

The panel discussion highlighted local Northwest Arkansas’ newcomers and soccer’s role in helping them become a part of the Northwest Arkansas community. Cisneros Center American Dream Fellow Zessna Garcia’s dad, Jesus Garcia, was among the panelists. Mr. Garcia and his brothers played an integral part in forming the first community soccer leagues in Rogers, Arkansas. Nearly 25 students gathered to learn about how soccer really can change the world.

Cisneros Center for New Americans


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