Life in East Tampa looks like many other neighborhoods in the Tampa Bay Area in that people can be seen walking to the neighborhood store and sitting on front porches talking with friends while kids ride motorized scooters on backstreets away from traffic.
The area has come a long way from just two decades ago when East Tampa -- a collection of neighborhoods that include Belmont Heights, Jackson Heights, and College Hill -- was known solely for poverty, public housing, and negative headlines.
Today East Tampa has made strides with public infrastructure and private investments in affordable housing and small businesses. But it remains touched by some tough, intractable problems related to poverty.
That's why 83 Degrees Media
is teaming up with instructors and students at USF's Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications to help lift up solutions and solution makers by telling some of the stories of talent and innovation that are coming together in East Tampa to lead change. The 6-month-long storytelling project is supported by a grant from the Walmart Foundation to the Solutions Journalism Fund
at the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.
As Coretta Scott King once said, "It doesn't matter how strong your opinions are. If you don't use your power for positive change, you are indeed part of the problem.''