Famous Florida folklorist, human rights organizer, and environmentalist Stetson Kennedy would have turned 101 years old on Oct. 5. One day before his birthday, on Oct. 4, the Civic Media Center will host a celebration of his life featuring music, cake, a sale of his books and, most importantly, a Powerpoint presentation by Sandra Parks, the woman he shared the last years of his busy life with and the director of the Stetson Kennedy Foundation.
“Living a Life of Purpose” covers 80 years of activism, from organizing against anti-Semitism as a 14-year-old to marching with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in their fight for higher wages as a 94-year-old. In between those years he saw seven of his books published, many articles, speaking engagements, friendships with Woody Guthrie, Studs Terkel, Jean-Paul Sartre and countless others.
The CMC has a special relationship with Stetson, as he donated over 2,000 books from his personal library to the CMC’s collection, where they are available from the library for checkout with a donation membership.
Providing music will be longtime Stetson Kennedy friend and singer-songwriter Cathy DeWitt, a winner of SKF’s Fellow Man and Mother Earth award who is also a co-founder of the UF Arts and Medicine program—and it is her actual birthday!
The event is at 7pm at the Civic Media Center in Gainesville, 433 S. Main St., with parking along SE 5th Avenue, across the street on S. Main Street, or up at the Courthouse.