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.
Leroy Bell [B], military veteran and Apopka activist, was interviewed by Clayton Robinson [R] in July, 2013.
This is the 42nd in a series of transcript excerpts from the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program collection at the University of Florida.
Transcript edited by Pierce Butler.
B: I was born September the 4th, 1959 in a little place they call Gallion, Alabama. My father was more like a migrant worker. I grew up all over. Place like North Carolina, New York, Alabama, Florida. I really started doing farmwork in 1968. Once my father and mother moved us down here to Florida, most of us would pick oranges and grapefruits, go out to Sanford and pick up cucumbers out of the field.
by Graduate Assistants United
Graduate Assistants United (GAU) is the labor union that represents approximately 4,000 graduate assistants (GAs) at the University of Florida. This includes all of the graduate students who may teach up to half of all classes at UF any given semester and also perform valuable research for the university.
Since ratifying our first contract in 1983, GAU has made significant progress in improving workplace conditions for GAs at UF. GAU has fought for and won healthcare, yearly pay raises, and many important employee protections.
by Sheila Payne, ACLC Board Member
Members of Alachua County civil rights activist groups and faith community members are in the midst of helping to collect the almost 800,000 valid signatures to place a constitutional amendment on the 2018 Florida ballot to restore voting rights to the 1.7 million citizens who are no longer able to vote because of a past felony conviction. We are pushing to collect all the signatures by Dec. 31, 2017 for verification by February 2018. Sixty percent of 2018 voters would have to vote yes to the amendment for it to become law.
Florida’s Voting Restoration Amendment would allow people who did not commit a violent felony and have paid their debt to society, including completing probation, to again be voting citizens and full members of their community.
by Jim Sullivan
What is the Humanist Society of Gainesville? As a member of this group for a number of years now I think of it as follows. It is a group of people who value the idea of thinking for themselves about the most productive and effective ways to live our lives.
We generally reject the idea that the universe is created and controlled by an unseen God or Gods. We tend to be informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by compassion. We strive to act rationally while also understanding that we are social beings heavily influenced by our emotions. In a broader social context, we are firmly dedicated to the idea that church and state should be kept clearly separate.
The Institute of Black Culture and the Institute of Hispanic/Latino Culture were torn down on Aug. 19.
UF Multicultural & Diversity Affairs did not give students or the community warning or notice.
Officials alerted students and alumni that the buildings had been demolished only after an outrage on social media went around about the buildings being demolished.
The buildings were built in 1921. They have been standing for 96 years, and out of those 96 years, one of the buildings served as the Institute of Black Cultures for 46 years and the other served as the Institute of Hispanic/Latino Cultures for 23 years. They were safe spaces for students and have been for countless others in the past.
The image above is completely heartbreaking to see. The lack of transparency from MCDA is a continuing trend that students have been trying to curtail. Community members are working to ensure that MCDA is proactive and transparent in their dealings with students in the future, especially pertaining to the institutes.
Southern Legal Counsel (SLC) is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year protecting civil rights in Florida.
SLC is a Gainesville-based non-profit public interest law firm that does statewide work dedicated to the ideal of equal justice for all and the attainment of basic civil and human rights. They will celebrate 40 Years of Impact at an event at the University of Florida Hilton on Oct. 21. Morris Dees, pioneering civil rights lawyer and co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, will be the keynote speaker. Known for innovative lawsuits that crippled some of America’s most notorious white supremacist hate groups, Dees will speak about the importance of public interest law firms, like SLC, that focus on impact litigation.
Alia DeLong holds a Fake Clinic sign along with others from NWL’s Abortion & Birth Control Committee as National Women’s Liberation protested at the Sira Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC) on NW 13th Street. The protest, on August 7, aimed to warn the community about the misinformation these “clinics” provide.
CPCs like Sira are not health clinics. They use misleading tactics, such as free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, to bring women into their facilities with the intent of steering them away from choosing abortion, using birth control, and if they are unmarried – having sex.
CPCs in Florida receive funding from taxpayer dollars as well as proceeds from the “Choose Life” license plate. Photo courtesy of Michele Applegarth.
Thursday, Oct. 5, 9am – 1:30pm
Gainesville Women’s Club
2809 West University Ave.
The Gainesville Chapter of the United Nations Association invites you and your members and associates to join us for our annual UN Day Celebration. The theme this year is “The United Nations: My World, Your World, Our World.”
The keynote speaker will be the Honorable Lauren Poe, Gainesville’s mayor, who will speak on “Global Goals, Local Leaders.” Panelists will be Lorey Campese, Past President of Santa Fe Community College’s Model UN Club and Secretary-General of GatorMUN at the University of Florida and now with the Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom to the UN.
Wednesday, Sept. 13 @ 7pm • Jewish Council of North Central Florida • 3835 NW 8th Ave., Gainesville
Secular and progressive Jews have long been part of the Jewish people. A movement known as Humanistic Judaism (HJ) combines attachment to Jewish identity and culture with a human-centered approach to life.
HJ defines Judaism as the historical and cultural experience of the Jewish people. It affirms that human beings are independent of supernatural authority and responsible for themselves. Humanistic Jews seek solutions to conflicts that respect the freedom, dignity, and self-esteem of every human being.