When she was growing up in Liberty City, Valencia Gunder heard her grandfather warn that one day their community would be in danger. Decades later, Valencia is living the prophecy her grandfather predicted as climate gentrification changes the urban landscape where she grew up.
As Brittney Miller grew up in Sanford, Florida, she watched as some of the natural spaces she loved were slowly devoured by encroaching development.
No one tells a better Florida story than the people who know this state intimately — either from living here or from engaging with Florida issues in a thoughtful way. As we reflect on a chaotic and confusing year, we draw inspiration from stories written by Florida women that we admire. Here are some of our favorite stories from 2020, presented in no particular order, and why we love them.
If you know us, you know: we tell Florida stories. Though it sounds straightforward, this is a deceptively complicated task. In this editorial, we make the case for breaking down barriers around yourself during this divisive time. We ask you to focus on what we all have in common: Florida’s environment.
Universities are facing mounting pressure to stop using the unpaid labor of incarcerated people. In June, the University of Florida announced it was ending the use of prison labor on its agricultural research farms, a practice once praised by administrators. Questions remain on whether other universities in the U.S. South will follow suit.
The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences has relied on incarcerated people from state prisons and county jails for at least a decade to keep some of its agricultural research stations running. As the practice comes to an end, administrators are reallocating funds and finding new ways to power the state’s agricultural research.
Proponents of prison labor programs say they provide valuable job skills for post-incarceration life. But there is insufficient data to back up these claims from universities and correctional institutions.
Across the South, students are pressuring universities to address entrenched racial inequities. But because of the institutional and budgetary challenges universities and prisons face, finding solutions will not be straightforward.
Author and professor Leslie Kemp Poole shares how Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings reminds us that we need to find our own moments and places of enchantment, however small they are or however brief the experience—especially a flowering tree—and let them enrich our days.
As it does for many, Latashia Brimm’s pathway to a felony conviction started at a very young age. For her, it began with a sexually and emotionally abusive stepfather and a pattern of domestic violence. The fight to pass Amendment 4, also known as the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, spoke to Brimm’s need to regain her civic power and personal independence. With the right to vote reclaimed, she felt she would no longer be invisible.