ABOUT THE HOST: I am a Floridian, born and raised in small town in Northwest Florida. After 27 1/2 years in the Navy, my spouse (also a Navy Veteran) and I made our home here in Mandarin, a small suburb in Jacksonville, FL. I work with our local area unsheltered population, attend a small church The Well at Springfield, and volunteer with several local groups focused on equality in our community and nation. I have two cats, two dogs, enjoy walking in the many 5K's that take place throughout the year and getting to know more about my neighbors and their cultures. Over the past year, I have participated in conversations with people who do not share my beliefs or thoughts about many issues in our community: criminal justice reform, freedom of religion, immigration, citizenship, voting access, bail reform, direct file of youth, healthcare access and affordability, law enforcement, equality, minimum or living wage, unions, institutionalized racism, and the list goes on. I have listened to so many different points of views and beliefs and they all seem to be based on a person's story. People have histories, relationships, past experiences that help them shape their view of the world, their community and their fellow man. I've listened to many stories and I've told my own. I believe that if we can listen to each other and become part of each other's stories, we can help heal some of the pain and hatred being experienced by so many today.
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