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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

9/28/2016: Racial Tension; Real Men Wear Pink; Jax Symphony; Animal-Assisted Therapy


Jacksonville University sociology professor Nathan Rousseau spoke with host Melissa Ross about race relations in Jacksonville. We also heard from Adam Jorgensen, president of Pragmatic Works Client Solutions, and Brian Bush from Tom Bush auto dealers about the “Real Men Wear Pink” campaign to raise awareness and support for breast cancer research. Ross spoke with Jacksonville Symphony conductor Courtney Lewis about the upcoming season and Mary Harvey and Kristi Leonard told us about therapy animal training on the First Coast. 

Race Relations

What can Jacksonville learn from the racial tension in places like Charlotte and Baltimore? Rousseau is a member of the city’s Human Rights Commission and told Ross there are a number of factors  contributing to the rise of racial tension, including economic inequality and a lack of leadership.      

Credit Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT
Adam Jorgensen, from left, and Brian Bush show off their pink clothing to raise awareness of breast cancer.

Real Men Wear Pink

Prominent men around Jacksonville are wearing pink and raising funds for breast cancer research. Jorgensen and Bush told Ross about their participation in the campaign for the American Cancer Society and challenging each other to raise the most dollars.

Jacksonville Symphony

The Jacksonville Symphony’s new season kicks off this weekend with a performance of Igor Stravinski’s “Rite of Spring.” Lewis talked about other upcoming performances.

Therapy Animals

The use of animals for therapy is a growing and studies have shown hospital patients and others respond positively when they interact with cats, dogs and other pets. Harvey and Leonard spoke to Ross about an expo this Saturday at the Community Hospice of Northeast Florida to answer pet owners questions who want to learn more about animal-assisted therapy.          

Producer Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax

Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.