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First Coast Connect
0000017b-82f4-dd8b-a7fb-82ffe48f0000Florida's public radio stations are teaming up to bring you comprehensive, statewide 2016 election coverage.

11/22/2016: Old Friends Talk Politics; Women's Giving Alliance; Holly Jolly; #RethreadedChallenge

Tuesday on First Coast Connect guest host Jessica Palombo was joined by longtime friends Bishop Rudolph McKissickJr., a black Democrat, and Lindsey Brock, a white Republican. They talked about maintaining their 35-year friendship through a contentious presidential election and its aftermath.

We also heard from Ellen Wiss and Paula Liang from the Women’s Giving Alliance.

Jekyll Island Events Manager Nancy Kring Rowan joined us by phone to talk about a month’s worth of events to celebrate the holidays.

And Rethreaded founder Kristin Keen joined us to talk about the Rethreaded Challenge, a campaign to get shoppers to buy gifts made by survivors of the sex trade. 

Old Friends Talk Politics

They’ve been friends since high school in Jacksonville 35 years ago. They belong to different races and political parties, but despite the divisiveness of the election, they remain friends and are both very well respected in the community. Bishop Rudolph McKissick has been involved in Democratic politics for years with close ties to President Obama. Lindsey Brock is an officer in the Duval County Republican Party and former City Council candidate. They spoke about their friendship and how others can cut talk about their differences while remaining friends.

Women’s Giving Alliance

The Women’s Giving Alliance has just awarded more than $400,000 in grants to Northeast Florida mental health providers.

The Alliance has also just announced its next focus called “Breaking the Cycle of Female Poverty: Intervention and Prevention.” Wiss and Liang spoke about how they came up with the new initiative and how organizations can apply for the next round of grants starting in December.

Holly Jolly Jekyll Island

Southeast Georgia’s Jekyll Island is already decked out for the holidays, and it’s about to get even more jolly this weekend. 
Kring Rowan told us about several events, including an ice skating village and new historical tours.


Rethreaded has a challenge for you this season. The organization that helps women who have been victims of human trafficking and the prostitution trade is asking people to purchase 10 survivor-made gifts this year. This includes any products from Rethreaded, online or in-store, or from other “freedom” brands. And if you do buy the gifts, share them online with #RethreadedChallenge.          

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.