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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

1/19/2017: Women's March On Washington; Read 66; St. Augustine Film Festival


Thursday on First Coast Connect, we spoke with local residents Judy Sheklin and Lori Shad who will be attending Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington. As part of NPR’s “A Nation Engaged” collaboration with local stations we asked listeners what they want the new president to know about themselves and their community as he takes office. We also spoke with Read 66 spokesman Chris Boivin and Jacksonville Public Library regional manager Keli Mathis about their initiative to get more people to read. Gregory von Hausch, president and CEO of the St. Augustine Film Festival, talked about this weekend’s films and events. 


Women’s March on Washington

It began on social media with a handful of women who were concerned that the Trump administration’s policies would be detrimental to the rights of women. Since then, it has grown to one of the largest inauguration protests in history, including hundreds of sister protests across the globe including here in Jacksonville. Sheklin and Shad talked about what inspired them to get involved in the protest and their concerns with the incoming Trump administration.    

Read 66

Research shows that to build a strong habit of anything, you need to do it every day for 66 days. That includes reading. If people commit to reading just 15 minutes a day for 66 days, they can build a lifelong reading habit that reduces stress, fights off dementia, and builds vocabulary.

Boivin and Mathis talked about some of the programs the library as initiated to get more people to get into the reading habit.

St. Augustine Film Festival

The annual St. Augustine Film Festival featuring 40 films from 20 countries. The festival will include appearances by many of the directors, producers and actors who will discuss their work.

The films include a documentary about the origins of the Israeli Air Force, a documentary about Jacksonville native Stetson Kennedy, who famously infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan, and a look at what happens to children when they are taken from abusive families and become dependents of the State of Florida. 

The festival runs Friday through Sunday.

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