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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

4/17/2018: ICARE Assembly; Maia Szalavitz; LaVilla Jazz Festival


Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment (ICARE) members Pastor Bruce Havens of Arlington UCC Church and Pastor Tan Moss of Greater Grant Memorial AME Church about ICARE’s upcoming meeting regarding Jacksonville’s criminal justice system (01:14).

We spoke with author Maia Szalavitz who will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming 2018 Exchange Club Family Center Child Abuse Prevention Conference (28:19).

Cultural Council President Tony Allegretti and Lloyd Washington from the Durkeeville Historical Society told us about the upcoming LaVilla Jazz Festival (46:00).


ICARE Assembly  

They’re a diverse coalition of faith leaders pressing city and state officials to reform longstanding issues in the criminal justice system.

ICARE is getting ready for its annual Nehemiah Assembly in Jacksonville next week. As many as two thousand people are expected to attend along with the sheriff and state attorney.

On the agenda, everything from a transparency website for law enforcement to a call to stop issuing citations for fines like jaywalking, and more.

Maia Szalavitz

A high-profile speaker will appear next week in Jacksonville.

As the opioid crisis grows in this city and nationwide,the 2018 Exchange Club Family Center Child Abuse Prevention Conference will be held April 26.

The keynote will be delivered by Maia Szalavitz, Award Winning Neuroscience Author, Journalist and Mental Health Advocate. She is the author of Bestseller, The Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction.

LaVilla Jazz Festival

The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville and the Durkeeville Historical Society are teaming up to bring a free jazz fest to LaVilla district.

The festival’s goals are aimed at creating a sense of place for the new Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing Park and raising funds for future park enhancements.

The park is named after the song, “Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing,” which has become known as the Black National Anthem. It was written by Jacksonville native James Weldon Johnson.

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.