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Champions of Higher Education; men's summit; The Players; Root Ball

More than a hundred former college and university presidents across the country are part of a new effort to defend higher education. They include leaders from here in Florida.

The initiative is called “Champions of Higher Education.” Its goal: to fight against a barrage of state legislation and policies the group says restrict free expression on campus, and the right of colleges and universities to govern themselves.

This fight has been particularly acute here in Florida.

Guest: Jeremy Young, senior manager of free expression and education at PEN America.

Men's summit

Former state Sen. Tony Hill wants Black men to realize the power of community.

His new nonprofit, Operation Fix Florida, is holding an event this weekend that, he hopes, will provide knowledge and encouragement about health outcomes, the criminal justice system and the importance of civic engagement.

Something Has Gone Wrong in The Field is a men’s summit that begins Friday night in Arlington. Saturday’s activities will be held at the American Legion Post in Moncrief.

Guest: Will Brown of Jacksonville Today.

The Players

Lee Smith has been named executive director of The Players Championship. He replaces Jared Rice, who has taken a new role leading business development for the tour’s Championship Management portfolio of events.

Smith comes to The Players after spending the last five years as general manager at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Guest: Lee Smith.

Root Ball

Fans of the Kentucky Derby know the big race is always run the first Saturday in May.

You can enjoy the fun of the Derby and go green at the same time next month at Greenscape of Jacksonville’s Root Ball.

Guest: Lisa Grubba, executive director.

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Randy comes to Jacksonville from the South Florida Sun Sentinel, where, as metro editor, he led investigative coverage of the Parkland school shooting that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for public service. He has spent more than 40 years in reporting and editing positions in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and Florida. You can reach Randy at or on Twitter, @rroguski.