Racism in Florida and Sarasota: Historical and Current

Racism in Florida and Sarasota: Historical and Current

Friday - 2:00pm

First Class: 1/27/23

Last Class: 2/17/23


Instructor: Joan Ohlson

Joan Ohlson is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and Columbia University School of Social Work. Throughout her 40-year career she worked in social service agencies, health and mental health agencies, and advocacy organizations in poor or low-income neighborhoods throughout NYC in various policy and administrative positions. Joan retired in 2005 as Executive Director of Urban Pathways, a homeless services agency with programs from street outreach to supportive housing. In 1997 she was part of a volunteer group that opened the first shelter for battered women in NYC. She participated in the 1963 March on Washington and many others since then.

Course Description

This course will present the history of racism in Florida and Sarasota. It will show how these events follow or exceed the racist practices of the United States. From enslavement to the Rosewood Massacre to the killing of Trayvon Martin to the recent legislation limiting voting access for Black citizens and the Stop WOKE Act of 2022, Florida presents many examples of racism. The course will identify groups in Sarasota and in the state which have been opposing racist practices and have been strengthening their community. There will be four sessions of lecture and discussion--and if possible, a field trip to the Sarasota Museum of African American History and Culture for a fifth session. Participants are expected to follow the news about relevant Florida events. Background articles and some resource lists will be made available.

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