News Ticker

‘Bridging Our Differences’

Compassionate St. Augustine presents “Both Sides Now: Bridging Our Differences in A Divided World,” a panel discussion grounded in civil discourse with Republicans, Democrats and those who cross party lines from St. Johns County. Frank Denton, Florida Times Union Editor-at-Large and Vice President of Journalism for Morris Communications, will moderate the panel.

This event is free and all are welcome and encouraged to attend on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 7 to 8:30 P.M. at the Willie Galimore Center, 399 Riberia St.

RSVPs to event, or for additional information at or 904-501-3561.

“At its core, Both Sides Now will be an invitation to have the courage and compassion to thoughtfully examine what it takes for me to agree to disagree, respect the Golden Rule, talk to and not about others and finally choose to mutually explore helpful ways to address issues that concern and impact all citizens,” says Caren Goldman, executive director of Compassionate St. Augustine. “In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, our community compassionately enlivened and modeled those ideals through individual and collective thoughts, words and deeds. And by doing so out of a shared sense of profound loss, sadness, and ‘we’re all in this together,’ the lines in the sand that otherwise separate us didn’t seem to matter.”

Moderator Frank Denton has spent 50 years as a journalist, 30 of them as the leading editor. He was the Editor of Florida Times-Union from 2008 to 2016. Now Editor-at-Large, Denton will remain responsible for the editorial page, continue as a columnist, and provide oversight for community initiatives begun during his editorship. He is also the VP of Journalism for Morris Communications, parent company of the Florida Times-Union.

Current panelists (in alphabetical order) include Ron Brown, Jerry Cameron, Deltra Long, Kris Phillips, Ron Rawls, Lynn Waugh Straughan, Tracy Upchurch, and Doug Wiles. 115 Washington Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084 904-501-3561

Ron Brown, J.D., has dedicated more than 27 years to public law and local government – a career founded on the provisions of practical innovation and legal solutions while often under intense public scrutiny.

Jerry Cameron has worked in public service for decades as the police chief of Irmo, SC and Fernandina Beach, FL and as City Manager of Fernandina. More recently, he has spent over ten years as Assistant County Manager of St. Johns County. Those experiences, combined with two decades in private-sector management, have informed and broadened his view of how the fabric of our community is woven together.

Deltra Long, a lifelong resident of St. Augustine who grew up in the historic Lincolnville neighborhood, is a retired guidance counselor from the St. Johns County School District. She and her sister Alice were two of four students to integrate St. Augustine High School in the 1960s.

Kris Phillips is President of Phillips Broadcasting, LLC which owns Newstalk 102.1 WFOY and 96.5 WAOC radio stations in St. Augustine. WFOY has served St Augustine for almost 80 years.

Rev. Ron Rawls is beginning his tenth year as Pastor of the Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in St. Augustine since 2007. He holds a BA in religion from the University of Florida and has been in the ministry since 1994. A passionate community advocate, Rev. Rawls is known for speaking out at St. Augustine City Commission meetings on behalf of his community and is a contributor to the St. Augustine Record.

Lynn Waugh Straughan is the owner/CEO of LWS Grant Consulting and a St. Augustine resident since 2000. Over the last 35 years she has worked in the social service industry and locally was the founding Executive Director for both Kids Bridge Family Visitation Center and the Cyprian Center for Expressive Arts. Currently, she serves as the Board President of Kids Bridge.

Tracy Upchurch, a lifelong St. Augustine resident, is a former State Representative in the Florida House of Representatives, Mayor and City Commissioner. Prior to becoming an Associate Professor of Law and History at Flagler College, the Director of Flagler’s Pre-Law Program and Chair of the Faculty Senate, he spent 25 years as a practicing attorney.

Doug Wiles, Col. (Ret.) U.S. Army and a lifelong St. Augustine resident, is the president and majority owner of Herbie Wiles Insurance, Inc. He grew the organization from a small, primarily personal lines agency to a diverse property and casualty, employee benefits, financial planning firm currently employing more than 25 staff members.

About PluggedInto (895 Articles)
PluggedInto is an ePublication covering news, history, local events and more in the Putnam/Flagler/St. Johns tricounty area.

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