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Retiring OneJax leader built `safe spaces’ for difficult diversity conversations

Nancy Broner has spent the last seven years introducing Northeast Florida’sNancy Broner Headshot diverse population to each other as executive director of OneJax and built safe spaces for difficult diversity conversations. Under her leadership, OneJax has established itself as a force in civil discourse.

OneJax, an interfaith institute of UNF, is a nonprofit that promotes racial, religious and cultural tolerance in the Jacksonville community. The OneJax goal is not to challenge or change such differing beliefs, only to provide settings for people “to interact with each other in a respectful way,” Broner said. “That is the heart of democracy to me. ... You have to be able to give and take to understand.”

This month, Broner is retiring and transitioning to emeritus status at OneJax. She will handle projects and assignments for the organization within the UNF system and the community at large. Deputy Director Kyle Reese, former pastor of Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church, has been named executive director.

OneJax and leaders such as Broner and Reese offer a community in unrest the option to “weave together a new tapestry, using all the strands and threads of everyone willing to work toward justice, love and real community,” said Rev. Steve Golyer, chairman of the group’s Interfaith Committee, who believes Broner was perfect for the job, as is Reese as her successor.

Read more about the history of OneJax including quotes from Former UNF President John Delaney about UNF’s commitment to the organization in The Florida Times-Union.