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OneJax Institute

To Our Friends and Supporters

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OneJax learned some important lessons during FY 2021, the most important being that we are more flexible, adaptable and innovative than we ever imagined ourselves to be.

With the staff working remotely for more than a year and a half, we still maintained, and even enhanced, our youth programming. Our interfaith work helped clergy from different traditions and practices share how they were connecting with their congregations and the overall community. An all-virtual Interfaith Thanksgiving Gratitude Service was held in 2020, as always, the week before Thanksgiving, reaching a broader audience than some of our in-person services from years past.

We held not one, but TWO Humanitarian Award events during this past fiscal year — a first! The 2020 event, marking the OneJax 50th Anniversary, originally planned for April 2020, was postponed until September, when we held our first major virtual event. We had hoped that the spring of 2021 would allow us to gather again in person, but COVID-19 and the Delta variant had other ideas. Once again, we went virtual with the Humanitarian Awards event. Remarkable and worthy humanitarians were honored at both events and now stand as proud additions to our Circle of Honorees. You can find the link to watch the one-hour program of each of these events at www.onejax.org. 

The expansion of our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging work (DEIB), was probably among the most impactful of OneJax's activities this past year—both for the community and for our organization. Following the killing of George Floyd and a series of questionable deaths of Black citizens by law enforcement and  others, social justice and outrage at racial inequality finally became something mainstream America began to care about.

These events led many corporations, businesses, public and private schools, nonprofits, health and cultural institutions and others to reach out to OneJax. These organizations wanted to get a better understanding about what they needed to do to improve their own DEIB policies and many wanted to learn how our community got to where we are, so they could create a plan to achieve a more DEIB-balanced organization.

Our DEIB trainings and workshops are designed to be presented in person or virtually. They can be bundled together in assorted configurations to meet a group's specific needs. This area of our work has also created a steady new revenue stream for OneJax, one that we expect to expand upon and continue to grow. It also allows us to assist groups, particularly schools and nonprofits, on a pro bono basis, when they need the help but don't have the financial resources.

We want to express our deep appreciation to all who have stood with us and continued their support during this challenging time We've never needed each other more and are proud to live and work in a community that embraces our guiding principle of "Different Together." 

kyle reese and michael korn signatures

The Work: Youth Programming

Bullies can create a daily living hell for their victims. Teenagers, in particular, can be relentlessly cruel. School hallways and cafeterias become dreaded, but they can't be avoided.

This was the experience that "Jared," an African American young man, lived with throughout middle school at a local prestigious private school. He stood out, being one of few students of color at the school, and that seemed to make him fair game. He struggled every day to deal with the verbal and emotional mistreatment he received from a group of his peers. It affected his self-worth, and he was depressed — and anxious.

Yet every day, he got up and he went to school. He never quit.

As a rising high school freshman, Jared attended his first Sandy Miller Metrotown Institute. His natural leadership skills peeked out behind all of his self-doubt, and he immersed himself in the program. Following his Metrotown experience, in his sophomore year, he became a Leader of United Diversity (LOUD) member and he began to break free of the negative messages he'd been listening to for years.

He found his voice. "Metrotown taught me to love myself and forgive those that behaved with bias against minorities."

Eager to carry the lessons of Metrotown forward, Jared initiated a diversity club at his school and hosted a multicultural day for the first time.

But he didn't stop there. Showing his colors as a true leader, Jared and some of his peers organized a citywide forum, recruiting students throughout the city from public and private schools to share their experiences and the importance of acceptance. A fundamental transformation occurred at his school. Jared feels speaking up and speaking out changed his life and created change for him and his fellow students.

Jared started the 2021-22 school year as a junion—and as the Junior Class President, hoping to further unify the school's students. He credits Metrotown for all he's been able to accomplish.

"Metrotown changed my life forever."

 

 

 

group of teens in a circle smiling at the camera

The Work: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging

Following the racially charged spring and summer of 2020, particularly after George Floyd’s death, OneJax began receiving requests from businesses, nonprofits, academic institutions, public schools and districts, and many others. All wanted a better understanding of the issues surrounding diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging and needed help taking stock of their own status in order to improve DEIB policies and practices.

One of those groups was the Jacksonville Civic Council, a nonpartisan group of prominent business leaders and influencers who help resolve community issues by researching and studying a problem, proposing solutions, advocating for change, and providing resources and support. “We’re trying to determine if race and social justice are areas where the Civic Council could have real impact in our city,” said Civic Council President and CEO Jeanne Miller. “And OneJax helped us create a framework for our education and discovery. This is just one way in which OneJax has become such a valuable resource for our community.”

The process started with an intimate “Family Conversation,” an open, honest and, at times, difficult conversation. Several Black Civic Council members spoke candidly about experiences they’ve had with law enforcement and others or were otherwise made to feel uncomfortable — just because of the color of their skin. “The session was humbling for everyone who participated — Black, white, men and women,” Miller said. “You can’t out earn or out achieve race. No matter how far a person of color rises up the corporate ladder, the possibility of disparate racial treatment still exists.”

The second session, facilitated by OneJax, took an in-depth look at structural racism in Jacksonville and how things got this way and how things were stacked against people of color from the beginning. A deep dive into “white privilege” provoked lively discussion, resulting in a greater understanding of that term and how the color of someone’s skin often dictates what types of opportunities they are presented with — or not. “For many lifelong residents of Jacksonville, the session highlighted racial disparities that most people are unaware of. If we’re going to effectively change public policy, we must understand how and why it was created in the first place,” Miller said.

 

During the third session, three Civic Council members shared their companies’ progress and best practices in formulating and implementing DEIB programs within their organizations. “I think we all learned that this work requires humility and vulnerability at all levels of the organization,” Miller said. It can be difficult for some to accept that there is so much more to do … that we still have to change. But companies must be authentic representations of their values and it has to start at the top with the CEO.

What’s next? The Civic Council has created a Race and Social Justice Task Force. This group is currently working on internal deliverables in order to determine the next logical step for the Civic Council. It was agreed unilaterally that if Jacksonville is to be the community we’d like it to be, all residents must have access to opportunities that will allow them to grow and improve their lives. “If we’re not actively working to fix the disparity in our community, we are complicit in keeping it the way it is,” Miller said.

 

it is not enough to be not a racist we have to be anti-racist if change is to take place and professional sitting around a table

The Work: Compassionate St. Augustine

In 2011, OneJax became a partner organization of the Charter for Compassion, a global initiative that calls on the citizens of the world to enliven the principle of compassion that lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions — to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves (“The Golden Rule”).

Around the same time, OneJax crossed paths with a group in St. Augustine, then known as the Initiative for Compassion. They, too, had become interested in the efforts of the Charter for Compassion. And we’ve been collaborating ever since.

One of the Charter’s efforts that has helped to promote its work at the grassroots level around the world is their Compassionate Cities program, believing that in a Compassionate Community people are motivated by compassion to take responsibility for and care for each other.

In 2013, the Initiative for Compassion became Compassionate St. Augustine, the first Compassionate City in Florida. At the time, there were only 20 Compassionate Cities in the world. Today, hundreds of Compassionate Cities can be found in 50 countries around the world.

As a local, grassroots organization, Compassionate St. Augustine is dedicated to inspiring and growing a culture of compassion through advocacy, awareness and action while bringing together the residents of St. Augustine and beyond. They’re involved in several areas of work and advocate for compassion-based practices in the schools, businesses, faith communities, and local government.

OneJax and Compassionate St. Augustine share a mutual commitment to — and appreciation for — the importance of civility in our communities. A highlight was the presentation by Dr. Carolyn Lukensmeyer, former executive director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse, when she spoke at a OneJax Civil Discourse event four years ago.

“OneJax has been a very valuable resource for us,” said Caren Goldman, executive director. “Kyle [Reese] and Nancy [Broner] have been great mentors to me and others on the Compassionate St. Augustine Advisory Committee. We get together periodically to exchange ideas and the things we’re doing, and we try to assist each other wherever it makes sense. The collaboration has really been valuable to help us with some problem-solving. And, especially through the OneJax Interfaith committee, we have worked together on multicultural and interfaith relationships across our county’s borders. We’re very grateful to have a Charter for Compassion partner right here in North Florida that mirrors our values in thought, word and deed.”

To learn more about Compassionate St. Augustine and the

 

 

 

compassion is an unwavering commitement to the good of humanity and smiling people

The Work: By the Numbers

1,957

ADULTS ATTENDED
ONEJAX PROGRAMS

(Including Virtual Vodcast Views)

156
Civil
Discourse

 

556
Interfaith Programs

101
Community Suppers

 

675
Humanitarian Awards

195
Project Breakthrough

 

135
DEIB
Workshops

852

YOUTH ATTENDED
ONEJAX PROGRAMS

 

743
Diversity Education

31
Leaders of United Diversity

78
Sandy Miller Metrotown &
Metrotownin-a-day Programs

$152,693

GRANTS
AWARDED

 

Emily Balz Smith Foundation:
Project Breakthrough

Florida Blue Foundation:
3-year grant for Youth Program Expansion

Sandy Miller Youth Fund

United Way

SOURCE OF FUNDS:

color bar with 5 colors from blue to yellow

 

48.52% Corporate Giving* 

30.35% Individual Giving

16.49% Grants & Foundations

4.36% Misc./Other 

0.28% Metrotown Youth Camp

*Corporate giving from the 2020 & 2021 Dinners for amounts received in FY21

USE OF FUNDS:

color bar with 5 different sections

 

42.30% Adult Programs

20.95% Youth Programs

19.40% Events*

9.03% Fund Development

8.32% Admin & Salaries

*2020 and 2021 Dinner operating expenses

TOTAL REVENUE: $819,930.40
Note: The remaining $199,531.01 will go into reserves.

Humanitarian Award Honorees

humanitarian award honorees - winners listed below

2020 Silver: JEFFREY LEVENSON, M.D. Chief Medical Officer of SEE International

2020 Silver: MICHAEL WARD Michael Ward & Jennifer Glock Foundation

2020 Silver: MALIVAI WASHINGTON & TERRI FLORIO MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation, Founder and Executive Director

2021 Gold: NATHANIEL “NAT” GLOVER, JR. President Emeritus, Edward Waters College; Former Sheriff, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office

2020 Silver: MELANIE PATZ & LYNN SHERMAN Co-Chairs of the Jacksonville Community Remembrance Project and Leaders of 904Ward

2021 Silver: MARTIN A. GOETZ Former CEO, River Garden Senior Service

2021 Silver: ROBERT & MARGARET HILL Former CEO & Vice Chair, Acosta Sales and Marketing; Community Volunteer

The People: Board and Council

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Michael Korn, Chair
Mobeen Rathore, Chair Elect
Sonny Bhikha, Secretary
Shari Shuman, Treasurer
Connie Hodges, Immediate Past Chair
Jerry Mallot, Fund Development Chair
Patricia McElroy, Interfaith Committee Chair

 

SENIOR ADVISORY COUNCIL

Bill Bond • Nancy Broner • Sol Brotman • Frank Denton Ronnie Ferguson • Steve Halverson • Connie Hodges Michael Korn • Sherry Magill • David Miller Audrey Moran, Convener • Pam Paul • Kyle Reese Thomas Serwatka • Darnell Smith Clay B. “Chip” Tousey, Jr. • Nina Waters

 

BOARD MEMBERS

Selma Besirevic • Clare Chance • Nancy Felton Wilfredo Gonzalez • Jonathan Lubliner • Christopher McKee, Jr. Shah Faisal Sayed • Thomas Serwatka • Valerie Stevenson Nicole Thomas • Robert Arleigh White • Tracy Williams

 

STAFF

Kyle Reese, Executive Director
Nancy Broner, Executive Director Emerita
Jacey Kelley, Assoc. Director of Operations
Deidre Lane, Assoc. Director of Youth Programs
Jan Phillips, Coordinator of Administrative Services
Lisa Drew, OneYouth Coordinator
C. Mickee Brown, Consultant
Brenda Priestly Jackson, Consultant
Evin Willman, Consultant