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OneJax Institute



OneJax is proud to support initiatives that aim to improve the welfare and quality of life of marginalized or minority groups. In addition to advocating on behalf of underrepresented groups, we connect our base of supporters and volunteers with causes that support their passions.

Below is a list of advocacy statements written by OneJax Institute, beginning in 2016. 

  • Read OneJax's Statement on Buffalo Shooting

    It was a typical Saturday. The local supermarket was busy. A father buying his 3-year-old a birthday cake. An 88-year-old woman stopping by to pick up groceries after visiting her husband in a nursing home. The young mom and beloved teacher, 32,  who went to the store to buy what she needed to make dinner. A gentleman who gave people rides to and from the store—even if they didn’t have much money. These and six other lives lost. Snuffed out in an instant. Three others were injured.

    OneJax is horrified and heartbroken by the events in Buffalo this past weekend. The racially-motivated rampage by a subscriber to racial hate groups and replacement theorists, left the carnage in his wake.

    What sense can be made of this madness? There is no simple answer. The whys and wherefores of acts like this will continue to be debated by minds far greater than ours. But it’s incumbent upon us all to be part of the conversations so that steps can be implemented in order to predict—and hopefully, prevent—future events from taking place to begin with.

    For now, OneJax asks that we all treat each other gently, with care and kindness. This horror was perpetrated in Buffalo, but people all over the country are hurting, mourning and looking for answers. In our community, let’s answer the hate with love, outreach and inclusion. And take whatever steps necessary to assure that the country never has to pray for us.

  • Read OneJax's Statement on Racial Injustice

    Right now, our hearts are filled with pain. Here in Jacksonville and throughout the country - and the world - people understand that we must stand up for one another. We have to acknowledge the outrage, fear and hurt that has been provoked by the killing of George Floyd, following on the heels of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. We ask, "How many more must die? How many more times will the failure to initiate REAL CHANGE occur?" For African Americans, other people of color and other marginalized communities, how much more inequity, social injustice and violence are they expected to endure?

    We stand with those who voice their protest … who scream to be heard, recognized and appreciated for who they are. We stand with those who want what we all want - a safe place to live, a decent job that provides a living wage and a community that includes them as part of the fabric of the best it has to offer.

    No mother should have to shake with fear every time her black son leaves the house, afraid that he won't come home.

    OneJax was founded on the belief that Jacksonville can become an inclusive community. We believe, in spite of everything, that this is still an attainable goal. But we must all join together to see this vision become reality. As we work on programs, dialogues and other ways to collectively create change, we ask you to share your thoughts, pain, frustrations and ideas so we can help. There is something we can all do, and in the near future we'll offer up opportunities to become part of the solution.

    We celebrate our incredible diversity. But today, we mourn and rededicate ourselves to a better future for everyone.

  • Read OneJax's Statement on anti-Semitic violence in Pittsburgh

    It seems each week brings yet another act of human cruelty and senseless violence fueled by hatred and the dehumanization of individuals and groups. We grieve for the victims and survivors of the anti-Semitic violence in Pittsburgh.  We mourn for those who lost their lives due to racist violence in Kentucky.  We are concerned for those who have been targets due to their political viewpoints.

    Our hearts are heavy for these senseless acts of hate and violence we continue to experience and witness. We struggle to know what response we should have.  We cannot despair.

    At OneJax, an organization that helps people discover their common humanity through dialogue, we stand in solidarity with those who face systemic oppression each day.  Beyond our tears lies a new resolve for us all to move forward together, to become wounded healers and answer the call to repair the world.  We are not powerless in the face of evil.  We have seen the impact of collective action.

    Here in Jacksonville, we have a beautiful and needed corrective to much of what captures our national imagination and attention.  For 101 years, our community has gathered together across different faith traditions uniting around the theme of gratitude.  With so much that seems broken, the OneJax Interfaith Gratitude Service is a celebration of what is right in our community.  This Thursday night at 6:00 P.M., we will gather at Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church to continue this community tradition and treasure.  Creating community across our differences is the work of OneJax and it’s needed now as much as any time in human history.  We invite you to join us.

    OneJax Board of Directors

    OneJax Interfaith Council

  • Read OneJax's Statement on Charlottesville

    OneJax emphatically denounces the hate-inspired violence and hateful speech instigated by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend. We mourn for the lives lost and the many injured. At this critical time, let us renew our commitment to stand together and to work ever more passionately for inclusion, equity, and justice for all.

    How do we move forward? This is no time for empty platitudes. Rather, it is a time for active work to root out the seeds of intolerance and discrimination. We want to share the following from the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities:

    Ten Things You Can Do to Stand Together

    1. Speak up and challenge bigotry whenever you see it
    2. Talk with your neighbor or someone in your neighborhood you don't know about why diversity and inclusion is important to all of us
    3. Analyze the diversity within your neighborhood, workplace, local school, or house of worship and initiate conversations about where and why there might be a lack of inclusion.
    4. Read books that help you to learn about the experiences and perspectives of people from different backgrounds - especially those whose voices are often left out of community conversations
    5. Learn about our community's complex history - including the difficult parts - and consider the residue of that history on the present day
    6. Write a letter to the editor expressing why you value diversity, equity, and inclusion in your community
    7. Contact your elected officials to make sure they know your views, especially about policies that could disproportionately hurt members of marginalized groups
    8. Attend community events that expand your understanding and perspective
    9. Volunteer with organizations that focus on making our communities more equitable and inclusive
    10. Donate to organizations and causes that promote respect, understanding, and justice

    The events of this weekend remind us once again that true inclusion requires all of us to stand together against prejudice, discrimination, and hatred. When the rallies are over, let us not pretend that the hatred has left. Instead, let's use the experience of this weekend as continued motivation to root out bigotry and prejudice wherever it may be.

    This is the moment for positive, vigorous action. Together, we can prove with one voice and with sustained effort that there is no place for hate in our country.

  • Read OneJax's Statement on the President's Immigration Order

    The greatness of our nation has been its guiding ideals of fairness, welcome to immigrants, compassion for refugees, respect for religious faith and the courageous refusal to compromise its principles in the face of threats. While we recognize our government's obligation to protect us from foreign and domestic threats, we stand with our neighbors who are affected by the recent presidential executive order on immigration.

    There are real dangers for American citizens whose identities are linked to immigration, their family members now trapped in other countries, and refugees who have been thoroughly vetted but have been denied entry to the United States. The rhetoric against different groups has caused an increase of violence, discrimination and hate crimes in our communities which must not be tolerated. When we ostracize and vilify the "other" we create a platform where fear will develop into hate.

    OneJax will continue to work tirelessly until we achieve respect and understanding among all people.

  • Read OneJax's Statement on Denouncing Anti-Semitism

    In the wake of the anti-Semitic fliers that were distributed in Jacksonville this week, OneJax strongly denounces this act of hatred and bigotry. We condemn the National Socialist Movement, a longstanding neo-Nazi group headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, whose name was on the flier.

    We must refuse to sanction bigotry against others simply because of their faith. We stand together with our Jewish neighbors, we stand together for peace, and we stand together to build a culture of inclusion and respect in Jacksonville.

    OneJax Institute at the University of North Florida

    Jan Lipsky

    OneJax Board Chair

    Kyle T. Reese, D.Min.

    OneJax Board Member

    Pastor, Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church

    Nancy S. Broner

    OneJax Executive Director

    Mohammad Bataineh

    OneJax Board Member

    Interfaith Advisory Council Chair

    Father Raja Zabaneh

    Chaplain, St. John's Cathedral Residences

    Rev. Clare Watson Chance

    Sr. Pastor, Avondale United Methodist Church

    Rev. Paula Hayward

    Sanctuary of the Beloved, New York

    Non-denominational, Non-christian

    Imam Shamudeen

    Islamic Center of Northeast Florida

    Very Rev. Katherine Moorehead

    Dean, St. John's Cathedral

    Granthi Baba Ajit Singh Ajad

    Priest, Sikh Society of Northeast Florida

    Rev. Ted Voorhees

    Vicar, St. Cyprian's Episcopal Church

    Rev. Emily Knight

    Pastor, Riverside Park United Methodist Church

    Connie Hodges

    OneJax Board Member

    Elizabeth K. Gainer

    Pastoral Counseling Services

    Dr. Parvez Ahmed

    Professor of Finance, UNF

    Hazzan Jesse Holzer

    Cantor, Jacksonville Jewish Center

    Rev. Britt Hester

    Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church

    Rev. Gregg Kaufman

    St. John's Cathedral

    Rabbi Rick Shapiro

    Interim Senior Rabbi, Congregation Ahavath Chesed

    Roy Craft


    Phillip Baber

    Minister, Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville

    Rev. Ronald M. Owen

    OneJax Interfaith Advisory Council

    Linda Ross

    Outreach and Pastoral Care Minister, Church of the Good Shepherd

    Rev. Dr. W. Stephen Goyer

    Pastor and Head of Staff, Riverside Presbyterian Church

    Sukhbir Singh

    Sikh Society of Northeast Florida

    Rev. Dr. Nicholas G. Louh

    St. John the Divine Greek Orthodox Church

    Dr. Mobeen H. Rathore

    OneJax Board Member

    Professor and Director, UFCARES

    Rev. Tony Chance

    Sr. Pastor, First United Methodist of Jacksonville

    Iya Fa'Osunkemi Ajewunmi

    Chief Priest, Ifa Temple for Divine Elevation and Abundance

    Rev. Amy Slater

    Priest, Christ Episcopal Church

    Rev. B. Fred Woolsey

    Pastor, Disciples of Christ Church

    Rabbi Yaakov Fisch

    Senior Rabbi, Etz Chaim Synagogue

    Caren Goldman

    Executive Director and Founder, Compassionate St. Augustine

    Rev. Dr. Thomas W. Walker

    Pastor, Palms Presbyterian Church

    Rabbi Jonathan Lubliner

    Jack F. Shorstein Senior Rabbinic Chair, Jacksonville Jewish Center

    Robert Cohen

    Social Action Chair, President, Congregation Ahavath Chesed

    Ervin Bullock

    Compassionate St. Augustine

    Rabbi Howard Tilman

    Jacksonville Jewish Center

    Frances Jennings

    Avondale United Methodist Church

    Dakota Storm-Lewis

    UNF Student

    Allen Stewart

    Islamic Center of Northeast Florida

    Matt Hartley

    Director of Youth Ministries, Christ Episcopal Church

    Rev. Monsignor Vincent Haut

    Diocese of St. Augustine

    Rev. Jeffrey Reichmann

    Rector, Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd

    Michael D. Turnquist

    Director, Karma Thegsum Choling Jacksonville

    Rabbi Matt Cohen

    Congregation Ahavath Chesed

    Cliff Thomas

    Development Director, Pastoral Counseling Services, Inc.

    Rev. Bill Hoff

    Associate Pastor of Family and Youth, Riverside Presbyterian Church

    Yildirim "Alex" Sivar

    Co-chair, Atlantic Institute and the Istanbul Cultural Center

  • Read OneJax's Statement of Solidarity following the PULSE Attack in Orlando

    In the wake of the Orlando attack upon the LGBT community, we show our solidarity with those who suffer from this or any act of hatred, we stand together for peace and we commit to embrace the opportunity to comfort and strengthen one another by building a culture of peace and respect in Jacksonville.

    We call upon our better nature to remind us that the only divide is between those who hate and those who refuse to hate. We will not return hate with hate but rather confront hate with love. We must safeguard America's soul by refusing to sanction bigotry against others simply because of whom they love or how they pray.

    OneJax Guide for Individual Prayer and Reflection

    • Pray for the Orlando murder victims and their families.
    • Pray for the LGBT community in Orlando and around the world.
    • Pray for courage to stand with those who suffer.
    • Pray for wisdom regarding how to stand together for peace.
    • Pray for a culture of peace and respect in Jacksonville.
    • Pray for those who hate and those who act upon their hate.
    • Pray for an outpouring of love among all faith traditions and worldviews.
    • Pray for our nation and the citizens of the world.