LISTEN LIVE

audio postcard

Jessica Meszaros

WUSF is amplifying the voices in our community speaking out about racial justice.

It's now week three of nationwide demonstrations since the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.

This weekend, we spoke with people marching in this weekend's Black Lives Matter protest along Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa.

African American mother and three daughters smile at camera.
Cathy Carter

As protests against police brutality and racial injustice continue across the country, WUSF is amplifying the voices in our community responding to the calls for change.

Lorielle Hollaway is the owner of Cultured Books in St. Petersburg, a children's bookstore that focuses on sharing positive stories of diversity. Today we hear a conversation Hollaway recently had about race and social unrest with her older daughters--Nadia, 10 and Ava, who's 8.

Woman in white tank top smiling at camera with oak trees in background
Cathy Carter

As protests against police brutality and racial injustice continue across the country, WUSF is amplifying the voices in our community responding to the calls for change.

Today, we meet Colleen Reed of St. Petersburg.

Reed is not participating in protests but her son and his family are in St. Paul Minnesota, the area where George Floyd died in police custody. She says she worries about them, but says her biggest fears are for her grandson who lives in Gulfport. Her daughter's son is 9 years old and biracial.

Ginger Grant, owner of Grant's Crabs and Seafood in Largo.
Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

As protests against police brutality and racial injustice continue across the country, WUSF is amplifying the voices in our community responding to the calls for change. 

Mother posing with toddler daughter who is looking through a camera lens
Sylwia Ok

From job loss, to balancing work from home to the isolation of following stay-at-home orders, coronavirus has changed our everyday lives. WUSF is giving you a voice to share those experiences.

Today, we meet Sylwia Ok from Sarasota.

The professional photographer opened a new studio just four months before the pandemic temporarily closed her business.  In her own words, Sylwia shares her story of navigating a business during the stay-at-home order and the joy of being able to spend more time with her young daughter.

Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

Thousands of people in the Tampa Bay region this weekend spoke out about the death of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police.

A young man poses with a kitten in a selfie, a young woman in her senior photo
Bryson Jackson, Emily Kemp

 From job loss, to balancing work from home to the isolation of following stay-at-home orders, coronavirus has changed our everyday lives. WUSF is giving you a voice to share those experiences. Today, three graduating seniors share their hopes for what the world will look like in the future.

A screen shot of the page in the student newspaper
Seminole High School

Coronavirus brought schools to a halt in March, two months before the end of the year and dashing plans for prom and graduation.

Students at Seminole High School are documenting the effect of coronavirus on their lives and the absences they've endured, through poetry, pictures, and a special supplement to the yearbook.

Two senior pictures of student Rachel Williams
Rachel Williams

High school seniors have missed out on a lot since the coronavirus pandemic shut down schools. Today, we meet Rachel Williams, a senior at Winter Haven High School, who talked about the new perspective she gained.

Sara Nelms playing guitar
SRQLive

The toll the coronavirus is taking on all of us can be measured in different ways. Jobs that are lost. The money troubles that come with it. The isolation.

WUSF Public Media wanted to go beyond the headlines and hear from you. Or at least those who filled out a survey form we sent out a while back to see how you're doing in these unique times.

So on this edition of Florida Matters, we're going to hear from several of those people - in their own words, via "audio postcards."

A picture of African-American man in graduate cap and gown
Elijah Seay

The coronavirus pandemic forced schools to close about two months before the end of the school year, stripping away many of the common high school rituals such as proms and graduation ceremonies. 

Some high school students even lost family members, like Elijah Seay, 18, who is graduating from Lennard High School in Ruskin.

Man in uniform stands near school gate as children file in
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

Every morning at Dover Elementary, near the strawberry fields of Plant City, upbeat music used to blare from speakers outside the front gate. I first met school resource officer Pedro Arroyo there one day in January. He greeted the children as they came in. Many stopped to give him a handshake, a fist bump, or a hug. 

A smiling man holding a bike aloft
Rob of Sarasota

From job loss, to balancing work from home to the isolation of following stay-at-home orders, coronavirus has changed our everyday lives. WUSF is giving you a voice to share those experiences.

Today, we meet Rob from Sarasota County. He's asked that we not use his last name. Rob was furloughed from his job last month. Before the pandemic, he had an active schedule filled with community events and volunteering.

In his own words, Rob shares some thoughts on the mundane "new normal" routines of staying at home, and his hopes for how his community responds to the country's re-opening.

Woman playing a guitar and singing
SRQLive

From job loss, to balancing work from home to the isolation of following stay-at-home orders, coronavirus has changed our everyday lives. WUSF is giving you a voice to share those experiences.

Today, we meet Sarasota based singer-songwriter Sara Nelms. Before the pandemic, Nelms had an active schedule with gigs at bars, restaurants and clubs.

In her own words, Nelms shares what it means to be a performer at this time of social distancing.

Geoffrey Watters headshot
Courtesy of Geoffrey Watters

While some groups are at a higher risk for COVID-19, no one is immune from the spread of the disease.

University of South Florida senior Geoffrey Watters is recovering from a mild case of COVID-19, just in time to graduate this month. But the 22-year-old still has concerns about others who may not be as lucky.

Chef Michelle Bernstein
Michael Pisarri

Social distancing has changed our everyday lives. For chefs, that means cooking and serving food differently. 

A woman wearing a purple sun visor sitting on a beach chair.
Jenifer Davis

From job loss, to balancing work from home to the isolation of following stay-at-home orders, coronavirus has changed our everyday lives. WUSF is giving you a voice to share those experiences.

Today, we meet Debi Butler of Pinellas County.

Butler works part-time as a brand ambassador, helping promote products in Tampa Bay. Like many in the gig economy, her work has stopped for now.  But losing income wasn’t her biggest worry.

In her own words, Butler shares how Covid 19's demand on a drug is hurting her ability to treat her own illness.

Christina Cann
Gulf Coast Sourdough Facebook page

From job loss, to balancing work from home to the isolation of following stay-at-home orders, coronavirus has changed our everyday lives. WUSF is giving you a voice to share those experiences.

Today, we meet Christina Cann, owner of the Tampa bakery Gulf Coast Sourdough.

Courtesy Nikole Amador

From job loss, to balancing work from home to the isolation of following stay-at-home orders, coronavirus has changed our everyday lives. WUSF is giving you a voice to share those experiences.

We meet 16 year-old Nikole Amador.

Courtesy Ed Chiles

From job loss, to balancing work from home to the isolation of following stay-at-home orders, coronavirus has changed our everyday lives. WUSF is giving you a voice to share those experiences. Today, we meet Manatee County business owner Ed Chiles.