It’s December 15th, a Tuesday, and I’m traveling to Panama City, FL for a job interview. My very good friend arranges to accompany me on the four-hour car ride. We leave in the late morning and arrive around 3:30 pm.

The interview went swimmingly — so I thought. I was shown around the workplace by my potential boss, I was introduced to my potential colleagues. I was dressed in the perfect combination of business casual. Bright white sneakers paired with a bright white tank top and black and white pinstriped wide-leg pants.

I thought, this is the essence of me…

It’s the day after Father’s Day, 2020 and nothing monumental has happened.

I sent out text messages to the appropriate people in my life to share pleasantries. My brother had my niece 2 years ago, that’s one. My mom is engaged to a man who entered my life only a few short years ago who has children of his own, that’s two. I reconnected with my dad in May after a year and a half, no contact, that’s three.

After leaving home at 18 I found my strongest connections to people I meet are those who share their absence of…

What is performative allyship? A quick Google search reads it is activism done to increase ones social capital rather than because of one’s devotion to the cause.

Lets look at an example — Last week social media users participated in #BlackOutTuesday, a global initiative to reflect on the effects of racism and center black voices. The movement stemmed from #TheShowMustBePaused, created by music executives Brianna Agyemang and Jamila Thomas. Their original statement wrote, “This is not just a 24-hour initiative. We are and will be in this fight for the long haul. A plan of action will be announced. …

I’m scrolling through my Instagram feed — black square after black square after black square. Roughly 75% of the captions read #blackouttuesday; The others are some variation of a solidarity statement. Friends of family in my hometown, Virginia Beach, are posting paragraphs of their solidarity with first responders.

My immediate family roots are blue blooded — that includes my mom, dad, both of their significant others and my older brother. All are police officers.

Dad was the first to join — he eventually became an MPO (master police officer) and retired in 2016. He now finds work within the department…

Black Guns Matter Founder to Speak in Jacksonville

“I personally believe that all gun control laws are racist, they are anti human and they are very unconstitutional,” said Maj Toure, the face of the Black Guns Matter movement.

Toure and his crew came to Jacksonville after many followers of the movement reached out to him after they heard he was in Miami the day prior. The event was held at the Embassy Suites near Jacksonville Bay Meadows. It ran from 3 to 6 p.m. and attendees had to register for the event due to the presence of firearms.

The event…

On Oct. 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers in Las Vegas, Nevada, killing 59 and injuring 546 people. A little over a month later on Nov. 5, Devin Patrick Kelley walked into a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 26 and injuring 20 people.

These devastating mass shootings have opened up conversation about gun regulation and gun safety in the United States as well as lead cities such as St. Augustine to take action in informing residents of public safety.

Barry E. Fox, chief of police at the St. Augustine Police Department (SAPD), took initiative…

Midwifery in America

“She was scared. She looked like a scared animal…there was fear in her eyes. It was the saddest thing. No woman should feel like an animal when she is giving birth. That is a human right,” said Sydney Logan, a student midwife at the Florida School of Traditional Midwifery in Gainesville, Florida.

This was the gut-wrenching reaction Logan had after attending her first birth at a hospital in Gainesville. The woman in labor was a black mother.

“Something in school they talk to us about is [that] black babies are dying four times the rate of white…

Elise Kolmer

Feminist, Activist, Storyteller

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