Every week, journalists at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications report important stories for people in the North Central Florida area and beyond. This is The Rewind from WUFT News, a look into some of the strongest reporting from our newsroom and a discussion with the journalists who write these stories.
The 30-minute episode features a deeper dive into our top stories of the week. In this episode, we discuss an effort to discover abandoned African-American cemeteries in Florida, a protest for better graduate assistant wages and a state-funded elementary school music program extended across Florida.
Part 1: A Gainesville artist is shining a light on abandoned African American cemeteries
Over the summer, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law that created a ten-person task force to discover abandoned African-American cemeteries in Florida as well as make recommendations to maintain them. The legislation outlined that these cemeteries were established without proper documentation or maintenance regulation because of racial discrimination.
Experts believe there are around 40 historically black cemeteries in Alachua County alone. WUFT’s Allessandra Inzinna explained how a Gainesville artist is shining a light on these cemeteries in the area.
Part 2: UF graduate assistants protest for better wages
Last week, chants to the likes of “Top 5 School, Top 5 Pay” and “gator pay bites” were heard across University Avenue as community members protested for increased wages for UF’s graduate assistants. After multiple delayed attempts at bargaining, graduate assistants are hoping the university administration will agree to another bargaining session.
Salary negotiations normally open with UF at the beginning of every fall semester, but the university has since delayed a deal twice, each for 90 days. UF didn’t agree on a wage increase by March 30 and informed Graduate Assistants United at UF Thursday that it would need another three months to work out the numbers.
Now, graduate assistants are expressing their frustration with the back and forth. Gregorio Ruiz-Perez, a reporter from The Independent Florida Alligator, spoke about the movement for higher wages at UF.
Part 3: Elementary school music program extended in some Florida classrooms
A state-funded elementary school music program has been extended in many Florida classrooms. Through the program, kindergarteners through second graders receive music instruction for at least 30 minutes twice a week.
The 10 participating schools are located in Alachua, Marion, and Miami-Dade counties. Researchers at the University of Florida and Florida International University are collaborating to study the effects of this program to potentially implement it statewide.
WUFT reporter Abigail Hasebroock spoke about what the program looks like.