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2016 Water Oral History Project to debut new videos Jan. 28th

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SARASOTA COUNTY — The public is invited to join representatives from Sarasota County and New College in taking a step back in time with a screening of videos showcasing oral histories as told by local residents.

These oral histories were created in a collaborative project involving New College of Florida students, who also served as interns at Sarasota County Government.

There will be a reception on Jan. 28 at 6 p.m., followed by a screening at 6:30 p.m. at the Mildred Sainer Pavilion, located at New College of Florida, 5313 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. Refreshments will be served

Meet the 2016 Water Oral History Participants:

Dr. Ed James: Dr. James has been a steadfast advocate for improvements in the Newtown community and has inspired others through his work. He has been the producer and host of the “Black Almanac” television program for 38 years and was a writer and associate producer of the television program “Positively Black.” Dr. James also worked as a columnist and governmental reporter for the Sarasota Journal and the New York Post. Dr. James was interviewed by Haley Jordan.

Laurel Kaiser: Kaiser was born in Sarasota where she has lived all of her life. In her 20s, she fell in love with the sport of windsurfing. Since the late 1980s, Kaiser has taught windsurfing and kiteboarding to Sarasota residents and visitors alike. She is an advocate for environmental awareness and water access, and is passionate about encouraging others to enjoy the water.Ms. Kaiser was interviewed by Jordan Kearschner.

Shelia Cassundra Hammond Atkins: Atkins was born in Manatee County in 1952 but has lived in Sarasota County for most of her life. Her parents were employed by Ralph and Ellen Caples. She grew up in the Newtown community, where she attended high school during integration. She currently works as a paraprofessional aide at Alta Vista Elementary. Atkins and her husband, former Sarasota mayor Fredd “Glossie” Atkins, still live in the Newtown area. Mrs. Atkins was interviewed by Kaylie Stokes.

Wade Harvin, Jr.: Harvin was born in Crescent City, Fla., and moved to Sarasota in 1940 when he was 5 years old. He was one of the first black bankers in Sarasota and brought Salvation Army bellringing to the Newtown community. He has lived in both the Newtown and Overtown communities, and he attends Bethlehem Baptist Church, which is the oldest African-American church in Sarasota. Mr. Harvin was interviewed by Flannery French.

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