All Speakers Bureau Program

  • Stories of Florida – Con Sabor!
    Presented By Carrie-Sue Ayvar Our stories have never been the same since Ponce De Leon first arrived on our shores in 1513. Flowing seamlessly between Spanish and English, Carrie Sue Ayvar chooses from her large repertoire of personal, historical and traditional Florida tales to connect the people and cultures of...
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  • Blue Revolution: A Water Ethic for Florida
    Presented By Cynthia Barnett Water defines us as Floridians no matter where we live: Idyllic beaches surround us on three sides. Rivers and streams flow for ten thousand miles through the peninsula. We’re blessed with nearly eight thousand lakes and a thousand more freshwater springs – the largest concentration of...
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  • Transparent Waters: The History and Significance of Florida’s Springs
    Presented By Tom Berson Florida’s springs are not only unique in their size and number, they are also emblematic of a forgotten Florida, a mysterious frontier that once stirred the national imagination. Before Disney or even the growth of coastal resorts attracted visitors to Florida, travelers ventured in droves into...
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  • Is America Still a Christian Nation?
    Presented By Harry Coverston One of the major questions which has arisen in the culture wars of the late 20th and early 21st century is whether America is still a Christian nation. It manifests itself in a wide variety of issues ranging from the content of commencement addresses to the...
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  • Many Paths, One Destination
    Presented By Harry Coverston Evidence of religious observance is found in the earliest remains of human cultures. Human beings have often been described by scholars of religion as homo religious. A Hindu proverb observes that there are “many paths, one destination” among human religious traditions. All religions seek to answer...
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  • Made in America: Religions in the American Context
    Presented by Dr. Harry Coverston America has historically drawn a wide range of religious beliefs from Europe, Africa and Asia, and in turn has proven a generative culture for the development of a number of new religions “made in America.” Dr. Coverston will discuss the history of American religions from...
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  • Majory Stoneman Douglas: A Life with the Everglades
    Presented By Jack Davis University of Florida historian Jack Davis draws on his award-winning biography to discuss the life and legacy of writer, feminist, and environmentalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas, recognized as a Great Floridian. Dr. Jack E. Davis is a professor of environmental history and sustainable studies at the University of...
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  • Nature’s Dozen: Key Moments in Florida’s Environmental History
    Presented By Jack Davis University of Florida environmental historian Jack Davis offers a brief survey of Florida history–from the pre-Spanish period to the present–showing how nature has shaped the course of human events. Dr. Jack E. Davis is a professor of environmental history and sustainable studies at the University of Florida....
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  • Paradise Lost: Reflections on Florida’s Environmental History
    Presented By Jack Davis University of Florida environmental historian Jack Davis discusses the natural side of the human saga in Florida’s history, from the early artists and writers who discovered a paradise place to the doomed landscape for which they feared and to the modern-day challenges to restore that which has...
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  • Before Jamestown: Europeans, Africans, and Indians in La Florida, 1513-1607
    Presented By Michael Francis This presentation explores the early history of European settlement efforts in Florida. Learn about the remarkably rich, yet much neglected history of colonization in the US southeast in the 16th Century, a process that began almost a century before Jamestown. This presentation will give the audience an...
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  • Modern by Tradition: Innovation and the Transformation of Seminole Culture
    Presented By Andrew Frank Between 1700 and the present, the culture of the Florida Seminoles has remained remarkably connected to its roots while also innovating in dramatic fashion.  This lecture explores this dynamic to show how the Seminoles have embraced this dualism of being both modern and traditional.  It examines, among...
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  • The African Presence in Spanish Florida: Black Seminoles
    Presented By Rosalyn Howard African slaves have often risked life and limb to escape southern slavery, but their options for sanctuary were extremely limited. Some fled to the Caribbean, while others fled south and joined forces with another group of freedom-seekers: the Seminoles. Dr. Rosalyn Howard will examine the African influence...
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  • Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Comes to Life
    Presented By Ersula Knox-Odom Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955) was the founder of Bethune-Cookman University. She served as a New Deal government official — in one of the 20 highest-level offices held by women in the administration, and the highest held by an African American woman; was founder of FDR’s “black...
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  • Florida’s Self-taught Renegade Artists
    Presented By Gary Monroe Introducing people to the world of Outsider art, this vivid PowerPoint-assisted lecture focuses on art that has been created by uninitiated artists who are distinguished by their idiosyncrasies and wild visions. Their works fly in the face of traditional art-making and is guaranteed to shake long-standing foundations....
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  • The Highwaymen: Florida’s African-American Landscape Painters
    Presented By Gary Monroe This lively PowerPoint-assisted talk relates the story of these now-acclaimed artists, who taught themselves to paint idyllic versions of the Florida landscape and sell their creations door-to-door during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. Their paintings have become the measure of indigenous Florida art and are...
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  • A New Florida Dream or Sunset?
    Presented By Gary Mormino The trajectory of modern Florida is breathtaking. On the eve of Pearl Harbor, the Sunshine State was the South’s poorest and least-populated state. At some moment in 2014, Florida will succeed New York as America’s third largest state. Join us in a discussion of how this all...
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  • Our Stories, Ourselves
    Presented By Caren Neile Doesn’t it often seem like history is something that happens to other people? This engaging, highly interactive program uses real-life, old-Florida stories of adults and children, rascals and heroes as a jumping-off point for story creation that helps participants understand that they too are a vital part...
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  • Short Takes: A Grab Bag of Old Florida Stories
    Presented By Caren Neile From the Barefoot Mailman to Addison Mizner and the Ashley Gang, old Florida history is brimming with fascinating characters and memorable events. You’ll enjoy lively interpretations of some of the better-known Florida tales, as well as others you might not yet have encountered. Caren S. Neile, Ph.D.,...
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  • Your Florida Story, Made-to-Order
    Presented By Caren Neile Your group’s story is as important a piece of Florida history as that of any other. Supply materials and interview subjects, and storyteller/author Dr. Caren Neile will do the rest, creating a customized performance piece for you and your audiences to enjoy for years to come. Caren...
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  • Florida Environmental History
    Presented By Steve Noll This presentation examines the relationship of people to the land throughout Florida history. Starting with Native American settlement, it shows how Florida has shaped human existence in the state and how human have re-shaped the state itself. It focuses on how Floridians have worked to turn water...
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