The Spring 2021 semester brought changes to campus and the Gainesville community. Amid the ongoing pandemic, relaxed mandates and the ongoing adjustment to life with COVID, UF students and community members continued to organize and raise awareness for social issues in Gainesville.
(Photos by Chasity Maynard and Julia Cooper)
Julia Cooper is a Miami native and second-year Journalism major at UF. She is a photographer for The Alligator. When she isn’t taking photos or doing homework, you might find her painting, watching TikTok, or practicing her embroidery.
On Wednesday, May 19, 2021, more than 200 UF students and Gainesville residents gathered on the corner of West University Avenue and Northwest 13th Street to show solidarity with Palestinians during the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Solidarity with Palestine protest was organized by UF Students for Justice in Palestine. Protestors chanted "Free, Free, Palestine," listened to poetry and speeches, sang liberation songs and hoisted signs like "occupation is a crime" and "defund Israeli apartheid." After about an hour, a small group of counter-protestors gathered across the street. One of their signs read "Israel is not the oppressor." The pro-Palestine protest continued even after the sun went down and lasted for over two hours. (Photos by Mingmei Li)
Three years after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., UF students and Gainesville residents gather at the Plaza of the Americas to remember and honor victims on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021.
THE CORNER OF SUPPORT - For panhandlers like Mike and Sheldon, their days of standing on Gainesville’s medians may be coming to an end. City officials concerned about pedestrian safety have proposed rules banning people from standing that close to traffic while soliciting donations. Mike and Sheldon share the intersection at SW 13th Street and SW 16th Avenue to make ends meet. Despite the hard times, they count on each other for friendship and support. Photos by Kasamba Kokayi, 21, a former UF journalism major who graduated in December 2020.