The Alachua County Commission voted unanimously to launch a relief grant program for local businesses and individuals impacted by COVID-19 in a Tuesday meeting. The funding for the program comes from the $46.9 million the county received from the federal government through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The county must spend the CARES Act money by Dec. 30, or it will no longer be able to spend the money, said County Manager Michele Lieberman. Click here to learn more.
More than 100 people gathered on the corner of 13th Street and University Avenue Sunday evening to support Palestine and protest Israel’s continued annexation of Palestinian territory. Annexation occurs when one country uses force to take another country’s territory. Click here to learn more.
Bouncers held its second annual Fourth of July Bicycle Parade with a turnout of less than a tenth of what it was in 2019. A year prior, 100 kids attended. This year, only eight came to ride their bicycles, tricycles, and scooters around the parking lot. Angie Adams, manager of Bouncers Indoor Playground, attributed the reduced turnout to the pandemic but proceeded with the event because she says “It’s still important to celebrate the Fourth of July.”
Today, we observe and celebrate Juneteenth. Juneteenth represents an end to slavery in the U.S.—two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation. While Juneteenth is recognized as a holiday in Florida, it’s not a federally recognized holiday. The Alligator encourages all of its readers and followers to educate themselves on the holiday and the history of slavery in the U.S.
On June 19, about 150 people gathered outside of the Alachua County Jail to protest mass incarceration, police brutality and observe Juneteenth. “This is the physical embodiment of all those injustices,” said Maria Dozier, a 20-year-old UF sustainability in the built environment senior. “This is a big, concrete building holding people inside that are supposed to be getting reformed, but instead they’re suffering from police brutality and other injustices every day.”
Protestors sweat in the humidity as they walked from University Avenue to Gale Lemerand Drive and back, some stopping occasionally for a water break or to breathe without their masks. They waved signs and changed messages like, "No justice, no peace, no racist police," and "Black Lives Matter." Read more about the protest here.
Decked in veils, flowers and formal wear, couples from across Florida drove cars, trucks and limousines to the drive-thru-turned-“Wedding Window.” They pronounced their love to each other at the Alachua County Family and Civil Courthouse from about 5 to 11 p.m. Thursday. Read more here.
Eight drag queens competed for the best ugly haute couture look during the University Club Drag Race (UCDR) show Monday night. The show featured performances by two co-hosts and the reigning champion from a previous drag race. There was also a cake-eating competition and lip sync battle to determine which drag queen would not be returning to compete in the show next week.
Arda Aghazarian, a Palestinian activist, leads a lecture on love in Palestine and how the illegal occupation influences the everyday relationships of Palestinians. She spoke to students at the Loving in Palestine event hosted by UF’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine at the Civic Media Center Tuesday evening.
The Writing on the Wall event hosted by the IRHA allows students to write negative comments people have called them or insecurities that students might possess to raise awareness of the power of words. On Thursday, the students breakdown the wall representing the tearing down of these labels.
The Catholic Gators set up a eucharist adoration event in the Plaza of the Americas on Tuesday. The Eucharist is the bread held in the center of the monstrance on the table the club set up. The Eucharist is considered to be the actual body of Jesus Christ by Catholics because Jesus said "This is my body, which is given for you" during the Last Supper. The attendees worshiped the Eucharist through prayer and singing. There was also a priest available for confession.
On Saturday, the Arab Students' Association held its first annual Charity Gala hosted in the Holloway Touchdown Terrace at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. This year, 100% of proceeds will be donated to the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund, an organization that brings Palestinian children free medical care they are unable to get locally.
On February 8, 2020, the UF Sikh Students Association came together at Maguire Village Commons to celebrate two Punjabi festivals. Lohri is a cultural holiday that is celebrated to mark the end of winter. While Basant is a festival to celebrate the beginning of spring.
Dance Marathon hosted its first annual Miracles in Color 5K run at Flavet Field on Sunday, February 9. The run included two waves: the first for runners wanting to complete the race and the second for runners wanting to go at their own pace. The proceeds from the event will be donated to UF Health Shands Children's Hospital. The registration fee included a DJ, food and a T-shirt.