By Hannah O. Brown and Becca Burton

Contributed Editing from Anna Hamilton

Photos courtesy Southern Poverty Law Center, T. Mushell, Community Spring & Jhody Polk

Published May 11, 2020

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Latashia Brimm and Tequila McKnight chatted through computer screens on a Thursday afternoon in early April. They took turns sharing stories about the challenges they were facing and the ways they were coping.

In the early days of the statewide COVID-19 shutdown, the women took their community support group online. The Torchlighters Re-entry Support group was created as a safe space to help returning citizens transition out of incarceration, but as…


By Hannah O. Brown and Becca Burton

Contributed Editing from Anna Hamilton

Photos courtesy T. Mushell, Latashia Brimm & Community Spring

Published May 11, 2020

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Leading up to the 2018 election, Tequila McKnight knocked on strangers’ doors to collect their signatures in support of the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, also known as Amendment 4.

Sometimes she had to listen to all the reasons why they believed felons threw that right away. She couldn’t blame them. It wasn’t like she had the words “ex-felon” stamped on her forehead.

The air conditioner in McKnight’s car was shot, offering no relief…


By Hannah O. Brown and Becca Burton

Contributed Editing from Anna Hamilton

Photos and graphics courtesy The Sentencing Project, Latashia Brimm, Jhody Polk & T.Mushell

Published May 11, 2020

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Latashia Brimm was a single mother raising two children and working three jobs when she was charged with felony welfare fraud in Alachua County.

She was also managing symptoms of Crohn’s disease, an inflammation in the digestive tract that can lead to life-threatening complications.


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By The Marjorie Editorial Team

Core to the mission of The Marjorie is powerful storytelling. Through our publication, we strive to provide a platform for Florida women whose experiences deserve to be documented.

Earlier this year, we launched Dispatches from a Sinking State, a series of first-hand accounts of the environmental changes Florida women are witnessing in their regions.

Our first three contributors shared their love for Florida, while grappling with the pending irreversible changes that face the places they call home.


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By The Marjorie Editorial Team

Editor’s Note:

No one tells a better Florida story than the people who know this state intimately — either from living here or from engaging with Florida issues in a thoughtful way. As we reflect on a busy and eventful year, we draw inspiration from stories written by Florida women that we admire. Here are some of our favorite stories from 2019, presented in no particular order, and why we love them.

1. How The Climate Change Conversation Leaves Out Rural Women

By Stephenie Livingston

What it’s about: Women suffer the brunt of climate change…


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By The Marjorie Editorial Team

When we launched The Marjorie on November 6, 2017, we decided to take a hard line on jokes about #FloridaMan and #FloridaWoman. Our stance: they aren’t good jokes. More often than not, jokes stereotyping Florida people are more racist, classist and insensitive to mental illness than they are funny.

Since then, disparaging and incessant stories of Florida men and women have continued, and the idea has spread to the national consciousness, expanding beyond jokes or one-off stories hastily torn from arrest reports. …


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By Hannah O. Brown and Becca Burton

Contributed editing from Anna Hamilton

Published February 17, 2020

On Labor Day weekend 2014, Alana Rogers finally gave in to the pleas of her daughter. During her first week of kindergarten, her daughter came home sad, explaining that their family was the only one who didn’t have a pet. And fish didn’t count.

Rogers is allergic to dogs, and her daughter is allergic to cats, so Rogers decided to take a different route. She went to a breeder and paid $1,100 for a piglet whom the family named Rocco.

“I’ve seen pigs cry…


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By Hannah O. Brown and Becca Burton

Contributed editing from Anna Hamilton

Published February 17, 2020

Bruce Means first came to Florida by way of Alaska in the late 1960s. His doctoral research with Florida State University focused on salamanders in the U.S. Coastal Plain. At the time, Means witnessed hog damage in the wetlands he was studying, but the damage was not so severe that it alarmed him.

Twenty-five years later, Means went back to survey salamander populations in their more than 250 localities in Florida. …


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By Hannah O. Brown and Becca Burton

Contributed editing from Anna Hamilton

Published February 17, 2020

At least once a week, Amos Townsend hunts down the wild hogs that frequent his North Florida property. He often heads out at night, accompanied by a night vision scope and his dogs, who are specially trained to help Townsend capture the animals alive.

Townsend prefers to catch the hogs by hand, hog-tying them after his dogs track them down and hold them in place until he can grab their back legs and wrestle them onto their sides.

“Just 10 hogs can root up…


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Naya James, a 13-year-old aspiring novelist from Gainesville, is frankly irritated.

Fed up, really.

She finds it enraging that adults have known about the science of climate change for decades. Yet, she and her three younger brothers are left to clean up the mess.

At the time of her interview with The Marjorie, James hadn’t heard of Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.

She simply has been hearing the warnings of a warming planet since she was 8 years old. She and her friends discuss the climate crisis regularly. It’s part of their vernacular.

For James, the best way to sum…

Becca Burton

Editor, The Marjorie. #SciComm for UF Thompson Earth Systems Institute. Here to reclaim #FloridaWoman

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