JACKSONVILLE – A crowded room full of nonprofit leaders and volunteers was asked June 21 to raise their hands if Beth Reese Cravey had ever written about them or their agencies. Even Cravey’s …
JACKSONVILLE – A crowded room full of nonprofit leaders and volunteers was asked June 21 to raise their hands if Beth Reese Cravey had ever written about them or their agencies. Even Cravey’s editors sitting beside her said they were taken aback by the number of people with their hands raised high.
Cravey, a reporter with The Florida Times-Union since 1987, received the Nonprofit Advocate Award from the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida at its annual “Local Focus. Lasting Impact. Awards Luncheon.” The gathering at the Jessie Ball duPont Center downtown gave her a standing ovation.
The award “recognizes a person or a company that fuels public awareness regarding the positive and lasting impact of our local nonprofits,” according to the center. It is only the second one given, with the other in 2016 going to Sherry Magill, president of the Jacksonville-based Jessie Ball duPont Fund for the last 25 years and a leader in the national philanthropic community. She retires June 30.
Nonprofit Center CEO Rena Coughlin said for many years Cravey has reported on nonprofit needs, impact and challenges.
“In a time when mistrust in the media and in all institutions is growing, having a smart and readable reporter covering your industry helps build credibility and awareness. And in the nonprofit sector, we know that credibility is the currency of our realm.”
Times-Union Editor Mary Kelli Palka said the ovation and response is a testament to what Cravey and the newspaper does on a daily basis.
“Beth provides journalism that shines a light on important issues and doing that makes our community stronger,” Palka said. “We appreciate this recognition for Beth and her work in the Times-Union and on Jacksonville.com.”
Cravey is the wife of Clay Today Managing Editor Eric Cravey of Orange Park and the mother of Lochlin Cravey of Gainesville.
The Nonprofit Center also paid tribute to a health care partnership that offers free mental health first-aid training and a volunteer group formed to build a more inclusive Jacksonville.
The Collective Power Award went to the Jacksonville Hospital Partnership – Mayo Clinic, Baptist Health, St. Vincent’s Health Care, UF Health Jacksonville and Brooks Rehabilitation, the largest area hospitals – for its initiative to train about 10,000 residents to recognize and help people in a mental health crisis.
The award honors “an unstoppable collaborative team of local nonprofits, funders, government, business and/or community leaders that have gone beyond serving a population and implemented systemic and sustainable improvements that solved big problems. This team achieved greater system-wide results than one organization could have realized on its own and, as a result, established a new standard of excellence.”
The impetus for the partnership, which formed in 2017, was a community health needs assessment that showed “a significant need for education, awareness and responsiveness to the mental health challenge” facing residents. Florida ranks 49th of 50 in per-capita state mental health funding and Northeast Florida is the second-lowest in the state.
The hospitals “took stock of the mental health crisis ... and began an initiative to fight back,” according to the center. “They knew that they would be more successful working together.”
To date, the initiative has trained about 4,200 people.
The Social Innovation Award went to 904WARD, a study circle formed in 2015 by individuals from the public, nonprofit and for-profit sectors as a safe space to openly share their experiences and views.
The award honors a “local trailblazing team that shook things up, challenged the status quo and was the first to introduce a creative solution to an on-going issue or problem. The team’s sustainable solution has delivered results proving that it is more effectively, efficiently or just in improving the lives of their program participants.”
“904WARD is building a sustained effort to build a community open to having very difficult yet necessary conversation about race. If we can talk about everything, we can change anything,” according to the center.
The group recognizes that an inclusive community begins with understanding each other better and having opportunities to build that understanding, according to the 904WARD website. One of its first projects was the Race Cards, a deck of 52 cards with questions about racial experiences. The cards promote community conversations and understanding.