Social Change Traces its Roots Through Pinellas County

Documentary follows history of racial inequality that continues to inspire generations of activists.

St. Petersburg, Florida, UNITED STATES

St. Petersburg, Fla., July 22, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On Thursday, July 22, viewers will meet the local pioneers of the Civil Rights movement who improved conditions for African Americans and redefined subsequent social change initiatives.

A Visual History of Civil Rights and Social Change in Pinellas County will be released to public, private and educational institutions to lift up our changemakers and is an extension of the Building an Equity Movement exhibit installed at the Center for Health Equity.

“Knowing and then owning our social justice and racial history in Pinellas County is required in order to advance positive change,” said Randall H. Russell, President and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg. “The formation of Pinellas County’s history and the changemakers who brought us to this point will inspire today’s leaders to accelerate change in part by knowing our history. We cannot afford to repeat harms by social injustices.”

Researched and co-curated by local historians Gwendolyn Reese and Jon Wilson, the documentary is considered an evolving project that serves as an entry point for education, understanding and further exploration.

Chronological vignettes guide through the movement to achieve greater equity in Pinellas County, Florida and features local storytelling along with extensive visuals including archival materials, photos and historic film footage. Topics range from black migration into St. Petersburg via the Orange Belt Railway to deliberate racial segregation, the Civil Rights Movement, voting rights and change movements benefiting the disabled, the homeless and LGBTQ community.

To download video snippets and soundbites of A Visual History of Civil Rights and Social Change in Pinellas County, please visit

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About the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg

The Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg is a private foundation formed in 2013 following the sale of the nonprofit Bayfront Health St. Petersburg. It is the steward of $170 million in assets to support race equity and health equity in Pinellas County.

The Foundation inspires and empowers people, ideas, information exchange, organizations and relationships to end differences in health due to social or structural disadvantages to improve population health. In 2019, it opened the Center for Health Equity, a place where people come together to find the resources and partners to advance race equity and achieve health equity. To learn more, visit




01-Social Change Traces its Roots Through Pinellas County.pdf

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