Peace in the Pages

2024 Peace in the Pages in Honor of Roseann Duran

Held annually every fall near Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, READ USA hosts a celebration of literacy and champions for literacy in our community. The purpose of the connection to Gandhi, who was a peaceful pioneer of freedom, is to promote the link between literacy and the values of empathy, peace, non-violence, health, education, freedom, leadership, and success.

READ USA presents seven local leaders with awards during the event, recognizing their commitment to literacy and closing the literacy gap in Duval County. The event is emceed by a local community leader every year and features inspirational teen and student testimonials of overcoming barriers and challenges through strength, perseverance, and pure personal dedication. Attending Peace in the Pages is our community’s opportunity to be inspired and motivated to solve illiteracy!

2023 PITP Stage2

Save the Date

October 2, 2024
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
EverBank Stadium

2024 Peace in the Pages in Honor of Roseann Duran

Roseann Duran_Mayport Elementary Book Fair 2023(1)Our annual luncheon is named the 2024 Peace in the Pages in Honor of Roseann Duran, one of many recognitions for Roseann’s transformational, $565,000 legacy gift to READ USA – the single largest one-time gift in READ USA’s history.

“Roseann’s extraordinary generosity will have a far-reaching impact on literacy and community empowerment, significantly bolstering our efforts to provide high-interest books and high-quality teaching resources to children, teens, and teachers,” said Dr. Rob Kelly, READ USA CEO. “Roseann was a passionate supporter of literacy and READ USA for many years, and we remain emboldened by her steadfast belief in our mission. We are eternally grateful for her investment in the students we serve who ultimately benefit from her extraordinary gift.”

Roseann, who passed away earlier this year, leaves behind an indelible legacy on Northeast Florida through her philanthropy, volunteerism, and professional accomplishments that have inspired and supported thousands of people across all walks of life. Her highly successful career traversed the finance and marketing industries, throughout all of which Duran remained grounded in supporting the people within her organizations and across Northeast Florida’s many communities. A natural leader, she was tenacious about community involvement, both professionally and personally, and gave extensively of her time, talent, and treasure to numerous organizations in Jacksonville, which she called home since 1973. Her full obituary is accessible here.

“Roseann radiated kindness, empathy, peace, freedom, leadership, and success – the very values that underscore the meaning and purpose behind our Peace in the Pages event and all that we do at READ USA,” said Ellen Wiss, READ USA co-founder and board chair. “To know Roseann and feel her zest for life was an immense blessing, and she will be remembered as someone who has had a transformational impact on countless lives in Northeast Florida for years to come.”

The READ USA team is immensely grateful for Roseann and looks forward to sharing more about Roseann’s unparalleled legacy and generosity in the future.

In addition to the 2024 Peace in the Pages in Honor of Roseann Duran, READ USA has created additional acknowledgments in her name, with more to be announced throughout the year.

Congratulations to our 2024 Peace in the Pages
Award Honorees!

READ USA is honored to recognize the immense contributions of the following individuals to literacy, education, and pursuing equal access to opportunity for everyone in our community:
  • READ to Lead Award: Patricia McElroy, President of the VyStar Foundation and Senior Vice President of VyStar Credit Union
  • READ to Succeed Award: Caleb Johnson, Linebacker, Jacksonville Jaguars
  • READ to be Free Award: Ronnie Gadio, READ USA Tutor
  • READ to Heal Award: Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, Ph.D., George W. and Kathleen I. Gibbs Director and CEO, Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
  • READ to Remember Award: Sherry Magill, Ph.D., Retired President, Jessie Ball duPont Fund
  • Marjorie Broward Memorial Scholarship Award: Katie Adkins, Principal, Rutledge H. Pearson Elementary
  • Mark Landen Memorial Award for Democracy through Journalism: Tenikka Hughes, Anchor, Action News Jax
Johnnetta-Cole-533w-min (1)

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole

We are honored, humbled, and absolutely thrilled that Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, an iconic leader who has inspired action and success in people across the globe, will graciously serve as our keynote speaker for the upcoming 2024 year’s event. An exceptional orator and author, Dr. Cole’s lifetime of accomplishments, accolades, and diverse experiences have encouraged countless people, young and old, to create a world where, “The more we pull together toward a new day, the less it matters what pushed us apart in the past.” Thank you, Dr. Cole, for joining READ USA to celebrate literacy!

(#ICYMI: Dr. Cole is the subject of a Jeremy’s Journey book! Read more here.)

Introducing Our Honorary Co-Chairs

For our 2024 event, READ USA is thrilled to announce our Honorary Co-Chairs who are graciously volunteering their time to lead our Host Committee in introducing new sponsors, supporters, and friends to READ USA:

Whitney Meyer_2022 PITP_largeWhitney Meyer, Senior Vice President and Chief Community Impact Officer, Jacksonville Jaguars

Whitney Meyer served as our emcee for our 2022 Peace in the Pages event and is a strong advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion  -values that READ USA also embraces in all of our programming – not only at the Jaguars, but throughout our entire community. We are very grateful for her ongoing support of READ USA and our 2024 program! Read more about Whitney here.

ADS_0898Brian Wolfburg, President and CEO, VyStar Credit Union

Brian Wolfburg has been a long-time supporter and advocate for READ USA and literacy in our community and has led VyStar Credit Union to become a philanthropic powerhouse in the many communities it serves, particularly in our own back yard. Many thanks to Brian for lending his voice and time to READ USA! Read more about Brian here and you can watch a READ USA video featuring his family here.

Become a Sponsor

As Peace in the Pages is generously underwritten by our presenting sponsor every year, all sponsorships and contributions go 100% to READ USA’s research-based, multi-layered programming that is solving the literacy crisis in our country through high-quality teaching and high-interest books.
Attendance to Peace in the Pages is currently reserved for our generous donors who support READ USA at $1,000 a year or more.
Become a Sponsor