Meet the panelists for the Real Talk: What’s Changed town hall

Event scheduled for June 15

Meet the panelists for the Real Talk: What’s Changed town hall
Meet the panelists for the Real Talk: What’s Changed town hall

ORLANDO, Fla. – As we mark one year since George Floyd’s death and one year since News 6 launched the Real Talk initiative, we’re bringing back some of the panelists from our very first town hall to examine the progress made when it comes to race relations in America.

The Real Talk: A Candid Conversation on What’s Changed town hall will take place from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on June 15. You can watch it by going to ClickOrlando.com/RealTalk or by visiting the News 6 Facebook page at that time.

Before then, get to know a little more about our panelists. You can submit questions for them using the form at the bottom of this story.

Pediatrician Dr. Akinyemi Ajayi

Dr. Akinyemi Ajayi (Courtesy)

Dr. Akinyemi Ajayi graduated from the University of Ilorin’s medical school shortly before his 21st birthday. He was born in England to Nigerian parents and came to Central Florida in 2002 with the goal of developing a full service pediatric pulmonary and sleep medicine practice to rival institutions seen in the northeast. He’s now the president and medical director of the Children’s Lung, Asthma and Sleep Specialists in Winter Park and The Children’s Sleep Laboratory in Melbourne.

University of Central Florida assistant sociology professor Dr. Jonathan Cox

Dr. Jonathan Cox (Courtesy)

Dr. Jonathan Cox is a race scholar and assistant sociology professor at the University of Central Florida who specializes in racial and ethnic identities and racial ideologies. He earned his doctorate in sociology from the University of Maryland. His peer-reviewed articles include, “The Source of a Movement: Making the Case for Social Media as an Informational Source Using Black Lives Matter” and “White Boys Drink, Black Girls Yell… A Racialized and Gendered Analysis of Violent Hazing and the Law.”

Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolón

Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon (Courtesy)

Orlando Rolon moved to Orlando’s Engelwood neighborhood in 1977 and has called Central Florida home ever since. He started with the Orlando Police Department in 1992 and was sworn in as chief in 2018. During his time in law enforcement, he’s worked alongside elected officials, joined several organizations including the Central Florida Criminal Justice Association and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando and served in all four OPD bureaus.

Vice president of the Brevard Federation of Teachers Vanessa Skipper

Vanessa Skipper (Courtesy)

Vanessa Skipper taught English and journalism at Cocoa High School for 11 years and taught for three years at Andrew Jackson Middle School before making the transition to the Brevard Federation of Teachers, where she currently serves as vice president. She earned her bachelor’s degree in advertising and public relations and a Master of Arts degree in English language arts education from the University of Central Florida and also serves as the secondary director on the executive cabinet of the Florida Education Association. She was one of six finalists for Brevard Public Schools Teacher of the Year in 2015.


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