Voices United: Vigil for George Floyd and Other Victims

Tiffany Ramzy

On Sunday evening April 25, several dozen Voices United members and friends gathered at 9 p.m. for a vigil that was advertised as, “Shine Your Light for George Floyd, Justice and Hope.” The vigil was held just days after the guilty verdict for the officer involved in the incident. Jackie Ford, who suggested the vigil, took a few moments at the start to share her thoughts on being from Houston and from the same high school as George Floyd. Then, participants stood in silence, in the dark, holding a light, for 9 minutes and 29 seconds as a somber reminder of the 9 minutes and 29 seconds that George Floyd struggled to breathe before losing his life while under police restraint.

“It was the longest 9 minutes and 29 seconds of my life, and it broke my heart, but it wasn’t about me. Tonight, was about showing up for our Black sisters and brothers, about standing in unity for accountability in our justice system, and about shining our light, both figuratively and literally, for hope. I will never forget it.”—Vicki Shoemaker

“When I close my eyes and stand for ‘9 minutes and 29 seconds’ I see my husband, my sons, and my dad’s faces…all I can do is pray.”—Renee Smith

“The problem is not white, black, brown, native, etc. people. It is racism and hate. I hate hate. We need changes.”—Jackie Ford

Exploring Voter Preferences in the 2020 Presidential Election

During the May Voices United meeting, retired UT Dallas professor David Ford, Ph.D., a Robson Resident and husband of Voices United member Jackie Ford, shared a fascinating research summary entitled, “Exploring Voter Preferences in the 2020 Presidential Election.” His work surveyed 68 Democrats, Republicans, and Independents from three states (California, Idaho, and Texas). The purpose was to measure voter perceptions of presidential candidates’ values and behaviors leading up to the 2020 Presidential Election, then, based on those measurements, determine which candidate would most likely be elected in 2020. To a lesser extent, it also compared voter perceptions of 2020 candidates to those of candidates in prior elections.

The statistical system used in the research measured three dimensions of social interaction important to effective leadership, teamwork, and organizational culture. The three dimensions were as follows: Individualistic vs. Group-oriented Behavior; Accepting vs. Opposing Authority; and Dominance vs. Submissiveness. For more details, or to participate in part 2 of Dr. Ford’s study, contact Dr. Ford at [email protected]

Facts, Factoids, Quotes: “Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”—James Baldwin, American novelist and activist

Voices United, a 501(c)(3), is a group of Robson Ranch women who share progressive values and are concerned about current events that affect local, state, and national government. The group is also dedicated to community outreach and helping those in need regardless of their political or religious affiliations. Contact [email protected] or visit www.voicesunitedrr.org.