USW Local 7600 Holds a Much Needed Vigil in Memory of George Floyd

Tuesday, June 9, 2020 

USW Local 7600 organized and hosted an event to promote Unity and Solidarity against the ongoing systemic and racial injustices our nation is facing to include the recent slaying of George Floyd.  Political leaders, union members and the local community gathered together to show respect and protest the killing of innocent black lives.  At times everyone in attendance chanted, "No justice, no peace" and the phrase, Black Lives Matter reverberated amongst the people. 

The urgency to show support towards the vigil brought nearly 100 individuals regardless of the short notice provided, as the invitation to the event went out Saturday, June 6th via social media and through the text blast service to those who subscribed by replying with the keyword, (Action).  The action group was created and launched Thursday, June 4th and attached to USW Local 7600 President, Valery Robinson's monthly e-mail.  Union members who subscribe to the ACTION group will be invited to participate in future events that require a show of Unity and Solidarity.  Other actions taken, will be to send letters to community leaders for things like the recent action we had demanding PPE's for healthcare workers. So far, we have 75 union members signed up, if you would like to be notified when events or actions are being held, please click on this link for instructions on how to sign up.  

•The event started at 7pm, Contract Specialist Joel Maya kicked off the vigil, welcoming and thanking all guests in attendance while  emphasizing the importance of unity and solidarity through these trying times.

Gina Hamilton, Contract Specialist introduced Bishop Cecil A. Richardson who led the attendees into a beautiful prayer.

•John Tillar, Alliance of Healthcare Unions, Director of Southern California Region delivered a very passionate, powerful and moving speech.

•USW Local 7600 Rapid Response Coordinator, Dejonae Shaw introduced the following community leaders: (listed in the order they spoke)

    • •Norma Torres Congresswoman 35th district 
    • •Gabriela Plascencia – Riverside Councilwoman Ward 5
    • •Pete Aguilar – Congressman 31st district  
    • •Channing Hawkins WVWD board member  
    • •Kim Johnson-Calvin San Bernardino Councilwoman Ward 6

Following the speeches, everyone in attendance remained in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the same amount of time George Floyd was held down by a knee to his neck which resulted in ending his life on May 25th, 2020. 
Recording artist Nickie King followed the vigil with a breathtaking performance. 
USW Local 7600 President Valery Robinson concluded the event by acknowledging and thanking all in attendance including USW Local 7600 Vice President, Liz Cuevas.

Press for the event was covered by: 
Click on the links to view the stories.