ZEPHYRHILLS — She acknowledges her benevolence was accompanied by naivete.
While trying to coordinate local back-to-school drives and provide Christmas gifts for needy families in recent years, 33-year-old Zephyrhills resident Tiffany Truth Davis never realized the expenses involved with starting up a non-profit organization.
“And I know how people are a little reluctant to give to a cause that’s not 100-percent on the books,” said the 2006 Pasco High School graduate. “So I used the resources that I had, and a lot of that was my family.”
Which leads us to Davis’ latest drive, staged on a humid afternoon at Zephyr Park. Again, the stepmother of two and grandma of one sought no profit.
Her “community unification” event Saturday — for which she secured a permit from the city — attracted a gathering of roughly 100 to demonstrate against police brutality and racism.
Among those in attendance: several Zephyrhills police officers, two city council members, the mayor and city manager.
“The whole purpose of this event was to get community unification and a peaceful protest,” Davis said. “Not at any point was it meant to be a bash-the-police event or anything event, it was meant to bring the community together.”
For the duration of the 75-minute event, that objective appeared to come to fruition.
Davis opened things by playing a recording of gospel-music artist Hezekiah “Walker’s I Need You to Survive.” Following a prayer, a number of people spoke, including Zephyrhills police Chief Derek Brewer and Capt. Reggie Roberts, Brewer’s second-in-command and former Zephyrhills High football coach.
“Starting today, let’s move to inclusion, trust, forgiveness and love,” Brewer said.
“I stand with you today and I hear your voice. Real change will not happen until we listen and open our hearts. My pledge to you is I will listen and do my part, but this effort is collective. Working in harmony is the only way to ensure success.”
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Coverage of local and national protests from the Tampa Bay Times
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WHAT ARE ARRESTED PROTESTERS CHARGED WITH? About half the charges filed have included unlawful assembly.
CAN YOU BE FIRED FOR PROTESTING? In Florida, you can. Learn more.
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