The Maura's Voice Research Fund was established by Maura's parents, Jeff and Margaret Binkley, in memory of Maura Binkley, a young woman who dedicated her life to serving others. Maura was a senior at FSU who planned to continue the course of her generous life by participating after graduation in the Fulbright Scholarship program or Teach for America.
Maura's Voice Research Fund (Maura's Voice) will serve to realize the vision of deepening the scientific understanding of and effective responses to the epidemic of gun violence in America. Maura's Voice will champion a unique and robust focus on researching and responding to the complex causes and effects of firearm violence. The Fund will develop knowledge for and test innovative approaches to forensic evaluation, management, treatment, and prevention strategies, as well as for sound policy development and implementation.
"It's in her memory that we are using a collective voice to break down barriers and address violence in our culture," Jeff Binkley wrote on a flyer about the project.
The FSU College of Social Work is committed to developing and testing "real world" approaches that change lives and communities through effective practices and policy reforms. Maura's Voice will synergize and build upon the College of Social Work and Florida State University's current research initiatives with a targeted focus on firearm violence, particularly the interacting phenomena of gun violence and behavioral health.
FSU President John Thrasher said the goal of Maura's Voice is "identifying and developing effective, science-based steps to reverse (violence's) pervasiveness."
"Maura's greatest wish was for all of the violence to stop. Now, it is up to us to help the Binkley family ensure that Maura's voice -- a voice for peace, love and kindness -- will carry on," Thrasher said in an email to the Tallahassee Democrat. "She wanted to make a difference in the world, and now her legacy has the potential to save lives."