Faith Voices St. Louis is a Chapter of Missouri Faith Voices that was formed to build the Black political power necessary to improve the quality of life for those most impacted by racial and economic inequities in St. Louis and throughout Missouri.
There is an East African tribe, the Masai. They are known to be a tribe of mighty warriors. They have a common greeting, “Kasserian Ingera?” It means, “And how are the children?” It is still the traditional greeting among the Masai, acknowledging the high value that the Masai always place on their children’s well-being. Even warriors with no children of their own always give the traditional answer, “All the children are well.” They understand the value and humanity as well as the moral responsibility to ensure that the children are well. If only “all of the children” in the St. Louis area were well.
The 2014 police killing of Michael Brown, Jr., an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson illuminated the racial disparities that have been the cornerstone of life in Missouri since the Missouri Compromise of 1821 which allowed the state to be admitted to the Union as a state committed to the enslavement of those of African descent. In addition to St. Louis City, the Metropolitan St. Louis area includes 90 other municipalities that comprise St. Louis County. The Movement that was rebirthed in the streets of Ferguson led to discovery of how the municipal court system was steeped in anti-Black practices, ensuring that Black children are other children of Color are consistently at risk of not being well.
Why We Organize:
As a Chapter of Missouri Faith Voices we are a part of a cooperative, multi-faith, multi-racial movement that works at the intersection of faith and non-partisan political engagement. We believe that people of faith have a moral responsibility for well being of all of the Creator’s children.
The historical factors noted above coupled with the ongoing violence in the Black communities in St. Louis have been a way of life for far too long. 2020 was not only was the year of the pandemic but once again there were a record number of homicides in St. Louis City. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the inequities in the healthcare delivery systems as it pertains to Black people and other people of Color. We are working to make St. Louis a place where elected officials are held accountable, democracy is accessible and equitable and all of children are well. We currently have monthly clergy meetings via Zoom on the first Thursday of every month from 9:30 a.m.- 11:00 a.m. You can Register Here.
- Violence Reduction
- Close the Workhouse in partnership with other grassroots orgs.
- COVID Recovery Equity
- Moral Economy for families
- Anti-Racism Congregational Teams
The Ferguson Commission was formed to study inequities, disparities and systemic anti-Black practices. The Commission also cites evidence of the effects that racial disparities have on life expectancy. Using statistics from a report compiled by Washington University professor Jason Purnell, For The Sake of All” that compares life in a predominantly Black zip code in St. Louis City, 63106 with life in a predominantly white zipcode 10 miles away in 63105 located in the City of Clayton located in St. Louis County. Life expectancy in the City zip code is age 67 compared to age 85 in Clayton.
The Ferguson Report provided the following statistics:
Between 2000 and 2013 federal poverty line in St. Louis’ suburbs grew by 53 percent (The Met Center, 2015).
In 2012, 17.8 percent of all children in St. Louis County and 41.7 percent of all children in St. Louis city lived below the poverty line (Anne E. Cayce Foundation).