Ferguson Celebrates Opening of New Community Empowerment Center

FERGUSON, Mo. (KMOX) – Michael McMillan says it’s like a phoenix rising from the ashes.

Today, the Urban League and Salvation Army opened their new Ferguson Community Empowerment Center on the site of the QuikTrip that burned during protests of the Michael Brown police shooting almost three years ago.

Volunteers clean up debris on the parking lot of a QuikTrip gas station after demonstrators looted and set fire to the building when a candlelight vigil became violent in Ferguson, Missouri on August 11, 2014. People are protesting the police shooting of the unarmed black teenager Michael Brown on August 9, 2014.

Volunteers clean up debris on the parking lot of a QuikTrip gas station after demonstrators looted and set fire to the building when a candlelight vigil became violent in Ferguson, Missouri on August 11, 2014. Photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt

slp2017072601 Ferguson Celebrates Opening of New Community Empowerment Center

Officials from the Salvation Army and the Urban League, cut the ribbon on the Ferguson Community Empowerment Center in Ferguson, Missouri on July 26, 2017. Standing to the left of Michael McMillan (sissors) President and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitian St. Louis is National Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

“This center being called an empowerment center is by design,” McMillan says. “So we want the programs that come out of this facility to be ones that help individuals get out of poverty and into the middle class.”

McMillan, President and CEO of the local Urban League chapter, says the center will house programs like ‘Save our Sons,’ helping young men in need of direction.

“Some people feel like we’ve made a lot of progress, some feel like we’ve made a little, some feel like we haven’t made any,” he says. “I would say that we’ve made some, and that we have more work to do, and if we stay the course, we’ll be the type of city that everyone wants St. Louis to be.”

slp2017072603 Ferguson Celebrates Opening of New Community Empowerment Center

Michael Brown Sr., father of the unarmed teen killed by a Ferguson police officer in 2014, talks with friends at the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Ferguson Community Empowerment Center in Ferguson, Missouri on July 26, 2017. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

The Salvation Army is a co-developer of the center. Also providing services there are the Lutheran Hope Center and the University of Missouri’s Extension Program.

The ribbon-cutting also served as a kick-off to the National Urban League Conference, being held at the convention center downtown this week.

Follow us on Twitter | Like us on Facebook

More From CBS St. Louis

KMOX Podcasts
High School Spotlight
As Heard On KMOX

Listen Live