ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – “Moving toward racial equity in St. Louis”.
That was the main theme of a forum held Thursday night at the offices of the Nine Network in Grand Center.
Among those on the panel and speaking before about 50 hand-selected guests was Dr. Jason Purnell, Wash. U. associate professor.
Like others before him, he said it’s time to stop talking and make real changes.
“We can’t just keep doing things because it’s the new shiny object, whether it’s a stadium or some other thing that’s going to somehow magically save St. Louis. We have to begin to do things things that actually work,” he says.
As for crime in the region, Purnell said just putting more police on the streets isn’t enough, the city has to make more opportunities and more resources available to the under-privileged.
Among the panelists was St. Louis mayor Lyda Krewson, who said she believes the weeks of protesting have begun to sink in for many local residents. She identified one of the obstacles to racial equity in her city as a “lack of a shared reality”.
Unlike a noisy public hearing at Harris Stowe a couple of weeks ago, Krewson was not shouted down by the crowd every time she tried to speak.
Fellow panelist Charli Cooksey with Forward Through Ferguson talked about her group’s latest project – #STL2039.
She pointed to studies showing that it takes a minimum of one generation to foster equitable change within a region.
2039 will mark 25 years since the death of Michael Brown.