May 30th, 2024 e-Edition

Page 14

St. LouiS AmericAn

OVP 2023 review shows progress in crime prevention

‘A community centered approach’

Violence and crime are down in the city of St. Louis, it’s a fact.

St. Louis experienced a 21% crime reduction rate in 2023, including homicides, compared to the previous year. It marked the lowest crime rate in a decade and a historic decline in homicides over the last 90 years.

Several factors have been cited by Mayor Tishaura O. Jones and civic leaders. They include the work of Chief Robert Tracy and St. Louis Metropolitan Police Force, the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis public safety division and neighborhood initiatives under the direction of James Clark.

The establishment of the Office of Violence

King for a day

King Bokulaka performed for the audience on conga drums with dance and song during the African Festival in Forest Park Monday, May 27, 2024.

For several weeks each summer, teens from St. Louis neighborhoods come together to learn tuckpointing, teamwork, and work ethic in the Harambee Youth Program. The program is among the Youth Initiatives supported by the Office of Violence Prevention, which helped reduce youth crime and violence in 2023.

Biden, Harris bolster appeal to Black voters

Both invited to NNPA convention

wide effort on Wednesday in Philadelphia to mobilize Black voters during a campaign rally in Philadelphia. Biden was joined by Vice President Kamala Harris and other Black elected officials at a rally at a majority-Black prep school in Philadelphia. The summer-long goal is to revive the coalition that helped propel Biden to the White House in 2020. According to the Biden campaign, Black leaders across the country will hold events in the battlegrounds and kick off a weekend of action – including a Black church engagement in

World Wide Technology has announced its naming rights deal for WWT Raceway has been extended for five years as the region gears up for the third NASCAR Series Enjoy Illinois 300 racing weekend which begins on Friday.

“Our partnership is deeply rooted in World Wide Technology’s and the Steward Family’s commitment to community. It reflects the company’s innovative approach to technology, which aligns so well with the science of motorsports and racing,” said Curtis Francois, WWTR owner and CEO.

“The last five years are a blur of big wins, thousands of new fans, new technology, more diversity in the stands and on the track, and significant economic impact in the communities around us who so need it.”

Enjoy Illinois 300 drew more than 57,000 for the main event last year and thousands for weekend festivities ahead of the race.

In April, NASCAR President Steve Phelps said at WWT Headquarters that David Steward Sr., founder and chair of World Wide Technology, has a commitment to diversity and inclusion which is shared by the family-owned racing organization.

“We are fundamentally a different Bubba Wallace

Netflix cop doc features STL’s Reddick Hudson

“POWER,” the Netflix documentary that premiered earlier this month presents an interesting exploration of policing in America. The film begins with director and narrator Yance Ford asking viewers to explore the subject with a specific mindset.

“This film offers an analysis of police history that I’d like you to consider. This film requires curiosity or at least suspicion. I’ll let you decide.” With that said, Ford lets the viewer decide if his film is antagonistic, sympathetic, pro, or anti-police. The film is, in fact, a historical, intellectual depiction and discussion about the genesis and metamorphosis of policing in the United States. The film is flush with images of riots See HUDSON,

CAC Audited MAY 30 – JUNE 5, 2024 @stlouisamerican @stlouisamerican
COMPLIMENTARY Vol. 96 No. 8 Serving, empowering and advocating for equity in St. Louis since 1928 Stroke survivor Keetra Thompson recounts her health struggle See page A8 St. Louis stars rip and run to state titles SPORTS The girls from Cardinal Ritter and Ladue won state titles on the Missouri side while the Edwardsville and East St. Louis boys brought home state titles from the Illinois side. Page B3 The bill would help families by providing legal services that help them resolve heirs’ property issues so that they can start using their land for agriculture production. Page B1 BUSINESS Bill could help protect dwindling Black farmers See BIDEN, A6 St. Louis American President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have been invited to attend the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) annual national convention June 19- 22 at the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore. The invitation comes as the president launched a nation-
Diversity is in driver’s seat at Enjoy Illinois 300 See DIVERSITY, A6
‘Who has the POWER?’
Photo courtesy of Restore St. Louis Photo by Wiley Price / St. Louis American

Drake trolls Metro Boomin’s ‘BBL Drizzy’ Diss in collaboration with St. Louisan Sexyy Red

The feud that brought Drake, STL’s Metro Boomin, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole and St. Louisan Sexyy Red to the headlines continues to rage on.

Sexyy Red dropped an EP titled In Sexyy We Trust that featured the song “U My Everything,” in which Midway through Drake’s verse, the now infamous Metro Boomin’ record aimed at Drake “BBL Drizzy,” is sampled. Drake even acknowledged the rumors that he had an enhancement surgery, saying, “BBL Drizzy, they want a new body, they ask me for it.”

Nicki Minaj arrested abroad

Rapper Nicki Minaj was recently detained in Amsterdam, Netherlands, ironically for having marijuana in her luggage at Schiphol Airport.

The five-hour incident was partially live-streamed. She was fined and the amount has not been disclosed.

The crime was ‘possession of soft drugs, which is prohibited.’

officer stated to Minaj on was arrested “because you’re carry ing drugs.”

“After con sultation with the Public Prosecution Service, the sus pect was fined and can continue her jour ney,” Dutch police posted on X.

The incident led Minaj to postpone her Manchester, England concert.

“We are deeply disappointed by the inconvenience this has caused.” the venue @ TheCoopLive posted on X.

Minaj posted on X that Dutch authorities needed her consent to investigate her luggage.

“Now they said they found weed & another group of people have to come here to weigh the prerolls. Keep in mind they took my bags without my consent. My security has already advised them that those prerolls belong to him. Oh yeah, & the pilot wants me to take my IG post down.”

announced the early arrival of their fourth child together on May 26 joint Instagram post.

“Our sweet baby boy decided to make an early arrival!!” the caption read.

“He’s doing great and we are finally settling in at home as a family of 6! So grateful!”

Born on May 11, Caius Chai Curry is the youngest addition to the Curry siblings, joining his sisters Riley 11 and Ryan, 8, and his brother, Canon, 5.

In March, Ayesha Curry announced her pregnancy in a digital issue of her magazine and lifestyle brand, Sweet July As previously reported by theGrio. “We said, ‘Three, that’s it, we’re not doing this again.’ And then, last year, we looked at each other and agreed we wanted to do this again.”

The Currys’ welcome new addition

Ayesha and Stephen Curry

Sources: PageSix, XXLMagazine, BET, The Grio

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A Capital idea

Urban League opens Senior Apartments in Dellwood

St. Louis American

The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, in its continuing effort to improve quality of life for all St. Louis area residents, celebrated the opening of Urban League Senior Apartments in Dellwood on May 21, 2024.

Michael P. McMillan, Urban League president and CEO, called the apartments “a testament to our ongoing commitment to serving the needs of our community.”

“This development not only provides affordable housing but also fosters a sense of belonging and empowerment for our senior residents.”

In partnership with Gardner Capital, the state-of-art facility offers affordable senior housing and marks another step toward neighborhood revitalization a decade after unrest in nearby Ferguson following the death of unarmed Michael Brown at the hands of a police officer.

The complex features 44 apartment homes, with one- and two-bedroom layouts. They are furnished with energy-efficient appliances and universal design features. In addition to quality housing, the community will offer amenities designed to enhance the residents’ quality of life.

This includes a resident lounge on the first floor, a food pantry, fitness classes, and computer center, which can create opportunities for socialization and connectivity in partnership with Oasis Senior Services.

“We are proud to partner with the Urban League in bringing this vital project to fruition,”

said Michael Gardner, Gardner Capital president and CEO. “Together, we are not only building housing but also building hope and opportunity for the residents of Dellwood.”

Gardner added that the Gardner Capital Upward

Mobility Fund will donate two Tesla Model 3s. to promote mobility and access.

The vehicles will provide free, accessible, and reliable transportation to any senior citizen residing in the Urban League Apartments.

“Whether it’s attending family events, medical appointments, or running daily errands, residents can enjoy peace of mind knowing they have access to convenient transportation at no cost,” said Gardner. Additionally, the Upward Mobility Fund is providing longterm funding to provide for free

Summer Concert Series

charging for the donated vehicles as well as free charging for current and future tenants for a minimum term of 20 years. This long-term commitment is at a minimum $250,000.

According to McMillan, the initiative “would not have been possible” without the collaboration of Grow America, St. Louis County, Missouri Housing Development Commission, KAI, Centene, St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, City of Dellwood, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, United States Environmental Protection

Agency, and Great Southern Bank.

“We celebrate the new residents who are embarking on this transformative journey. Together, we are creating a brighter future for all,” he said. Grill to Glory

The Urban League and a network of area churches have fired up the 2024 Grill to Glory weekend events.

Since its inception at Leonard Baptist Church, Grill to Glory has grown into a statewide initiative. Originating as a response to the pressing drug crisis, the mission is now part of the urban fabric at churches in the St. Louis, Kansas City and Memphis areas.

According to participants, 90% of churches which held Grill to Glory events increased attendance at Sunday services, with every church experiencing membership growth.

Grill to Glory will be celebrated in nearly 300 churches within the St. Louis metropolitan area. Its reach extends beyond barbecue, encompassing health screenings, legal aid, utility assistance, and more.

“This is a game changer,” said James Clark, Urban League vice president of public safety during a kickoff event on May 18 at the Urban League headquarters.

“We see ‘Grill to Glory’ as that change agent; that pivotal model that can reintroduce the neighborhood church to neighborhood families when there is so much need out here.

“Food is love.”

To register a church for Grill to Glory participation, please visit

ST. LOUIS AMERICAN • MAY 30 - JUNE 5, 2024 A3 News
in every war since the Revolution without voting representation in Congress.’
D.C. statehood
of Columbia veterans have fought and died
- Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s Memorial Day appeal for
Photo by Wiley Price / St. Louis American Michael P. McMillan, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis president and CEO, had the honor of cutting the ribbon for the Urban League Senior Apartments on May 21, 2024. Joining him were County Councilwoman Rita Days, Yolanda Henderson, Dellwood Mayor Reggie Jones, County Executive Dr. Sam Page and other dignitaries.
Free and open to the community Bring your lawn chairs, food, and picnic items A1C, blood pressure and HIV testing will be offered Food trucks, other items will be available for purchase presented by:
6 to 8 p.m. - June 6, 13, 20, 27 St. Louis Place Park (between 21st St. & Rauschenbach) A Tribute to Earth, Wind & Fire Bwayne Smotherson, Music Director June 6 Master's Touch Soul Cavalcade Featuring the music of The Dramatics, O'Jays, Gladys Knight and the Pips & more June 13 The Whitney Houston Catalog Performed by Cheryl Brown; Jeremiah Allen, Music Director June 20 The Tina Turner Tribute From "Proud Mary" to "What's Love Got to Do With It" Kenya Last, Lead Vocals; Terry Coleman, Music Director June 27 St. Louis Place Neighborhood Association Featuring Watch a short video on HIV prevention and treatment, and enter the weekly drawing for a free TV! (Details and rules available at the concerts.) WIN SMARTAFREETV!

Guest Editorial Commentary

Don’t be fooled by the Trump Ops

On break from his New York hush money criminal trial, Donald Trump held a campaign rally on May 23, 2024, in the South Bronx. But just like his Chick-fil-A photo op in Atlanta and his staged visit to a bodega on the outskirts of Harlem, Trump is trolling us.

Trump’s latest rally was littered with his greatest hits of mistruths and conspiracy theories.

In a raucous event that featured multiple fights and protests, the twice-impeached former president brought on stage two local rappers that no one in the audience had probably heard of, and a homophobic former New York City council member, Ruben Diaz Sr., who lost his race for Congress four years ago to a Black gay man.

Unlike President Biden, who delivered $16 billion in funding when he spoke at Morehouse College last week, Trump brought nothing new and substantive to offer the people of the Bronx.

2020, while Trump, a native New Yorker, took only 14.7%.

Biden also defeated Trump throughout New York City, 76% to 23%, but here’s the thing. New York is the largest city in America, so 23% of the turnout is still nearly 700,000 people.

“Our side is much bigger than their side,” Trump told his audience in the Bronx, ignoring the reality that Republicans haven’t won the popular vote in a presidential election in 20 years.

That’s because the South Bronx is overwhelmingly Hispanic and Black (64% and 31%, respectively), but you would never know that from the mostly white crowd that showed up for the circus at Crotona Park on Thursday.

Located north and east of Harlem, the Bronx is one of the five boroughs of New York City. It’s the birthplace of hip hop, the location of Yankee Stadium, and home to a large foreign-born community that makes up 32% of the population. Trump’s plan to deport 15 million immigrants may not sit well with the real residents of the community.

“You live in a blue city, but it’s going red very, very quickly,” Trump told the rally. No, it’s not.

The park where the rally took place is located in New York’s 15th congressional district, represented by Ritchie Torres, a 36-year-old Afro-Latino gay man, who says that Trump is “less popular than arsenic” in the Bronx. It’s considered the poorest district in the country, and President Biden won 85% of the vote in

But Trump is a celebrity, and even some of his critics find him oddly amusing. It’s like watching a train wreck. You don’t want to see it, but you can’t stop staring. If a handful of Black people show up and show out at a Trump rally, some in the media consider that breaking news that allegedly counters the narrative about him. Actually, it doesn’t. Trump won only 12% of the Black vote in 2020. But that’s still millions of Black people, so Trump could theoretically generate Black crowds all across the country and lose 90% of the Black vote to Biden. That’s why the media needs to contextualize the Black and brown presence at Trump’s rallies with actual voting data that clearly demonstrates those people are a tiny minority in their own communities.

The Bronx also has the highest poverty rate and the highest unemployment rate of the 62 counties in the state. If Trump really cared about the people there, he’d push his party to support a permanent childcare tax credit instead of promoting tax breaks for billionaires.

But Trump has no chance of winning the Bronx, New York City, or New York state, so he’s staging carefully orchestrated pit stops to push a false narrative that he’s making inroads with Black and Hispanic voters.

“Black Vote, Black Power,” a collaboration between Keith Boykin and Word In Black, examines the issues, the candidates, and what’s at stake for Black America in the 2024 presidential election.


COPS accountability must accompany oversight

“If there’s no criminal accountability of police for criminal behavior, then the fox is guarding the henhouse, and we’re the hens, and we’re living in a country that’s becoming a police state.” — Maya Wiley

Since 1994, Congress has appropriated more than $20 billion for the Community Oriented Policing Services grant program, commonly known as COPS.

Has this program made communities safer? We don’t know, because in its entire 30-year existence, it has operated without any oversight, transparency or accountability measures.

Last month’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing was the first full committee meeting ever on oversight of the COPS Program.

Yet a bill to pump another $3.25 billion into the program over the next five years — again, without adding oversight, transparency, or accountability measures — has bipartisan support and is poised to sail through Congress. As election season approaches, lawmakers appear desperate to stoke fears of a nonexistent crime wave and paint their rivals as “soft on crime.”

In fact, the measures proposed to respond to the fantasy of rising crime would harm vulnerable communities of color and undermine public safety and community trust.

tory title, the “Detain and Deport Illegal Aliens Who Assault Cops Act” immigrants already are subject to deportation upon conviction of violent crimes. This bill would subject immigrants merely accused of assault to mandatory, indefinite jailing. In some states, immigrants accused of offenses that did not even involve physical contact could be jailed indefinitely.

The House also passed the DC Crimes Act, an attempt to override D.C. home rule by prohibiting D.C. from ever changing its sentencing laws without Congressional approval, notably restricting the D.C. courts from offering alternative sentencing for people under 25 years old.

“This provision, which does not define the term ‘criminal liability sentence’ is as poorly drafted as it is offensive,” D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton said, urging the House to vote it down. “The nearly 700,000 D.C. residents, a majority of whom are Black and Brown, are worthy and capable of self-government.”

Furthermore, the cynical timing of these proposals by those who continue to downplay the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on law enforcement on makes a mockery of National Police Week, an annual convening to honor, remember and support law enforcement and officers lost in the line of duty. Too much fanfare and posturing, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives last week passed a bill that would “eviscerate due process” for immigrants accused of assaulting a police officer. Contrary to the misleading rhetoric surrounding the bill and its inflamma-

How Biden can energize young, Black voters

I learned a valuable lesson while I ran my nonprofit, the Sweet Potato Project. Its mission was to teach urban youth how to become entrepreneurs in their own neighborhoods by growing produce (sweet potatoes) and turning their yield into viable, marketable products. We sold sweet potato cookies.

The young people eagerly adopted marketing, branding and promotional theories. They saw themselves running their own businesses and serving customers who looked like them.

They latched on because they were exposed to something they inherently understood, their talent and ingenuity. It was something they could control and do now.

Many impoverished kids are incarcerated because they do what they think they understand. They’ve seen “the game” outside their doors, or in movies, TV or hip-hop videos.

Despite stereotypes, most urban kids want to be productive. They want legitimate success. They want to give back to their communities. They want to create opportunities for siblings and relatives. They just don’t know how.

will provide several small business and entrepreneurial services including certification workshops for minority-and women-owned businesses, digital training and resources and procurement education.

The appointment of Neal Richardson as executive director of SLDC gives hope that these programs will empower Black youth. Richardson was co-founder and president of “Dream Builders 4 Equity,” a nonprofit that hired and trained students to refurbish dilapidated North City homes.

I haven’t interviewed the mayor or Richardson about plans to activate young Gen Z’ers (ages of 20-to-30) but I can imagine a subsidized plan that invites them to gain building skills, own new homes, and become entrepreneurs and responsible stewards in a “grand do-forself” endeavor to revitalize North St. Louis.

This is a missing component in President Joe Biden’s attempt to woo young, Black voters. He can tout his achievements in providing educational resources, eliminating student loan debt, funding HBCUs and helping Black entrepreneurs and potential homeowners access funding.

But can Biden point to any policy specifically created to help young, low-income urban youth succeed despite academic proficiencies or institutional dependence? Has he done anything to inspire these kids to believe they can do something lucrative on their own while reclaiming their communities?

A template is in the making in St. Louis. Mayor Tishaura O. Jones is keeping her promise to bridge the racial wealth gap in the city by investing much of the $150 million in American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds in North St. Louis. There is investment in neighborhood stabilization, housing, construction and rehabilitation, small business development and more.

The mayor’s plan includes a $6.5 million investment for “year-round” youth jobs. Her administration, along with St. Louis Development Corporation Board (SLDC), has invested in a Northside Economic Empowerment Center that

It could be marketed to young people through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. It should embrace St. Louis rappers including Nelly, Chingy, Sexxy Red and Metro Boomin, as ambassadors. It should include training geared to bust the mysteries of business ownership. With the right messaging, young people will understand that this is something they can do - now, today, not after years college or vocational training. If the city provides the resources, young people can quickly become empowered players. President Biden can develop a similar template. There are Black entertainers preaching about “reclaiming the hood” who should be invited to the White House. Mike Epps, Queen Latifah, TI, Akon and others rebuilding Black neighborhoods.

To add historic and marketing relevance, the Biden Administration could invoke Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1965 plan that called for a $50-billion federal investment in metropolitan areas so people can rebuild their own communities. Donald Trump can only offer Black people the illusion of unattainable wealth. Mayor Jones has developed a tangible, innovative template for do-for-self community revitalization. With a well-funded, highly marketed and “hip” federal program aimed at inspiring young Black people to do something lucrative and productive in their own neighborhoods, Biden just might ignite a movement that entices more of them to the polls.

Sylvester Brown Jr. is the Deaconess Foundation Community Advocacy Fellow and author of When We Listen: Recognizing the Potential of Urban Youth

Meanwhile, violent crime in D.C. has dropped by 26% so far this year. It is indefensible that Congress continues to introduce bills that will increase the number of police officers and police-focused funding in our communities, despite years of public outcry for comprehensive police reform like the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. The National Urban League has urged citizens to act by sending letters of opposition to the Senate Judiciary Committee and U.S. House of Representatives.

We must continue to loudly voice our concern and disapproval of this type of legislation and refocus the conversation on police transparency, accountability and community-centered public safety that decreases citizen encounters with law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

Marc Morial is president and CEO of the National Urban League.

ST. LOUIS AMERICAN • MAY 30 - JUNE 5, 2024 A4 Editorial/Commentary
EMERITUS LEADERSHIP Nathan B. Young (1894-1993) Founder N.A. Sweets (1901-1988) Publisher Bennie G. Rodgers (1914-2000) Executive Editor Melba Sweets (1909-2006) Editor Donald M. Suggs Publisher and Executive Editor ADMINISTRATION Dina M. Suggs - Sr. Vice Pres. Robin R. Britt - Controller Raven Whitener - Director, STL American Charitable Foundation and Special Events Mary EasterFront Desk Administrator Cathy Sewell - Newspaper In Education Manager EDITORIAL Alvin A. Reid - City Editor Wiley Price - Photojournalist Sylvester Brown Jr.Deaconess Advocacy Fellow Ashley WintersReport for America Reporter Earl Austin Jr. - Sports Editor Denise Hooks - Anderson, M.D. Medical Accuracy Editor Taylor Marrie - Contributing Photographer Devored Horton - Comcast Fellow CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Fred Sweets • Ellen Sweets • Kenya Vaughn PRODUCTION Mike Terhaar - Art Director Melvin Moore - Graphic Designer DIGITAL Dawn Suggs - Digital Director James LeBine Multimedia Specialist Isaiah PetersAssistant Digital Editor SALES Pam Simmons Senior Account Executive Angelita F. Houston Classified Manager Janice Brown - Account Executive 2315 Pine Street, St. Louis, MO, 63103 Phone: 314-533-8000 Fax: 314-533-2332 • The largest weekly newspaper in Missouri • 100% Independently owned, operated and continuously published without interruption since 1928
Guest Columnist Keith Boykin Columnist Sylvester Brown Jr. Columnist Marc Morial

SIUE East St. Louis Center for the Performing Arts students performed during their 2024 Spring Concert on May 16, 2024. The ESLCPA Summer Camp begins June 3 and registration is open.

Performing Arts Summer Camp still registering students

St. Louis American

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville East St. Louis Center for the Performing Arts (ESLCPA) is registering students for its six-week Performing Arts Summer Camp 2024 which begins June 3. The camp offers classes and training in modern, jazz, hip hop and ballet dance. With influences of the Katherine Dunham Technique. Students also participate in piano, keyboarding, trap drumming, bass guitar and voice.

The center hosted its Spring Concert on May 16 at the Wyvetter H. Younge Higher Education Center and students, ages 7-17, performed a series of dance and musical numbers.

Themed “A Spring Fling,” student dance performances included modern, jazz and hip-

hop genres to “W.A.Y.S” by Jhene Aiko.

Choreographed by instructor Jaykayla Winford and performed by Karenza Cox; and “Boom Boom Pow” by The Black Eyed Peas, student dancers Sariah Brown, Meadows Coats, Xiomara Cummings, Tamani Johnson, Faith Sussex and Auset Wilson drew a standing ovation.

Live music and interlude jazz medleys were performed by ESLCPA coach Esau Toombs, with former students Kalifa Sylla and Jyion Smith.

ESLCPA will perform at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 1 at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Community Fair at Jones Park in East St. Louis.

To register for the Performing Arts Summer Camp 2024, please visit www.siue. edu/eslc/programs/performing-arts/index. shtml

Poor people have power –

if they use it

There were 15 presidential debates in 2020 and according to Rev. William Barber, a co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival (, not 30 minutes was devoted to poverty in total It’s no wonder poor folks don’t vote — few politicians talk to or hear them. So, they stay home.

Politicians might pay more attention to poor people if more poor people voted. Many Republicans consider poverty a moral failure. Democrats support policies that provide assistance at the bottom but couch them in terms that do not appeal to people experiencing poverty.

I recently spoke to a young Black man who said he doesn’t plan on voting.

“Politicians don’t care about poor people, just the middle class,” he said. I tried to convince the young man that voting made a difference. He described voting as a “trick bag” and made vaguely insulting comments about “old Black civil rights people” who put too much faith in the system.

Rev. Barber hopes to ignite this young man and the many others who stay home. He says that a third of the electorate (85 million people) are poor and low-income and comprise between 34% and 46% of voters in battleground states and more than 20% in all but five states.

That means, in the 2020 election, President Biden won by fewer than 100,000 votes in three key states.

The Poor People’s Campaign, co-led by Rev. Barber and Rev. Liz Theoharris, director of the Kairos Center at Union Theological Seminary, will convene the Mass Poor People’s and Low Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington on June 29. Barber tells me this is not just a march but a movement to drive people to the polls.

A critical issue is the number of lives lost to poverty. University of California Riverside public policy professor David Brady said that 183,000 people die annually because of poverty, the fourth-leading cause of death.

Heart disease, cancer and smoking take more lives — obesity, diabetes, drug overdoses, suicides, firearms and homicide take fewer. These lives lost represent an economic drain on our nation. Those who die because they are poor could be working or contributing to society. Additionally, the resources we spend on their end-of-life care could be used more productively. Poverty is a scourge for our nation, but it is not a priority for our nation’s politicians.

“The curse of poverty has no justification in our age. It is socially as cruel and blind as the practice of cannibalism at the dawn of civilization when men ate each other because they had not yet learned to take food from the soil or to consume the abundant animal life around them,” said Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Predatory capitalism is cannibalism. It is taking more than is needed for selfish gain, to exploit those who are at the bottom of the totem pole, and to demonize them. Dr. King’s War on Poverty attempted to address poverty and get poor and low-income people involved in their destinies. Rev. William Barber is a worthy successor to Dr. King. We can all support his activism by showing up in D.C. for the March on Washington on June 29.

Julianne Malveaux is an economist, author and commentator based in Washington, D.C.

Photo courtesy of ESLCPA Julianne Malveaux

Arizona, new office openings throughout Georgia, a community-led block party-style celebration in Nevada, community hub events across barber shops and hair salons in Michigan, and more.

On May 30, Black

Voters for BidenHarris will host a nationwide stakeholder call to build a network of trusted messengers within Black communities across the country. The call will include remarks from several national leaders and be inclusive of an organizing pitch to supporters.

“While we are busy putting in the work to earn Black America’s support,

Donald Trump continues to show just how ignorant he is. Hosting janky rap concerts doesn’t hide the fact that he lacks the resources and competence to genuinely engage our community,” stated Biden-Harris 2024 Principal Deputy Campaign Manager

Quentin Fulks. “We will continue to be aggressive, innovative,

and thorough in our work to earn the support of the very voters who sent Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House in 2020 and will do so again in 2024.”

Fulks said “Black voters deserve to hear from Team Biden-Harris, and they deserve to have their vote earned, not assumed.”

“That’s exactly what we are doing through his-

toric investments in Black media and outreach, creative engagement efforts, culturally competent content and innovative organizing initiatives.

No campaign has valued Black voters like we have, including through investing earlier and with more money than ever before talking to Black voters.” A New York Times/

Siena College survey of battleground states released in early may found Trump winning more than 20% of Black voters in a two-way matchup with Biden, which would amount to a historic high if it translates to votes in November.

Trump won roughly 1 in 10 Black voters nationally in 2020, according to multiple estimates, including 12% in CNN’s exit poll

Another concern is that Black voter turnout will plummet in November 2024.

This year’s NNPA convention theme is ‘Empowering the Black Press, Communities, Families, and Voter Turnout.’

“This conference is a critical platform for addressing the unique challenges and opportunities for political parties to share their messages with the media that serves the population and can make or break elections,” said NNPA Chair Bobby Henry.

The convention will include a keynote address by Damon Todd Hewitt, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law president and executive director, titled “What is at Stake for African Americans: the 2024 Vote.”

Rev. Mark Thompson of NNPA Global will moderate the “Generation Z Voter Issues” panel, featuring current and former HBCU students.

Continued from A1

sport than we were in 2019. We needed to make changes,” said Phelps.

“With our partners like David Steward and (NASCAR owners) the France family we did change.

“From May to June, following the death of George Floyd, we took a stance on social justice. Ten days later we banned the Confederate flag. Some asked ‘what are you doing? That isn’t your core fan base [wants’]

“People called it courageous. It was a business decision. Did it make me sleep better? Yes.”

Phelps said he and NASCAR’s goal at the start of each year “is to get more diverse and get younger.’

He called Black driver Bubba Wallace “a flag bearer” for the sports diversity effort.

After a rope that looked curiously like a noose was found in his garage in Talladega, Wallace responded with class.

“It was hard for Bubba in 2020. It was difficult and he handled it with grace. Bubba Wallace is a winner.”

Wallace will race here this weekend and will be making several promotional appearances in the East St. Louis area. Phelps added that NASCAR are more than its drivers and its fans.

“Do people of color want to work in NASCAR? Do young people want to work with us now? Yes, they do,” he said.

“We are caring. We are welcoming.”

Biden Continued from A1 ST. LOUIS AMERICAN • MAY 30 – JUNE 5, 2024 A6
Visit our website at www.stl american .com for the latest news, and sports updates.

and police clashes from western migration, slavery, the Civil Rights era up to modern times. There are repeated images of protests and brutal confrontations in St. Louis after the death of Mike Brown Jr.

In the first few minutes of the doc, former St. Louis policeman and co-founder of the National Coalition of Law Enforcement Officers for Justice (NCLEOJ), Redditt Hudson, gives his personal definition on the documentary’s topic.

“Police power is immediate, it’s right now, it’s ‘do what I told you to do right now!’ Ain’t no waiting, no phone calls… none of that. It’s the police deciding “what happens next.”

Wesley J. LoweryPulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author-follows Hudson by defining the complications inherent in such a historical, institutionalized system.

“With many institutions there is a sense of ‘this is how we’ve always done it, so this is how it’s supposed to work.’ No one ever rewinds to the beginning of the tape to figure out what were we intending to do when we started this,” Lowery states.

After noting that there are 18,000 state and local police and public service agencies in the country with roughly one million officers, POWER “rewinds” to the beginning of an institution that dates to the migration of settlers, the maintenance and abolishment of slavery and the


Continued from A1

Prevention (OVP) within the City of St. Louis’ Department of Public Safety cannot be overlooked.

The OVP released its inaugural 2023 review last week, which detailed its effort in community safety and violence reduction efforts.

Jones’ executive order created the OVP in July 2022 as part of the administration’s commitment “to creating safe, violence-free neighborhoods through community-centered approaches.”

“I have made it the explicit goal of my administration to transform public safety. I am committed to breaking the cycle of crime through prevention, intervention, and enforcement,” Jones said in a release.

“OVP’s community-centered approach to violence prevention is essential in our crime

birth of U. S. capitalism.

Under its first subtitle: “Property,” the film describes how white settlers in the old west banded together to establish the “rights and ownership over land occupied by indigenous people.”

Words appear on screen stating: “From 1830 through 1847, the U.S. Government deployed Army troops to forcibly remove people from their land.”

The topic then segues into militias established to protect the institution of slavery.

“In the south you had a somewhat different system,” Chicago University professor, Julian Go, explains. “It was essentially groups of men tasked with going around to plantations making sure slaves living in dwellings around them weren’t up to trouble. They policed these people.”

Following a historical timeline, POWER examines policing during the “Industrial Revolution” from the end of the 18th and beginning with the 19th centuries. Detailing how the American policing system expanded from the conquest of land and control of people to the outright enforcer of capitalism’s need for labor.

“It began around this sense of relationship to property…with the idea that people without property or people who are property…are a threat to the social order built by property-owners,” New York University Professor, Nkhil Pal Singh explained. By the 20th Century police were “totally integrated with the city’s political machines,” Singh,

reduction efforts - crime is prevented years before it happens.”

Wil Pinkney, OVP director, said its programs address root causes of violence, while providing support “to those who need it most.

“By working together with local stakeholders, we are creating a sustainable and inclusive framework that enhances public safety and fosters community resilience.”

Jones called the reduction in crime “a testament to the dedication of staff, the cooperation of community members, and the effectiveness of our crime prevention strategies.”

stressed, further explaining how cops “were part of criminal organizations” that enforced corruption in many (modern) cities.

After World War I, the film illustrates how “reformers” pursued the task of remodeling the nation’s police forces to mirror military operations overseas.

Singh said: “They wanted to transform police the same way colonial military operations were transformed in the Philippines, in the Caribbean and other places. They wanted to make the police more professional, the way soldiers were becoming more professional.”

Although policing in America has become less corrupt, less rouge and more regulated, the film maintains that most police forces are still aligned with the establishment. Kalfani Turé, an assistant professor of African American Studies at Mount Saint Mary’s University, detailed the connection between police and institutionalized power.

“The way the police function in society is to maintain a particular status quo,” Turé explained, adding: “So we’re looking at how officers have become participants in the inequalities of power in this particular society.”

This point was emphasized with images of police collisions with Blacks during theCivil Rights era and numerous violent conflicts on the nation’s campuses. It didn’t take a stretch of imagination to align the ladder with what’s happening today between police and Palestinian protesters on college campuses

That testament includes reductions including 21% in homicides, 11% in robbery, 6% in aggravated assaults, 24% in shooting incidents and 23% in shooting victims.

Crimes and violence involving young St. Louisans has also seen significant reductions.

Included are drops of 47% in youth shooting incidents and 50% in youth shooting victims.

In addition, felony theft (39%), auto theft (19%) and burglary (12%) were also down, according to the OVP report.

“These numbers are


Patriotic gesture

across the country.

Although words and images in the film are brutal, its message in no way condemns nor condones police behavior. It acknowledges that crime is an ongoing scourge in America and there must be some organized way to combat it. The documentary simply attempts to lay out the complexities and

a result of a coordinated effort of many different agencies within our city to address the root causes of crime while holding those who do commit crime accountable,” stated Jones.

Based on data, the OVP concentrated its effort on the Dutchtown, Wells/ Goodfellow, Hamilton Heights, Walnut Park, Columbus Square, Carr Square, Peabody Lasalle, O’Fallon, Penrose, Fountain Park, College Hill and Baden neighborhoods.

The programs support people at the highest risk of being victims or perpetrators of violence, emphasizing relationship-build-

complications inherent within a system born out of somewhat questionable or self-serving circumstances.

The film sticks to director Ford’s promise to encourage viewers to decide what or if something should be done to reform the nation’s police forces. With a subtle nod to activism though, the film ends with the infamous words of former slave, abolitionist and statesman Frederick Douglass:

ing with [residents] at the core of gun violence.

According to Pinkney, “the goal is to create a CVI ecosystem that brings together local stakeholders to build a comprehensive violence reduction infrastructure that promotes equity and complements the work of law enforcement.”

The OVP staff now stands at 12 employees, and its offices moved to the Urban League Peter Bunce Campus in the College Hill community.

Staff members attended professional development training sessions and represented OVP at over 15 conferences nationwide

“Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will.”

Sylvester Brown Jr. is the Deaconess Foundation Community Advocacy Fellow.

including events hosted by the National Offices of Violence Prevention Network and the National League of Cities.

On June 15, the OVP will partner with the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) and Be SMART in hosting the OVP Kickback in Barrett Brothers Park, 5817 St. Louis Avenue. Held monthly in priority neighborhoods, the free events feature food, music, and entertainment. Gun safety resources and information about secure gun storage are also available.

Hudson Continued from
Boy Scout Cortney Thomas, 10, from Pack 914, places American flags on graves in Jefferson Barracks Cemetary Sunday, May 26, 2024 during Memorial Day visits from family members. Photo Wiley Price / St. Louis American
‘Taking Care of You’

Stroke survivor Keetra Thompson sends her 16-yearold son, Danté Thompson, off to prom 14 years after having a debilitating stroke episode. According to research from the American Heart Association, African American women in their 50s may have more than triple the risk of stroke compared to white women of the same age.

‘I’m a walking miracle’

Stroke survivor Keetra Thompson recounts her health battle

On Feb. 12, 2010, stroke

Keetra Thompson laid down with a slight headache behind her right eye around 7 p.m. to get some rest.

However, when she woke up around 2:30 a.m. the next day, she knew something was wrong when she couldn’t move the left side of her face.

Gun violence also rips rural towns

When the subject of gun violence in Black communities comes up, what usually comes to mind are images of bigcity streets and apartment housing — not rural communities.

But studies show that the sharp rise in Black victims of gun-related deaths in recent decades is happening in rural areas and small towns, mostly in the Deep South.

Since 2018, the data show, Black youth in rural areas have been dying from firearms as often as their urban peers.

Of the 20 towns and cities with the highest rates of shootings, more than half were in the South, home to many Black Americans. Between 2013 and 2024, the rate of gunshot victims in places like Alabama and Mississippi was six times higher than in cities like New York or Los Angeles.

David Hemenway, professor of health policy at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, ties the violence directly to the nation’s embrace of guns and legislation protecting gun manufacturers.

n “At the federal level, our gun laws are now much weaker than they were in 1999. We eliminated the assault weapons ban.”

– David Hemenway

“At the federal level, our gun laws are now much weaker than they were in 1999. We eliminated the assault weapons ban,” Hemenway said.

“We gave the gun industry incredible protections against lawsuits. I don’t know of any other industry that is so well protected against tort liability.”

Thompson spoke with the American about how she didn’t know that she was in the middle of a stroke this fateful night.

“I woke my husband, at the time, and I was like, ‘Hey, can you please help me get to the restroom?

I don’t know what’s going on, but I can’t move,’ so, he helped me to the restroom and I was cognizant,” she said. “I was able to talk the entire time, but I immediately thought of my son, who was two years old at the time.”

Thompson explained that she called her mother, who was a registered nurse.

“My parents live 10 minutes away, which would have been quicker than calling an ambulance, so my parents came over and my husband and father


Joe Palm HHS regional director, praises work of Paraquad

Joe Palm, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regional director for Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska, returned to St. Louis on May 20, 2024, to tour Paraquad and recognize its ongoing work to support seniors and people with disabilities.

“I knew Max Starkloff, the founder of Paraquad, and I have always been proud to see the progress and amazing work happening here,” said Palm.

“Centers for Independent living have changed the landscape for people with disabilities. As an HHS regional director, I can elevate their needs and concerns to help them keep going.”

President Biden appointed Palm HHS

Region 7 director in May 2022. In addition, recently he was also appointed the Regional Director for HHS Region 2, which encompasses the states of New York and New Jersey and the territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, in addition to 8 federally recognized tribes. He previously served as chief of the Office of Minority Health at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and was a key advisor to the director on various health matters that affect minorities.

Palm supervised the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grant-funded opioid and homicide prevention program and advised and facilitated the creation of hundreds of mobile COVID-19 testing and vaccination


Research has tied high rates of rural gun violence to a range of factors, from lack of opportunity to lax gun laws. But Black residents have also seen their communities slowly disappear, adding to a sense of hopelessness.

“High rates of violence are often a symptom of a larger root cause, and I always go back to economic development,” Stacy Grundy, a public health

See GORE, A9

ST. LOUIS AMERICAN • MAY 30 – JUNE 5, 2024 A8 Missouri Foundation for Health is building a more equitable future through collaboration, convening, knowledge sharing, and strategic investment. Working in partnership with communities and nonprofits, MFH is transforming systems to eliminate inequities within all aspects of health and addressing the social and economic factors that shape health outcomes. Your Health Matters is provided in partnership with
Jennifer Porter Gore HHS Regional Director Joe Palm shares a story with Aimee Wehmeier, Paraquad president during his May 20, 2024, visit and tour. Palm celebrated Paraquad for its work in helping St. Louis area residents live independently regardless of age or disability. Photo by Phillip Deitch / courtesy of Paraquad Courtesy photo

Continued from A8

literally cradled me to get me out of the house because I couldn’t even sit up on my own,” she said.

According to Thompson, her mother saw that there was a slight facial droop on her face and that her parents administered a shot to stop the stroke’s progress. From there, she went to the hospital for care.

“I ended up being in the hospital for five days; after that I was in inpatient rehab for three months and outpatient rehab for three months,” Thompson said. “Then, I was able to return back to work after a full six months’ time.”

Healthcare inequities for minority groups

Dr. J. Gmerice Hammond, a Washington University physician and cardiologist who has practiced medicine for 15 years, studies stroke equities as a health services and health policy researcher.

According to the doctor, there has not been a significant impact made on the inequities that are “particularly striking” among racial groups in stroke care and heart attacks.

“If you look at African Americans, this group has a disproportionately higher prevalence of stroke; they also have the highest death rate from stroke compared to any other racial group,” she said.

Her research looks at the ways that policies impact equity. The primary group that Hammond tends to focus on are patients who have been categorized as minorities as well as those who are struggling with poverty.

“I tend to examine the way that healthcare payment policies impact and influence the way that healthcare systems operate and whether or not that promotes or reduces racial inequities and health outcomes,” Hammond said.

In a research study published in April, Hammond and nine other researchers examined whether or not stroke care was different by race and place.

“We looked at race – we also looked at mortality – and what we found is that interventions for strokes, particularly thrombolytics, interventions for strokes were inequitably distributed by race,” she said.

According to the National Library of


Continued from A8


Alison Barkoff, who


Medicine, thrombolytics are a group of medications used to treat and manage heart attacks.

“It was even worse among rural Americans and then rural Americans who were also African American had very low rates and considerably lower rates of appropriate stroke care when they presented to hospitals for strokes,” the cardiologist said. “Among all people in the United States, African Americans and Hispanic people are less likely to know common stroke warning signs, which is a big issue.”

According to Hammond, not knowing the signs and the symptoms delays pursuing management and care. In the research study mentioned previously, they found that once a person experiencing stroke symptoms does show up to the hospital, unfortunately they are less likely to get the appropriate interventions for your stroke for “a myriad of reasons.”

“If you don’t get the appropriate interventions, your outcomes are going to be worse, and thankfully, we are now able

Administration for Community Living accompanied Palm on the tour, said agencies like Paraquad are essential in all communities.

“I was so pleased to see firsthand the work Paraquad does to help people maintain their

Continued from A8 and the economic opportunities for the young people who stay are now foregone.”

practitioner who has studied rural communities, told The Trace, a nonprofit news website reporting on gun violence.

“Most of the kids who are interested in college move away and do not return because there is not an industry to return to,

Firearm injuries, including homicides, suicides, and unintentional injuries, were the leading cause of death among children and teens ages one to 19 in 2020 and 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control. A disproportionate number of those youths were Black.

to speak more candidly to audiences that I think have a heightened awareness about the real impact of race and racism on cardiovascular disease processes,” she said.

Hammond went on to say there are researchers who are examining the stress of discrimination and trying to quantify something that has been difficult to quantify in the past, by asking questions like “What is the impact of structural racism?” or “What is interpersonal racism on the cardiovascular system?”

“One in five women between the ages of 55 and 75 will have a stroke, but the issue with this is that strokes are preventable,” Hammond said. “I just want to emphasize that women need to be aware of this and African American women have the highest prevalence of stroke and the highest prevalence of high blood pressure among women.”

According to research from the American Heart Association, African American women in their 50s may have more than triple the risk of stroke compared to white

independence” she said.

“Centers for independent living, like Paraquad, provide a variety of services to support people with disabilities and older adults who want to live in their own homes and communities.

“Without such sup-

Data from the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit organization that tracks both gun injuries and deaths, shows that half of all shootings between 2014 and 2023 occurred in small cities and towns of fewer than 1 million people. As analyzed by The Trace, 13 of those 20 towns and cities with the highest rates of shootings were in the South. The states with the

women of the same age.

“I think that one of the things that’s an issue in the Black population is that strokes happen at some of the older ages, which is really devastating because having a stroke in the prime of your life in your 40s and 50s can set you up for decades of debilitated existence,” the cardiologist said.

From stroke patient to community advocate and survivor

Now in her 14th year as a survivor, Keetra Thompson works with the American Heart Association and visits the Rehab Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis to talk to some of the people that are survivors there.

“I let them know I’m a walking miracle,” she said. “I was 33 at the time when I had my stroke, and people may say [that’s] the prime of my life … but I had a complete paradigm shift, becoming an advocate and talking to people when I was in inpatient rehab in a wheelchair.”

According to Thompson, she and her mother had season tickets

ports people can end up − unnecessarily and at a greater cost − living in institutions such as nursing homes.”

The Administration for Community Living provides funds that help support hundreds of centers of independent living

highest rates of shooting fatalities and injuries per 100,000 residents were Louisiana, Illinois, Mississippi, and Alabama, GVA reports. The states with the lowest rates were Hawaii, New Hampshire, and Maine. A recent University of Minnesota study published in the New England Journal of Medicine echoed these

Rewarding stroke prevention

Stroke awareness honor St. Louis and St. Louis County have recognized Affinia Healthcare for its ongoing stroke prevention efforts. May 31 will close Stroke Awareness Month and the city Board of Aldermen and St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page presented Affinia with resolutions in recognition of the community health system’s stroke prevention and awareness initiatives in high-risk populations. The resolutions were presented by Dr. Fredrick Echols, Population Health & Social Justice Consulting, LLC founder & CEO. From left are Dr. Gabriel Msengi, Affinia pharmacist, Dr. Melissa Tepe, Affinia vice president and chief medical officer and Echols.

to the Fox Theatre, and her mother got permission from Thompson’s doctors to go to one of the shows while she was in therapy.

“I remember going there and the accessible access [being] difficult to navigate, so after I wrote a letter to the Fox Theatre Association and told them I noticed a lot of areas where accessibility needed to be improved so that people can have better access because I never noticed that as a person that doesn’t have a disability,” the survivor said.

“I’ve been trying to work with people in different industries to help with accessibility for people that have disabilities.”

The Motivational Factor: Family

“My motivation was getting back to a new normal to be able to be here for my son and be active with my son, and so that was like my driving factor to do all the extra things that I wanted that the therapist gave me to do,” she said.

According to Thompson, the left side of

nationwide. It oversees programs and funding that support older adults and people of all ages with disabilities to live where they choose, with the people they choose, and with the ability to participate fully in their communities.

findings. For their study, the research team examined CDC from 1999 to 2022 and found firearm-related deaths among all youth rose by 35% —with a disproportionate increase among Black youth. That tracks, Hemenway says, given some states’ decision to expand access to guns during the last two decades.

her body was incapacitated after the stroke. She had to relearn how to walk and stand. Her driving motivation was her son: Danté Thompson.

“At the time I had my stroke, my son was two years old, so we were both toddling around the house, learning to walk. I remember being the youngest person in the inpatient rehab facility,” she said.

“A lot of people were talking about their independence, so that was their motivating factor, but for me it was because I wanted to be an active mom.”

As an African American woman, her advice is to make preventive care a priority due to the stressors within the community that can interfere with health.

“Be mindful of what you put into your body, not only food-wise but also just your thoughts,” she said. “I think it’s important to have a positive attitude, be mindful of what’s going on in your life and address issues like stress because stress and food are big things, especially in the African American community and our culture.”

Also visiting Paraquad were ACL Regional Administrator Cynthia Brammeier, and Melanie Highland Director of Missouri’s Division of Senior and Disability Services, Missouri Department of Health.

While a mere 4% of the world’s population lives in the U.S., it accounts for 35% of global firearm suicides and 9 percent of global firearm homicides. Black people are 12 times more likely than whites to be killed in a gun homicide. Gun control laws have weakened in the past 25 years, and there’s little indication this will change.

Care of You’ ST. LOUIS AMERICAN • MAY 30 – JUNE 5, 2024 A9
Missouri Foundation for Health is building a more equitable future through collaboration, convening, knowledge sharing, and strategic investment. Working in partnership with communities and nonprofits, MFH is transforming systems to eliminate inequities within all aspects of health and addressing the social and economic factors that shape health outcomes. Your Health Matters is provided in partnership with
in uninsured and underserved communities.
leads the HHS
Courtesy photo
ST. LOUIS AMERICAN • MAY 30 – JUNE 5, 2024 A10

HEIR’s apparent


could help protect dwindling number of

Black farmers

According to a 2017 USDA census report, Missouri had just over 200 Black farmers, which comprises less than 1% of the state’s farming population.

While the state is no longer dominated by the agriculture industry, it is still surprising to learn that there were 2,826 Black producers in the Show Me State in 1920.

It is a national trend. Black farmers

had dropped from 925,889 in 1920 to 45,508 in 2017, a decrease of 95%.

“We are a rapidly dying species as far as Black farmers are concerned,” Fulton farmer Lorenzo Powell told St. Louis Public Radio in 2021.

“I feel like it is definitely a weight on my shoulders — not only my shoulders, but other young Black farmers as well — to continue on this legacy of Black farming.”

Along with industrialization, lack of financing, and systemic racism, legal issues with family-owned property can

also bring farming futures to an end.

U.S. Reps. Sanford Bishop Jr (D-Georgia) and Don Davis (D-North Carolina), members of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Agriculture, recently introduced The Heirs Education and Investment to Resolve Succession (HEIRS) of Property Act. The bill would help families by providing legal services that help them resolve heirs’ property issues, which

Maximizing your bank branch experience

The importance of community

In a world of online tools that let you make banking transactions with the touch of a button, the idea of visiting a branch might seem unnecessary.

However, if you haven’t visited your local branch recently, you might be surprised by what it has to offer. Your branch is much more than a place to deposit and withdraw money – it can offer the opportunity to build valuable relationships with people who can help you achieve financial independence.

Diedra Porché, head of community and business development at Chase, talks about how the bank model has evolved to maximize the branch experience for customers; how connecting with your local branch team can help you think differently about money and investing for your future.

Q: How can a customer feel connected to a bank branch?


PeoPle on the Move

Eric Wallace earns WebsterU scholarship

Eric Wallace, an eighth-grade graduate of Lyon Academy, is recipient of the school’s Leadership Award, which includes a four-year scholarship to Webster University. Wallace, who will attend Central Visual and Performing Arts High School, delivered a graduation speech, and was awarded nine certificates (including highest math score score) and a host of sports medals. He also participates in karate, studies chess and plays keyboard.

Fleming elected Women in Trades president

Dawn Fleming has been elected to serve as president of Missouri Women in Trades (MOWIT), a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women enter and succeed in the union building trades. Fleming, a seven-year member of Carpenters Local 97 who previously served as vice president, graduated from the St. Louis Building Union Diversity (BUD) program, now run by the Missouri Works Initiative.

“My advice to other women seeking careers in the trades is to never give up. It’s challenging work, but it’s worth it. Keep your eyes on the prize,” she said.

Williams honored by STL Fire Department

Diedra Porché, head of community and business development at Chase

Angela Williams, a St. Louis Fire Department equipment dispatcher was recently awarded a Certificate of Recognition by St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis M. Jenkerson. Williams was recognized for assisting a citizen during an emergency call for service on December 20, 2023.

“Your exceptional skills, dedication and commitment to the well-being of others reflect favorably on yourself, as well as the St. Louis Fire Department and its membership,” states the certificate.

Nine PBS adds Dogan, Walker to Giving Team

Nine PBS welcomed two senior level additions to its individual giving team, Shamed Dogan and Lesley Walker.

Dogan who has served more than 20 years as a nonprofit fundraiser and administrator and a public servant, including four terms in the Missouri House, worked as a fundraiser for Washington University in St. Louis.

Walker brings more than 10 years of donor and client management experience. She served as a development manager for Texas Cultural Trust. A St. Louis area native, she earned a master’s from University of Missouri-Kansas City.

B1 Business MAY 30 – JUNE 5, 2024
Promotion, board appointment, new hire, award... please submit your People on the Move item (including photo) to
Eric Wallace Shamed Dogan Fulton farmer Lorenzo Powell is part of a vanishing breed - Black farmers in Missouri and nationwide. His family-owned cattle farm remains active but has dropped in size. Photo by Paola Rodriguez / St. Louis Public Radio
sPonsored Content
Angela Williams Lesley Walker


Continued from B1

could take months or years, so that they can start using their land for agriculture production.

“In order to make sure America continues to produce the highest quality, most affordable food and fiber, we have to support the family farmers who are the backbone of our agriculture industry,” said Bishop.

“When there is no clear title of land ownership, it makes farmland vulnerable to predatory land speculators, which has cost families — and our country — millions


Continued from B1

I love that question because we ask ourselves the same thing every day. Being part of the community means meeting with local leaders to find out what they need from us and then designing our branches around that. For example, at some of our community branches we have what we call a living room where we can host financial workshops, small business pop-up shops or nonprofit organization meetings. We also hire locally. You feel much more connected talking about financial aspirations with people from your community who went to the same high school, place of worship or frequented the same recreation center down the street where they grew up.

Q: How can I build a relationship with my bank? Customers should feel

of acres of lost farmland over the last century. It affects all agricultural producers but has hit Black farmers particularly hard.

“This bill will make sure that there are community resources available to families to help them navigate heirs’ property legal issues so they can keep family land in agriculture from generation to generation.”

Davis said, “the HEIRS Property Act makes it easier for local non-profit organizations, who provide the necessary legal expertise, to connect and work with heirs in their fight to bring the land back to agriculture use.”

comfortable sharing their goals, needs and wants with their banker. You might have a short-term or long-term goal to open a business, build your credit, become debt-free, buy a home, or save for retirement, and our community team can help. At Chase, we strive to make dreams possible for everyone, everywhere, every day. Your financial future starts with building those relationships.

Q: How can customers change negative perceptions they have about managing their money?

Far too often, customers are intimidated when they visit a bank. Our goal is to demystify banking and money myths empowering people to make the right decisions. For example, a big myth is assuming you need a lot of money to have a bank account. You don’t! Another myth is you need to carry a balance on your credit card to build credit -- actively using your credit card can demonstrate that you can

The HEIRS Property Act would amend existing law to direct the U.S. Agriculture Secretary to work with nonprofit organizations to provide pro bono legal or accounting services in resolving ownership and succession of farmland for underserved limited resource or socially disadvantaged heirs.

According to Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) research in 2023, it is estimated that more than 10,000 Black farmers who fully or partially own their land may be experiencing heirs’ property issues.

A May 2, 2024, report published by, describes heirs’ property

as land that has been passed down without a will, leaving owners without a formal deed or title.

The landowners face an increased risk of losing their land due to foreclosure or forced sale to predatory developers.

In 2023, it was estimated that more than 10,000 Black farmers who fully or partially own their land may be experiencing heirs’ property issues.

“Legal and quasi-legal trickery over the last century contributed to Black farm owners losing nearly 90% of their farmland, and to the 98% decrease in the number of Black farmers. Today,

just one in 72 farmers is Black,” said DeShawn L. Blanding senior Washington representative in the Food and Environment Program at UCS.

“We need provisions in the next food and farm bill that will help keep Black farmers on their land and assist with ownership and title issues that put them at risk of losing their land. The HEIRS Property Act will help farming families resolve ownership issues that are preventing them from investing in their farms or accessing USDA programs and services and protect their families’ legacies from predatory sales.”


use credit responsibly, but carrying a balance won’t necessarily improve your credit score. Finally, understanding mobile and online banking safety is key. There are so many safeguards and protections in place to guard your personal information and funds.

Q: What’s an easy

step one can take to shift their financial behavior right now?

Cultivating self-awareness is a good first step. Start by taking inventory of your spending. Be honest with yourself about what you need and what you want. Too often, people confuse the two, which leads to bad decisions. Rent is something you

need to pay. An extra pair of shoes is something you may want but before you buy them ask yourself if that’s the best use of your hard-earned money. Too often, our beliefs and our fears shape our financial realities. If any of those beliefs are limiting your financial behavior, it’s important to question and examine them, and then

Land without a clear title is vulnerable to being sold out from under a farmer due to shared ownership. An unresolved title may also prevent the owner from accessing much needed resources, including loans and assistance through USDA programs.

UCS has recommended increased funding from USDA for both Black farmers and community-based organizations that provide legal and mediation services to help farming families resolve heirs’ property issues and engage in estate planning.

decide if you’re open to learning something different.

Q: What’s one perception about banking that you’d like to change?

Folks are surprised there are so many resources available and accessible both at our branches and online, it’s always a good idea to visit a nearby branch and speak to a Community Manager or banker. Outside of what we offer in-branch, our teams also work with local neighborhood partners who provide a variety of services to support the community, businesses and residents. I had a unique piece of feedback from an employee who started with the bank and had lived in the same community his whole life. When he visited his local community branch, he said, “Diedra, when I walked in, I felt dignified.” Every time I recount that story, it warms my heart because that’s what we want -- we want our centers to belong to the community.

Photo by Wiley Price / St. Louis American Chase team members and members of the Cardinal Ritter cheer squad the ribbon during the December 2022 grand opening of the Chase branch in the Covent Blu-Grand Center neighborhood. Alvin A. Reid of the St. Louis American contributed to this report.

n ‘If they don’t win it all, all this means nothing.’

– ESPN’s Chris Canty on the Boston Celtics’ run to the NBA Finals

track & FiEld NotEbook

St. Louis stars rip and run to state titles

The St. Louis metropolitan area was represented well with four more state championships coming out of this weekend’s state track and field action in Missouri and Illinois.

The girls from Cardinal Ritter and Ladue came away with state championships on the Missouri side while the boys from Edwardsville and East St. Louis brought home state titles from the Illinois side.

Cardinal Ritter’s girls continued its dynastic run by winning the Class 5 state championship at Jefferson City High last weekend. The Lions have won three consecutive Class 5 state titles after winning a Class 3 title in 2021, which makes for a four-peat. The Lions won six events as they dominated the sprints and relays to score 103 points, which was 28 more than their nearest competitor. Senior sprinter Aniyah Brown closed out her great career by winning the 100-meter dash in a time of 11.6 seconds. She also finished second in the 200 and fifth in the 400.

Junior Kyndall Spain swept the hurdles titles as she won the 100-meter high hurdles in 13.64 seconds and the 300-meter low hurdles in 42.53, she also finished fifth in the 200.

Senior Hannah Wallace won the triple jump with an effort of 39 feet 10 ¾ and finished second in the high jump. Wallace is a Saint Louis University bas-

ketball recruit. The Lions also raced to state championships in the 4x100- and 4x200-meter relays. The 4x100 team finished first in 47.71 seconds while the 4x200 crew won the state title in 1:40.25. They also finished second in the 4x400. Other Lions who came home with All-State medals were Brooklyn Brady, who finished fourth in both the 100 and 200, and Takia Tiller who finished eighth in the triple jump.

Ladue Girls win Class 4 State Crown

The Ladue Rams won the Class 4 state championship by scoring 68 points. The Rams lone individual state title came from Bella Jones, who won the high jump by clearing 5 feet 4 ½ inches. Ladue also brought home state titles in the 4x200and 4x400 meter relays.

Sprinter Delaney Brinker finished second in the 400 and sixth in the 200. In the 800, a pair of Rams earned All-State medals as Aaliyah Rogers finished second and Karina Griffin finished in sixth place. The Rams also finished second in the 4x800.

Skyye Lee takes home three gold medals

Parkway Central Skyye Lee finished her stellar career by taking home three individual state championships. Lee finished first in the 200 in 23.93 seconds while sweeping both hurdles

Cardinal Ritter Girls pull off the

Saturday, May 25, 2024 at Akins Field on the campus of Lincoln University.

events. She won the 100meter high hurdles in 13.34 seconds and the 300meter low hurdles in 42.61 seconds.

Edwardsville and East St. Louis bring home state titles

The Edwardsville Tigers won a share of the IHSA Class 3A state championship last week-

end in Charleston. The Tigers scored 49 points to finish in a first-place tie with Oak Park River Forest for the state title. Senior Malik Allen was tremendous in winning the state title in the triple jump with an effort of 50 feet 6 inches. The Tigers also won the state title in the 4x100 in 41.65. Edwardsville also got second-place finishes

SportS EyE

from Iose Epenesa in the discus, Clayton Lakatos in the 200 and from the 4x200-meter relay team. Zach Lane also finished fifth in the 200,. East St. Louis won the Class 2A state championship with 50 points, just nine points ahead of second-place Mascoutah. The Flyers lone individual state champion was Kenneth Buchanon, who

won the 200 in 21.73. Darris Ivy finished second in the 800 and Shamond McClain was second in the triple jump. In the field events, Andrew Bownes was third in the discus and Elmo Gillian finished sixth in the shot put. Darius Ivy finished eighth in the 200 and the 4x400-meter relay team finished in sixth place.

MLB now includes Negro League stats

Ty Cobb, an avowed racist, must be proverbially spinning in his grave.

On Tuesday, Negro League All Star and Baseball Hall of Fame member Josh Gibson became Major League Baseball’s career leader with a .372 batting average. That tops Cobb’s .367 mark.

Social media is abuzz as many white fans are fuming that MLB officially entered Negro Leagues records for more than 2,300 players following three years of research.

next statistic. Gibson also becomes the career leader in slugging percentage (.718) and OPS (1.177), moving ahead of Babe Ruth (.690 and 1.164).

“It’s a show of respect for great players who performed in the Negro Leagues due to circumstances beyond their control and once those circumstances changed demonstrated that they were truly major leaguers,”

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Wednesday.

Gibson’s living family members and fans that never saw him play, including me, can now make the claim that he is the best player the game ever saw.

His .466 average for the 1943 Homestead Grays is now the top mark for a season in major League history. A Negro League player, Charlie “Chino” Smith, hit .451 for the 1929 New York Lincoln Giants. This pushes a .440 average by Hugh Duffy of the 1894 National League Boston team to third.

People’s heads are really exploding off this

“Maybe the single biggest factor was the success of players who played in the Negro Leagues and then came to the big leagues.”

An interesting twist to this cataclysmic and correct change is that the shortened COVID-19 season of 2020 played a significant role.

“The condensed 60-game season for the 2020 calendar year for the National League and American League prompted us to think that maybe the shortened Negro League seasons could come under the MLB umbrella, after all,”

The statistics from Josh Gibson, along with the other Negro League players, are now included with Major League player stats.

said John Thorn, MLB’s official historian and chair of a 17-member committee that combed through Negro League statistics. Willie Mays, who will be honored before a game between the St.

in Birmingham, Ala., gained 10 hits from the 1948 Birmingham Black Barons, increasing his total to 3,293. Minnie Minoso was

credited with 150 hits for the New York Cubans from 1946 to 1948 bringing his total to 2,113.

Jackie Robinson, who broke MLB’s color barrier with the 1947 Dodgers, was credited with 49 hits with the 1945 Kansas City Monarchs moving his total to 1,567.

Satchel Paige, an aging for Negro Leagues star who proved he belonged in the Majors once he got his chance, gained 28 wins, raising his total to 125.

The numbers could be higher but there are many Negro League games in which no official box score of full-game coverage could be located. This includes a famed four-home run game by Gibson in 1938.

The full record study and results will be made available the weekend of the Cardinals-Giants game, and my guess is that the numbers of Negro League greats including St. Louis’ James ‘Cool Papa’ Bell will be moving some white players down in the record book. Again, this is not being welcomed in all circles of the sporting world.

My son-in-law Tyler spent Tuesday arguing with chowderheads on the

internet. Good for him, I no longer have the energy for idiots.

The Reid Roundup Jayson Tatum is an overwhelming favorite to be named NBA Finals MVP…The Indiana Pacers had a 90% chance, according to analytics, late in the first, second and fourth games in the Eastern Conference Final against the Boston Celtics. They blew all three chances and were swept…Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott says he isn’t concerned about slow contract negotiations because “I don’t play for money.” Yeah, right dude…Two years ago, when the St. Louis Cardinals were in the market for a shortstop, I thought the team should make a run and Tim Anderson. What a mistake that would have been. After signing with the Miami Marlins, Anderson is hitting .199 with 0 home runs and six RBIs. On pace to make the most errors of any shortstop in the Majors, he was benched after a two-error performance on Tuesday.

MAY 30 – JUNE 5, 2024 B3 Sports
Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants on June 20, 2024, Earl Austin Jr. Alvin A. Reid 4-Peat at the Missouri State Class 5 Track & Field Championships Photo by Wiley Price / St. Louis American Photo courtesy of Josh Gibson Facebook Fan Page

Metro Boomin, Rung for Women support five nonprofits

Globally-renowned music producer Leland Tyler Wayne, who grew up in St. Louis and is known professionally as Metro Boomin, and leaders of Rung for Women presented checks totaling $100,000 to five local nonprofits on May 20. The funds will benefit recipients’ ongoing work to improve the lives of women and children in the St. Louis area.

“I’ve seen firsthand the work that goes into being a single mother. Mine was my inspiration and my hero,” said Wayne. “It’s very important to me to pay it forward, because I see the same resilience and dedication in the women these organizations work with.”

The organizations receiving $20,000 are Almost Home, Diamond Diva Empowerment Foundation The Haven of Grace, The Little Bit

Foundation, and Parents as Teachers.

Each grant will go directly to individual women, helping make their lives a little easier by reducing debt and/or paying expenses such as childcare, rent, and utilities.

“We are excited to partner with Metro Boomin in his work to lift up single mothers in St. Louis,” said Leslie Gill, President of Rung. “Inspired by the remarkable love he has for his late mother, he is demonstrating a commitment to women and to our community.”

The funds were raised during the Leslie Joanne Soirée holiday event Metro held at Rung for Women in December. He hosted Metro Boomin Theme Night during the May 20 St. Louis Cardinals game that included a performance. A portion of ticket sales were donated to Rung.

CITY SC making economic impact in St. Louis region

An economic impact study conducted by St. Louis-based PGAV, commissioned by CITY SC and Greater St. Louis, Inc., shows the MLS franchise generated more than $168 million in economic impact for the St. Louis region during the 2023 season. The study also found the construction of CITYPARK and its 32-acre campus created an additional $1.4 billion in economic impact since 2020. The direct cost of the privately-owned stadium campus – which includes

the stadium, team training facility and practice fields, team store, parking garage, and corporate headquarters – was $667 million. The overall impact includes approximately $122 million in incremental tax revenue, including $33 million

in local and state tax revenue, and $15 million in infrastructure upgrades to lighting, sidewalks, bike paths and streets in the surrounding area.

“Downtowns are changing. They aren’t just business districts, or even residential neighborhoods.

Artist and producer Metro Boomin threw a ceremonial first pitch before the St. Louis Cardinals game against the Baltimore Orioles at Busch Stadium on Monday, May 20, 2024. He also partnered with Rung for Women to present $100,000 to five nonprofit organizations earlier that day.

Downtowns connect people together – through sports, civic monuments, entertainment districts, and events as well as businesses and residents,” said Carolyn Kindle, St. Louis CITY SC CEO and ownership group member. “CITY SC plays an important role in bringing people together through the power of sports, but we are only part of a larger evolution for our downtown area, one that we hope brings more vision, investment and more people to our region.”

ST. LOUIS AMERICAN • MAY 30 – JUNE 5, 2024 B4 Business Briefs
Photo by Bill Greenblatt / St. Louis American

Living It

A priceless concert

Kelly Price headlines

Eta Boulé Foundation

June 8 concert

St. Louis American

Kelly Price, the nine-time Grammy Award nominated R&B and gospel vocalist, is the new headliner for the Eta Boulé Foundation 6th Annual Salute to Fathers & Mentor fundraising concert at 7 p.m. June 8, 2024, at The Sheldon. Chante Moore canceled her North American tour and Price, a star in her own right, will now take the historic Sheldon stage. The Phil Graves band will open the show with a performance by vocalists Adrianne Felton-King and Justin Hoskins.

n “This will be an evening of great entertainment and celebration.

We invite the community to join us in this historic event as we kickoff Fathers Day Weekend celebrations.”

- Johnny Furr, Jr., Eta Boule Foundation, Inc. chair

The Eta Boulé Foundation will, also honor David Steward Sr, World Wide Technology founder and chair for his commitment and service to the St. Louis region.

“We are excited that Kelly Price will entertain us with her amazing talent and voice and to have an opportunity for the community to join us as we thank David Steward, Sr. for all he has done for the St. Louis region, said Johnny Furr, Jr., Eta Boulé Foundation, Inc. chair.

“This will be an evening of great entertainment and celebration. We invite the community to join us in this historic event as we kick-off Fathers Day Weekend celebrations.”

According to her biography, Price launched her professional career in 1992 with backing vocals for Mariah Carey with songs, including All I Want for Christmas Is You” and “Fantasy.”

That’s her voice you hear in an uncredited performances on the number-one

Get ‘Faeded’

CAM and Pulitzer Arts Foundation are having a Pride party on June 7

One of St. Louis’ most famous drag artists will help the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (CAM) and the Pulitzer Arts Foundation celebrate Pride month with Faeded. The event –described as a high-fantasy dance party and musical spectacle focused on creating an exploratory space for femmes, queers, people of color and those that love them – will take place on Friday, June 7 from 6-9 p.m. It will be held in conjunction with the Grand Center Arts District’s monthly First Fridays festivities, from 5-9 p.m. Legendary St. Louis artist Maxi Glamour is among the main attraction performances and activations that will take place at both museums, and in their shared outdoor courtyard. Glamour will take the main stage, located in the Pulitzer courtyard. Their performance will be complimented by additional artists and vendors in the CAM courtyard and Performance Space as well as the Pulitzer’s Spring Church, located nearby on Spring Street.


Nine-time Grammy Award nominated vocalist Kelly Price will headline the Eta Boulé Foundation 6th Annual Salute to Fathers & Mentor fundraising concert at 7 p.m. June 8, 2024, at The Sheldon.

single “Mo Money Mo Problems” by the Notorious B.I.G. and the top-five single Feel So Good” by Mase, prompting her. Price’s debut studio album, Soul of a Woman, was released in 1998 and it garnered Platinum certification. Its lead single, “Friend of Mine”, which featured St. Louis resident Ronald Isley, reached the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100.

Price soared with Faith Evans on Whitney Houston’s 1998 single “Heartbreak Hotel,” which peaked at number two on the charts and earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or a Group

See Eta Boulé, C8

“Drag performers are like the columns of queer culture,” Glamour told The American in 2020. “They are the champions that dictate and normalize structures of society.”

Glamour is well known for their transcendent non-binary drag looks – which are designed to appear literally out of this world. In 2014, Glamour became one of the founders of Qu’art St. Louis, an art event that presents queer art and promotes queer creative culture on social media.

“I wanted to change the art scene in St. Louis and make it queerer and make it more wild and give people opportunities to grow,” Glamour said. “We [drag artists] are at the helm of queer political discourse, and we have the responsibili-

‘The Flintstones’ was the fabric of our culture. I knew that this was a big step forward for Black people, Black women especially.’ - Halle Berry on her role in ‘The Flintstones’ 30 years ago

Longtime Executive Protection professional Charles “Bizkitt” Smith officially founded My Life In A Bag Foundation in 2021.

June 8 Urban Trivia

Night to raise funds for My Life In A Bag Foundation

Thanks to his professional life, Charles “Bizkitt” Smith was given a rare vantage point to the stunning contrasts between the haves and the have nots.

As President and CEO of Agape Executive Protection & Management, he has worked with some of the biggest names in R&B and hip-hop. “I’ve been around since the Animal House days,” Smith said with a laugh. “I’ve been knowing most of these artists – from Doug E. Fresh to LL to everybody – ever since they first started and began coming to St. Louis.”

Famed drag artist Maxi Glamour will be a featured performer for ‘Faeded’ a collaboration to commemorate Pride month by Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and the Pulitzer Arts Foundation on Friday, June 7.

ty to navigate queer culture into a more equitable and more liberated place.”

Glamour’s art emerged out of St. Louis and onto the global stage through participation in a Netflix show called “The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula,” becoming the first drag queen in St. Louis history to perform on an international television show.

“Being one of the most prolific drag queens in St. Louis history is crazy,” Glamour said. “Reality TV is no joke.”

In addition to their activism with respect to queer culture, Glamour became one of the leading voices of local protests in response to the deaths at the hands of

He has been the personal bodyguard of DMC of the pioneering rap group RunDMC since 1995. Through his work he has seen first-hand the lavish life afforded to rap royalty. But he also spent more than 15 years employed in youth group home facilities – and watched young people carry their personal belongings in trash bags from one place to the next. In a case of divine coincidence, When he was 45 years old, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels learned that he was adopted. The rap icon began visiting foster homes around the world to raise awareness and provide young people with inspiration. Smith saw a familiar sight when he traveled to those facilities with DMC.

n “You shouldn’t have to walk around carrying the things that you own in anything that represents garbage. Seeing that just really did something to me.”

- Charles “Bizkitt” Smith

“It didn’t matter if it was in another city – it didn’t matter if it was in another country, everywhere we went, I saw young people with their belongings in black plastic bags,” Smith said. “You shouldn’t have to walk around carrying the things that you own in anything that represents garbage. Seeing that just really did something to me.” What he saw compelled him to act. The ultimate outcome would be the establishment of My Life In A Bag Foundation, which will have a PreFather’s Day and Juneteenth Celebration Trivia Night at 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 8 at the Machinist Hall, 12365 St. Charles Rock Road.

While he was still employed at a facility, Smith took notice of a resident who was going on a home visit during the Christmas holiday. As usual, the young man had shoved his clothes into a black plastic bag.

“I grabbed him a nice large piece of luggage and told him, ‘put your stuff in here, don’t put it in that trash bag,’” Smith said.

Smith could see in the young man’s eyes and in his response that his simple act of kindness had a life-altering effect. “You giving me this?” The young man asked, according to Smith. “I said, ‘Yes. I don’t want you putting your stuff in a trash bag no more,’” Smith

Courtesy Photo
C1 • ST. LOUIS AMERICAN • MAY 30 - JUNE 5, 2024
A suitcase full of hope See Suitcase, C8 See Faeded, C8
Photo courtesy of Maxi Glamour Courtesy



5/30/2024 - 6/5/2024 7:00 p.m.


2607 Potomac St.

St. Louis, MO $30.00

NEW DATE! Notes from

Home: Anita Jackson

5/30/2024 7:00 p.m.

Sheldon Concert Hall and Art Galleries

3648 Washington Blvd

St. Louis, MO


Stephen Marley: Old Soul Unplugged

5/30/2024 8:00 p.m.

The Hawthorn 2331 Washington Avenue St. Louis, MO

$33.50 to $81.00

Jesus Thank You Gospel Jazz Concert

5/31/2024 7:00 p.m.

Sheldon Concert Hall and Art Galleries

3648 Washington Blvd St. Louis, MO $50.00

MJ the Musical

5/31/2024 - 6/1/2024

Showtimes vary The Fabulous Fox 527 N Grand Blvd St. Louis, MO


Jazz Spectacular Concert with the Marko Marcinko St.Louis Quartet

6/1/2024 5:00 p.m.

Join us Saturday for a Jazz Spectacular

The Marko Marcinko St Louis Jazz Quartet

Featuring Bernard Terry, Eric Slaughter and Kwane Johnson Refreshments will be provided!

Green Trails UMC 14237 Lade Road

STL Sites & Sounds

Chesterfield, MO Free

Rhythm & Roots with Forest ReLeaf of Missouri

6/1/2024 11:00 a.m.

Concert by Celia, a popular artist with St. Louis kids and families. Forest Releaf Office 4642 Shenandoah Avenue

St. Louis, MO Free


Tower Grove Park Beer and Cocktail Garden

5/31/2024 4:00 p.m.

St. Louis Barkeep and Schlafly

Tower Grove Park 4257 Northeast Drive St. Louis, MO

Dutchtown Summer Vibes

Street Festival

6/1/2024 12:00pm Meramec Street St. Louis, MO Free


Tower Grove Farmers’ Market

6/1/2024 8:00 a.m.

The Tower Grove Farmers’ Market is Saturdays from 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (April through November) and Tuesdays from 4-7 p.m. (May through September).

Tower Grove Park 4257 Northeast Drive St. Louis, MO

A Walk Through History Tour

6/5/2024 10:00 a.m.

Simply catching sight of the gates of Tower Grove Park instills a sense of wonder in passersby. Most visitors who have driven past the Turkish

Pavilion or caught a glimpse of The Ruins are curious about the whys and whens of these features not often seen in public parks. Meet your docent at the Music Stand and join us for a 1-hour tour through the Central Corridor of the Park. The tour route is a 1/2 mile loop on a paved, accessible surface. The tour pacing is very slow, with frequent stops.

Tower Grove Park 4257 Northeast Drive St. Louis, MO



Drop-In Collection Tour: Art for All 5/31/2024

The Saint Louis Art Museum is “Dedicated to Art and Free to All.”

highlighting works that feature a range of materials and formats, and that carry unique messages. Tours begin at the Welcome Desk in Sculpture Hall on a firstcome, first-served basis. Saint Louis Art Museum One Fine Arts Drive St. Louis, MO

See STL: Downtown Origins 5/31/2024 10:00 a.m.

Focusing on the eastern portion of downtown, this tour includes the non-negotiables, like the Gateway Arch, Eads Bridge, and the Old Courthouse, as well as lots of hidden history.

Missouri History Museum 5700 Lindell Blvd St. Louis, MO $15.00+

Storytelling: May 5/31/2024 10:30 a.m.

May Storytelling themes include The 1904 World’s Fair, Summer Vacation, Jewish American Heritage Month, Music, Asian American and Pacific Islander

Heritage Month, and Chinese Zodiac Stories.

Missouri History Museum 5700 Lindell Blvd St. Louis, MO Free

See STL: Kirkwood 6/1/2024 10:00 a.m.

This tour will begin with Kirkwood’s origins as an affluent city and trace its growth to the 21st century as it evolved into one of St. Louis’s most interesting suburbs. Missouri History Museum 5700 Lindell Blvd St. Louis, MO $15.00+

Soulard Pride

6/1/2024 12:00pm-6:00 p.m.

Soulard Pride is a LGBTQIA+ street festival located in the neighborhood of Soulard. The day will consist of the Soulard Pride Golf Cart Parade, a festival which will include street vendors, a DJ, entertainment, and community engagement. The festival location will be on Menard St., between Russell Blvd. and Geyer Ave. Parade route and other specifics to follow. events St. Louis, MO $46.00+


Entrepreneurship Academy (BEA) 6/1/2024 11:00 a.m. Networking, and learning Interactive workshops, hear from successful entrepreneurs, and hands-on activities St. Louis Community CollegeForest Park 5600 Oakland Ave. St. Louis, MO Free

St. Louis American Calendar
Photo by Taylor Marrie | St. Louis American Stephen Marley returns to St. Louis for his “Old Soul Unplugged” concert at The Hawthorn on May 30 at 8:00 p.m.

Be a Tourist in Your Own Town

St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission

Let the Lou Surprise You

Festival season is fast-approaching, and St. Louis has an electrifying lineup of concerts, performances and community celebrations that will leave you with barely a moment to rest. For a complete list of upcoming events in St. Louis, visit

Whitaker Music Festival

May 29 to July 31

The Missouri Botanical Garden is an idyllic place to listen to live music, and on Wednesday evenings throughout the summer, the garden hosts free, open-air concerts as part of the annual Whitaker Music Festival. To date, more than one million people have participated in the cherished St. Louis tradition, which promotes common heritage, celebrates diversity and encourages vitality within the community. Gather a group, pack a picnic, bring a blanket and we’ll see you there!

St. Louis Shakespeare Festival May 29 to August 25

Meet us in the region’s most beautiful parks for theater productions designed to reach hearts. The 2024 season of the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival brings a funny, lusty production of As You Like It to Forest Park from May 29 to June 23. Further into summer, TourCO will take a larger-than-life production of The Tempest on the road, performing in 24 parks in Missouri and Illinois from July 30 to Aug. 25. The St. Louis Shakespeare Festival is “free forever to everyone always.” No reservations required.

Enjoy Illinois 300 NASCAR Cup Series June 2

Enjoy Illinois 300 brings the cars and stars of the NASCAR Cup Series to World Wide Technology Raceway on the first weekend of June. In addition to the rip-roaring race, NASCAR weekend includes the Confluence Music Festival with headliners Ludacris and Riley Green, along with the JJK 5K to benefit the Jackie-Joyner Kersee Foundation and other spectacular fan enhancements.

and drink vendors in the afternoon and a spectacle with live music and a car show in the evening.

BLK Family Reunion

June 15

Created to unite the region – from St. Louis to Chicago and Kansas City to Memphis – BLK Family Reunion is the beating heart of Midwest culture. The Juneteenth weekend extravaganza will showcase the best of our culture through live music, all-ages activities, food and family.

UFL Championship Game

June 16

The St. Louis Battlehawks have officially clinched the playoffs, and we hope to see them in the UFL championship game at The Dome at America’s Center on June 16! “Selecting the location of the championship game is about more than the stadium; it’s about the community and the fanbase that surrounds it,” UFL president and CEO Russ Brandon said in a press release. “That’s why we’re proud to bring our championship to St. Louis –a city that has loved and embraced spring football from the start.”

King Hedley II - June 19 to July 14

Next month, The St. Louis Black Repertory Company will stage King Hedley II by August Wilson. Peddling stolen refrigerators in the hopes of opening a video store one day, King Hedley, an ex-convict, toils with self-worth throughout the production. Themes such as earning and spending, killing and dying are woven into the 1980s installment in Wilson’s renowned cycle of shows about the Black experience in the U.S., and King Hedley II draws on characters portrayed in Seven Guitars to illustrate how shadows of the past can darken the present.

Beethoven X Beyoncé June 23

Glory To GOD!

We are celebrating The St. Louis Bible Way Church’s 52nd Anniversary, Pentecost (official Jewish celebration day), and a dinner (after-five attire) on Sunday, June 9, 2024. We will also be honoring our Holy Ghost filled, mighty, illustrious leader and Senior Pastor, Bishop Patricia Talley-Whitelocke (who is 92 years young!), at this event.

Our celebration day will start in the afternoon at 2:00 p.m. If you would like to celebrate with us at dinner, the cost for the meal is $40.00.

You can RSVP to Deaconess Clarice King at (314) 339-5192 as soon as possible or at the church number (314) 725-5257. We serve a Mighty GOD!

Central West End Cocktail Party June 8

Many people claim that the first cocktail party on record was held in the Central West End in 1917, with Mrs. Julius S. Walsh, Jr. hosting in her home at 4510 Lindell Blvd, and every year, the neighborhood celebrates the anniversary in style. This year, expect aerial performers, fire dancers, unicyclists and music by Marquise Knox, The Grooveliner, Monkh and Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes among cocktails and cotton candy at the event.

Juneteenth Celebration in the Delmar Loop June 15

Juneteenth is an essential commemoration of freedom. To reflect and celebrate, the Delmar Loop will host a special event featuring an energizing 5K run/walk in the morning, a fair with art, retail, food

In this innovative fusion, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra will interweave 15 of Beyoncé’s chart-topping hits with Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony. Three powerhouse female soloists – accompanied by a guest drummer, guitarist/keyboardist and bassist – will join forces with the Grammy Award-winning symphony orchestra to deliver a night of musical magic.

Grand Pride Parade - June 30

The Grand Pride Parade, which travels down Market Street through downtown St. Louis, is the culmination of the spirited PrideFest celebrations that happen at the end of every June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots, which occurred in New York City on June 28, 1969. The historic uprising served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the U.S. “PrideFest is always a good time,” Jordan Braxton, an educator and advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights, says. “Last year, the festival drew more than 325,000 people to downtown St. Louis, and this year, we’re expecting a similarly sized crowd –plus, the same great energy!”

Columnist Barry Draper

United Methodists choose inclusion for all as standard of its church

In early May, the 2024

General Conference of the United Methodist Church closed with a joyful scene: lines of people laughing, dancing, and singing “What the world needs now, is love sweet love,” as they embraced a new era of inclusion.

It marked a watershed moment for the denomination after delegates voted to remove language condemning LGBTQ people.

There could be no more perfect time to be a member of such a church, and certainly to be the newly elected president of the Council of Bishops.

“I couldn’t have chosen a better moment,” says the Right Rev. Tracy S. Malone, the first Black woman to be president of the Council of Bishops.

“For the first time, we were the people we’ve proclaimed ourselves to be, and through our liturgy and our polity, no one person, no group of people, was excluded from our body,” she says.

The move enables fuller LGBTQ participation in the UMC, eliminating policies that previously barred LGBTQ people from marriage and ordination.

“We’re for everybody. And as beloved children of God, we’re not going to say that you’re not fully welcome to have access to the full life of the church,” she says.

Greater Northwest Area Bishop Cedric D. Bridgeforth told UMC News that removing condemning language on homosexuality opens the church to a worldwide conversation. He added that he hopes that local churches “will not grow weary in well-doing” because these decisions made at the General Conference will call for a cultural shift and hard conversations. For Malone, this change continues a long journey toward inclusion in Methodism’s history.

“Even before the United Methodist Church was formed, you had the break from the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. I mean, all that was over the exclusion of Black folks. And then you have the period of time in the church where women were excluded. The first woman was ordained in 1956,” Malone says. And in response to a question about the suggested mass exodus because of these recent changes by conservative UM churches –some with Black congregations,

Malone said reports may have been exaggerated. She projected that one-third of their membership would leave but declared the remaining church to be a big table.

“Of course, you’re going to have folk who say, I can no longer walk. And what we say is we need to bless and send,” she said.

“The blessing is that at this general conference, nothing we have is excluding anybody,” Malone says.

“We’re a fully inclusive church where everybody is fully welcome. It removed anything that would exclude anybody. And that’s who God is calling us to be.”

Malone says the changes also don’t mean everybody is for same-gender marriage, or they’re perfect.

“It doesn’t mean that everybody is happy with the decision that was made, but I can say that this is truly, truly, I believe, a new day for the United Methodist Church. And I do believe that fresh winds of God’s spirit are truly blowing through this church. And the next expression of what United Methodism is looking like and will look like, we’re only on the verge of that.”

When elected in November 2023, Malone said, “God always, always has a plan and a purpose, and God is always doing something new. And I firmly believe that God has a plan and a dream of the future of this Council of Bishops, and God has a plan and a dream for our beloved United Methodist Church.”

And now she’s witnessed a step in God’s plan.

“God had been preparing me,” Malone says. But I also say this to all my colleagues because you had to get elected. This isn’t an appointed position.”

“It’s a sacred trust that I don’t take lightly and I’m not even trying to get the glory for it, even though I’m honored that I’m the one that’s embodying it. God’s wisdom in raising me up, and the church raising me up, and all the life experiences that I’ve had, with all my world travel and leadership — all that was for this pivotal moment.”

Photo courtesy Mike DuBose I UM News
Get a Zoo perspective. Plan your visit at CY CMY Image STL American 241023.pdf 1 5/20/24 1:59 PM
Tracy S. Malone, the first Black woman to be elected United Methodist Church Bishops’ Council president, is praising the decision to eliminate policies that barred LGBTQ people from marriage and ordination in the Methodist Church.


The Missouri Historical Society is actively hiring for the following positions:

• IT Support Specialist

• Objects Conservator

• Resource Protection Officer, Part-time

• Visitor Experience Associate, Full-time

• Visitor Experience Associate, Part-time

Please visit www. under the “Job Seekers: Current Openings” tab for position details and to apply.


Seed St. Louis is hiring for a manager who will lead installations across our network of gardens and orchards. Full time with benefits. We are a local non-profit committed to food justice and urban agriculture. Learn more at


*Theses positions include a $2,500 sign-on bonus after successfully completing 90 days of employment.


The St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC) is eagerly seeking candidates to join our team as we endeavor to bring economic justice to St. Louis City residents and communities that were disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

There are multiple 2-4-year limited term positions available, term of employment will vary for each position.

+This position may be financed wholly or in part through an allocation of Community Development Block Grant funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the City of St Louis’ Community Development Administration.

To apply please email: with the job title in the subject line.


Great Rivers Greenway is hiring a Grants Administrator and Compliance Manager. Go to www. jobs-bids for more information and submit by June 07, 2024.


Love Church is hiring a part-time Sound Engineer. To apply or for more information, please DM us or contact us at

Love Church Sound Engineer Description


• Provide proper soundchecks to include Front-of-House mix, monitor mixes, gain settings, proper volume settings and EQ/mixing process for all church services, livestream, live performances, designated events, Praise and Worship sessions, band sessions and choir sessions

• Diagnose, troubleshoot, and resolve all sound equipment issues

• Train all Sound Ministry sound board volunteers

• Coordinate with Minister of Music and Worship Leader for song structure to enhance mix for Sunday services, designated events, Praise & Worship, and choir

• Provide stage and audio set-up for all church services and designated events to include audio needs for guest speakers, musicians, and singers

• Provide proper volume levels and sound quality during recording using Pro Tools and console

• Receive audio requirements for timely execution of all upcoming church services and designated events

• Manage all audio engineers within the Sound Ministry

• Communicates with Premiere Event Center’s audio engineer/tech person regarding all sound equipment issues/ updates

• Responsible for over 250 pieces of audio equipment and accessories


St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC) has openings for multiple positions. To apply online and see a full job description go to https://www. careers and click “Open Positions & Apply Online.”


Forest Park Forever has a position open for an Individual Giving Manager. The position is responsible for cultivating and maintaining relationships with individual donors to secure financial support to advance the mission and objectives of Forest Park Forever. Please visit https://www. for full details and to apply online.

These positions will assist in the administration and implementation of various Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) Programs targeted for households, small businesses and communities adversely impacted by the pandemic.

All positions will be funded in whole or in part through an allocation of Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the US Department of the Treasury and the City of St. Louis’ Community Development Administration.

To see the full job description of positions available and to apply online go to: and click on “Careers at SLDC.” SLDC is an equal opportunity employer and values diversity.

Washington University in St. Louis offers rewarding opportunities in various fields at all levels, with positions in engineering, nursing and health care, research, administration, technology, security and more.

JR81346 - LPN Opportunities

WashU is seeking LPNS with current or recent hospital or clinic experience to work at one of our many clinic locations. Preferences: Experience with Epic documentation and current/recent hospital or clinic experience.

Our openings include Orthopedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Pediatrics, Urological Surgery and Gastroenterology.

JR81166 Purchasing/Receiving Assistant - McDonnell Genome Institute (MGI)

This position is responsible for receiving and/or purchasing storeroom supplies, including upkeep of inventory tracking system for assigned department. Asset tracking, review, and acceptance for assigned department. Assisting as needed for Preventative Maintenance visits to orchestrate between lab and vendor.

The ideal candidate will meet the following required qualifications: High school diploma or equivalent high school certificate. One year of prior work experience. University required EH&S certificate of training specific to department (to be completed on the job). Depending upon department, possess or obtain prior to employment Missouri Class E driver’s license or equivalent.

JR81346 - LPN Opportunities

WashU is seeking LPNS with current or recent hospital or clinic experience to work at one of our many clinic locations.

Preferences: Experience with Epic documentation and current/recent hospital or clinic experience.

Our openings include Orthopedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Pediatrics, Urological Surgery and Gastroenterology.

For a full description of these positions and other career opportunities, please visit

ST. LOUIS AMERICAN • MAY 30 - JUNE 5, 2024 THE THE St. LouiS american Career Center St. LouiS american THE THE C5
Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer Services Provided On A Non-Discriminatory Basis
to apply. Click search jobs and enter the job ID number. We seek people from diverse backgrounds to join us in a supportive environment that encourages boldness, inclusion and creativity. EO/AA/VET/Disability Employer
Activities Director Administrative Specialist Cook LPN Resident Advocate Building & Grounds Specialist Maintenance Technician Out State Housing Specialist Residential Program Director Emergency Housing Care Coord. Client Service Coordinator

St. LouiS american Bids & Public Notices


Millstone Weber, LLC is soliciting proposals for the removal and replacement of airfield concrete pavement, including demo, excavation, pavement markings, underdrains, electrical, asphalt and miscellaneous other work as indicated on the plans and specifications for the STL Lambert Txwy C Reconstruction Project 2. Please phone 636-688-8794, fax 636-949-3129 or email bob.stubbs@, quotes to bids@ by 12:00 PM CDT on 06/03/2024. Millstone Weber encourages qualified MBE/WBE subcontractors & vendors to bid this project. For Access to Plans and Specifications, please email bids@millstoneweber. com.


Bids for Minor Renovations for Infection Control at Mt. Vernon Veterans Home, Project No. U230201, will be received by FMDC, State of MO, UNTIL 1:30 PM, June 18, 2024 via MissouriBUYS. Bidders must be registered to bid. Project information available at: gov/facilities


Bids for Sewer System, Battle of Athens State Historic Site, Project No. X2302-04 will be received by FMDC, State of MO, UNTIL 1:30 PM, 6/27/24. For specific project information and ordering plans, go to: gov/facilities


The Saint Louis Zoo seeks bids from qualified firms to submit proposals. Bid documents are available as of 5/29/24 on the Saint Louis Zoo website:


Section 3 / MBE /WBE Encouraged 40 Units Multi Family – JEFFERSON CITY, MO For Bid Information: 573-204-3097 or or zventura@vendev. cc Double Diamond Construction 2201 Walton Dr., Ste. B Jackson, MO 63755


Bids for Improvements to Water and Wastewater Systems Infrastructure, St. James Veterans Home, Project No. U2309-01 will be received by FMDC, State of MO, UNTIL 1:30 PM, June 25, 2024. For specific project information and ordering plans, go to: http:// facilities


Bids for Replace Roof - Lodge, Bothwell State Historic Site, Project No. X2214-01 will be received by FMDC, State of MO, UNTIL 1:30 PM, June 25, 2024. For specific project information and ordering plans, go to: gov/facilities


Bids for New Laboratory Campus Multi-Agency, Project No. O2301-01 will be received by McCownGordon Construction at the office of OA/FMDC, State of MO UNTIL 3:00PM, June 20, 2024. Project location is 135 N Chestnut St, Jefferson City, MO 65101. Bid Package 02B

Scopes of work including: Plumbing, HVAC, and Electrical Bid Package information available at: https://app. public/ 565cdb606895000f004164f2/ projects/ 663147610b573700493531e0

MBE participation goal of 10% and WBE participation Goals of 10% and SDVE participation goal of 3% are included.

OA/FMDC reserves the right to reject any and all bids and to waive all informalities in bids.

McCownGordon Construction is an Equal Opportunity Employer.



Sealed bids needed from licensed, bonded, insured Contractors to Install Speed Humps in Pine Lawn. Get job specifications at Pine Lawn City Hall-6250 Steve Marre Ave., Pine Lawn, Mo. 63121. Bids will be opened at 5:00 pm Monday June 10, 2024 at the City Hall address.


Bids for Replace Lagoon, Long Branch State Park, Project No. X230202 will be received by FMDC, State of MO, UNTIL 1:30 PM, 6/18/24. For specific project information and ordering plans, go to: gov/facilities


Bids for Minor Renovations for Infection Control, Cameron Veterans Home, Project No. U230203 will be received by FMDC, State of MO, UNTIL 1:30 PM, July 9, 2024. For specific project information and ordering plans, go to: gov/facilities


Electronic bids submitted through the Bid Express Online Portal will be received by the Board of Public Service until 1:45 PM, CT, on June 18, 2024, then publicly opened and read. Proposals must be submitted electronically using the “Bid Express Online Portal” at https://www.bidexpress. com/businesses/20618/home. Plans and Specifications may be examined on the Board of Public Service website http:// (BPS On Line Plan Room) and may be purchased directly through the BPS website from INDOX Services at cost plus shipping. No refunds will be made.

A mandatory pre-bid conference for all contractors bidding on this project will be held on May 29, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. The pre-bid conference will be held in Room 305 City Hall, 1200 Market Street, St. Louis, Missouri 63103.

Bidders shall comply with all applicable City, State, and Federal laws (including MBE/WBE policies).

All bidders must regard Federal Executive Order 11246, “Notice of Requirement for Affirmative Action to Ensure Equal Employment Opportunity”, the “Equal Opportunity Clause” and the “Standard Federal Equal Employment Specifications” set forth within and referenced at (Announcements).


The Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority of the County of St. Louis solicits proposals for Owner’s Representative and Construction Management Services to oversee the planning, design, and construction of several capital improvements at the MET Center, located at 6347 Plymouth Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri. A copy of the complete RFP is available at rfp-rfq/. To be considered, proposals must be received no later than 3:00 PM CST on Friday, June 21, 2024.

St. Louis Economic Development Partnership Equal Opportunity Employer


The St. Louis Economic Development Partnership solicits proposals for Owner’s Representative and Construction Management Services to oversee the construction of several capital improvements at the bio-technology business incubator located at 1100 Corporate Square Drive, St. Louis, Missouri 63132, commonly known as the Helix Center. A copy of the complete RFP is available at https:// To be considered, proposals must be received no later than 3:00 PM CST on Friday, June 21, 2024.

St. Louis Economic Development Partnership Equal Opportunity Employer


Please be advised that a public hearing shall be conducted at 2:00 p.m. on June 11, 2024 in Room 208 of St. Louis City Hall, 1200 Market Street, St. Louis MO 63103 regarding the establishment of the Grand Center East Community Improvement District (the “District”). A petition for the establishment of the District has been filed with the municipal clerk.

The boundaries of the proposed District are as follows:

Beginning at the intersection of the centerline of Delmar Boulevard, 20 feet wide, with the centerline of Compton Ave, 20 feet wide; thence Southerly along said centerline of Compton Ave a distance of 1,333 feet to its intersection with the centerline of Olive St, 25 feet wide; thence West along the centerline Olive St a distance of 898 feet; thence Northwest along the Southeastern prolongation of the centerline of Olive Street and along the centerline of Olive Street a distance of 506 feet to its intersection with the centerline of North Theresa Avenue; thence North along the centerline of North Theresa Avenue a distance of 131 feet more or less to its intersection with the centerline of Locust Street, 60 feet wide; thence East along the centerline of Locust Street a distance of 180 feet; thence North along the Southern prolongation of the East line of Lot 6 in Block 7 of the Subdivision of Section 16 in Block 1056 of the City of St. Louis, along the East line of said Lot 6 and along the Northern prolongation of the East line of said Lot 6 a distance of 172.17 feet to the centerline of an East – West alley, 15 feet wide, in City Block 1056; thence West along the centerline of said alley, through Theresa Avenue and along the centerline of an East – West alley, 15 feet wide, in City Block 1060 a distance of 355 feet to its intersection with the Southern prolongation of the West line of said property conveyed to Mon F and Jean Y Wong by deed recorded in Book 716M page 1462 of the City of St. Louis Records; thence North along the Southern prolongation of said property and along the West line of said property conveyed to Wong and being also along the West line of the Eastern 45.03 feet of Lot 12 in Block 6 of Thomas Walsh Subdivision of Section 16 in Block 1060 of the City of St. Louis and along the Northern prolongation of said property a distance of 175 feet to its intersection with the centerline of Washington Boulevard, 80 feet wide; thence East along the centerline of Washington Boulevard a distance of 175 feet to its intersection with the centerline of said North Theresa Avenue; thence North along the centerline of North Theresa Avenue a distance of 345 feet to its intersection with the centerline of Samuel Shepard Drive, 60 feet wide; thence East along the centerline of Samuel Shepard Drive a distance of 195 feet to its intersection with the Southern prolongation of the West line of said property conveyed to 3424 Delmar Realty, LLC by deed recorded in Book 09122008 page 0225 of the City of St. Louis Records; thence North along the Southern prolongation of the West line of said property and along the West line of said property and being parallel to and 235.5’ West of the West line of Josephine Baker Boulevard a distance of 172 feet to the center line of a former East – West alley now vacated; thence West along the centerline of said vacated alley a distance of 4.5 feet; thence North along the West line of said property conveyed to 3424 Delmar Realty, LLC and along the Northern prolongation of said West line of said property and being parallel to and 240’ West of the West line of Josephine Baker Boulevard a distance of 171 feet to its intersection with the centerline of said Delmar Boulevard; thence East along the centerline of Delmar Boulevard a distance of 1,091 feet to the point of beginning.

A map illustrating the proposed boundaries of the District is shown below. A copy of the petition is available for review at the office of the municipal clerk during regular business hours. All interested persons shall be given an opportunity to be heard at the public hearing.

To attend and/or testify at this meeting virtually click the link below:

Procedures to Speak in Committee Meetings Virtually

The Chair of the Committee will announce when the meeting will be open for public comment. If you wish to speak, click the “Raise Hand” icon and function in the Zoom Meeting Screen while in the meeting. This will place a raised hand next to your name. Usually only people showing a raised hand will be called on to speak. When the Chair is ready for you to speak you will be moved from the attendee list to the participant list by the meeting manager. You will be moved back to the attendee list once you are completed. Speakers from the public will be called to speak in order of appearance on the list. Committee members may have questions after your talk. When you enter the meeting to speak the Chair will ask your name and may ask if you are for, against or have no position on the petition. The Chair may also ask other questions related to your relationship to the petition.The Chair will determine the amount of time all speakers will have. The Chair may determine this after all those wishing to speak have raised their hands. The time usually allotted to speak is about three (3) minutes. The exact time will be announced by the Chair before the public comments begin.

Terry Kennedy, Clerk of the Board of Aldermen St Louis City Hall, 1200 Market, Suite 230, St. Louis, Missouri 63103, 314-622-3287

St. LouiS american THE THE

St. LouiS american Bids & Public Notices St. LouiS


Bids for New Laboratory Campus Multi-Agency, Project No. O2301-01 will be received by McCownGordon Construction at the office of OA/FMDC, State of MO UNTIL 2:00PM, June 27, 2024. Project location is 135 N Chestnut St, Jefferson City, MO 65101. Bid Package 02A Scopes of work including: Concrete – elevated decks, Steel, Exterior Glazing. Bid Package information available at: https://app. pulic/ 565cdb606895000f004164f2/ projects/ 66312fa50de9760042b2d62e

MBE participation goal of 10% and WBE participation Goals of 10% and SDVE participation goal of 3% are included.

OA/FMDC reserves the right to reject any and all bids and to waive all informalities in bids.

McCownGordon Construction is an Equal Opportunity Employer.




St. Louis Development Corporation (“SLDC”) is issuing 3 Request for Proposals (RFP) for Learning labs, tech-equipped spaces embedded within four community centers across the City of St. Louis. These labs provide residents with free or low-cost access to computers, the internet, and digital literacy training programs. The Learning Labs is a collective effort to provide a positive outlet for individuals to participate and have access to technology along with technical support. The three RFPs are titled Community Help Desk, Digital Literacy Education and Data Portal/ Platform.

$2M of Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) allocated to SLDC, passed through the St. Louis City Community Development Administration, will provide funding for this program and service providers.

The RFP will be available for download on SLDC’s website at https:// on Friday, May 31, 2024. Responses are due by 5:00 pm, Friday, June 21, 2024 . SLDC is an equal opportunity employer and values diversity.


The Circuit Court of St. Louis County, Missouri, announces that it is soliciting candidates for the position of Traffic Court Commissioner of the Circuit Court of St. Louis County.

The Circuit Judges and Associate Judges will make the appointment for a term of (4) years, at an annual salary of (1/3) of an associate circuit judge and (1/3) the approximate time commitment, payable by the State of Missouri, pursuant to RSMo §479.500

Missouri law requires the Traffic Court Commissioner(s) to possess the same qualifications as an associate circuit judge, including those set forth in the Missouri Constitution, Article V, Section 21, to wit, they must be qualified voters of the state, residents of St. Louis County, Missouri, at least twenty-five years old, licensed to practice law in Missouri; and possess all other qualifications as required by law. (See RSMo §479.500).

Questionnaires and Candidate Instructions may be obtained by sending a resume and cover letter to St. Louis County Circuit Court, ATTN: Human Resources, 105 S. Central Avenue, Clayton, Missouri, 63105, or via email to

Completed questionnaires must be submitted in writing to St. Louis County Circuit Court, ATTN: Human Resources, 105 S. Central Avenue, Clayton, Missouri 63105, or via email to SLCCourtJobs@ on or before June 28, 2024

The appointment is scheduled to take place upon a vote of the Court en Banc on or about July 10, 2024 or at such time as announced by the Presiding Judge. EOE. Please contact the Human Resources Department at 615-4471 (voice) or RelayMo 711 or 800-735-2966 if you need any accommodations in the application process, or if you would like this posting in an alternative form.


Advertised herein is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal to advertise any preference, imitation, or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial\ status, or national origin, or intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination. “We will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of the law. All persons are hereby informed that all dwellings advertised are available on an equal opportunity basis.” Call Angelita Houston at 314-289-5430 or email to place your ads today!


Notice is hereby given that the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District Requests for Quotes, Bids and Proposals are posted online for public download. Please navigate to > Doing Business With Us > View Bid Opportunities

Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Bids for the Dual Brand Hotel Kimpton/Staybridge Revision 1 in St Louis, Missouri are being received by Brinkmann Constructors. Bids must be turned in by Monday, June 24 –12PM CST

Bids may be delivered to our office at 16650 Chesterfield Grove Rd Chesterfield, MO 63005

Attn Chris Kaintz or emailed to bids@ BrinkmannConstructors. com

Plans may be viewed or downloaded at https://securecc. PublicBidProject/759576

Contact Brinkmann Constructors for further details on the project at 636-537-9700


Reinhardt Construction LLC is Soliciting Bids from MBE/WBE/DBE/ Veteran/SDVE for the following:

CP230841 National Swine Resource and Research Center – Construct Addition Contact: Mike Murray ; mikem@ reinhardtconstructionllc. com Phone: 573-682-5505


Quadrangle Housing Company (QHC), an affiliate of Washington University in St Louis, is requesting bids from general contractors for flood mitigation work at multiple residential properties located in University City, Missouri. The scope of work includes plumbing, electrical, carpentry and HVAC focused on reducing or eliminating future flood incidents at the multi-family, residential properties.

There will be a pre-bid meeting at 901 Eastgate, University City, Missouri 63110 on June 13, 2024 from 1:30 pm to 5 pm. Each bidder will be held to have examined the project sites and satisfied himself or herself of existing conditions and conditions under which the work is to be performed.

If interested, a copy of the request for proposals can be obtained by emailing John Frey at email address: john_frey@ . All questions related to this RFP should be directed to John Frey via email or by telephone at 314-935-9399.

Proposals must be received by email no later than 3 pm Monday, June 24, 2024. Proposals must be emailed to: john_ and delivered to 1st Floor Receptionist at 621 North Skinker, St Louis, Missouri 63112 .

QHC reserves the right to accept or reject any and all responses received, or to cancel this request in part or in its entirety if it is in the best interest of QHC to do so.

Quadrangle Housing Company and Washington University in St. Louis are Equal Opportunity Employers


Bids for Construct Bellefontaine Readiness Center, St. Louis, MO, Project No. T2150-01 will be received by FMDC, State of MO, UNTIL 1:30 PM, 7/11/24 For specific project information and ordering plans, go to: http:// facilities


Bids for Wappapello Training Site - Design & Construct Lagoon Expansion, Project No. T2317-01 will be received by FMDC, State of MO, UNTIL 1:30 PM, June 27, 2024. For specific project information and ordering plans, go to: http:// facilities


Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for Owner’s Representative Services for 21st Century Missouri State Capitol Building Restoration Project, Project No. O2437-03, will be received by FMDC, State of MO, UNTIL 1:30 PM, June 5, 2024 via MissouriBUYS. Bidders must be registered to bid. Project information available at: gov/facilities

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The young man beamed with pride.

“This kid never folded his clothes or anything, but he asked me, ‘will you help me fold my clothes?’”

Smith helped him pack his things and he wheeled his suitcase around the group home so others could see. And when the cab came to pick him up for his home visit, he walked out with his shoulders squared and carefully placed his bag in the trunk.

When he returned from his home visit, Smith noticed a change in the young man.

“This was a kid who would have to be restrained up to two times a day,” Smith said. “After he came back from that visit with his suitcase, his restraints went down to once a week. Then they stopped completely. Something clicked in him that made him really want to work his program so he could move forward.”

The luggage had given him a sense of hope – and value.

“That kid is a grown man now and he tells me every time I see him, ‘I have a family because you saved my life,’” Smith


Smith had been using his personal funds to donate luggage to the facilities he either worked in or was affiliated with in some way over the years.

He also began filling them with essential items – such as underwear and toiletries.

By 2018, God gave Smith the vision to use the luggage gifts as an opportunity to give hope to children in what some would see as hopeless situations on a larger scale.

“In 2019 we pretty much started bringing everything together,” Smith said. “We came up with the name and everything.”

In 2021 he started the My Life In A Bag Foundation.

According to Smith, My Life In A Bag isn’t just about providing luggage and other essentials. It is

tem – and once resided in the Annie Malone Children and Family Services Center.

The formerly guarded family secret gave his charity work new meaning. And further convinced him that God put him in the position to bring about change through his foundation.

“I want to see these youth have the life that they were given – to live the life that God created them for,” Smith said. “God created us for a purpose, but we will never meet our purpose if we keep letting the darkness of certain life situations [that we have no control over] take us from that.”

The My Life In A Bag Foundation Pre-Father’s Day and Juneteenth Celebration Trivia Night will take place at 6 p.m.

Eta Boulé

Continued from C1

with Vocals

Her second and fourth albums, Mirror Mirror (2000) and Priceless (2003) both peaked within the top ten of the Billboard 200. She provided uncredited guest performances on Kanye West’s 2016 songs “Ultralight Beam” and “Low Lights” (recording a sample of “So Alive” by Kings of Tomorrow), from his album The Life of Pablo. Price has won a Soul Train Music Award, and received nine Grammy Award nominations.

In October 2005, Price recorded her first live gospel album. The This Is Who I Am album has been released on October 24, 2006, on her own label, EcclecticSounds Records. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Gospel Charts and peaked at No. 9 on


Continued from C1

law enforcement – particularly the murder of George Floyd in 2020. That same year, Glamour vogued in full drag in front of Mayor Lyda Krewson’s house as part of a protest calling for the mayor’s resignation after she doxed protestors during a Facebook Live COVID-19 update. They started a petition for the

the R&B album chart

That year, she also recorded the song “Why?” for the soundtrack Why Did I Get Married?, the film version of Why Did I Get Married? Priceless Secrets from The Soul of A Woman, in which Price created the role of Sheila alongside Tyler Perry recordings to develop the story. On February 9, 2012, in a pre-Grammy party to celebrate Price›s nominations, the singer sang “Jesus Loves Me” with Whitney Houston in what turned out to be Houston s last public performance two days before her death.

In 2016, Price was included in several songs on rapper Kanye West’s album, The Life of Pablo. Kelly was a co-writer with American R&B singer K. Michelle, on her single Not a Little Bit which was released on January 22, 2016. It is the lead single from the singer’s third studio album, More Issues Than Vogue.

Price donated $250,000

mayor’s resignation which gathered more than 60,000 signatures.

“Civil disobedience quite often is very monotonous, redundant, mundane action, and if it’s a repetition of the same chants and the same people, and everyone seems so solemn, while yes, these issues are very serious issues,” Glamour said, “At the same time, I want to make sure that people are engaged, that people feel happy, and people can see the joy.”

to G&P Foundation for Cancer Research to help with the ongoing fight against breast cancer and in April 1999, she showcased her fashion designs during a charity gala and fashion show to help the National Breast Cancer Awareness Initiative raise money for breast cancer education for minority women. The previous year, Price learned that both her mother and her mother-in-law had been diagnosed with breast cancer, which would later claim her mother-inlaw’s life.

Eta Boulé Foundation (EBF) is a 501 c3 organization. The funds raised from this concert help support young Black men in the region with scholarships, mentoring support and life skills coaching.

Tickets for the concert can be purchased at The; Metrotix. com or by calling (314) 534-1111. For more information about EBF please visit:

CAM and Pulitzer Arts Foundation’s presentation of Faeded will take place on Friday, June 7 from 6-9 p.m. at CAM, 3750 Washington Blvd and Pulitzer Arts Foundation, 3716 Washington Blvd. The event is free and open to the public. The fun will continue into the night with an official After Party at Sophie’s Artist Lounge down the street. For more information, visit www. or

Suitcase Continued from C1 SCAN TO LEARN MORE! | (314) 961-0644 Come see the opera that inspired the hit musical Rent! Mimì and Rodolfo are both struggling young artists, but their worlds burst into color when they enter each other’s lives one wintry Christmas Eve. But as the seasons change to spring, their love story becomes more complicated. With soaring melodies and electrifying duets, this opera will sweep you away! Fri 14 Sat 1 Wed 5 Sun 30 Sat 22 Wed 26 Thurs 20 JUNE tickets start at $25! Memorialize and celebrate your loved ones in The St. Louis American! For more info contact Angelita Houston, or call 314-533-8000

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