Listen. Reflect. Connect.
In the face of wide-spread and pervasive disparities prevalent in our nation, the St. Louis region is uniquely prepared to lead the advancement of racial equity by building upon the extensive work of Forward Through Ferguson, which has mapped out a path toward transformative and lasting positive change. On this path toward a more just and equitable region, helping to heal the divide requires dedicated leadership and an unyielding commitment to challenging work.
In recognition of this tireless work, and on the eve of the one-year anniversary of its launch in 2017, the Clark-Fox Policy Institute convened a group of stakeholders invested in the well-being of children and the adults who care for them. Regional leaders from a range of sectors engaged in radical listening with youth and with each other.
We offer our sincerest appreciation and gratitude to all those who contributed to these deep, insightful conversations, especially the Wyman youth leaders who shared their stories. They offered honest, candid, and discerning observations and ideas; and gave us the opportunity to listen, reflect, and connect.
Forward Through Ferguson’s toolkit for equity and empowerment encourages us to engage with community, beginning with radical listening. Radical listening is characterized by listening openly and patiently, seeking to understand and not to respond, and ensuring that participants feel heard, valued, understood and validated. It calls upon participants to be authentic, transparent, vulnerable and humble. Despite the risk of bringing forth uncomfortable truths, the gift of radical listening is that it is inclusive of all voices and helps us unearth truths we need to hear and be accountable to.
Learn more about Forward Through Ferguson’s commitment to achieve racial equity in the St. Louis region by 2039 (25 years after the death of Michael Brown): #STL2039
A special thank you to our esteemed guest facilitators who helped inspire the vision, intention, and structure of the convening based on their dedication to re-uniting the divided states of America:
Dr. Louis W. Sullivan, former U.S. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services from 1989 to 1993 during President George H.W. Bush’s administration; President Emeritus of the Morehouse School of Medicine; CEO & Chairman of The Sullivan Alliance
Dr. Jordan J. Cohen, President Emeritus of Association of American Medical Colleges, Chairman Emeritus of Arnold P. Gold Foundation for Humanism in Medicine, former dean of the medical school at SUNY Stony Brook, and former chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine
William J. Kaufmann, former Executive Vice President of the National Urban Coalition, the first major, private sector led effort attempting to help resolve the problems of the poverty-impacted communities in cities throughout America