It has been almost two weeks since Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson, Missouri. Our hearts are with his family and friends, and we wish them peace and justice as they grieve their loss with the community.
In that time, NCCJ St. Louis’s team of trainers, alumni & volunteers have been active: participating in rallies, sharing information coming out of Ferguson, and engaging in dialogue around the troubling conditions in Ferguson.
In the days following the shooting, we kicked off our ALLY youth leadership program for Anytown alumni. Instead of our planned activities, nearly 40 young people present engaged in facilitated discussion about Ferguson, untangling the systemic nature of what is happening in Ferguson and communities across the country. In the words of one of our young leaders, "This is everyone's issue, and everyone needs to take it seriously." We are proud to work with leaders—young and otherwise—who take matters of justice and diversity seriously.
The situation in Ferguson makes it clear that serious work is needed to create communities that are just, inclusive, and representative of everyone.
All of us at NCCJ St. Louis stand ready to facilitate community dialogue toward healing the entrenched racism, classism, adultism, and other injustices brought to light in Ferguson, and to bring change to organizations and institutions where patterns of exclusion and disparities are embedded and have grown entrenched.