BLACK LIVES MATTER
Change, Inc. and Racial Injustice
At Change, Inc. St. Louis Counseling, there’s a reason why we say our experts aren’t just therapists – they’re agents of change! You can read more about our at-large perspectives on that here.
Sometimes issues within our culture are so profoundly broken, doing the good work we do for fellow humans as counselors is not enough. Similarly, the good work we’re doing supporting at-large organizations is not enough.
In other words, sometimes acute crises require acute responses. We believe that our culture is at one such impasse as it regards both individual and systemic injustices suffered by black and brown persons as an outgrowth of our nation’s racialized history that emanates from American slavery, subsequent Jim Crow Laws, and what author Michelle Alexander has called, “The New Jim Crow,” which includes but is not limited to the ways the intent and impact of American Slavery and Jim Crow laws to disenfranchise, marginalize, and hurt black and brown persons has now been imbedded into our culture in terms of how we think and how our institutions function.
As such, Change, Inc. is currently partnered with or meeting with the leaders of the following organizations in an effort to expand our existing efforts to support the community of St. Louis in ways that will specifically promote and aide the advancement of black and brown persons.
501(c)(3) Organizations We Partner With Regarding Racial Injustice:
(NOTE: “Partner” means we have completed all of our initial reviews and research of each organization and its aims, finding them compatible with Change, Inc.’s overarching mission and values. We have also made it through initial/ongoing planning meetings (where required) to begin the provision of tangible and concrete resources and support.)
Assisi House provides living space for previously unhoused individuals in small, communal settings where each person is treated with dignity and respect. Assisi House has 3 core aims: 1) To keep people safe and warm throughout the winter months (November-March); 2) To create stable, year-round housing meant as a foundation for’ transition into permanent housing; 3) To provide residents with meaningful relationships as well as access to resources and other services in an effort to bring homelessness to an end. In both the US (source) and St. Louis (source), to be black is to run a disproportionate likelihood of being in poverty, and thus, black and brown persons are therefore at increased risk for homelessness.
The 100 Black Men of Metropolitan St. Louis is comprised of a diverse group of men including business executives, community leaders, entrepreneurs, clergy, and elected officials. The organization was formed in direct response to the number of young persons of color at risk to for academic and legal issues. The goal of the organization is to identify youth who are going to have a turbulent transition to adulthood and offer positive support system to avoid the pitfalls that can derail their lives, with particular focus on Leadership, Education, Health & Wellness, and Economic Empowerment.
The Access Foundation is committed to providing underserved children in St. Louis ACCESS to educational opportunities with a focus on STEM development. It is an outgrowth of the singular vision of founder, Keithen Stallings, who wanted to provide an easier route for children in his community toward college, vocational, entrepreneurial, and other post-high school opportunities. The Access foundation accomplishes this primarily through student development workshops, college tours, and scholarships, though they are also committed to meeting more immediate and basic needs within the community, such as food assistance with their frequent food drives.
Urban Harvest STL grows healthy produce across a network of seven urban farms in the heart of St. Louis and donate the majority of the harvest to nonprofit partners serving communities with limited or non-existent access to healthy, nutritious food. To be clear, these communities are typically low-income, black/brown neighborhoods — both in the US (source) and St. Louis (source), to be black is to run a disproportionate likelihood of being in poverty. In 2019 alone, UHSTL grew and gleaned 4794 pounds of food, distributed 2094 healthy meals to families and individuals in low-access communities, and dedicated 6129 volunteer hours of service to the community.
Girls in the Know (GITK) inspires & empowers St. Louis-area girls to make healthy, confident decisions through the provision of a 4-week empowerment workshop series, led by female professionals in their fields to pre-teen girls (and trusted parents/caregivers they bring with them), on topics ranging from friendships to puberty to safety to bullying to nutrition and exercise. GITK undertakes specific efforts to reach black and brown communities with their life-giving message of hope and empowerment. In 2018 alone, GITK educated 540 girls in both their school-based underserved community efforts and their at-large community efforts.
501(c)(3) Organizations We Are Currently Providing Financial Assistance to in the Hopes of Forming Lasting Relationships Regarding Racial Injustice:
(NOTE: For the organizations immediately below, all of our initial reviews and research of each organization and its aims are complete, and we have found them compatible with Change, Inc.’s overarching mission and values. We have also reached out to begin initial meetings with each organization, but have not yet been able to schedule with them, typically due to demands for the organizations’ time/personnel being sufficiently high to rule this out. After our initial time period of waiting, if we have been unable to officially meet and form a relationship with these organizations, we go ahead and begin providing monthly financial support, hoping to develop a deeper relationship in time.)
The mission of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc. is to empower African Americans and others throughout the region in securing economic self-reliance, social equality and civil rights. As a leading champion of empowerment and opportunity for African Americans, the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis envisions a region where all people are valued members of the community, can adequately support themselves and their families, live in neighborhoods that are vibrant and thriving, and share in the region’s prosperity and well-being.
ArchCity Defenders (ACD) is a holistic legal advocacy organization that combats the criminalization of poverty and state violence, especially in communities of color. ACD’s foundation of civil and criminal legal representation, social services, impact litigation, policy and media advocacy, and community collaboration achieves and inspires justice and equitable outcomes for people throughout the St. Louis region and beyond.
501(c)(3) Organizations We Are Currently Forming Supportive Relationships With Regarding Racial Injustice:
(NOTE: “Forming” means we have completed all of our initial reviews and research of each organization and its aims, finding them compatible with Change, Inc.’s overarching mission and values. We have also reached out and/or begun initial meetings with each organization, but have not yet provided support. Generally, we are waiting to hear back from these organizations regarding support proposals.)
The Listening, Inc. is a community where arts advocacy, social justice, and youth mentoring connect, and where young people are encouraged to take notice of the world around them and engage passionately and with purpose. Founder Nick George‘s previous relationship with Change, Inc.’s founder paved the way for a partnership between our organizations. By asking a sole question — “If you had a room full of people willing to listen to you, what would you say?”– The Listening, Inc aspires to be a safe place where young people engage the performing arts to ask questions, develop answers, perform with purpose and change the world around them.
501(c)(3) Organizations We Are Currently Researching for the Possibility of Forming Supportive Relationships Regarding Racial Injustice:
(NOTE: “Researching” means we have conducted an initial review of each organization and its aims, finding them generally compatible with Change, Inc.’s overarching mission and values, but are still conducting a more thorough review and preparing for relationship-formation toward the possible end of support.)
The Black Emotional and Mental Health collective (BEAM) is a training, movement building and grant making organization dedicated to the healing, wellness and liberation of Black and marginalized communities. BEAM’s vision of a world where there are no barriers to Black Healing fuels their mission is to remove the barriers that Black people experience getting access to or staying connected with emotional health care and healing through justice-based organizing, education, training, grantmaking and advocacy.
The Loveland Foundation is committed to showing up for communities of color in unique and powerful ways, with a particular focus on Black women and girls. Their resources and initiatives are collaborative and they prioritize opportunity, access, validation, and healing. Through fellowships, residency programs, listening tours, and more, ultimately we hope to contribute to both empowerment and liberation for communities of color. They believe that Black women and girls deserve access to healing, and that healing will impact generations.
ST. LOUIS COunseling Locations
Change, Inc. South Kingshighway:
5859 S. Kingshighway Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63109
Change, Inc. South Hampton & 44:
3460 Hampton Avenue, Suite 204
St. Louis, MO 63139
WEEKDAYS: 9a to 5p
Contacts received before 3pm:
- returned the same business day
Contacts received after 3pm or on the weekends:
- returned the next business day
314-669-6242 / 877-5-CHANGE (524-2643)
EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK:
10am to 9pm