Community Group Hopes To Bridge Racial, Economic Divides In Ferguson

Nov 16, 2014

Adrienne Hawkins of One Ferguson speaks during a recent Ferguson City Council meeting.
Credit Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

Protests in Ferguson after the death of Michael Brown have brought to light long-held racial tensions and community divisions, both in the city of Ferguson, and the whole St. Louis region.

A new organization called One Ferguson hopes to help bridge those divides.

“Everything from courageous conversations about race, to different perceptions between the races, it’s just a huge, huge task,” said Bev Walker, a One Ferguson steering committee member.

Although it is not political, the group has presented ideas to both the Ferguson City Council and the St. Louis County Council over the past few weeks.

Walker said they want to be a think tank of sorts for a unified community. The group held an open house Sunday to recruit members. According to Walker, a diverse group of about 90 people attended.

After a general orientation, attendees split into five groups to discuss action plans  focused on police/court reforms, community relations, economic development, citizenship support and educational advocacy.