Seven months after the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson drew national attention to racial disparities, St. Louis Public Radio is hosting a second community forum, Ferguson and Beyond: Continuing the Community Conversation.
On Monday, NPR’s Michel Martin will moderate a public discussion with a panel of community leaders and residents on what’s changed since August, and what still needs attention. In addition to hearing from panelists, members of the audience will have opportunities to ask questions. The free event at Wellspring Church in Ferguson is open to the public.
- DeRay Mckesson (@deray) joined the Ferguson protest movement in August and has since moved to St. Louis. In February, McKesson and fellow activist Johnetta Elzie received the Howard Zinn Freedom to Write Award for their work reporting on events through social media and a newsletter.
- Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (@MariaChappelleN), D-University City whose district includes Ferguson, has been active as a protester and legislator. Chappelle-Nadal has sponsored a bill that would require all Missouri law enforcement officers to wear body cameras and asks that the attorney general appoint a special prosecutor in cases where police officers use deadly force.
- Chris Krehmeyer (@BeyondHousingMO) is the president and CEO of Beyond Housing, which provides services to low-income families in the St. Louis area. Beyond Housing also is behind 24:1, an initiative to organize and develop the 24 communities in the Normandy School District.
- The Rev. F. Willis Johnson (@FWillisJohnson) is the pastor at Wellspring Church and a frequent protester. In September, Johnson and two other Ferguson protesters traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with White House staff members.
- Brittany Packnett (@MsPackyetti), executive director of Teach for America–St. Louis, also is a member of the Ferguson Commission, appointed by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, and the Task Force on 21st Century Policing, appointed by President Barack Obama. Earlier this month, the task force made several recommendations in its interim report. She has frequently stressed the importance of listening to students.
- Rich McClure is half of the Ferguson Commission’s leadership team. The 16-member commission has held several meetings to hear from the public, and will release a report by September. McClure is the former president of UniGroup.
St. Louis Public Radio reporters Jason Rosenbaum and Emanuele Berry will participate in the forum as fact-checkers.
Ferguson Mayor James Knowles declined to participate in Monday’s forum. He was a panelist at the first Ferguson and Beyond forum in August. The Ferguson Police Department and the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police also declined to participate. Several attempts were made to include other law enforcement representatives.
The forum starts at 6 p.m. Monday at Wellspring Church in Ferguson. For those unable to attend, it will be broadcast on St. Louis Public Radio at noon Tuesday and Wednesday. During the forum and its broadcast, use the hashtag #BeyondFerguson to talk about the event online.
Ferguson and Beyond: Continuing the Community Conversation