Provided by Lifting Up Lila event

Hundreds of St. Louisans have pledged to rally around Lila Perry, a transgender student at Jefferson County’s Hillsboro High School.

A gathering called “Lifting up Lila” was set for 5 p.m. Sept. 4, in Hillsboro City Park. Supporters want to have their say after a group of students walked out in protest Monday when Perry said she planned to use the girls’ bathrooms and locker room. On Thursday night, a group of parents asked the school board to create a policy about who can use what restrooms.

Ferguson October protesters
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Perhaps one of the most enduring images following Michael Brown's shooting death last year is the flood of people who took to the streets in Ferguson to protest. His death became a rallying cry for hundreds of people, calling for police accountability and social justice.

Activist Lisa Fithian leads a training session at Greater St. Mark's Church in Dellwood. 11/08 Durrie Bouscaren
Durrie Bouscaren / St. Louis Public Radio

In Ferguson, nearly every store window is boarded up along West Florissant Avenue. Police department have stocked riot gear and held trainings to respond to potential civil unrest. And protesters have held sessions to organize their own response.

In many ways, it feels as though the St. Louis region is holding its breath awaiting the grand jury’s decision over whether the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown will face charges.


On Oct. 1, 1964, hundreds of University of California-Berkeley students surrounded a police car to protest the arrest of a student. Students stood on top of the car to deliver speeches and sing, “We Shall Overcome,” to a crowd that grew to include roughly two thousand students.