Laurna Godwin says education has been key to her success.
St. Louis Public Radio | Wendy Todd

This is the second of a three-part series of essays that explore the experiences of three African Americans in corporate America.

Laurna Godwin is the co-founder and co-owner of Vector Communications, a public engagement, communications agency. She wasn’t always a business owner. She transitioned into that role after spending nearly 20 years in broadcast journalism. 

Instead of focusing on race in the workplace, Gene R. Todd believes one’s energy is better spent on being better than the competition.
St. Louis Public Radio | Wendy Todd

This is the first of a three-part series of personal essays exploring the experiences of three African Americans in corporate America.

For many, being black in corporate America is akin to playing professional football in the mud ... with no helmet ... wearing Keds.

It can be a head-spinning experience, rife with racial and political pitfalls that center around one thing that cannot be changed: race. These racial issues can impact a person’s career trajectory, earning potential and overall security of one’s life.

Emanuele Berry | St. Louis Public Radio

Martin Luther King once said that "it is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is 11 o'clock on Sunday morning."

Rev. Dietra Wise Baker says it still is, which is why Baker and more than 100 people from churches across St. Louis gathered to talk about race on Sunday. The event was the first in a series of Sacred Conversation About Race.

“The church has work to do on itself as it tries to call moral and ethical standards to the community and point the finger ...” she said. “We have to be on the road before we can invite people along for the journey.”

Sam Durant's “Proposal for White and Indian Dead Monument Transpositions, Washington, D.C.,” 2005  Kemper
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

The Kemper Museum is hoping an exhibit of sculptures calling for more monuments dedicated to Native Americans at The National Mall in Washington, D.C., will build community engagement over the issue of Native American representation in American culture.

“We really hope to begin a dialogue, taking this work as a point of departure, with the Native American community,” said Kemper director Sabine Eckman.

The YWCA has been involved in social justice issues for about 150 years, but many people still don’t know the organization’s mission, CEO Dara Richardson-Heron said.

“At the YWCA, we know that we cannot rest until racial, social and gender justice become a reality,” she told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Tuesday.

St. Louis lawyer Marie Kenyon discusses her new role leading the Archdiocese of St. Louis' Peace and Justice Commission with 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Jan. 12, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Last week, St. Louis attorney Marie Kenyon was named the director of the Archdiocese of St. Louis’ new Peace and Justice Commission.

The issues Kenyon expects to take on with that commission, including poverty, race and education, are the same issues she has dealt with as a lawyer.

Reena Hajat Carroll, executive director of the Diversity Awareness Partnership, says the number of diversity training requests have "been crazy."
Provided by the Diversity Awareness Partnership

Many older Americans were introduced to their first interracial couple in 1967 by the Sidney Poitier classic featuring what was then a shocking pairing, on-screen or off. 

But today, especially when even same-sex interracial couples can marry in St. Louis, we don’t care who’s coming to dinner — right?

Yemi Akande-Bartsch
Provided by FOCUS

In the aftermath of Ferguson, voices in our region have called for many things – for peace, for justice, for dialogue, for answers, for change, for healing. The issues at hand are complex, which makes the call for leadership all that much greater.

Our frustration and sadness over what is still lacking or broken should not overshadow our gratitude for what we do have, or our motivation to make things better for our neighbor and region. One of the ways in which we can begin to do that is to build community and trust, one conversation at a time.

Courtesy of The Ethics Project

Nine African-American fathers, each from different backgrounds, spoke Tuesday about their experiences with police harassment, their fears for their children and their hopes for a stronger community.

The Father-2-Father panel at Greater St. Mark Family Church in Dellwood included educators, businessmen, clergy leaders and law enforcement officials.

Ferguson resident and panelist Charles Henson, said he attended because a father to father, man to man conversation is needed.

Cinema St. Louis website

The 2014 St. Louis International Film Festival will emphasize a topic that’s now foremost in the minds of many in our area: race.

Recent local events prompted Cinema St. Louis' SLIFF to create the “Race in America: The Black Experience" program in its Nov. 13-23 festival. Its offerings include discussions as well as film screenings.

Over 140 Individuals of diverse backgrounds gathered together to discuss issues of race and privilege at Mother 2 Mother Part II on October 13.
Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

How do you discuss issues of race and privilege with your children?

These and other questions were on the minds of the more than 140 individuals who gathered at Mother 2 Mother Part II at the Missouri History Museum on Oct. 13. Participants varied in race and gender, and every table of 10 hosted people of all backgrounds. The conversations centered on a list of questions and the groups discussed what could be done to change the racial status quo in St. Louis and beyond.

Here are some of their voices:

Tango Walker

Danielle and Adam Dowd with their daughter, Alice.
Provided by Danielle Dowd

Like talking about the “facts of life,” or “the birds and the bees,” many parents and teachers know that discussing race and racism is necessary in helping young people learn about life.

St. Louis Public Radio reporter Tim Lloyd presented “A Teachable Moment,” a three-part series that examined how area teachers are leading discussions in their classrooms about issues raised after Michael Brown was fatally shot by a Ferguson police officer in August.

A few months after the jury announced George Zimmerman was not guilty in the Florida shooting death of Trayvon Martin, NBC News legal analyst Lisa Bloom published a book examining the case, “Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It.”

In “Suspicion Nation,” Bloom looks at what happened behind the scenes and why similar shootings continue to take place, including the August death of Michael Brown in Ferguson.

Provided by Missouri History Museum

When radio personality Carol Daniel and her husband, Patrick Daniel, learned she was pregnant with a boy, her first reaction was sheer joy. "I had had nightmares that I would not get married or that I would not have a child," she said.

But that joy quickly turned to anxiety. "My first thought was, 'I'm having a black man.' "

aug 23
File photo | Maria Altman | St. Louis Public Radio

Once again we in this region are faced with racism and alleged racist actions to be determined by the courts in the month ahead. Sadly this is not new.

David Broome, UPI

Since Saturday’s fatal shooting of Michael Brown, St. Louisans have been trying to understand and deal with what happened.

How could a college-bound teenager with no history of violence or criminal behavior end up shot to death by a police officer in his own neighborhood? St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra and Tim Lloyd went to look for answers and to find out what people in Ferguson are doing to cope.

Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

In the days of protests that have followed the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, one fact has been repeated over and over again: Of the 50 or so police officers on the Ferguson Police Department, just three are African-American.

That means a majority white police force patrols a community that, according to the 2012 census estimates, is two-thirds black. 

Protesters are greeted by a wall of police officers after a march to the Ferguson Police department on August 11, 2014.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI / UPI

The calls for greater representation of minorities in the region's law enforcement ranks have grown louder in the wake of the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown at the hands of a Ferguson police officer. Protesters want to see more minorities especially in the police departments serving predominantly African-American communities.

Two-thirds of Ferguson’s residents are black, according to 2013 census records. But there are only three African Americans on the city’s 53-member police force. The city council is also predominantly white, as is the mayor.

Brent Jones/St. Louis Public Radio

In 1990, the population of the Spanish Lake community in north St. Louis County was 80 percent white and 20 percent black. By 2010, the population was reversed: 80 percent was black and 20 percent was white.  Today, much of the township lies empty.

In what is being called an “unflinching” documentary, film director Phillip Andrew Morton takes a look at the causes of this population shift in the film "Spanish Lake.” It premieres Friday, June 13 at the Tivoli Theatre.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson says he’s frustrated and disappointed after learning a black officer received a racist letter through interdepartmental mail.

Dotson has ordered internal and criminal investigations after learning about the letter last week.