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COVID-19: Leading Equity

Rev. Starsky Wilson, Bethany Johnson-Javois, and Dr. Jason Purnell
From left to right: Rev. Starsky Wilson, Bethany Johnson-Javois, and Dr. Jason Purnell

The Ferguson uprising catalyzed conversations and sparked action around racial equity in the St. Louis region. In the following years we’ve seen the growth of new research, movements, and programs that center the experiences of Black people. The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on African Americans across the nation and in St. Louis raises a crucial question about how to work toward racial equity during a pandemic. In this episode, we talk to three Black leaders who’ve been centering racial equity in their work and learn their perspectives on investment, community health, and regional response during the pandemic.

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Jia Lian Yang holds both a Master of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master of Divinity from Eden Theological Seminary. She is the co-founder of the St. Louis-based Who Raised You? podcast, which explores culture and family with a focus on stories from people of color. The show won the Arts & Education Council of St. Louis’ 2018 stARTup competition. And this year, St. Louis Magazine’s editors named it the best local podcast.
Lauren Brown is a 2019 graduate of The University of Missouri where she studied Journalism and Social Justice. At Mizzou, Lauren was a host and producer at KBIA 91.3fm an NPR affiliate, and an outreach team member for the Columbia Missourian. Lauren was the host and producer of an APM Reports documentary, Black At Mizzou: Confronting race on campus which aired on August 14, 2020.

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