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Uprising: Valuing Black Businesses

From L to R: Flavia Moore, CEO of Crawling Crab; Marlon Austin (on left), Managing Principal, Three Vegan Brothers who co-founded Bespoke Couture with Mark Austin (on right); Erica Hallman, Economic Development Specialist, Beyond Housing; Dr. Andre Perry, Fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution and author of Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities

Even though we are currently in a pandemic, the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, and more have led people to take to the streets. Protests and marches around the world have sparked a renewed uprising for Black lives and when looting and vandalism began to impact large chain stores and small Black businesses alike. Many began asking how can they support small Black businesses during this time and people began following campaigns such as #BuyBlack, #BankBlack, and #BlackoutDay2020 to uplift Black businesses and communities that have been devalued and poverty-stricken for years. In this episode, we hear from two small Black business owners about what’s like to own a small business during this time and we ask an economic development specialist and a scholar of race and structural inequality about what’s at stake if we continue to devalue Black businesses in the midst of an uprising for Black lives and beyond.

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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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