Brittany Packnett | St. Louis Public Radio

Brittany Packnett

Brittany Packnett joined Thursday's "St. Louis on the Air."
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Activist, educator and writer Brittany Packnett returns this week to her hometown of St. Louis – the place where she participated in protests after the police shooting of Michael Brown and was appointed to the Ferguson commission in 2014.

Now based in Washington, where she is Teach for America’s vice president of National Community Alliances, Packnett has been described by former President Barack Obama as a leader whose voice “is going to be making a difference for years to come.”

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, she joined St. Louis Public Radio’s Jonathan Ahl for a conversation ahead of her appearance at the Ethical Society of St. Louis Thursday evening. That free event (registration requested) is co-sponsored by Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice and will be moderated by Fox 2 News' Shirley Washington.

Brittany Packnett discussed education, Teach for America, racial equity, Black Lives Matter and more on "St. Louis on the Air" on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Earlier this summer, Brittany Packnett announced she would be leaving her role as the Executive Director of Teach for America-St. Louis and would become TFA’s new vice president of National Community Alliances. That role starts October 1.

Before she starts the new position, Packnett joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to look back on her work with TFA in St. Louis, her participation on the Ferguson Commission and President Barack Obama’s Task Force on 21th Century Policing and her social activism. 

Teddy bears line the fence of the flat where Mansur Ball-Bey was killed earlier this week.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis police department’s use of force policy is receiving poor marks from an advocacy group working to end excessive police violence.

Campaign Zero, a group that includes Ferguson activists Brittany Packnett, Johnetta Elzie and DeRay McKesson, gives the department credit for prioritizing preservation of life, but says St. Louis’ policy fails to set sufficient limitations.

Michel Martin led a two-hour discussion March 23, 2015, about changes in the St. Louis region seven months after Michael Brown's death. This was the second Ferguson and Beyond forum that Martin has moderated, both at Wellspring Church in Ferguson.
Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

Since Michael Brown was shot and killed last year, people within the St. Louis region have been immersed in social and public policy introspection.

Michel Martin at microphone
August Jennewein / University of Missouri–St. Louis / St. Louis Public Radio

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.

Brittany Packnett, Teach for America–St. Louis' executive director, talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on March 18, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Teachers are typically well informed. They know how and where to track down data, they brainstorm ideas and they work with people.

So when Brittany Packnett, Teach for America–St. Louis’ executive director, was named to the president’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, she was in for a few surprises.

Emanuele Berry, Patricia Bynes and the Rev. F. Willis Johnson discuss Ferguson with 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Dec. 31, 2014, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Mary Edwards / St. Louis Public Radio

Ferguson has emerged as the top local (and national) story of the year. 

The Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson has raised questions about policing, poverty, government policy and funding, and safety. But some of the biggest questions have been about race and equality.

Brittany Packnett
File photo

Brittany Packnett says she’s made a career of “listening intently and intensively” to the needs of young people.  The former third-grade teacher, current Ferguson activist and executive director of Teach for America in St. Louis will now put her listening and leadership skills to use as a member of President Barack Obama’s task force on 21st-century policing.