Reverend Starsky Wilson | St. Louis Public Radio

Reverend Starsky Wilson

Manuel Pastor and the Rev. Starksy Wilson speak on the two reports at the Deaconess Foundation. Sept. 20, 2019.
Chad Davis | St. Louis Public Radio

A new report points to ways in which racial equity and common interests can move the St. Louis region forward. The report was highlighted at an event held Thursday morning by the Deaconess Foundation.

“Changing States-Building Power on the Frontlines: Missouri,” from the University of Southern California Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, examines how Missouri can improve racial equity in the electoral, judicial and corporate arenas.

The Rev. Starsky Wilson former co-chair of the Ferguson Commission
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

After the demonstrations that followed a Ferguson police officer’s fatal shooting of Michael Brown in 2014, the 16-member Ferguson Commission came up with a list of recommendations to address policing and the region’s disparities in jobs, education and policing. But many African-Americans say elected leaders have yet to adopt those proposals —and that has helped fuel a new wave of protests.

In the three weeks that followed a judge’s decision to acquit former St. Louis officer Jason Stockley of first-degree murder in the death of Anthony Lamar Smith, people have again taken to the streets. The Rev. Starsky Wilson and others say the latest protests — including Tuesday night’s shutdown of Interstate 64 — are acts of social disruption aimed at compelling regional leaders to act.

(Flickr, Paul Sableman)

Closing economic disparities in the St. Louis region is one key to moving past Ferguson.

That was the message at a panel discussion Thursday called "Eight Months Post-Ferguson: The Journey from Recovery to Rebuilding." Several of the panelists said sharp economic contrasts contributed to issues in Ferguson, but are even more stark in other communities.