On the third anniversary of Mike Brown's killing, we share the story of three playwrights who penned monologues about their experiences as black men in America. This is the first of two shows we're using to explore to art and activism during the month of August.
Why aren’t investors flocking to the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs? And what are people doing to change that?
About six months ago, we took an intense look at racial disparities in early-grade school suspensions in Missouri. We revisit the topic in this week's episode and bring you a big update – on the people and policy changes that have happened in since then.
On this episode, we go to Kansas City, where we meet a man with a vision of building an inclusive tech hub from the ground up.
The U.S. has a long history of choosing who it will and won’t let participate in the voting system. So as the nation prepares to choose its next leader, with a wave of voter ID laws on the books, and with fears about fraud now a major narrative in the presidential election, we take a look at just who is and who isn't being let into "Club Democracy" — and why. More here...
On this episode, we bringing you three very different stories about people with a common goal: Changing the look of poverty. Each one is a window into what it really takes to revitalize communities on the ground level.
Whatever happened to St. Louis Public Schools' suspension ban? We tell you in this episode and take you inside one school trying to go beyond a simple policy change in the way it approaches discipline.
The relocation of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to north St. Louis has been heralded as a big win for the region. But it also meant relocating some 200 residents. As we resume the second season of We Live Here, Maria joins co-hosts Kameel Stanley and Tim Lloyd to take a closer look at what is being lost in the name of progress.
ON THIS EPISODE ... We take a break from public policy and social systems, and instead explore different perspectives about what "My America" means to our listeners.
On this episode, we take a look at how the country is trying to redraw its master plan for affordable housing.
Section 8 vouchers are supposed to be the ideal public-private partnership, by allowing people to use them in the private rental market. And for some people, they work fine.
But not always.
In many cases, in many cities, Section 8 voucher-holders are still treated as pariah in the housing market -- either by landlords who refuse to accept them, property owners who steer them to segregated areas, and a society that clings to racial and economic stereotypes.
In 2015, 188 people were victims of homicide in St. Louis. In this episode, we explore the Homicide's Wake series, based on the reporting of St. Louis Public Radio reporters Durrie Bouscaren and Rachel Lippman. They bring you a stories of those who have to cope and carry on in the wake of a homicide.
What's the Missouri legislature done in the two sessions since Michael Brown's death? A little, but not nearly as much as was anticipated in 2014, when Ferguson was in the international spotlight.
In this episode, veteran political reporter Jason Rosenbaum, who's covered the story the entire time, gives us a retrospective look at the last two years and talks about what may come next.
Despite the decades-long fight for school desegregation, America is, for the most part, still sending its white and black children to separate schools. Here in St. Louis, this angst over school segregation and integration never really went away. In fact, St. Louis is home to the longest running formal desegregation program in the country. In the latest podcast, we take you through its past, present, and experts' best guess for the future.
In Missouri, black students in kindergarten through third grade are far more likely to receive out of school suspensions, a We Live Here investigation found.
Our analysis of state discipline data found that 70 percent of all out of school suspension last school year went to black students ... even though they make only up 17 of state’s K-3 population.
It’s no secret black people have disproportionate contact with the criminal justice system.
But even for self-proclaimed enlightened whites, they haven't always believed what black people have been saying, despite the facts.
It’s the holiday season, and like many of you, we’re taking stock.
Taking stock of what we accomplished with this We Live Here project; the stories and topics we’ve covered; and where we hope to go in the future.
This time of year also has us thinking about faith and the meaning of our work. There’s a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. that we keep coming back to: “It is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is 11 o'clock on Sunday morning."
That sense of separation can be felt across many faiths. So, we sat down with faith leaders from around St. Louis and asked: Do you feel an obligation to address race with your congregations? And if so, how do you do that?
At least 180 people have been killed in St. Louis so far this year — the most in almost two decades. And most of those homicides involved a gun.
That's led to a growing cry from community members, non profits, law enforcement and public officials who say it's time to re-think the approach to tackling gun violence.
Specifically, many are advocating a public health approach.
Still, cities like St. Louis are finding out that implementing this approach is easier said than done.
Why was it so hard for Wolfe — the president of a top tier university system — to answer that question? Hadn’t anyone asked him about race and race relations before he took the job?
In this podcast we meet some students who suffer the bad kid label, a parent who struggled to prove her child doesn't deserve that label and an adult who lived with the label for so long that he came to believe he really was bad.
Racial disparities are a huge topic in education. And Missouri schools — specifically those in the St. Louis area — have been singled out as having some of the nation’s highest rates of suspensions that are disproportionately allocated to African Americans.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be bringing you stories of people directly participating in that system. This week, we spoke to educators, who shared their own journeys of grappling with issues of race, poverty and discipline in local schools.
The arcane world of school finance in Missouri can be harder to understand than the most obscure poem or the most difficult calculus problem. But clear away all of the acronyms and calculations and modifications, and it comes down to two simple questions:
Should the quality of children’s education depend on where they live? And how important is money to education anyway?
Of course, the questions may be simple to ask, but if they were simple to answer, then school finance wouldn’t be such a thorny topic. As it is, though, when it comes to education, there is an inextricable link between money and quality.
Editor's note: This is Kameel Stanley's inaugural article for St. Louis Public Radio's We Live Here project. We asked her to introduce herself.
This week's We Live Here podcast is something a little different.
Recently, we've been looking at health and the way that toxic stress can impact someone's ability to succeed and even to be healthy. We'll be transitioning to a new area soon, but we wanted to take a step back this week to allow Emanuele Berry to produce her own, unique show.
Emanuele has left St. Louis Public Radio, as you may have heard. She took advantage of a wonderful opportunity to live and work abroad. But before she left, she wanted to do a podcast that explores what it means to be multi-racial.
On the first anniversary of the death of Michael Brown, We Live Here takes stock and asks reporters covering the aftermath: Is the landscape around racial and economic disparities in St. Louis and beyond starting to shift? Can some changes already be seen? Those were the basic questions on the minds of St. Louis Public Radio's reporters as they produced story after story on where we stand and where we might be going.
A single school can tell us a lot about the health of the community in which it exists. It can also tell us a lot about how systemic problems with transportation, food, housing and crime adversely impact impoverished communities and the health of the people who live there.
Keeping people healthy is already a challenging task, imagine the extra challenge that comes from treating people who experience toxic stress — the stress that comes from constant exposure to poor housing conditions, lack of quality food or exposure to violence.
While most people in St. Louis think of the "Delmar Divide," as simply a road that separates a mostly white community to the south and a mostly black community to the north, the reality is that the divide also represents huge disparities in health.
How does someone adjust to life outside after spending years behind bars?
If you look at the statistics, outcomes for released felons aren't very rosy. In Missouri, almost 32,000 people were locked up or under the supervision of the state prisons system in 2014. Chances of returning after release are substantial. For example, 5,493 people were released from Missouri prisons for the first time in 2009. Of those ex-offenders, roughly half had either returned to prison or were back on parole by 2014.
You hear it nearly every time you watch a crime show. As the bad guy is getting cuffed by the police, they tell him that he has the right to remain silent. And "Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law." And they tell him he has the right to an attorney. If he cannot afford to hire a lawyer, "one will be appointed to represent you..."
As with most things you see on TV, it's not actually that easy. In this episode of We Live Here, we explore the price and perils of our public defender system.
On this episode of We Live Here we introduce you to four police officers who discuss not only what life is like during the day-to-day grind of work, but also the question of whether or not race makes a difference for African-American officers in majority white police departments.
We Live Here spent the last several weeks ramping up to explore race in St. Louis and, specifically, how systems intersect with people to createa lot of the inequality in our region ... and around the country.
Now, we are moving from the general to the specific. We will spend the next several months exploring the criminal justice system.
Let’s be honest, talking about race can be tough — even nerve-racking for some.
There are the boilerplate words like “they,” “them” and “those people.” But there are also more localized varieties like "Hoosier," “north county” and even historical oddities such as “scrubby Dutch.” In St. Louis, coded conversations about race and class often start with a single question that permeates a divided region: "Where did you go to school?"
This episode of We Live Here is all about talking about race without actually talking about race.
Now that we've looked at the jigsaw puzzle of St. Louis County, we consider the children. In a place where people from different backgrounds — and especially different races — seldom live next to each other, we ask the question: What does that mean for kids?
St. Louis County has 90 municipalities.
Within this system of municipalities, people are largely divided — white, black, rich and poor. They rarely live next to each other.
So, for this podcast, we also wanted to get a sense of how people living in different parts of this jigsaw puzzle think about race and money ... what their hopes are for the future ... and maybe their fears.
We live here.
Those are the words that we found ourselves saying in the months after Michael Brown was fatally shot last August by then-police officer Darren Wilson.
Those are also the words we've chosen as the name for an effort we're beginning today. It’s a multi-faceted, multi-media project that we hope will shed some light on the very tangible racial issues that seemed to be at the heart of the unrest and protests that swept our region — and eventually the rest of the country — during the last few months of 2014.