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Barriers & Blessings—How Commercial Prosperity Shapes School Success

Barriers & Blessings - How Commercial Prosperity Shapes School Success ,  is a continuation of FTF’s Still Separate, Still Unequal advocacy & accountability tool for Education Equity. Follow along with us for this latest series, where we’ll detail the central relationship between commercial property development and education outcomes, and the disproportionate impact that relationship has on students across the St. Louis region.

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Episode 1Episode 2Episode 3Episode 4Episode 5

Episode 1: The Parable of Commercial Property Taxes

The stories that we tell ourselves & that we pass on about education inequity often ignore the historical trends & present-day structural factors that can make or break student success. Instead, blame is typically forced onto the shoulders of individual Black & Brown students. Follow along with Cristian Vargas, MPH, and Karishma Furtado, PhD, MPH, as, in our series intro and beyond as Barriers & Blessings details the central relationship between commercial property development & education outcomes, and shows how we can correct the flawed narratives around Education Equity.

Read the full Episode 1 here.

Episode 2: How the Golden Era of Shopping in St. Louis (and School Fortunes) Moved West

From funding models to education outcomes, our region’s education landscape is shaped largely by commercial forces from our past. In Barriers & Blessings Episode 2 we trace the historic flow of commercial wealth into West County, and out of St. Louis urban core.

Read the full Episode 2 here.

Episode 3: Famous-Barr Falters As it Heads North, Signaling Woes for School Funding

Schools rise and fall with their communities. The decisions made by Famous-Barr and other retailers, land developers, and the populations they are trying to entice have profound implications for the school districts they are in. Learn more in Episode 3 of Barriers & Blessings.

Read the full Episode 3 here.

Episode 4: South County Struggles and the Opportunity of Aligned Interest

Our journey around the St. Louis region continues with Episode 4 of our Barriers & Blessings series. In this episode, we discuss the differences, and the striking resemblances between the Education Equity impact of White Flight for North County (as described in Episode 3) as compared to South County.

Read the full Episode 4 here.

Episode 5: The Stories We Tell Ourselves

For the Barriers & Blessings series closing, we reflect on the lessons that we’ve uncovered about how the world around us shapes our stories of self, and underscore the importance on transforming the traditional narratives that bind our victories to our individual merits, and our losses to perceived individual failures. We end this episode by issuing direct calls to action for impacting change toward Education Equity on individual, cultural, and institutional levels.

Read the full Episode 5 here.

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FTF Co-Chairs and Community Partners Call for Swift Policy Action

Residents Call for Policy Change, Regional Leaders Must Rise to the Challenge Forward Through Ferguson co-chairs, Rebeccah Bennett and Zachary Boyers, and 30 community partners call on policy and decision makers to deliver swift action on Ferguson Commission Calls to Action.  Read the full statement on Medium, or download a pdf here. “Unfortunately, we’ve been…

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A Path To Racial Equity Worksheet

Racial Equity is a state in which race no longer predicts outcomes. Achieving Racial Equity is the mission of Forward Through Ferguson. But the 189 calls to action in the Ferguson Commission Report are a reminder that there is no one-step, straight-line path from our current state—where racial disparities exist in almost every set of…

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Opportunity for a New Approach to Public Safety in St. Louis

An open letter to Mayor Lyda Krewson from Rebeccah Bennett and Zachary Boyers, Co-chairs of Forward Through Ferguson, on the public safety opportunity in front of our region. Click here to download a pdf of the open letter. Mayor Krewson, The retirement of Police Chief Sam Dotson represents a new day for public safety in St. Louis….

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