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The Work — Forward Through Ferguson

Fall Open Call – Board Applications Available

Forward Through Ferguson seeks to add four to six new members to our Board of Directors.

School Discipline Report Released: “Falling Through the Cracks”

In St. Louis schools, some students are far more likely to be suspended than those least at risk—20, 30, even 60 times more likely. In our new study, “Falling Through the Cracks:Disparities in Out of School Suspension in St. Louis at the Intersection of Race, Disability, and Gender,” we found that being black, male, or having a disability places students at greater risk of out-of-school suspension (OSS).

#STL2039 Action Plan

On April 25, 2018, Forward Through Ferguson unveiled its #STL2039 Action Plan, which lays out the three Action Strategies that will guide the organization’s work for the next three years as it works to achieve a racially equitable St. Louis by the year 2039, which will mark the 25th anniversary of the death of Michael Brown.

We believe that a racially equitable St. Louis is possible, where a person’s life outcomes cannot be predicted by their race.

The State of the Report:  Tracking the Ferguson Commission’s Calls to Action

On August 8, 2018, Forward Through Ferguson released the first “State of the Report:  Tracking the Ferguson Commission’s Calls to Action“. The State of the Report is an accountability tool that measures progress on the Ferguson Commission’s landmark report sparked by community protest and uprising in the wake of the killing of Michael Brown Jr. on August 9, 2014. The Commission gathered insights from over 3,000 community members and stakeholders who volunteered over 30,000 hours to identify actionable solutions to racial inequities across the St. Louis region. This State of the Report tracks implementation of the 47 signature priority policy changes out of the 189 issued by the Ferguson Commission, detailing the progress won and the pitfalls that face the work.

Organizational Overview

History & Who We Are

The Ferguson Commission’s report outlined 189 policy recommendations to address these disparities and move the region toward Racial Equity drew local and national praise., in its final act, the Commission created Forward Through Ferguson to carry on its work, to help the region turn those calls into action, and to catalyze St. Louis’ efforts toward Racial Equity.

Forward Through Ferguson is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is charting a path toward Racial Equity. We:

  • Work as a catalyst, connecting and challenging stakeholders across the region to implement the 189 calls to action outlined in the Ferguson Commission report.

  • Help organizations and institutions build the capacity they need to dismantle systemic racism.

  • Serve people of color, who most experience inequity, through a systems approach that will strengthen the region for us all.

Our core principles:

  1. We will apply (and model) a Racial Equity Lens

  2. We are committed to Radical Collaboration

  3. We are committed to Radical Listening

  4. We are committed to Policy & Systems Change


The Vision

We believe St. Louis can become a region that is Racially Equitable—a state in which life outcomes are no longer predictable by race. Based on this belief, we are on a path to share a detailed #STL2039 Action Strategy proposal with the region in March 2018 and begin implementation by June 2018. The year 2039 will mark the 25th anniversary of the death of Michael Brown. We have collected vision statements from a broad set of community members to drive our work as an organization and a region in service of a transformed St. Louis in 2039.

The Action Strategy

The three prongs of our action strategy work together toward the ultimate goal of Racial Equity. Each strategy is led by a robust community governance structure made up of impacted community members of color that drives the decision making, continuous improvement, and accountability for achieving equitable results.

  1. Policy/Systems Advocacy Action Strategy: Through a series of policy advocacy campaigns, we will advance three sets of Calls to Action aligned to the Signature Priority Areas of tvhe Ferguson Commission Report.  We have partnered with PolicyLink, a national research and action institute focused on advancing economic and social equity, to support this effort.

  2. Racial Equity Capacity Building Action Strategy: Equitable policy implementation rests on people and organizations. This means increasing regional understanding of the root causes of racial inequity; convening diversity, inclusion, and equity practitioners to support institutions and individuals as they enter the Path to Racial Equity; and public reporting our progress toward Racial Equity. Targeted institutions and members of the Racial Equity Community will access ongoing training, tools, and opportunities for community building, institutional transformation, reconciliation, and racial healing. 

  3. Sustainability Action Strategy: To ensure the region can sustain this challenging work, we are helping to develop a 25-year Racial Equity fund, as called for in the Ferguson Commission report, to support Racial Equity efforts.

Read more about some the milestones of our work across the last 2 years.

Contact Us

Are you implementing the report’s calls to action?

One of the key responsibilities of Forward Through Ferguson is tracking implementation efforts across the report’s Signature Priorities. If you, or someone you know of, is involved in implementation efforts, please let us know by filling out this form,

If you want to further discuss an initiative with a FTF staffer, please email

Need help aligning with the recommendations?

If you are working on a new policy, initiative or program and want to align with the report recommendations, we can help. Contact us at

General questions?

If you have general questions or have read the report and want to dig deeper, we’re here at
Be on the lookout for new information as we highlight implementation and move Forward Through Ferguson.

Would you like to support the work of Forward Through Ferguson?

You can support Forward Through Ferguson’s efforts here. Forward Through Ferguson is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

#STLFwdThru #STL2039 #RacialEquity

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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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