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Community Governance Board for the Racial Healing + Justice Fund

Smiling group of Black Community Governance Board Members

Community Governance Board

The 2022-2023 Community Governance Board members include:

  • Michelle Barbeau
  • Aaron Rogers
  • Mia Malcolm
  • Dawne Turner
  • Perez Maxwell
  • Tyrean Lewis
  • Samantha Minor
  • Rorke Chhouk
  • Shonda Ambers-Phillips
  • Angel McCain
  • Diamond Spencer
  • Darian Wigfall
  • Erika Essiem
  • Ashley Winters

Download Press Release – St. Louis Regional Racial Healing + Justice Fund Announces Community Governance Board:Residents of the Bi-State Area Direct Investments for Community Healing

History & Purpose – Community Governance Body

A central value of the Racial Healing + Justice Fund is that it is informed, designed, and led by community members and advocates who are directly impacted by racialized oppression. The Community Governance Board will be made up of community members in the St. Louis region and surrounding counties who oversee the Fund’s investment. This includes finalizing the Fund’s grant priorities based on community voice, reviewing and selecting applications to receive funding, and continuing to develop the Fund’s focus through ongoing community design.

Following a community design and engagement process, a selection committee of community organizers and healers led an open nomination and application process to select the inaugural group of nine board members.

About the RH + JF Fund

The Racial Healing + Justice Fund was created to invest in racial healing as a core component of achieving Racial Equity and to make space for affected residents, Black and Brown St. Louisans, to have direct power over the distribution of resources for healing, justice, and transformation. Through these investments, the Racial Healing and Justice Fund will align local and national philanthropy, community-set priorities, and community-led grantmaking that put racial equity and healing justice at the center, creating a future St. Louis where all residents have the opportunity to thrive. The fund currently has $1.6 million committed over a three year period.

Read the press release, “St. Louis Regional Racial Healing + Justice Fund Aims to Invest $800,000 in Community this Fall.”

The Healing focus of the Fund invests in:

  • Creating space to share truth narratives, communal grieving, and communal connection on race and systemic racism;
  • Enabling restoration, reverence, respect, and trust, at all levels of a community;
  • Building and exercising individual power and resilience;
  • Providing support for the spiritual and emotional health of community organizers and advocates.

The Justice focus of the Fund invests in:

  • Changing the conditions of racial inequities by continuously supporting current and future leaders of color;
  • Centering, growing, and activating grassroots knowledge;
  • Broadening resident engagement to operationalize policymaker accountability structures and practices;
  • Uplifting communal mobilization for system change.

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A group of Black and Brown members of the Community Governance Board

Photo Credit:Nyara Williams & Tyler Small

What Does the Board Do?

The Community Governance Board (CGB) is a voting body of 9-15 community members from St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Clair County who receive a stipend for their time and insight. The Board will review and have decision-making power over how funding will be distributed to St. Louis Black and Brown communities’ healing efforts, programs, and initiatives.

Within this body there will be two groups to ensure the sustainability of the fund: a Grants & Allocation work group and a Community Voice & Learning work group.

  • Grants and Allocation Work Group
  • Community Voice & Learning
    • Activates on community engagement and voice
    • Collects, evaluates, learns from process and granting outcomes
    • Continual improvement and adaptation based on process and community voice
    • Support lead: Forward Through Ferguson
  • Full Board
    • Votes on recommended slate of grants in each cycle
    • Decides on new and continuing priorities
    • Coordination lead: Forward Through Ferguson

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