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Meet the Team at Forward Through Ferguson

Faybra Hemphill | Director of Racial Equity Capacity

As one of the Racial Equity experts on the FTF team, Faybra comes with a wealth of knowledge on the equity spectrum. She specializes in next practices of growing capacity for the successful development of anti-bias, antiracist institutions. She has dedicated 10 years of service to the St. Louis community within the Education and non-profit advancement sectors. She is an experienced facilitator and enjoys participating in courageous conversations. She is the 2018 recipient of the Annie Turnbo Malone Trailblazer Award, presented by Annie Malone Children & Family Services, and the Power 100-Game Changer Award, presented by Delux Magazine. Faybra is a St. Louis Native and lives with her partner in University City.

Faybra will work closely with our FTF board and community members to advance the current efforts to build Racial Equity capacity.

Karishma Furtado | Data & Research Catalyst

Karishma Furtado, MPH, PhD is the Data and Research Catalyst and a founding staff member of Forward Through Ferguson. In her position, she leads the use of human-centered data, research, and reporting to facilitate accountability, measure impact, deepen understanding, and imagine what’s possible on the path to Racial Equity. Prior to her role with Forward Through Ferguson, Karishma served as staff to the Ferguson Commission. She has completed a doctoral degree in public health sciences, and her research at the intersection of race, racism, and health is in the service of closing the school discipline gap, or the disproportionate rate at which Black students are suspended from school and pushed out of the classroom.

She has published articles in the leading public health and health policy journals on the Ferguson Commission, the role of public health in advancing the mission of Racial Equity, and operationalizing a commitment to health equity in applied public health spaces.

Karishma teaches graduate level courses in biostatistics, epidemiology, and translating epidemiology into policy. She’s also a big fan of baking and DIY home renovation and design.

David Dwight IV | Executive Director, Lead Strategy Catalyst

Driven by a passion for systems change and equity, David Dwight IV serves as the Executive Director and Lead Strategy Catalyst at Forward Through Ferguson (FTF), the organization created to carry on the work and vision of the Ferguson Commission, which was a wide-ranging community policy recommendation process engaging over 3,000 residents after the killing of Michael Brown Jr. In David’s role, he leads FTF, develops strategic initiatives, and directs the organization’s policy and systems advocacy strategy.

He has served in a variety of leadership roles in St. Louis to engage community voice and apply a Racial Equity lens to regional issues.

David has taken root in St. Louis where he has lived for nine years. He received his degree in biomedical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis in 2015. His experience co-founding Students in Solidarity—a multi-campus student advocacy coalition—led him to center equity, justice, and advocacy in his career. After graduation, he served as the communications fellow for the Ferguson Commission where he worked closely with the Citizen-Law Enforcement Relations working group. He is dedicated to supporting the St. Louis region as we forge a path toward a transformed St. Louis where Racial Equity is the status quo. David balances his equity work, and maintains his sanity, through theatre and dance.

Sara Westbrooks | Sr. Operations & Communications Catalyst

Responsible for the operations and the internal and external communications of the organization, Sara comes to us with a strong communications and administrative background. As a child, she began advocacy work with her peers around handgun safety and has continued to be an aid for justice into her adulthood. With a creative mindset and passion for order, Sara is skilled in creating copy and organization. For over 10 years, she has served as a communications professional in various organizations and business structures. A planner at heart, Sara makes it her responsibility to create order wherever she is.

In her spare-time, she enjoys hiking, reading, learning how to play the drums, and enjoying a vegan friendly or paleo meal. Although, not a devout vegan – she incorporates many vegan dishes into her diet to aid in her winning fight against endometriosis.

LadyAshley Gregory | Director of Community Partnerships

LadyAshley is an activist and educator specializing in community, equity, and inclusion. A native of St. Louis Missouri and the grandniece of the late civil rights activist Dick Gregory, LadyAshley uses her work to focus on bringing awareness and dismantling all forms of oppression that affect communities of color. Her educational background consists of an undergraduate degree in Human Development and Social Relations from Kalamazoo College and her Master’s Degree in Human Resources Development from Webster University. LadyAshley’s life and engagement in St. Louis has prepared her to better understand systemic inequalities that our communities face and how to work towards overcoming the barriers that accompany them. She loves her city unapologetically but admits, “We’ve got a lot of work to do but here, you can see who’s doing that work and that fuels my hope!”

LadyAshley works to uplift her communities through teachings of resistance, self-care, and collective action. Living within multiple life intersections, LadyAshley Gregory believes we must all get free together through fighting “the good fight” to bring about change.

Rachel D’Souza-Siebert | Justice Philanthropy Catalyst


As the founding Justice Philanthropy Catalyst, Rachel infuses community-centric fundraising principles with the Sustain the Work pillar of the #STL2039 Action Plan to produce a more equitable and sustainable model of support for Forward Through  Ferguson.

Rachel is a proud life-long resident of St. Louis. Born to parents who immigrated to the U.S.A from India, Rachel has always been passionate about bridging differences and celebrating what’s possible when we collaborate from a mindset of abundance, learning and risk-taking.

Rachel is the founder of Gladiator Consulting, a boutique consultancy with a holistic approach to nonprofit organizational capacity building. Through Gladiator, Rachel has combined her knowledge of Organizational Culture & Resource Development with her deep personal commitment to centering community, seeking justice and creating belonging for those who have been disenfranchised or targeted by institutions, systems and policy.

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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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