Summit aims to better lives for 60,000 black males in St. Louis area

The HomeGrown STL Inaugural Summit, February 9 at the Brown School, drew about 120 people committed to improving the lives of black boys and young men in St. Louis City and County. “Equity and economics are different sides of the same coin,” said Joe Reagan, president and CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber, in […]

My Brother’s Keeper Alliance bring HomeGrown STL into its fold

Inspired by HomeGrown STL’s “strong track record of working to improve life outcomes for boys and young men of color,” the Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance has named HomeGrown STL a “Community to Watch.” Professor Sean Joe, director of HomeGrown STL, announced the designation last week at HomeGrown’s third annual regional summit, “Building Capacity for […]

My journey from convict to mentor By Demetrius Evans

From age 7 to 33 I was in and out of the juvenile and adult prison systems. I remember a traumatic and lifetime-humbling experience with police officers with our guns drawn and their K-9 dog simultaneously chewing on my ankles. I could have died that day. A police officer could have died that day. I […]

We can build stronger children By Orv Kimbrough

To focus my thoughts, I sought the help of friends by asking, “What is needed for us to create the conditions for more black boys and men to be successful?” Across age, gender and race, the answers aligned along similar themes, from supporting two-parent stable families, to bestowing higher esteem and compensation on the best […]

I chose education as my path By Xavier Blackwell

As a St. Louis native, I wasn’t surrounded by individuals as an adolescent who shared my current mindset that anything is possible. Growing up in North St. Louis on Natural Bridge and Newstead, I wasn’t surrounded by individuals who looked like me and were accomplishing positive goals. Instead, I was surrounded by unfortunate distractions that […]

How I found a way through By Joseph Smart

Outside of going to church and school, I was basically a homebody. I rarely could go anywhere with my friends. When I did go outside, I would always have to stay in the front of the house. I thought that my mother was real strict. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized she […]

Algorithms and African-American life by William F. Tate

During the early 1990s, I served on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. As was the custom, I presented the early version of a paper to my colleagues. The paper asserted that the use of mathematics and statistics in our democratic society is often linked to an attempt by one group seeking […]

I try to help out and give back By RaJae Johnson

I am a 20-year-old African-American male born and raised in the ghetto of St. Louis. I graduated from Jennings Senior High School, where I was a three-sport athlete (football, basketball and baseball) and received a lot of local attention for it. I dealt with a lot of stuff because of my skin color, on and […]

Moving ‘Beyond Jobs’ to regional change By Jason Watson

Nobody is shocked that life is dark in parts of our city. But not everyone has walked the walk and lived the life to understand how hopeless it really can seem. Growing up in Walnut Park, in the heart of North St. Louis, the youngest of 10 kids in a single-parent home, I know what […]

We must heal black men to heal our region By Mikel Whittier

Before my first day of kindergarten I bore a scar on my forehead from being hit with a beer bottle. While my mom panicked, I stood there emotionless as blood ran down my face. I had developed the skill to internalize my emotions for protection. I carry memories of observing drug sales and drug use, […]

St. Louis must invest in young, black males to grow

While St. Louis was preoccupied with Better Together’s recently released proposal for merging St. Louis city and county governments, HomeGrown STL convened its annual summit on February 7 at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University, where it’s based. Its focus was succinctly stated in the title of the policy brief released and […]

My Brother’s Keeper Alliance brings HomeGrown STL into its fold

Inspired by HomeGrown STL’s “strong track record of working to improve life outcomes for boys and young men of color,” the Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance has named HomeGrown STL a “Community to Watch.” Professor Sean Joe, director of HomeGrown STL, announced the designation last week at HomeGrown’s third annual regional summit, “Building Capacity for […]

Black Males, Trauma, and Mental Health Service Use: A Systematic Review

OBJECTIVE: To systematically review the evidence of and synthesize results from relevant studies that have examined barriers and facilitators to professional mental health service use for Black male trauma survivors ages 18 and older. METHODS: A thorough search of selected databases that included EBSCO, ProQuest, and Web of Science Core Collection and careful consideration of […]

Policing and Social Trust

Humans are a social species. The need for trust is rooted in our DNA. In times of peril and uncertainty, trusting relationships provide a sense of security. Trust helps us to survive. In 2014, during the Ferguson unrest, I was a police officer in St. Louis, assigned to a special unit focusing on low-income housing […]

Black Males, Trauma, and Mental Health Service Use: A Systematic Review

OBJECTIVE: To systematically review the evidence of and synthesize results from relevant studies that have examined barriers and facilitators to professional mental health service use for Black male trauma survivors ages 18 and older. METHODS: A thorough search of selected databases that included EBSCO, ProQuest, and Web of Science Core Collection and careful consideration of […]

HomeGrown STL rallying cry: ‘Build the village that raises the child’

More than 120 people working to improve the lives of black boys and young men in St. Louis participated in the second annual HomeGrown STL Summit on February 8 at the Brown School of Social Work. “Build the village that raises the child,” said Sean Joe, the Benjamin E. Youngdahl Professor of Social Development, who […]

Police Use of Force by Ethnicity, Sex, and Socioeconomic Class

Objective: Disparities in police responses to Black and White people have received significant research and public attention in recent years. This study examines self-reported accounts of exposure to and perceptions of police use of force among Black and White ethnic groups by sex and income level.  Method: Using bivariate and multivariate approaches, we analyzed data from the […]

Study Finds That Police Are More Likely to Use Force Against Higher Income Black Women

A new study  by Robert Motley Jr. a doctoral student and Sean Joe, the Benjamin E. Youngdahl Professor of Social Development at the Brown School of Washington University in St. Louis, examines the use of force by police officers when factors such as race, gender and income are taken into account. The researchers examined 2011 data […]

HomeGrown STL nearing action ‘on the ground’ for black males

​HomeGrown STL is close to putting its strategy for collective impact to work in St. Louis. The project, part of the Center for Social Development’s Race and Opportunity Lab, aims to support the social mobility of black boys and men between the ages of 12 and 29 in St. Louis City and County. “We want […]

Black Youth Mental Health & Educational Experiences

Disproportionately lower educational achievement, coupled with higher grade retention, suspensions, expulsions, and lower school bonding make educational success among Black adolescents a major public health concern. Mental health is a key developmental factor related to educational outcomes among adolescents; however, traditional models of mental health focus on absence of dysfunction as a way to conceptualize […]

Police Use of Force by Ethnicity, Sex, and Socioeconomic Class

Objective: Disparities in police responses to Black and White people have received significant research and public attention in recent years. This study examines self-reported accounts of exposure to and perceptions of police use of force among Black and White ethnic groups by sex and income level.  Method: Using bivariate and multivariate approaches, we analyzed data from the […]

Black Youth Mental Health & Educational Experiences

Disproportionately lower educational achievement, coupled with higher grade retention, suspensions, expulsions, and lower school bonding make educational success among Black adolescents a major public health concern. Mental health is a key developmental factor related to educational outcomes among adolescents; however, traditional models of mental health focus on absence of dysfunction as a way to conceptualize […]

Community Violence Exposure and Risk Taking Behaviors

Black emerging adults ages 18–29, particularly those residing in predominantly black urban communities, are at risk for community violence exposure (CVE). This potentially traumatic event may induce traumatic stress reactions for black emerging adults that contribute to their engagement in violence perpetration, substance use and/or sexual risk-taking behaviors as a way to cope with their […]

Community Violence Exposure and Risk Taking Behaviors

Black emerging adults ages 18–29, particularly those residing in predominantly black urban communities, are at risk for community violence exposure (CVE). This potentially traumatic event may induce traumatic stress reactions for black emerging adults that contribute to their engagement in violence perpetration, substance use and/or sexual risk-taking behaviors as a way to cope with their […]

Suicide Risk Among Urban Children

Objective: This study examines how socio-demographic and clinical characteristics influence suicide risk among a large, urban sample of children (ages 12 and younger) receiving Psychiatric Emergency Services (PES). Methods: Bivariate and binomial logistic regression analyses were employed to analyze data for a sample of 951 urban children presenting for pediatric PES. Results: Approximately 17.2% of […]

Suicide Risk Among Urban Children

Objective: This study examines how socio-demographic and clinical characteristics influence suicide risk among a large, urban sample of children (ages 12 and younger) receiving Psychiatric Emergency Services (PES). Methods: Bivariate and binomial logistic regression analyses were employed to analyze data for a sample of 951 urban children presenting for pediatric PES. Results: Approximately 17.2% of […]