2020 Elevate Conference: Closing the Racial Wealth Gap

Morgan Graves Consultants, LLC is looking forward to hosting the 2nd Annual 2020 Elevate Conference: Closing the Racial Wealth Gap virtual series. The conference will offer invaluable tools and resources for community and business development opportunities, to decrease the existing racial wealth gap. The addition of the Vendor Hall will be offered in support of […]

Pandemic, racism compound worries about Black suicide rate

CHICAGO (AP) — Jasmin Pierre was 18 when she tried to end her life, overdosing on whatever pills she could find. Diagnosed with depression and anxiety, she survived two more attempts at suicide, which felt like the only way to stop her pain. Years of therapy brought progress, but the 31-year-old Black woman’s journey is […]

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Vibrant Emotional Health’s Black Racism and Mental Health Webinar

On Thursday, June 18, 2020, our very own Principal Investigator, Dr. Sean Joe, and Lab Manager, Robert Motley, Jr., spoke at a panel discussion on the examination of racism, violence, and mental health hosted by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Vibrant Emotional Health’s Black Racism and Mental Health webinar. Watch the National Suicide Prevention […]

HomeGrown StL Professional Development Grant Awardees

Congratulations to the HomeGrown StL Professional Development Grant Winners! Homegrown STL at Washington University created an opportunity for 11 staff from agencies in our Preferred Provider Network (PPN) to attend at no cost, the 14-week Community Health Worker program through the Workforce Solutions Group at St. Louis Community College. The program runs August 11th through November […]

WashU Expert: Explaining push to ‘defund police’

In the wake of national protests following the death of George Floyd, some activists are calling on cities to defund their police departments. But what does that mean exactly? Robert Motley, a PhD candidate in the Brown School and manager of the Race & Opportunity Lab at Washington University in St. Louis, explained it’s more of a […]

Exposure to Community-Based Violence on Social Media among Black Male Emerging Adults Involved with theCriminal Justice System

The prevalence of community-based violence (CBV) exposure among black American male emerging adults ages 18 to 25 with a history of involvement with the criminal justice system is a major public health concern. Although exposure (whether as victim or witness) to CBV is linked with negative outcomes, empirical research examining black men’s negative emotional responses […]

Study examines black male youth reactions to social media videos of community violence

New research from the Race and Opportunity Lab in the Brown School’s Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis sheds light on youths’ reactions to social media videos showing violence in their communities. Published in the journal Social Work Research, the study presents findings from a survey of black male youths incarcerated in the St. Louis […]

Mentoring Alliance Capacity Building Mini-Grant awardees

Congratulations to the first cohort of HomeGrown StL Mentoring Alliance Capacity Building Mini-Grant awardees! Williams & Associates: Let’s Be Clear The Village ROPE Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern MO Each initiative will be awarded $3, 500 to help support and enhance the program’s ability to foster and support quality mentoring relationships for Black boys […]

U.S. Needs a Behavioral Health ‘CARES’ Act Now — Here’s What It Must Include

The global pandemic caused by COVID-19 has left millions struggling with grief in a new way. Specifically, the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has left many in America and across the globe without the opportunity to be present during the illness process, dying process, or the burial process of those dear […]

Congratulations to our 2020 Lab graduates!

The Race and Opportunity Lab would like to congratulate their 2020 Lab graduates.  We thank them for all the great, hard work they have done to continue the great work of informing policies, interventions, and intra-professional practices in the St. Louis region.  

HomeGrown StL Town Hall Meeting

Date: February 29, 2020, 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM Location: Brown Lounge, Brown Hall Registration Link: EventBrite

Sean Joe wants to change the lives of young black men in St. Louis

“The experience of young black males was represented by the experience of Michael Brown and others who have followed over the years,” says Joe, also associate dean for faculty and research at the Brown School. In the United States, for black males ages 18-29, homicide is a leading cause of death whether by the police […]

2nd Annual Conference on Black Male Excellence

Date: February 1, 2020 Time: 7:30 am to 7:00 pm Location: Clark-Fox Forum, Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis Registration: Click HERE to register. Deadline by January 15, 2020 Cost for attendance: $50/person (open to college students, faculty, and staff) Agenda: Click HERE to see the conference program. Keynote Speakers: Mr. Tony Thompson, a St. Louis […]

Firearm Suicide as a Human Rights Priority for Prevention

In addition to being a public health crisis, firearm suicide in the United States poses an ongoing threat to human rights of U.S. residents. This article argues that the U.S. is bound to act to honor its human rights obligations in this area. The article first reviews current statistics on firearm suicide in the U.S. […]

Suicide Attempts Rise Among Black Teens, But Researcher Says Data On Solutions Is Missing

Suicide attempts among black children and teenagers have increased by 73% since 1991, according to data published in the Journal of Pediatrics this month. “This group always reported much higher rates of suicide attempts than any other group except for Native American Alaskan Indians since 1991,” says Sean Joe, a professor of social work at […]

Harnessing the power of pressure by Wesley Agee

Like a diamond formed by the weight of the Earth, I feel an immense pressure to perform as a student, a son, a father, a husband-to-be, and a young black man. The pressure of these roles could make or break a man and reveal to the world his true character – especially during the most […]

Black struggle, white privilege and the need for mentorship by Andre Walker

As a black man, I felt significant pressure to succeed from my culture but lacked the support, tools and resources needed to help guide me on the road to achievement I so desperately wanted to reach. Sadly, the consequences of my reality did not go unnoticed. I struggled with keeping my grades up and, as […]

2019 Suicide Prevention Summit “Harnessing the Power within Our Community”

Date: Friday, September 20, 2019 Location: First Presbyterian Church, 100 E Adams Ave, St. Louis, MO 63122 Agenda: 8:30-9:00 AM Registration and Networking 9:00-12:30 PM Program Complimentary light continental breakfast will be served Summit Topics Include: Vital Signs The Power of Connection to Resources The Power to Make a Difference The Power of Zero Suicide […]

Researcher Resilience Training (RRT) Seminars

Date: Thursday, July 25, 2019 Location: Goldfarb Hall Room 132, Brown School of Social Work Agenda: 1:00-1:40 PM Determinats of Behavioral Health Challenges: Disparities, Social Determinats, Environmental Factors and Economic Influences Darrell Hudson, PhD, MPH Associate Professor, Brown School of Social Work 1:40-2:20 PM Contextual Considerations in Child Behavioral Health Research Von Nebbitt, PhD Associate […]

Changing the way we treat young black males by E. Charles Conway

It was August 9, 2014 and I was teaching a class in Cape Girardeau, when my phone started to vibrate non-stop. I picked the phone up and viewed a young black man lying in the street. I told the class that another brother had been shot in St. Louis. As I continued the class, the […]

Black depression and anxiety matter – and can be overcome by Brendan Underwood

August 27, 2014 was the worst and best birthday of my life. The night of that birthday I was furious. My face was stained with tears of frustration and pain at what had transpired in Ferguson just 18 days earlier. On August 9, Michael Brown was gunned down in the middle of the street. His […]

WashU: Focus on Suicide, Gun Violence

Suicide remains preventable, and prevention methods should go beyond behavioral means, according to expert recommendations from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. The recommendations came during a June 12 congressional briefing, “The Impact of Weapons and Violence on School and Surrounding Communities,” aimed at addressing current scientific data surrounding gun violence. “Gun […]

Commentary: Who gets to be Better Together?

Could you live on $30 per day? Could you take care of your family? For too long, black men of prime working ages have remained the St. Louisans least likely to benefit from the upward economic mobility that defines the American dream.  As the St. Louis region considers the proposed Better Together merger of city […]

WashU Expert: We must address suicide in gun violence in America

In the United States, almost 50,000 people die every year from suicide. While participating in a June 13 briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., a Washington University in St. Louis expert testified that — amid the need nationally to stem violence in schools and elsewhere — suicide remains preventable. And prevention methods go beyond […]

Equity in City/County Reform: Political Representation and Criminal Justice

Date: Thursday, July 11, 2019 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM Location: Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63112 Agenda: While the Better Together plan has been withdrawn, the need for regional dialogue around the city/county issue remains. With a wide open field, the possibilities range from incremental (expanding collaboration efforts) to radical […]

The Impact of Weapons and Violence on Schools and Surrounding Communities

Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM Location: Rayburn Office Building, Room 2261, Washington, D.C. Agenda: This briefing will explore current scientific data surrounding the pressing need for the reduction of weapons and violence in schools and communities. Experts will present empirical research detailing the impact on the education and well-being of […]

Agent of deliverance, catalyst for healing by the Reverend Eric Battle

Growing up in St. Louis and in a sanctified church, I became very adept at sneaking around. I could not sow my wild oats in front of my parents who fully endorsed the message found in Proverbs 13:24: that sparing the rod creates a spoiled child. So, to spare myself from the rod, I was […]

Moving from under-served to well-deserved communities by Andra Lang Jr

In high school, I was selected to be a part of a group of individuals who were mentored by  undergraduate students at Washington University in St. Louis for two semesters. This experience had a huge impact on my growth as a youth. This gave me a sense of confidence that I needed to pursue higher […]

Serving on the front lines in St. Louis by Cory Mitchell

I didn’t choose social work, but I did choose to work in the greater St. Louis community once social work chose me. Since September 2018 I have worked for BJC Behavioral Health as a senior community support specialist. Our project is called emergency room enhancement. The team I am a part of is interagency, and […]

I am my brother’s keeper by Tony Gunn Jr.

I grew up in an abusive turned single-parent household and then became a role model to my son, brother, little cousins, niece, and nephew whose fathers weren’t around. This put a lot of pressure on me. Inevitably, I built up this societal depiction of masculinity where you limit your cries, take a hit and show […]

When I started making good decisions by Howard Hughes

I spent most of my childhood growing up in John DeShields Projects in East St. Louis and the rest of my adolescent years growing up in the streets of St. Louis. In both I had my fair share of gang and gun violence, and I lost friends and family to both. I even had my fair […]

We have to lead the dialogue about us by Chauncey Nelson

We had learned to make a way for ourselves, when there was nowhere to go. We developed a means to living without knowing what we were living for. We had created a purpose for ourselves when no one was giving us any opportunities. The world had shown us how much it valued us, and we […]

Finding the king within by Kaylan D. Holloway

One morning, I woke up to “go home ni**er” written on the bathroom mirror. The next morning someone spread cotton balls across the lawn and entrance of the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center. Later that day, a professor asked students what city and high school we came from. When I said I had graduated from Saint […]

Doctoral candidate receives grants to study racism-based trauma

Robert Motley Jr., a doctoral candidate at the Brown School and manager of the Center for Social Development’s Race and Opportunity Lab, has received a two-year $60,936 grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and a $5,000 grant from the Fahs-Beck Fund for Research and Experimentation. Read more here.

I am grateful for having kept my pledge by Malik Ahmed

I am grateful to be alive and in relatively good health. Many black men who were born and raised under impoverished conditions don’t live long enough to tell their story of overcoming the many obstacles that clogged their path and the joy of the journey. I am grateful to have been raised by a loving […]

Learning to nurture by Marcel Scaife

I grew up in a two-parent, two-income household in Jennings. I would say I had it pretty good.  In the late 1980s and early ‘90s, Jennings was a great place to be. I can remember my dad taking me to Northland or River Roads to shop. I had white classmates and white neighbors. I understood […]

From destruction to responsibility by Farrakhan Shegog

Growing up, I was told St. Louis makes people tough. It was said people came from all over the country to St. Louis to gain street credit. Today, we have many young black males in St. Louis fleeing to other cities to escape the tragedy of St. Louis. I spent most of my childhood in […]

Living for myself and Demetri by Tyshon Sikes

I grew up without my biological father. Not having that portion of my life caused distress and anger. I was constantly getting in trouble at school and at home to get my anger out. I moved in with my grandfather when I was 4 years old because he spoiled me and I enjoyed being with […]

My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBK) Communties to Watch

We are happy to annouce that we are listed as a apart of Obama’s Foundation My Brother’s Keeper Alliance. “The following communities received significant consideration but we are unfortunately unable to financially support them at this time. However, each of these organizations has a strong track record of working on behalf of boys and young […]

Reviving forgotten communities by Cyril D. Loum

Upon arrival in the United States, my parents had their funding as missionaries discontinued because they chose to be with their children away from a war-torn country. This meant that our food came from food banks and clothing from co-ops, which ended up providing us with the necessary resources to survive. Survival also was based […]

Finding – and showing – a way out of the streets by Steve Thomas

I was raised with a disciplinary mother in a home with no father. Having a background in the streets was an involuntary decision. I remember living house-to-house on the floor. The only time I ate was at school or when my friends had food to share. Being a young man who wanted more in life […]

Fulfilling the expectations of a man by Chester A. Deanes Jr.

My parents migrated to St. Louis from Aberdeen, Mississippi, expecting to build a good life for us. A year later, Daddy left us. He sent us Easter clothes and trunks full of toys during Christmas. He was not present and involved, but he sent packages! We eventually moved into the Pruitt-Igoe housing projects. There were […]