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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.

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 […]

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 […]