Racial Equity Summit - 2021

St. Louis Racial Equity Summit Goes Virtual: Three Nationally-Known Experts Will Headline

Three nationally-renowned thought leaders will headline the upcoming Second Bi-Annual St. Louis Racial Equity Summit, “Our Truth. Our Transformation: Connecting Yesterday’s Lessons to Tomorrow’s Possibilities.”  The event will take place virtually, August 4 through August 6, 2021.

The 2021 keynote speakers are:

  • Angela Davis — Activist, scholar and author, Davis’ work continues to emphasize the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial, and gender justice. Her most recent book is Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement.
  • Edgar Villanueva — A globally-recognized social justice and philanthropy expert, Villanueva is the author of Decolonizing Wealth and now leads the Decolonizing Wealth Project and Liberated Capital, a participatory grant-making fund that welcomes support from those committed to healing the wounds of colonialism and white supremacy.
  • adrienne maree brown — brown is the writer-in-residence at the Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute and is an author of several books concerning social justice and transformative change. Titles include: Holding Change: The Way of Emergent Strategy Facilitation and Mediation and We Will Not Cancel Us and Other Dreams of Transformative Justice. She is cohost of the “How to Survive the End of the World” and “Octavia’s Parables” and “Emergent Strategy” podcasts.

“The twice sold out inaugural Summit in 2019 demonstrated the hunger for connection and community building among St. Louis’ growing movement of racial equity activists and advocates,” said David Dwight IV, Executive Director & Lead Strategy Catalyst of Forward Through Ferguson.

The 2021 St. Louis Racial Equity Summit will serve as a platform to elevate, connect, and activate people, practices, and resources necessary to work towards racial equity by 2039—a single generation following the 2014 murder of Michael Brown Jr. in Ferguson, MO.

“This year’s virtual Summit will be a learning and action space for St. Louisans and beyond who are dismantling systemic racism and building the structures, policies, and practices that will transform our region toward equity,” said Dwight.

The purpose of the 2021 summit is three-fold:

  • To engage participants in building their awareness of systemic racial inequities,
  • To grow an understanding and power analysis of current systemic issues and build plans for how to address them, learning from successful tactics in St. Louis and other regions, and
  • To share and adopt ready-made and pressure-tested strategies for taking action.

The Summit will strive to uplift the voices of local leaders of color who will share actions that can be taken against structural inequities right now. Following a community decision-making and leadership approach, an open call was publicly released for community and youth advisory board members, as well as summit presenters.

“The inaugural Racial Equity Summit in 2019 brought together nearly 600 individuals and over 100 organizations addressing Racial Equity in every corner of the St. Louis region. Convenings like this are crucial for the work to build momentum and to create collaboration across geographic, economic, and demographic divisions,” shares Yemi Akande Bartsch, President & CEO of FOCUS St. Louis, “We expect this year to be even bigger, and FOCUS is proud to partner on this work for the region.”

The Summit Organizing Committee is led by representatives from Forward Through Ferguson, the Clark-Fox Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis, FOCUS St. Louis, St. Louis Community Foundation, and the United Way of Greater St. Louis.

A broad set of sponsors are contributing to the success of the community-based St. Louis Racial Equity Summit and include:

  • Justice Sponsor: Greater St. Louis Inc.
  • Equity Sponsors: Missouri Foundation for Health, Roblee Foundation
  • Resilience Sponsors: FOCUS St. Louis, Incarnate Word, Nestle Purina Petcare Co., St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St. Louis Community Foundation, US Bancorp Community Development Corp.
  • Agility Sponsors: Alltru Credit Union, Ameren Missouri, Education Equity Center of St. Louis, Forward Through Ferguson, Square, United Way of Greater St. Louis, Verizon
  • Community Sponsors: Gladiator Consulting, STEMSTL, Trio Foundation
  • Host Committee: Drake Strategy Partners LLC, Purpose First Advisors

Sponsorship Opportunities are still available. Register for the conference at www.racialequitySTL.org

About the St. Louis Racial Equity Summit
The St. Louis Racial Equity Summit is committed to advancing racial equity regionally by 2039—a single generation following the murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO. The Summit champions courageous conversations and community capacity building designed to advance racial justice and equity in our policies, institutions and culture. This unique collaborative space is designed to bring together national speakers, thought leaders and attendees to convene, organize, and mobilize for a more equitable future.


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