A Red Circle
"The best way to visualize A Red Circle is to consider north St. Louis County ("North County"), its primary demographic, and its economic health. Where do you start? With schools that need funding, with vacant homes that need purchasing for tax revenue to fund the schools? With adults who need jobs and income to purchase the homes that fund the schools? With healthier food options to attract new businesses to hire the people who need jobs to buy the homes to fund the schools? With increasing the arts availability which adds flavor to everything? It's a circle, with no true beginning and no end. These disparities are the product of systemic and structural racism, but all blood is red."- Founder and Executive Director Erica R. Williams
What We are Doing
Equity in Education
- Teach Us All was a huge success! We thank the panel, moderator, and SLU's Rotaract Club for everything they contributed. A lively discussion ensued after the movie and the last guest did not leave until after 9:00 p.m.! This event highlighted the need for A Red Circle's Equitable School Funding Collaborative wherein researchers have been gathering information, reviewing current law, and conducting in-person school audits. We are working to answer the research question: "Are current school funding policies equitable for St. Louis County school districts?" See our Projects tab for more information.
- Updating school funding and discipline practices go together when improving school climate. In our Education Advocacy Coalition, we have five Education Advocates who have helped 11 children in school year 2017-2018. Working with school staff, students, and parents we have worked to keep children from being suspended and have provided school and family resources.
Equity in Food Systems
- Healthy Flavor Bistro & Garden is open for dinner every Friday evening. We serve healthy, family style meals, that are affordable and easy to recreate at home. Once our garden yields a harvest, our meals will become seed-to-table. In the meantime, we are collaborating with local growers, farmers, and grocers to serve the freshest food possible. Come and join us for dinner! We operate the bistro out of North Hills United Methodist Church, 10771 Trask Drive, St. Louis, Missouri 63136.
- Along with the bistro, our Healthy Food Access team, in collaboration with the United Methodist Church, is working to end hunger in North St. Louis County. We are a member of the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition and we do not only want our community fed; we want them to be fed well.
Upcoming Summer Activities
- School is almost out and the young people in our community will need something to do. We have several opportunities for North County's youth to get engaged in community engagement and leadership activities. Sign up to volunteer!
- We will also host Meet A Red Circle at The Muny. On select Mondays, we will take young people and their families, to Forest Park to experience musical theater at its finest at The Muny. Click here for more information and to sign up.
- Transitioning Well at St. Vincent Home for Children will begin on June 2. Each Saturday, A Red Circle's volunteers will lead a workshop for children, aged 16-20, on a topic concerning adulthood and life outside of the foster care system. This program runs for 8 weeks, with a break on July 14. The topics are Finance, Health & Wellness, Education I, Education II, Employment I, Employment II, Policy, and the Arts.
- Racial Healing Book Study. We are partnering with St. Peter's United Church of Christ and other local congregations to discuss the role and positive impact the church can have on racial healing in our community. The book, "Dear White Christian", was written by local author Aaron Layton. Learn more about Aaron at his website.
- On June 16, A Red Circle and Forward Together in Action are cohosting ActLocal: St. Louis, which will be an event designed for structured networking among civic-minded organizations. The theme and action plan is voter engagement and mobilization. Click here for details.
- Solidarity Economy Stl, of which A Red Circle is a member, is the host committee for CommonBound 2018: Owning Our Power. CommonBound will bring together people with powerful visions for the future: a cross-section of community leaders, thinkers, and practitioners from around the world, including the New Economy Coalition’s 200-plus member organizations from throughout the US and Canada. Participants will share strategies and stories, build relationships, highlight achievements, and chart a shared path toward a society that puts people and planet first. Click here for registration and sponsorship information.
A Red Circle’s vision is to restore North County to a safe, vibrant, sustainable, and economically sound community that remains diverse, and in doing so, help heal the racial strife and division that threatens to ruin North County altogether.
...because all blood is red