About Us

Snapshot of the Organization

  • Founded in March, 2017 with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status 
  • Founder and Executive Director – Erica R. Williams   Erica R. Williams, from Florissant, Missouri is a wife of 24 years and a mother of five.  She has a BA in Paralegal Studies as well as her MBA, both from Maryville University.  She is a current doctoral student at Walden University studying Public Policy and Administration.  Her dissertation topic is the effect of racial trauma with a subtopic of the intersectionality of race and poverty.  She also serves on the Board of Directors for Missouri Health Care for All and is the Legislative Committee Chair of the Missouri Democratic Party Women’s Caucus.  
  • Mission Statement: the holistic betterment of our community; reversing the effects of racism one person and cause at a time 
  • Focus areas: employment, education, holistic living, policy, and the arts 
  • Concerns: income inequality, educational achievement and discipline practices, access to healthy, affordable food, civic engagement and economic justice, exposure to and enjoyment of the arts  
  • Serves zip codes  63121, 63133, 63134, 63135, 63136, 63137, 63138, 63140, 63031, 63033, 63034, and 63042 
  • Serves school districts Normandy Collaborative Schools, Jennings School District, Riverview Gardens School District, Ferguson-Florissant School District, and Hazelwood School District 
  • Why the name A Red Circle? Our approach to combat economic stratification is a full-service, well-rounded model, and regardless of race, color, creed, etc., we all bleed red. 

 

A Red Circle is tax-exempt organization with 501(c)(3) status.  A Red Circle is also a proud member of North County, Inc. and a GuideStar Platinum Participant.       
 

 

 

My Story

I always enjoy serving my community.  I have organized meals for the sick, hats and gloves drives for our local children’s home, and home improvement parties for the disabled.  I have also participated in holiday meal gathering and school beautification projects.

I also have a passion for economic development.  I love seeing new stores, restaurants, and houses being built in North County.  I am also saddened when those new businesses close and the homes go into foreclosure.  After several businesses shuttered in the area, it became apparent that the current economic condition of North County could not sustain new development.

Following the Ferguson events, I was burdened by the anger and hopelessness that began to plague my community.  After helping where I could and participating in a presidential campaign, I returned to school to pursue her PhD in Public Policy and Administration.

While researching St. Louis’ real estate history, I discovered that the current racial tension in St. Louis is the result of past racist laws and public policies – on each level of government.  Moreover, these policies are now manifested in the region of St. Louis known as north St. Louis County (“North County”).  I decided that a substantial investment into North County was necessary to provide equitable relief to the region.

North County contains a predominantly African-American population, and the majority of the residents are from low, single-income households.  Few residents possess advanced college degrees, and more families rent rather than own their homes.  Finally, many neighborhoods in North County lack grocery stores that sell fresh fruits and vegetables.  To spur the investment needed into North County, I founded a collaborative, community benefit organization called A Red Circle.  Red, because all blood is red and a circle to represent safety and unity.

A Red Circle’s purpose is economic development through a racial equity lens.  Its mission statement is the holistic betterment of our community; reversing the effects of racism one person and cause at a time.  A Red Circle has five Circles in which I and other volunteers will work to combat economic segregation – Employment, Education, Holistic Living, Policy, and the Arts.

A Red Circle’s Board of Directors is diverse and its team of volunteers come from all walks of life.  A Red Circle is committed to bringing everyone to the table, so long as individuals are open to honest dialogue concerning racial justice, equity, equality, and healing.

In order to spur the kind of economic development needed in North County, A Red Circle will work with state and regional economic development offices and equip North County’s residents with the tools they need to be successful and financially empowered.  Then, when our partners work to attract businesses into North County, those businesses and our region will thrive!

Erica R. Williams, Executive Director

Staff

Founder

Erica R Williams
Erica Williams

 

Ms. Williams is a current doctoral student at Walden University and holds an MBA from Maryville University.  She is also active in the community and is deeply concerned about the economic status of north St. Louis County and particularly its black citizens.  Through her academic research and community involvement, she has linked St. Louis’s racist past to North County’s current economic status and the racial inequality blacks still experience.

 

Bailey Williams, IT Director

Louise Collins, Executive Assistant

Jessica Williams, Communications Director

Eric Williams, Fine Arts Liaison

Board of Directors

Vincent Collins, Retired US Postal Service and US Army, Chairman of the Board

Charles Johnson, AT&T

Niambi Muhammad, Country Financial