After Mike Brown was killed so close to my home I knew I had to do something. What that something was, I was unsure. I have never been the type to sit around and watch problems unfold without action. I ran my life, family, education, and career in the same vein. I am very proud of the organization I founded.
The response to a nonprofit organization in North St. Louis County to tackle race was mixed. Many people applauded me and some even jumped on board to help. Some completely disdained the notion that race was still an issue in this region. They like the idea of A Red Circle but were uncomfortable using the term ‘Black’. And, some were clueless to the fact that race ever was an issue. Nevertheless, I kept planning, meeting, connecting, and building. Sadly, it took another tragic event around race to be a catalyst for a wider interest for people.
Heather Heyer was killed in Charlottesville during a KKK/White Supremacist rally and then people here who thought my organization was unnecessary began to go, “Oh.” They had their Oprah’s aha moment.
Our message has been consistent from Day 1 – racial equity and economic justice. Several events have unfolded over the past year – largely due to the current administration, hate, natural disasters, etc. But, regardless of what causes draw people’s attention, A Red Circle continues our work.
Year 2 begins officially on March 18 and we plan to celebrate with a picnic and fundraiser in May (because last year’s kickoff was so much fun). Our community is unique to the St. Louis region and it is home.
If you got involved last year in any capacity, we thank you. If you did not but want to check us out and find out how you can help now, we welcome you. And, if you are still on the fence about whether race is truly an issue, right now, we invite you to learn and grow with us. We have great plans for our region which involve getting to know the community members and engaging them on the work it will take to fulfill our vision.
In the partial words of Auntie Maxine, we are reclaiming our community!
…because all blood is red.