Joan F., from receptionist to certified community Health worker and Reiki practitioner

Joan F.

Joan F. was born in St. Louis, but summers with family in the deep south taught her how to strike up a conversation with just about anyone. This skill—along with her kind eyes and big smile—have been essential to her work helping underserved and marginalized communities in St. Louis. From the early years of the […]

Chaka cares for the immediate needs of sex workers in St. Louis


The first things you notice about Chaka Aza Amahle are her tall stature, her large, vibrant glasses and her eclectic, self-designed jewelry. Talk to her for a bit, and you’ll discover she has a passion for taking care of women, and a desire to be outside. For the past eight years, those two things have […]

Mayor Terry Epps improves Pine Lawn community through collaboration

Mayor Epps at Narcan box outside Pine Lawn City Hall.

According to data from the 2020 U.S. census, the City of Pine Lawn, Mo., in north St. Louis County has over 2,700 residents, a median income of just over $23,000, and the median age is 24.5 years. For the past seven years as mayor, Terry Epps has worked to undo Pine Lawn’s history of local […]

Eye Thrive provides wraparound vision services to children, a view of a better future

Eye Thrive visits Carondelet Library in south St. Louis.

One out of every four children will have or need glasses by the time they enter kindergarten, according to a 2018 report by the American Optometric Association. The non-profit Eye Thrive helps children in underserved areas who need glasses have them as early as possible through free vision services, including a mobile clinic where kids […]

Nine PBS celebrates Black and Brown kids through its multimedia literacy initiative Drawn In

How do you do community engagement well? You listen to the community, partner with them in the creation process, support their needs, evaluate, and repeat. Local public media station Nine PBS has always focused on early childhood education and being a free and engaging resource for teachers and families. It values the voice of its […]

The Empowerment Network promotes prostate cancer testing and supports survivors

The Empowerment Network (TEN) has provided brotherhood and fellowship to prostate cancer survivors and their loved ones at 6000 West Florissant Ave. in North St. Louis city for nearly 15 years. Although primarily African American men meet there, its virtual reach extends as far as Ireland. TEN exists today because of a promise to God […]